Boston High School: Pat Connaughton

Two-Sport ESPN Boston All-Staters

June, 27, 2012
6/27/12
1:53
PM ET
Looking back at the nearly two years that ESPN Boston's high school section has been up and running, we have had seven boys and one girl make our MIAA All-State Teams in multiple sports. Here are the eight below:

Pat Connaughton, St. John’s Prep '11
Basketball (2010-11), Baseball (2011)
College: Notre Dame (Basketball and Baseball)

Richard Rodgers, St. John’s (Shrewsbury) '11
Football (2010), Basketball (2010-11)
College: Cal (Football)

Matt Walsh, Plymouth North '11
Football (2010), Baseball (2011)
College: Franklin Pierce (Baseball)

Blake Dietrick, Wellesley '11
Basketball (2010-11), Lacrosse (2011)
College: Princeton (Basketball)

Casey DeAndrade, East Bridgewater '12
Football (2011), Baseball (2012)
College: New Hampshire (Football)

Matt O’Keefe, Duxbury '12
Football (2011), Lacrosse (2012)
College: Johns Hopkins (Lacrosse)

James Burke, Duxbury '12
Football (2011), Lacrosse (2012)
College: Penn State (Lacrosse)

Mark Riley, Needham '12
Football (2011), Lacrosse (2012)
College: Bates (Football and Lacrosse)

Our MIAA Baseball All-State Team

June, 29, 2011
6/29/11
9:19
AM ET
THE STARTING ROTATION

All-StateAdam Ravenelle, Sr. RHP, Lincoln-Sudbury
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound fireballer was an integral part of the Warriors' run to the Division 1 state championship this season, going 8-0 with 93 strikeouts in 56 innings -- including a career-high 18 in a win over Arlington. He also batted .481 with 44 RBIs. Earlier this month, the Vanderbilt-bound Ravenelle was drafted in the 44th round by the New York Yankees.

All-StatePat Connaughton, Sr. RHP, St. John’s Prep
The 6-foot-4 Connaughton, who was also a starter on ESPNBoston's inaugural All-State basketball squad, strung together some dominant performances this season, including a no-hitter against his hometown Arlington High. On the mound, he went 2-2 with one save, with 86 strikeouts in 50 innings for an ERA of 1.83. At the plate, he also hit .400 with four home runs, a .547 on-base percentage and .750 slugging percentage. Earlier this month, Connaughton was drafted in the 38th round by the San Diego Padres

All-StateJohn Gorman, Sr. RHP, Catholic Memorial
The Boston College-bound Gorman was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year last month, and was also named the Catholic Conference MVP, after a stellar senior season with the Knights. As the No. 1 ace, Gorman went 6-2 with 80 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.24. At the plate, he also hit .354 with 11 RBI, 14 runs scored an a home run. Earlier this month, the Norwood resident was drafted in the 50th round by the Boston Red Sox.

All-StateSteve Moyers, Jr. LHP, East Longmeadow
One of the state's most elusive lefties, Moyers turned in another strong campaign on the mound as the Spartans advanced to the Division 1 West Final. He went 8-1 this season, with 88 strikeouts in 64 innings with an ERA of 0.44. For his career, Moyers is 23-2 and has averaged better than a strikeout per inning. He is receiving various interest from Division 1 schools in the Atlantic-10, Patriot League and Big East conferences.

All-StateGarrison Banas, Sr. LHP, Hopkins Academy
Stats-wise, there isn't another pitcher in the state who can lay claim to the numbers Banas put up this season. He went 9-2 this season for the Golden Hawks, with 173 strikeouts in 87.2 innings for an ERA of 0.48, before bowing out in the Division 3 West final. For his career, Banas was 26-6 with five no-hitters and a perfect game, and is in the state's ever-exclusive 400-strikeout club with 415 career K's. He will pursue a post-graduate season next year at Salisbury School, in Connecticut.

STARTING NINE

Matt Walsh, Sr. C, Plymouth North
The Franklin Pierce-bound Walsh was one of the more intimidating hitters in the region this season, as he led the Eagles to their second Division 2 state title in four years by hitting over .530 with 36 RBIs. But the most outstanding stat on Walsh has to be the respect he commands behind the plate. Counting the playoffs, only five runners attempted to steal on Walsh, and four were thrown out.

Chris McCarthy, Jr. C, Everett
Equipped with a live arm, the junior backstop was as efficient at the plate as he was at throwing out runners, batting over .585 with 28 RBIs and an on-base percentage close to .700. McCarthy is receiving varied degrees of interest from Division 1 schools in the Big East, Atlantic Coast and Atlantic 10 conferences.

Mike Barry, Sr. C/OF, Lincoln-Sudbury
The 6-foot-2 Barry was one of the most prolific hitters on arguably the state's most dangerous lineup, as the Warriors captured their third state title in seven seasons. For the season, he hit .437 with 38 RBIs and seven home runs,

Matt O'Neil, Jr. SS, East Longmeadow
As one of the premier position players in Western Mass, O'Neil turned in a solid junior season for the Spartans, batting .447 with six home runs and stealing 15 bases. He was also efficient on the mound, going 6-1 and striking out 69 batters in 43 innings. O'Neil is verbally committed to UConn.

Chris Shaw, Jr. 1B, Lexington
As the Middlesex League co-MVP alongside teammate Will Marcal, Shaw put on a clinic at the plate, with the numbers to show. He batted over .490 with eight home runs, and plated 41 runs. Shaw is verbally committed to Boston College.

Ryan Summers, Jr. C, Westfield
The junior got off to an explosive start to the season for the Bombers, with 21 RBIs and six home runs through the first three weeks of the season. He finished the year with 27 RBIs and six home runs.

Jarrod Casey, Jr. OF/LHP, Milford
The latest in a line of Caseys to succeed on the diamond at Milford, the 5-foot-11 junior was one of the premier hitters in Central Mass, hitting .530 while also going 8-1 on the mound. Casey was also the Mid-Wach A Most Valuable Player.

Lorenzo Papa, Sr. 1B, Arlington Catholic
The Stoneham resident led the state in home runs last season with 10, and followed up with another solid campaign in 2011, finishing with eight homers for the Cougars. Papa will continue his career at the University of Rhode Island next year.

Sean Amaru, Sr. 1B, Westwood
Also a star on the gridiron, Amaru was a standout in the Tri-Valley League in 2011, turning in a monster season. He batted .515 with 34 RBIs, and also led the state in home runs with 10.

