We’re back for our third season of high school baseball coverage.
We kick it off today with previews of top players and teams to watch in Baltimore and its surrounding counties, as well as the private schools’ MIAA.
On Monday, April 2, we will run our first installment of the popular, “Prep Ballplayer of the Week” feature and vote.
Each week throughout the season, we highlight three of the Baltimore area’s top individual performances. The readers then get to vote — early and often — for the finalist they believe should be our prep winner. Voting ends on Thursday nights and the winner is announced every Friday.
If you’re interested in submitting candidates for our consideration, please send the player’s name, key statistics from the previous week and your contact information to my email, [email protected] We welcome suggestions and your feedback.
BaltimoreBaseball.com’s 2018 high school players and schools to watch
Anne Arundel County
Team to watch: Arundel High School
Arundel isn’t lacking depth in 2018. Led by senior right-handers Will Schubert and Steve Sturlaugson, the Wildcats will be in the mix for a county title with Chesapeake and Severna Park, who defeated the Wildcats in the 2017 Class 4A regional semifinals. They could be in for a longer run this year.
Player to watch: Joe Seidler, Chesapeake, Sr.
One more go-around for Seidler and Chesapeake. The Radford University commit’s continued versatility and success on the mound and at the plate may be what the Cougars need to claim a state title after appearing in the finals the past two years. Seidler, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-hander, posted a 2.02 ERA in 2017 and he hit .420 with 25 RBIs. Third time’s a charm, right?
Team: Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Poly is looking to use a core group of seniors, led by ace Isaac Spokes and outfielder Brian Dunston, to overcome a championship loss to City College and an MPSSAA playoff exit to Frederick Douglass.
Player: David Sanders, City College, Sr.
The Baltimore City Player of the Year hopes to carry over his stout offensive and defensive play into the 2018 season. Sanders was plugged into the three-hole last season – finishing the year with a .347 batting average and .468 on-base percentage. The senior shortstop is a West Virginia Wesleyan College commit.
Team: Dulaney High School
Dulaney was one game shy of a Class 4A regional title last year. The Lions hope to change that with strong pitching and an explosive offense led by Georgetown University commit Nolan Matsko.
Player: Nolan Matsko, Dulaney, Sr.
Last year at the plate, Matsko (pictured above) showed he could do it all. The infielder batted .444 with eight doubles, two home runs and 22 RBIs. Oh yeah, he’s also quick – recording four triples and swiping 23 bags for the Lions.
Team: Century High School
The Knights captured the county title last season. In 2018, their goal is the same but it’s also to add a regional crown, which would be the school’s first. Century welcomes back a wealth of college commits who have a strong presence on the mound and at the plate.
Player: Michael Marrale, Century, Sr.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Century has a lot of talent, including Old Dominion University commit Michael Marrale. Marrale, the Carroll County Times Player of the Year and son of head coach, Mike, smacked 10 home runs, 31 RBIs and posted a .907 slugging percentage in 2017. With that power and a short porch at his home field, expect impressive numbers from the senior catcher.
Team: Fallston High School
Fallston fell in the Class 2A state title game last year but the Cougars are geared up for another run. The Cougars return five starters that have a good mix of offensive power and experience on the mound.
Player: Austin Koehn, Patterson Mill, Sr.
The UNC-Greensboro commit joins this list for a second-straight year. Koehn, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound right-hander, pitched to another sub-2 ERA in 2017. He did it by striking out 58 batters in 55 1/3 innings of work.
Team: Howard High School
Howard will be relying on its pitching this season. Luckily, the Lions are returning their top three arms — juniors Brendan Foster, Gabe Delgado and Ryan Kulick – who led the team to last season’s state title bout.
Player: Cameron Hyder, Reservoir, Sr.
Hyder, a Salisbury University commit, found success within the county last season. The senior left-hander hit .409 and drove in 12 runs for the Gators, whose season ended in the Class 4A regional semifinals. Hyder also added eight doubles and scored 19 runs in 2017.
Team: Archbishop Spalding High School
Archbishop Spalding hopes to make noise throughout the season and into the MIAA “A” Conference tournament. The Cavaliers return solid pitching and a stacked lineup, headlined by senior infielder Matt Palumbo.
Player: Maxwell Costes, Gilman, Sr.
The first-team, All-Metro selection hopes to carry over his versatile success into his senior season. Costes, an infielder, hit .392 with six home runs and 26 RBIs while striking out 34 batters in 13 appearances with the Greyhounds. The right-hander has committed to the University of Maryland, where his brother, Marty, is a standout outfielder.
Note: Statistics compiled from various newspapers, on-line and social media sites.