A month ago, the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association ‘A’ and ‘B’ Conference champions were crowned. A few days after that, Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen played host to four Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association title games.
Today, we unveil our fourth annual BaltimoreBaseball.com Diamond Nine. Our picks for the top nine players in the Baltimore area — regardless of position — were made after reviewing statistics and other information available.
This year’s Diamond Nine includes six seniors and three juniors. There are two players each from the MIAA ‘A’ and ‘B’ Conference, and the five others are from public school teams in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard and Harford counties.
Here are this year’s selections, listed alphabetically.
Tyler Blittersdorf, Sr., INF/RHP, John Carroll
Blittersdorf was a tough out at the plate. The senior notched a .450 average with nine doubles, two triples and four home runs. He also had 38 RBIs in 2019.
Kavi Caster, Sr., RHP/OF, South River
The senior put up strong numbers on the mound and at the plate. He registered a 1.58 ERA and notched 54 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings. Offensively, Caster batted .417 with five doubles, three triples and three home runs. He also knocked in 16 runs, scoring 22 of his own.
Magnus Dunn, Jr., LHP, Mount Hebron
Dunn dominated on the mound against Howard County opponents. The left-hander, who was a finalist in our ‘Prep Ballplayer’ vote, allowed just five earned runs and gave up eight hits in 27 innings pitched. He recorded 62 strikeouts, 18 of which came in a 6 2/3 performance in April against Glenelg. At the plate, he hit .433 with three doubles and a home run.
Reece Early, Sr., RHP, Gerstell
Early captured our site’s final ‘Prep Ballplayer’ award of 2019. The left-hander recorded a 1.95 ERA during the season and struck out 95 hitters. At the plate, he batted .417 with 23 RBIs. Early added seven doubles and five home runs in the Falcons’ first MIAA ‘B’ Conference championship season.
Bryce Frederick, Sr., INF, Dulaney
Frederick notched 34 hits this past season. The infielder batted .459 with 11 doubles, two triples and five home runs. He had 19 RBIs and scored 35 runs. Frederick also walked 19 times.
Josh Moylan, Jr., INF, Archbishop Spalding
The East Carolina commit batted .440 with 36 hits. He had 11 doubles and eight home runs, as well as 39 RBIs. Moylan scored 30 runs and drew 30 walks.
Tyler Russo, Sr., LHP/INF, Glenelg Country
There wasn’t anyone much better on the mound than Russo in the MIAA ‘B’ Conference. The southpaw allowed five earned runs in 58 innings, en route to an astounding 0.60 ERA. He also struck out 100 hitters – yes, you read that right. Russo had 32 hits at the plate, 12 of which were doubles – two being home runs. He had 28 RBIs and scored 35 runs.
Benji Thalheimer, Jr., RHP, Atholton
The right-hander frequented our site a lot in 2019. He earned ‘Prep Ballplayer’ honors four times and for good reason. Thalheimer mowed down hitters, striking out 59 and allowing just three earned runs in 39 1/3 innings. He pitched to a 0.53 ERA.
Jose Torres, Sr., INF, Calvert Hall
The Cardinals earned their first MIAA ‘A’ Conference championship since 2013. Torres was a large part of that. The senior racked up 43 hits, good for a .402 batting average. He had eight doubles, three triples and seven home runs, while knocking in 45 runs.