BULLPEN
Will Archibald, Sr. RHP, Milton
Freddy Andujar, Sr. LHP, Holyoke
Dan Dymecki, Sr. RHP, Wellesley
Evan Mackintosh, Sr. LHP, Northbridge
Will Marcal, Sr. LHP, Lexington
Ryan McDonald, Jr. LHP, Acton-Boxborough
Victor Mendez, Sr. RHP, Lawrence
Donny Murray, Sr. RHP, BC High
Matt Tulley, Jr. RHP, Lowell
Brandon Walsh, Jr. RHP, North Andover

UTILITY
Charlie Butler, Jr. IF/RHP, Nashoba
Dan Cellucci, Jr. SS, Lincoln-Sudbury
Aaron Fossas, Sr. SS, Holy Name
Matt Goreham, Sr. 1B, Catholic Memorial
Keith Kelley, Sr. SS, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Dan Light, Sr. 1B, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Bob Melley, Jr. C, BC High
Rory O'Connor, Jr. OF, Lowell
Tyler Sterner, Sr. SS, Doherty
Ramses Vittini, Sr. OF, Peabody
Alex Witkus, Sr. OF, North Attleborough
Paul Yanakopulos, Sr. SS, Malden Catholic

MLB Draft: Weathered expectations on Day 3

June, 8, 2011
6/08/11
8:02
PM ET
John Magliozzi was chilling with friends on Marshfield Beach when he got a call from the Tampa Bay Rays.

Meanwhile, north of the I-95 loop, Pat Connaughton had just completed an NBA combine-like vertical leap test at Woburn's Athletic Evolution, with trainer Erik Kaloyanides, and was on the phone with Notre Dame basketball assistant Rod Balanis to see how his fellow incoming freshmen did. Then a number came up from a Padres scout.

West of the city in Sudbury, Adam Ravenelle had shut off the MLB Draft ticker on his computer and got ready for practice at Lincoln-Sudbury, only to hear his mother screaming joy two rooms over as the Yankees made him their pick.

And in Norwood, John Gorman was babysitting his sister when his father got a call from a Red Sox scout to watch John's name come across the screen.

For the local high school prospects projected to get selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, this third and final day was a pretty relaxing one. Magliozzi, a righthander out of Dexter School, went in the 35th round to the Rays, followed by St. John's Prep's Connaughton in the 38th, Ravenelle in the 44th, and Catholic Memorial's Gorman in the 50th.

From a pure talent perspective, the trio of Magliozzi, Connaughton and Ravenelle were all projected as top 10 round potential. None of the parties were surprised with where they landed, though they all had their own reasons.

Connaughton, a 6-foot-4 fireballer, signed a National Letter of Intent last November to play both basketball and baseball with Notre Dame. His strong commitment to Irish hoops coach Mike Brey made him a difficult sign in the eyes of many Major League scouts, and at the end of day he was just honored hear his name held in such high regard. At various points during the spring, he was ranked among the top 100 high schoolers by both Baseball America and ESPN's Keith Law.

"People had said I could anywhere between the second and fifth rounds, even top 10, so I was happy with the location of where I could have been drafted. I mean yeah, it's unfortunate that I didn't get drafted there, but I don't really care. I'm going to Notre Dame, I'm going to work hard, and we'll see what happens in three years."

Ravenelle had made his inclination to honor his Vanderbilt commitment with scouts, so he wasn't expecting big things in spite of his big-league potential.

"It's kinda what I expected to be, a late round pick if anything," he said. "Most scouts knew I wanted to go to Vanderbilt, but I would keep my options open for the draft. That's what made me slip as far as I did."

"I was really surprised, but going into it I knew that if I told people what I wanted for a number I might drop a little bit," Magliozzi said. "But things ended up working out."

Magliozzi said he is "not necessarily" ready to give the Gators his full attention, saying "As of right now, we'll see what the Rays have to offer and go from there."

Gorman, meanwhile, was all smiles, and struggled to put his emotions into words.

"It was the longest 20 minutes of my life [after the phone call]," Gorman laughed. "I was just in shock. My mom jumped up and grabbed me, hugged me. I really didn’t show much emotion, because I didn’t know what to think at the moment. It's still just settling in right now."

And with that, Gorman was off to practice with Norwood Legion Post 70 in just a few short hours. Just another day.

New Englanders taken in MLB Draft

June, 7, 2011
6/07/11
3:30
PM ET
The third and final day of the Major League Baseball Draft has concluded. Here's a rundown of which locals went where:

First Round (Monday)
11. Houston Astros, George Springer, OF, Connecticut (Avon Old Farms), New Britain, Conn.
19. Boston Red Sox, Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut (Bethel H.S.), Bethel, Conn.
21. Toronto Blue Jays, Tyler Beede, RHP, Lawrence Academy, Auburn, Mass.

Second Round (Tuesday)
63. Arizona Diamondbacks, Anthony Meo, RHP, Coastal Carolina (Cranston West H.S.), Cranston, R.I.
64. Baltimore Orioles, Jason Esposito, 3B, Vanderbilt (Amity H.S.), Bethany, Conn.
85. Atlanta Braves, Nick Ahmed, SS, Connecticut (East Longmeadow H.S.), East Longmeadow, Mass.

Third Round (Tuesday)
118. New York Yankees, Jordan Cote, RHP, Winnisquam Regional, Sanbornton, N.H.

Fifth Round (Tuesday)
162. New York Mets, Jack Leathersich, LHP, UMass-Lowell (Beverly H.S.), Beverly, Mass.
169. Toronto Blue Jays, Andrew Chin, LHP, BB&N, Newton, Mass.

Sixth Round (Tuesday)
182. Pittsburgh Pirates, Dan Gamache, 3B, Auburn (Bishop Hendricken H.S.), Exeter, R.I.

Tenth Round (Tuesday)
302. Pittsburgh Pirates, Taylor Lewis, CF, Maine (Montville H.S.), Montville, Conn.
303. Seattle Mariners, Dan Paolini, 2B, Siena (Bunnell H.S.) Stratford, Conn.
317. Detroit Tigers, Curt Casali, C, Vanderbilt (New Canaan H.S.) New Canaan, Conn.

Twelfth Round (Tuesday)
363. Seattle Mariners, Mike Dowd, C, Franklin Pierce (Cardinal Spellman H.S.), East Bridgewater, Mass.

Thirteenth Round (Tuesday)
394. Arizona Diamondbacks, John Pedrotty, LHP, Holy Cross (Portsmouth H.S.), Portsmouth, R.I.

Fifteenth Round (Tuesday)
463. Florida Marlins, Jhimoar Veras, RF, Western Oklahoma State Coll. (Methuen H.S.), Methuen, Mass.

Seventeenth Round (Tuesday)
519. Chicago Cubs, John Andreoli Jr., RF, Connecticut (St. John's of Shrewsbury), Shrewsbury, Mass.

Eighteenth Round (Tuesday)
553. Florida Marlins, Greg Nappo, LHP, Connecticut (Daniel Hand H.S.), Madison, Conn.
563. San Diego Padres, Mike Gallic, LF, Marist (Tolland H.S.), Tolland, Conn.

Twentieth Round (Tuesday)
610. Houston Astros, Matt Duffy, 3B, Tennessee (St. Sebastian's), Milton, Mass.
630. Tampa Bay Rays, Garrett Smith, SS, Boston College (St. John's of Shrewsbury), Sterling, Mass.

23rd Round (Tuesday)
700. Houston Astros, Ruben Sosa, 2B, Oklahoma City University (Lawrence H.S.), Lawrence, Mass.
702. New York Mets, Jeff Diehl, C, Cranston West H.S., Cranston, R.I.
715. Cincinnati Reds, Sal Romano, RHP, Southington H.S., Southington, Conn.

24th Round (Tuesday)
747. San Francisco Giants, Keith Bilodeau, RHP, Maine (Bourne H.S.), Bourne, Mass.

25th Round (Tuesday)
763. Florida Marlins, Sean Donatello, RHP, UConn-Avery Point (East Lyme H.S.), Salem, Conn.
780. Tampa Bay Rays, Brooks Belter, RHP, Occidental (The Gunnery Prep), Lakeville, Conn.

28th Round (Tuesday)
862. Boston Red Sox, Brenden Shepherd, RHP, Stonehill (Masconomet Regional) Boxford, Mass.
867. San Francisco Giants, Tyler Mizenko, RHP, Winthrop (Hamden Hall H.S.), Wallingford, Conn.

31st Round (Wednesday)
958. Minnesota Twins, Garrett Jewell, RHP, Southern New Hampshire (Newfound Regional), Alexandria, N.H.

32nd Round (Wednesday)
975. Los Angeles Angels, John Leonard, RHP, Boston College (Hanover H.S.), Hanover, Mass.

35th Round (Wednesday)
1076. Atlanta Braves, Mike Hashem, LHP, Fisher College (North Andover H.S.), North Andover, Mass.
1080. Tampa Bay Rays, John Magliozzi, RHP, Dexter School, Milton, Mass.

38th Round (Wednesday)
1163. San Diego Padres, Pat Connaughton, RHP, St. John's Prep, Arlington, Mass.
1169. New York Yankees, Joe Maher, RHP, Bedford H.S., Bedford, N.H.

39th Round (Wednesday)
1192. Boston Red Sox, Corey Vogt, RHP, Keene State (Suffield H.S.), Suffield, Conn.

40th Round (Wednesday)
1206. Kansas City Royals, Ben Waldrip, 1B, Jacksonville State (Medford H.S.), Medford, Mass.

42nd Round (Wednesday)
1269. Chicago Cubs, Brad Zapenas, SS, Boston College (Nashua North H.S.), Nashua, N.H.
1290. Tampa Bay Rays, Mike Bourdon, C, U. Tampa (Northwest Catholic H.S.), Simsbury, Conn.

43rd Round (Wednesday)
1303. Florida Marlins, Drew Leenhouts, LHP, Northeastern (Franklin H.S.), Franklin, Mass.
1310. St. Louis Cardinals, Chris Costantino, RHP, Walters State CC (Bishop Hendricken H.S.), Lincoln, R.I.

44th Round (Wednesday)
1349. New York Yankees, Adam Ravenelle, RHP, Lincoln-Sudbury H.S., Sudbury, Mass.

45th Round (Wednesday)
1372. Boston Red Sox, Matt Gedman, 2B, UMass (Belmont Hill), Framingham, Mass.
1377. San Francisco Giants, Brian Maloney, LHP, Franklin Pierce (Brockton H.S.), Brockton, Mass.

46th Round (Wednesday)
1389. Chicago Cubs, Scott Weismann, RHP, Clemson (Acton-Boxborough H.S.), Boxborough, Mass.

48th Round (Wednesday)
1443. Seattle Mariners, Max Krakowiak, RHP, Fordham (Staples H.S.), Westport, Conn.
1448. Cleveland Indians, Blaine O'Brien, RHP, Keystone College (Scituate H.S.), Scituate, Mass.

50th Round (Wednesday)
1522. Boston Red Sox, John Gorman, RHP, Catholic Memorial, Norwood, Mass.
Tags:

Baseball, MLB draft, Lawrence Academy, Tyler Beede, John Magliozzi, Adam Ravenelle, Jordan Cote, Pat Connaughton, St. John's Prep, East Longmeadow, Lincoln-Sudbury, Portsmouth (R.I.), Andrew Chin, Nashua North, Winnisquam Regional, Belmont Hill, Catholic Memorial, Acton-Boxborough, St. John's (Shrewsbury), Bedford (N.H.), Northwest Catholic (Conn.), John Gorman, Cardinal Spellman, St. Sebastian's, Bishop Hendricken, Masconomet, Bishop Hendricken (R.I.), North Andover, Hamden Hall (Conn.), Jason Esposito, Amity (Conn.), Matt Barnes, Bethel (Conn.), Newfound Regional (N.H.), Jeff Diehl, Vanderbilt, UMass Minutemen, Boston Red Sox, Atlanta Braves, UConn Huskies, Fordham Rams, Holy Cross Crusaders, Boston College Eagles, Sal Romano, Southington (Conn.), Tennessee Volunteers, Maine Black Bears, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Nick Ahmed, Jack Leathersich, Dan Gamache, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankess, New York Mets, UMass-Lowell, Taylor Lewis, Montville (Conn.), Dan Paolini, Bunnell (Conn.), Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, Curt Casali, New Canaan (Conn.), Vanderbilt Commdores, Siena Saints, Arizona Diamondbacks, John Pedrotty, Florida Marlins, Jhiomar Veras, Chicago Cubs, John Andreoli Jr., Greg Nappo, Daniel Hand (Conn.), Mike Gallic, Marist Foxes, Tolland (Conn.), Matt Duffy, Garrett Smith, Ruben Sosa, Cranston West (R.I.), Keith Bilodeau, Sean Donatello, East Lyme (Conn.), Brooks Belter, The Gunnery (Conn.), Brenden Shepherd, Tyler Mizenko, Winthrop Eagles, Garrett Jewell, John Leonard, Mike Hashem, Corey Vogt, Suffield (Conn.), Ben Waldrip, Jacksonville State Gamecocks, Brad Zapenas, Mike Bourdon, Drew Leenhouts, Northeastern Huskies, Chris Costantino, Matt Gedman, Brian Maloney, Scott Weismann, Clemson Tigers, Max Krakowiak, Staples (Conn.), Blaine O'Brien

L-S bats white hot against Prep

June, 6, 2011
6/06/11
11:22
PM ET
SUDBURY, Mass. -- Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Kirk Fredericks knew the challenge that his hitters could have with No. 7 St. John’s Prep ace Pat Connaughton in the Div. 1 North quarterfinals.

But with a little extra work and some unconventional practice, the No. 2 Warriors (20-2) knocked around the Prep star in the early innings and got to the bullpen late in it’s three-hour, 9-5 victory on Monday night at Feeley Field in the Div. 1 North tournament.

As soon as his team eliminated Boston Latin in the first round, Fredericks and his coaching staff set up the pitching machine at 90 mph to get his team ready for a helping of faster than normal heaters. He also set up the L-screen 20 feet from the hitters and had the coaches fire the ball as hard as they could to get the hitters reaction time just a step quicker.

That plan allowed the Warriors to be ready for Connaughton and the results showed as the Eagles’ ace didn’t get out of the fourth inning, surrendering five runs (four earned), walking seven and throwing over 100 pitches in his brief stint.

“We had a plan and we executed it well,” said Fredericks, whose team will play Chelmsford in the Div. 1 North semis. “It got the pitch count up and more importantly it gave our kids confidence. … If they could hit me the way I was throwing from right in front of them, they could hit Connaughton, Tyler Beede or Adam Ravenelle.”

That plan was executed best by Warriors’ lead off hitter Dan Cellucci. The junior outfielder went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning to break a 5-5 tie. Cellucci reached base safely all six times he approached the plate with three walks to go along with his three hits.

“It helped a lot,” Cellucci said of the extra work. “You can’t just go up in a game and face that speed. You’ve got to practice it and it definitely helped the whole team.”

The Warriors were able to get the leadoff hitter on base in six out of their eight at-bats against Connaughton and the three other Prep pitchers.

With the game tied at two, the Warriors plated three unanswered runs in the third and fourth inning. With runners on second and third with one out, Adam Ravenelle nubbed a swinging bunt down the third base line. Connaughton tried to make a play on the well-positioned ball, but his throw sailed wide of first allowing both runs to come through for the 5-2 lead.

“I couldn’t throw strikes,” said Connaughton. “It was a control issue. I’ve had it in the past and I’ve always had it from lack of playing this sport enough. If I were able to throw strikes maybe it would have been a little different.”

His Prep teammates picked him up immediately in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at 5. The Eagles got the first four guys to reach in the inning, with Justin Peluso hitting a RBI single and Connaughton ripping a RBI double to the right field gap.

Cellucci delivered the game-winning run with a shot to center with two out in the bottom of the seventh off of Prep reliever Bobby Woodworth. Keith Anderson fueled a three-run eighth-inning with a bloop two-RBI single into left on a 0-2 pitch.

“Two games in a row,” Fredericks said of Anderson’s plate presence. “Keith got a huge hit and three RBI in the Boston Latin game and he had another huge hit today. He’s helped us a great deal coming on at the end here.”

MLB Draft Watch: Breaking down the locals

June, 5, 2011
6/05/11
2:48
PM ET
Between the gifted arms of Lawrence Academy's Tyler Beede, St. John's Prep's Pat Connaughton, Lincoln-Sudbury's Adam Ravenelle and Dexter's John Magliozzi, we have an unusually high amount of high school players in the New England region who could see their names getting called in the Major League Baseball Draft, which starts with the first round Monday night.

At the beginning of the high school season, I caught up with an American League scout who projected eight high schoolers that could see their names called. But with BB&N's Andrew Chin on the shelf with Tommy John surgery, and the play of Dexter's Barrett O'Neill and BB&N's Devin Perry dipping a bit, the number of bona fide locks has decreased.

Still, the projections at the top haven't budged, and it starts with Beede, a 6-foot-4 righthander from Auburn who could become the first high schooler from Massachusetts taken in the first round since Peabody High's Jeff Allison in 2003.

"Obviously, the most notable is Beede," said Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Amiel Sawdaye, at the club's pre-draft press conference last Wednesday at Fenway Park. "Excellent pitcher, guy we’ve scouted for a long time, we’ve gotten the chance to see him over the summer, seen him this year. Even some of the other guys -- Connaughton, Magliozzi, Ravenelle -- all good athletes signed to good schools, good students, good kids.

"And that’s exciting. To be able to go to the local games and see those guys pitch, it’s exciting for us. You get home games. We normally don’t get those until the Cape [League]."

Traditionally it's been pitchers getting selected out of the local high schools over the years, so it's no surprise that all of the names being thrown around are 90-mile per hour fireballers. And while this year's class has an abundance of players with prototypical pitcher's builds, they also come on the draft market perceivably fresher, what with the limited amount of time playing outdoors.

"We talk about cold weather kids. You know, sometimes they don’t hit their stride until, a lot of times, the summer," Sawday said. "So, you blink and another team takes a player from the Midwest, Northeast, different region where it’s a cold weather region, and the kid’s throwing 94, 95, where in the spring he was throwing 92.

"It gives us an advantage to be able to go watch those kids progress, and I think the other thing is the proximity of being around these guys and being able to see them get better year after year, see how they take off. As a junior, they’re taking off in the summer. As a senior, they’re taking off in the summer. And yeah, I think you can look at it as an advantage."

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein echoed similar comments, noting the desire of northeast kids playing in a smaller period of warm weather, as well as the easier projections.

"Guys around here, their best baseball is yet to come," Epstein said. "They don’t get out on the field until April sometimes, with the snow on the ground, and you can project these guys going forward. I think makeup is good too. You have to go to baseball here. Compared to California, Texas, Florida, where it’s there 365 days of the year, here you’ve got a short window to play, and you’ve got to relish the opportunity and make the most of it. It’s easy to project off these kids in the northeast."

Added Sawdaye, "We were just watching video of a kid throwing in the snow, so that tells you what some of these kids go through."

I revisited with scouts again late last week, for their thoughts on the top prospects in the area. Below are the scouting reports and projections on seven New Englanders you will definitely see coming across the ticker.

Tyler Beede, RHP, Lawrence Academy
Hometown: Auburn, Mass.
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 205 lbs
Bats: Right
College: Vanderbilt
Scout’s Take: “I’d say Tyler has basically done everything the scouts and pro evaluators have asked him to do, repeating his delivery, a breaking ball that’s consistent with your average major league pitch. He’s shown velocity they’ve been looking for. His last start, he was consistently hitting 93 to 95. All the intangibles are there. I think that’s as good of a prospect we’ve had in a long time in New England."
Projection: Late first round to Sandwich A. (“That’s assuming signability doesn’t get in the way,” said the scout. “He’s going to be a pricey pick, but I think there are teams willing to go that route.)

Pat Connaughton, RHP, St. John’s Prep
Hometown: Arlington, Mass.
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 190 lbs
Bats: Right
College: Notre Dame (baseball and basketball)
Scout’s Take: “He's been one of the most intriguing prospects of the spring. His velocity has been anywhere from 90 to 94 every outing, a real plus fastball at times with late life on it, which you certainly– can’t teach. His arm is as loose as anyone’s. The only question right now if he puts enough time into his delivery where the off-speed catches up to his fastball. The hardest part of signing him is going to be getting him away from his passion for playing basketball. It looks like he wants to compete for a pro team that will allow him to do that as well.”
Projection: First five rounds.

John Magliozzi, RHP, Dexter
Hometown: Milton, Mass.
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 180 lbs
Bats: Right
College: Florida
Scout’s Take: “Johnny’s been a little inconsistent with his velocity, and that’s led people to press questions about whether that frame is going to be durable over the long haul. His velocity has taken a step back, it’s been in the 87-90 range where people might have expected 92 to 94. Whether that’s reasonable or not, that’s what these guys are looking for. He’s shown signs that he’s going to compete for you, but they need to see that prominent velocity from a frame like that.”
Projection: First 10 rounds.

Adam Ravenelle, RHP Lincoln-Sudbury
Hometown: Sudbury, Mass.
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 185 lbs
Bats: Right
College: Vanderbilt
Scout’s Take: “Ravenelle may have taken the biggest step forward of anyone this spring. Critics questioned his ability to repeat his delivery, but his fastball consistently comes over the plate with a good angle. People wonder when he would decide on an arm slot, but he’s done a tremendous job on keeping to a low three-quarter slot and remaining on top of the ball. He’s also shown he's able to throw that breaking ball for strikes consistently, which hasn't always been the case. The best part about him is he has matured from a mental standpoint. He attacks the game now as a pitcher and not just a thrower by working efficiently with his pitch counts to get outs early in the game without trying to strike everyone out.”
Projection: First 20 rounds. (“He’s a potential top-five talent, but everyone’s sold on the idea that he’s going to end up at Vanderbilt,” the scout said.)

Jordan Cote, RHP, Winnisquam Regional (N.H.)
Hometown: Sanbornton, N.H.
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 215 lbs
Bats: Right
College: Coastal Carolina
Scout’s Take: “He’s the one that’s been climbing the most. I’d say Cote was one that was kind of a sleeper early in the season. People had to wait and see what you get out of him, being in a Northern climate, playing on 35-degree days more so than Mass kids. Early on, he struggled, was hitting 87-88, then over the last two or three weeks, as the weather warmed up he found his groove. He’s really climbed into the upper echelon of high school prospects. You look at that frame, 6-6, 215, and there’s a lot of projectability. You could see him filling out to 240, and see that fastball velocity increase because of the hand speed he demonstrates."
Projection: First five rounds.

John Gorman, RHP/3B, Catholic Memorial
Hometown: Norwood, Mass.
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 215 lbs
Bats: Right
College: Boston College
Scout’s Take: “He’s still in the mix, guys mostly look at him as being a college guy. But, he will step in regardless and be one of the best players on the BC squad when he gets there…. He’s an interesting one. He’s one of the guys people talked about earlier in the year being a bulldog, and one of the best high school kids around. He’s obviously lived up to that being named Gatorade Player of the Year in a year full of big names. He’ll likely see time in college as a corner infielder and a pitcher. I think that over the next two or three years, he’s going to have a lot of success at the college level. His fastball velocity can climb into the 91-92 range, and he can throw his off-speed consistently into the strike zone. I’d imagine his name being called on draft day, as he deserves it.”
Projection: First 20 rounds.

Sal Romano, RHP, Southington (Conn.)
Hometown: Southington, Conn.
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 220 lbs
Bats: Right
College: Tennessee
Scout’s Take: "Sal'’s another one of those big body high school kids we’ve been blessed with this year. His delivery has some work to do, but he’s shown great velocity on his fastball, up to 93. The feel for the spin on his breaking ball is advanced for his age. His signability demands may push him down in the draft this year, but he’s definitely one to follow."
Projection: Top 10 rounds.

Prep downs BC High in 10 innings

May, 28, 2011
5/28/11
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BOSTON – Justin Peluso’s game-winning hit almost never was.

In the top of the 10th inning, he dug into the box with a man on first and nobody out with No. 3 St. John’s Prep and No. 7 BC High tied, 3-3. Peluso got a bunt sign from coach Pat Yanchus. After working the count to 1-1, Peluso wasn’t looking to advance the runner. He was looking to end the game.

“I had two hits and I was feeling pretty confident,” Peluso said. “So I said, ‘Coach, let me hit.’”

Peluso delivered, ripping an RBI triple down the third base line and scoring Anthony Capuano from first. Prep held on to take a 5-3 win over BC High, meaning the teams will share the Catholic Conference title this season.

BC High (11-6, 5-3 Catholic Conference) came out swinging against Prep starter Pat Connaughton, plating three runs against the Notre Dame commit in the first. BC High catcher Bobby Melley drove an RBI double to center before Ryan Tufts and Melley scored on passed balls.

After falling behind 3-0 in the first, Connaughton bounced back to throw seven straight scoreless innings in a no-decision before giving way to Brandon Bingle, who picked up the win with two shutout innings in relief.

“I think I just got comfortable,” Connaughton said of his in-game adjustments. “Sometimes I seem to have trouble in the first inning. I actually have to figure out why that is. After I settled down in the first inning, I felt like things were working. We got the win, that’s all that matters.”

Prep (13-5, 5-3) tied the game with a three-run third. Capuano scored the first Prep run on a Peluso single to center, rounding the bases from first after a miscue in the outfield. Prep scratched across another unearned run against BC High’s Neal Horan on Dillon Gonzalez’s fielder’s choice before catcher Jake Bedrosian drove in Connaughton with an RBI single.

Neither team found the go-ahead run, even after Prep had the bases loaded with no outs to start the eighth.

That all changed in the 10th when Peluso took matters into his own hands.

Sean Patrikas added a sac fly for Prep’s fifth run.

ESPNU: Connaughton's rise 'an incredible story'

May, 19, 2011
5/19/11
9:25
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ESPN's high school basketball recruiting analysts check in today with their takes on the biggest surprises of the Class of 2011. And perhaps to nobody's surprise, St. John's Prep's Pat Connaughton was among the names mentioned.

Adam Finkelstein writes the following of the Notre Dame commit, who cannonballed into the ESPNU100 after a lights-out showing at AAU Nationals last summer:

Pat Connaughton's breakout performance at the 2010 AAU Nationals was an incredible story. The small forward from Saint John's Prep in [sic Danvers], Mass., went from a low-major prospect to a high-major priority in a matter of days. While his rise up recruiting boards was a shock to those who hadn't heard his name, it was even more surprising to people like myself, who had watched him for years and saw no warning signs of such an explosion. Ultimately, his story should be an example for young players about the importance of hard work (his daily eight-hour training sessions are the stuff of legend) and believing in yourself.

More first-round praise for LA's Beede

May, 17, 2011
5/17/11
7:39
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The praise for Lawrence Academy senior righthander Tyler Beede continues to build as we inch closer to next month's MLB Draft. Today, ESPN's Keith Law unveiled his first mock draft, and projects the 6-foot-4 Beede to go 30th to the Twins. He writes, "Beede is polished with command and control, but even has some projection left."

ESPN.com's most recent scouting report on Beede reads as follows:

Beede is the leading prep pitcher in a very strong class out of New England this year, showing average stuff with good projection and very good command for his age.

He will sit mostly 88-92 now but can flash a little better, mixing in a two-seamer at the low end of that range as needed. He's got a solid-average changeup and an improving curveball that he needs to finish more consistently; at 71-73 it's a bit slow and loopy but at 75 or better it's a better pitch start to finish. Beede repeats his delivery extremely well, with a strong stride toward the plate, although he doesn't tilt his shoulders and has a very slight arm wrap right before he turns his pitching hand over.

He's committed to Vanderbilt and is expected to be a tough sign, but he's expressed enough interest in pro ball that he should be a fairly high pick for someone looking to roll the dice on a potential No. 2 starter with lots of projection left.



Meanwhile, as part of its "50 in 50" series leading up to next month's MLB Draft, the scouting service Perfect Game checks in today with its analysis of Beede, projecting him as a "Late First Round/Sandwich". In his scouting report, David Rawnsley notes the unusual abundance of live arms in Massachusetts high schools this year, including 90-mile per hour fireballers such as St. John's Prep's Pat Connaughton, BB&N's Devin Perry, Springfield Cathedral's Robert DeCosmo, and Dexter's duo of John Magliozzi and Barrett O'Neill.

But for Beede, Rawnsley reserves the highest praise. He writes:

Beede is far from the stereotypical raw arm from the region, however. His father, Walter, was a 13th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 1981 as a first baseman and played one year of minor league ball, so baseball definitely is part of the Beede bloodlines. Most importantly, Beede has been participating in national level events since early in his sophomore season, including the 2010 Aflac All American Game, and has a polished maturity on the mound that is equal to any Sun Belt pitcher. He has a low effort delivery with good lower half use and repeats his mechanics consistently. Beede’s fastball doesn’t touch 97-98 mph like many of top high school arms seem to be doing this year but he’s a consistent 92-93 mph and will touch 94-95 occasionally. His upper 70’s curveball is a potential plus second pitch and his change up shows signs of being a plus pitch at times as well, although he understandably hasn’t used the pitch frequently. Beede’s ability to mix his pitches and throw to spots is very advanced for a high school pitcher and will enable him to be immediately successful at the next level, whether that is at Vanderbilt or in professional ball. Even though he could sneak into the back of the first round on talent, Beede is well prepared to pass on pro ball for at least three years. He transferred before his senior year from his hometown Auburn High School to Lawrence Academy, a prestigious prep school, to better prepare himself academically for Vanderbilt and is a high level student.


The full scouting report from Rawnsley can be found here.

Gorman & Connaughton duel, CM beats Prep

May, 9, 2011
5/09/11
10:50
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WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- Their teams have met many, many times over the past four years, but Catholic Memorial’s John Gorman and St. John’s Prep’s Pat Connaughton have never gone mano a mano on the mound in a Catholic Conference tilt.

All that changed on Monday afternoon, and for all the fans, scouts and on-lookers it was well worth the wait. Gorman’s Knights got the better of Connaughton’s Eagles (11-3) for the second time this season thanks to a strange 1-0 extra-inning, walk-off win. But for seven innings the two battled pitch for pitch with zeroes piling up on the right field scoreboard at Todesca Field.

“Both guys threw great, obviously,” Knights head coach Hal Carey said. “Both guys are Div. 1 pitchers and they showed it today.”

The BC-bound Gorman eventually picked up the win as he gave up three hits, struck out eight and left two men on third base in back to back innings in the later stages of the game in a complete-game effort.

Connaughton needed 47 pitches to get through the first two innings, but he settled in to strike out 15 hitters in a 116-pitch, seven-inning performance.

“Just settling in,” Connaughton said of his early command issues. “For me sometimes that happens. I come out and I have a rough beginning. But it’s just settling in and getting my mechanics down.”

The soon-to-be Notre Dame freshman struck out the side in the second and third inning, but neither was a clean 1-2-3 inning. The Knights (12-3) only had one man reach third base, and Connaughton held them 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Gorman was sharp on the corners with his fastball in the early innings, but he did have to bear down and make some big pitches in big spots as the afternoon went on. Shortstop Shane O’Leary helped out his pitcher when he stepped on second and finished off a 6-3 double play to end the sixth-inning.

In the top of the seventh, Prep’s Brandon Bingel hit a sharp liner down the first base line that seemed to go over the bag and grab the foul line, but the home plate umpire ruled that the ball was foul. Gorman recouped and went to a gutsy breaking ball on a 3-2 count, to get the hitter looking and get out of the inning.

“He really went with the pitch down and away, so I knew I couldn’t make that pitch again,” said Gorman. “My curveball was really on today. That was my best pitch, so I wanted to go with that.”

Both pitchers did enough to grab a victory, so naturally a defensive play was the difference.

The Knights were happy to see Connaughton exit the game and take over duties at third base in the bottom of the eighth inning. O’Leary raced out of the box after hitting a cue shot into left-center field in front of the fielders, and due to that hustle he found himself diving headfirst into second base safely with a leadoff double.

“I just saw that they were bobbling it out there, went to second and slid in,” said O’Leary.

Nick Barker tried to bunt O’Leary over to third base, but he popped up the bunt and the reliever Bingel sprawled out to make a diving catch. Bingel sprung up and tried to get the overzealous O’Leary trying to get back to the second base bag, and his throw sailed into center field.

When the outfielder tried to charge the ball, he accidentally booted the ball away, allowing O’Leary to alertly trot home for the game-winning run.

“We didn’t do our job getting the bunt down, but it obviously works out well when the guy throws the ball away,” said Carey. “We did a bad job bunting and a bad job of base running, but the throw gets away and we luck out and score. I’d rather be lucky than good today”

It’s hard to miss the presence of the raucous O’Leary when the Knights are up to bat. The senior infielder is the vocal leader of the squad and it’s something that doesn’t go unnoticed by his head coach.

“He’s been big for us all year,” Carey said. “He’s kind of the heart and soul of the team. He’s always loud. He’s always into it. He’s just one of those kind of kids and he’s had a great year for us.”

Prep bats come alive in win over Xaverian

May, 6, 2011
5/06/11
11:26
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WESTWOOD, Mass. -- Between the wooden bats and overall depth of quality pitching, it's uncommon to see a high-scoring baseball affair in the Catholic Conference.

Yet that's exactly what went down today at Xaverian High, as visiting No. 3 St. John's Prep plated seven runs in the first two innings to down their archrivals going away, 12-6, to improve to 11-2 overall and take sole possession of first place in the Catholic Conference at 5-1.

No. 9 Xaverian fell to 8-5, 2-3 in the Catholic Conference.

Right away, the Eagles sat back in the batter's box and preyed on missed opportunities by Xaverian lefty starter Tim Duggan. They didn't wait long, as Anthony Capuano and Tyler Coppola both walked to start the game. On the fourth at bat, Pat Connaughton (2 for 3, 2 RBI, solo HR, 2 BB) drove a 2-2 fastball up the middle to score Capuano from second base. Coppola and Connaughton were sent home on a hit batsmen and walk, respectively, for a 3-0 lead after one inning.

The next trip up, Coppola smashed a three-run shot over the wall in centerfield for a 6-0 lead, retiring Duggan for the day and bringing in senior Mike Uradnik for long relief. His first batter, the Notre Dame-bound Connaughton, proceeded to sent a 2-0 fastball far over the fence in left-center for a solo homer and 7-0 lead.

"I was looking for my one pitch, and he threw me the pitch," Connaughton said. "I was just trying to look for a line drive, and that's usually the way it happens on home runs. You just look for a line drive, and if it's your pitch, and you're dialed in on it, then next thing you know it took off."

Said Prep head coach Pat Yanchus, "Back to back, that got us sparked. It's always good to jump out to a lead, get your pitcher (Dillon Gonzalez) comfortable.

The Hawks closed the gap to 8-5 in the bottom of the fourth, when Matt Rubino touched home after Mike Muir tried to run out a grounder back to the mound. But the Eagles responded in resounding fashion, scoring four more runs -- including three in the seventh off RBI's from Justin Paluso and Gonzalez.

"That was huge," Prep head coach Pat Yanchus said of the first two innings. "They battle back, though. At 8-5, that's anyone's game, so I was happy to see Ryan come in and throw strikes, creating ground balls."

Xaverian head coach Gerry Lambert came away less than pleased with the way his team played at the bookends of the game -- "we became very flat mentally in the late innings, and that's the thing I'm most frustrated about," he said -- but satisfied with how they rallied to cut the lead to three in the fifth.

"We talk about having good at bats," Lambert said. "We talk about not worrying about the score and just putting together a good at bat, and I think in the middle innings with that....but we have to be able to sustain the right way to play mentally for all seven innings. It wasn't that we were mentally unsharp in the first inning, it was that we were physically unsharp. But late in the game, we got very ragged on the bases, [and] offensively, and we gave them [the Eagles] extra chances."

Web Gem at the hot corner

Connaughton impressed major league scouts again last Tuesday when he hit 93 miles per hour on the radar gun, in the Eagles' 7-4 loss to St. John's of Shrewsbury. But not to be overlooked is his play in the field, explicated by a heads-up play at third base where he dove and threw it to first base from his knees in time to get the baserunner out.

"I knew when I had to dive for that ball, freshman year I made a throw from my knees, so I knew I could do it," Connaughton said. "I figured to save time, I'd just get down on my knees and throw from there."

BB&N's Connaughton watches UConn spring game

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
12:57
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his recruiting blog with Buckingham, Browne & Nichols offensive lineman Dan Connaughton, who took in UConn's spring game this past Saturday.

Connaughton, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound junior, currently holds an offer from Bryant and has been hearing regularly from the Huskies as well as Boston College, Maryland and BYU. Connaughton, a Lincoln resident who is the cousin of St. John's Prep two-sport star Pat Connaughton, told Brown that BYU is coming on Wednesday to watch him work out.

"Right now I have no idea where I want to go. I'm hoping to play [FBS] football and I'm keeping all my options open," Dan Connaughton told Brown.

He also told Brown he plans on attending one-day camps at BC, UConn and Maryland.

"Coaches have told me they like my technique and the way I use my hands," he said. "I'd definitely like to get my decision done before my senior season, but if it happens after my senior year starts that's really not a big deal."

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school football talent, be sure to check out Brown's blog.

An Elite Eight: Mass HS draft prospects to watch

April, 12, 2011
4/12/11
6:38
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With the high school baseball season always comes that one elite prospect, a kid who eats up the high school competition and is a sure thing to see his name come across the ticker on draft day.

Suffice it to say this season is quite the anomaly. Some major league scouts have mused that we haven't seen a crop of high school senior talent in Massachusetts this deep since the 1980's; one mused that as many as 12 high schoolers form this state could see their name get called in June's amateur draft.

With that in mind, I went over the prospects with an American League scout last week, before the MIAA season officially got underway. Some, like Lawrence Academy's Tyler Beede, Dexter's John Magliozzi and St. John's Prep two-sport superstar Pat Connaughton -- all guys ranked in the top 100 for high school prospects by Baseball America -- are obvious. But overall, he identified eight prospects that could definitely see their name get called two months from now.

Below are the eight, with scouts' comments.

Tyler Beede, RHP, Lawrence Academy
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 205 lbs.
Bats: Right
Hometown: Auburn, Mass.
College: Vanderbilt
2010 stats: 6-1, 87 K, 45.1 IP, 1.08 ERA; .429, 8 HR, 30 RBI, .880 SLG
Scout's Take: "For his age, Tyler Beede has the prototype pitcher's body. Six-four, 205, and an effortless, balanced delivery, with a loose arm. There's alot of talk about his fastball and velocity as being plus, but its his secondary stuff, the refined curveball he's been throwing and the feel for the changeup, that shows he's advanced. You look at how he utilizes and balances his body for a complete delivery, and you look at him as really a potential first-rounder, but top three rounds in particular."

John Magliozzi, RHP, Dexter
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 181 lbs.
Bats: Right
Hometown: Milton, Mass.
College: Florida
2010 stats: 7-0, 73 K, 6 BB, 42 IP, 3 SV, 0.95 ERA; .427, 36 RBI, 3 HR, 11 SB
Scout's Take: "Here's a kid that doesn't have a prototypical pitcher's build, but he's a classic go get 'em, gimme the ball and go right after the hitter. He's someone who's a competitor on the mound, who has shown a 92-95 mph fastball. He has a very good curve with a lot of depth, good feel to it. Combine that with a good changeup, and commitment to the hand speed, and you've got a solid three pitch mix. The only question long-term with the scouts is if he will have durability issues. But the kid's proven to be willing to work at it, and take care of his body."

Pat Connaughton, RHP, St. John's Prep
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 190 lbs.
Bats: Right
Hometown: Arlington, Mass.
College: Notre Dame
2010 Stats: 4-4, 52.3 IP, 51 K, 34 BB, 52.3 IP, 1 SV, 3.08 ERA
Scout's Take: "Here's another 6-3, 6-4 lean pitcher with a loose frame, pretty clean arm action. Nice loose, low three-quarter delivery, shows he gonna have the ability to throw the ball harder as he gets older. Once he decides on basketball or baseball, the sky's the limit for him. He shows the making of a curve and change that have come along in the last year or so. He's a three-pitch guy with unbelievable athleticism for a pitcher, something any kind of scout will enjoy. Those guys make a quick adjustment at the next level. He's a smart kid willing to work hard, and those kinds of intangibles can put a kid like that into a full-time job as a pitcher."

Adam Ravenelle, RHP, Lincoln-Sudbury
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 185 lbs.
Bats: Right
Hometown: Sudbury, Mass.
College: Vanderbilt
2010 stats: 5-0, 55 K, 22 BB, 48.2 IP, 1.67 ERA
Scout's Take: "We're kinda blessed with all of the arms this year in Massachusetts. It's uncommon to have this many tall, lean pitchers who run 90-plus on their fastball. As he continues to put weight on, I think you'll see him be able to repeat his delivery more consistently, and that's paramount for his success. He's got a curveball with solid depth and spin for his two-pitch, and as he continues to add that changeup as a third pitch, you're looking at a potential professional starter. As it stands, he could be a power reliever."

Barrett O'Neill, RHP/3B, Dexter
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 205 lbs.
Bats: Right
Hometown: Ashland, Mass.
College: Virginia
2010 stats: 6-1, 59 K, 9 BB, 40 IP, 2 SV, 1.30 ERA; .420, 34 RBI, 6 HR, 5 SB
Scout's Take: "He has that classic athletic background, as he played hockey growing up, so he fits the profile of some of these gritty northeast kids. He's obviously smart going to the University of Virginia. He has a hard fastball in the upper 80's, low 90's, and athletically he's pretty well developed. Obviously, he's shown commitment to his craft by taking the winter off from hockey, to straighten out his future on the mound."

John Gorman, RHP/3B, Catholic Memorial
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 215 lbs.
Bats: Right
Hometown: Norwood, Mass.
College: Boston College
2010 Stats: 8-0, 113 K, 18 BB, 65 IP, 1.18 ERA; .395, 26 RBI, 3 HR, 7 SB
Scout's Take: "Gorman's another classic northeast kid, just a bulldog on the mound who always wants to win. He's a good two-way guy, so he knows how to attack hitters. He has the feel for being a leader every day; last summer [at showcases with the New England Ruffnecks] he went right at top-100 hitters and took control of the game. He was born to be in the strike zone all day. He's not afraid to dust the best hitters in country. I wouldn’t be surprised if he's at 90, 91 by the spring, with three pitches."

Devin Perry, RHP/IF, BB&N
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 195 lbs.
Bats: Right
Hometown: Newton, Mass.
College: Boston College
2010 Stats: 8-0, 85 K, 19 BB, 49 IP, 0.71 ERA; .351, 17 RBI, 3 HR
Scout's Take: "At 6-3 and about 195 pound, he might have the most electric arm of all of them, but he has to make sure to take care of his body, the way he throws slightly across himself in his delivery. If he gets his delivery squared away though, you could see him throwing a 95 mile per hour fastball as he continues to get stronger."

Andrew Chin, LHP, BB&N
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 180 lbs.
Bats: Left
Hometown: Newton, Mass.
College: Boston College
2010 Stats: 7-0, 94 K, 29 BB, 59 IP, 0.59 ERA
Scout's Take: "Chin might be the most complete pitcher at this point. Maybe he's not the same type of thrower or class as these other guys -- he tends to be in the upper 80's with his fastball, good in and out, good with the changeup -- but he understands the craft and is willing to work at it. He's a classic left-hander with good feel for how to set hitters up."

First baseball poll and preseason All-State

April, 4, 2011
4/04/11
7:55
PM ET
We've released our first state-wide MIAA Top 25 baseball poll this afternoon, which can be found here; and our panel of staff writers, correspondents and area coaches have tapped Catholic Memorial as No. 1 to top the preseason.

Many felt this could be the year the Knights, who have lost in extra innings in the last two Division 1 South finals, get over the hump. And certainly, head coach Hal Carey has the horses in his starting rotation to pull it off, between Division 1 commits Matt Goreham (Northeastern), John Gorman (BC) and John Mildner (UMass).

Overall, the Catholic Conference took four of the top five spots in the poll, with Lincoln-Subury taking the No. 2 spot followed by Malden Catholic, reigning Division 1 North champ St. John's Prep and Division 1 state runner-up Xaverian. Rounding out the top 10 are Lowell (6), Lexington (7), Peabody (8), Wachusett (9) and North Andover (10).

Our panel has also put together a preseason All-State to whet your appetite, listed below:



RHP – Adam Ravenelle, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
LHP – Will Marcal, Sr., Lexington
RHP – Pat Connaughton, Sr., St. John’s Prep
RHP – Matt Goreham, Sr., Catholic Memorial
RHP – Pat Delano, Jr., Braintree

C – Matt Walsh, Sr., Plymouth North
1B – Lorenzo Papa, Sr., Arlington Catholic
2B – Zach Apotheker, Sr., Brockton
SS – Aaron Fossas, Sr., Holy Name
3B – John Gorman, Sr., Catholic Memorial
DH – Zach Littman, Sr., Abington
OF – Carl Anderson, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
OF – Connor McDavitt, Sr., Wachusett
OF – James Ricoy, Sr., Lowell




As always, let us know how we're doing in the comments section below, or by emailing editors Brendan Hall at bhall@espnboston.com and Scott Barboza at sbarboza@espnboston.com.

Pat Connaughton is ESPN Boston Mr. Basketball

March, 29, 2011
3/29/11
10:14
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ESPNBoston.com and its High School section today announced that Pat Connaughton, senior guard/forward at St. John's Prep, is the recipient of its inaugural "Mr. Basketball" award, to be presented annually to the top high school basketball player in Massachusetts.

The Mr. Basketball award winner was chosen by a panel of experts made up of ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents, as well as analysts from Scouts Inc. Connaughton will be presented with the award from ESPNBoston's staff at a later date on the Danvers campus.

[+] EnlargePat Connaughton
Matthew Muise/ESPNBoston.com Notre Dame-bound St. John's Prep guard/forward Pat Connaughton is ESPNBoston's inaugural Mr. Basketball winner after leading the Eagles to their first state championship in program history.

“We couldn't think of a more fitting person than Pat Connaughton to forever be associated with the presentation of the first Mr. Basketball award in Massachusetts,” said ESPNBoston.com high schools co-editor Brendan Hall, who coordinates the site's basketball coverage. "Pat has not only shown his skills on the hardwood as one of the nation's top seniors, but he is also a leader of his peers off the court. He is a true embodiment of what the 'Mr. Basketball' award is about."

This past season, the 6-foot-4 Connaughton led St. John's Prep to its first Division 1 basketball state championship in school history, as the Eagles downed St. John's of Shrewsbury, 72-57, at the DCU Center in Worcester to finish 25-1. The Eagles started the preseason No. 1 in ESPNBoston's statewide MIAA Top 25 poll, and spent just two weeks outside the top spot before finishing the year where they started.

For the season, Connaughton averaged 21.8 points, 17 rebounds and 6.5 assists, and racked up numerous accolades along the way, including the state's Gatorade Player of the Year award and a spot on the "Starting Five" of ESPNBoston's inaugural MIAA All-State Team.

Connaughton, currently ranked No. 96 in the ESPNU100 for the Class of 2011, signed a National Letter of Intent with Notre Dame last fall. But it doesn't stop there for the Arlington native, as he is also a hard-throwing righthanded pitcher ranked No. 77 in Baseball America's preseason list of top high school senior prospects. He will play both sports when he heads to South Bend this fall.

"There are few basketball players in this country who have made as explosive a leap on the recruiting radar over the last 12 months than Pat Connaughton," Hall said. "That's more of a testament to his incredible work ethic than it is his natural physical gifts. Moreover, Pat found a way to assert himself in every game, no matter the opponent or situation -- scoring, rebounding, coming up with a key block or steal late in the game, you name it. Plain and simple, Pat is a winner."

Connaughton has maintained a 3.53 weighted GPA in the classroom and is an accomplished Latin scholar. He has also volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach and elementary school tuto,r and has donated his time at a day care center.

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