All-State Baseball: First Team
July, 2, 2012
By Mark Tennis, Harold Abend & Paul Muyskens | ESPN.com
Harold Abend/ESPNHSHeritage of Brentwood pitcher Paul Blackburn is one of the best in Northern California.Mr. Baseball Player of the Year Ty Moore headlines the top 30 overall honorees on the 2012 Cal-Hi Sports all-state baseball teams. Thirty more players selected to all-state overall second team.
FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE CATCHERS
Jose Barraza (Sunnyside, Fresno) Sr.
Before the Chicago White Sox drafted him in the seventh round at No. 231 overall (the highest high school catcher chosen from California), the Wildcats’ 6-Foot-1, 220-pound left-handed hitting and right-handed throwing catcher and pitcher was headed to junior college. Now, after signing with Chicago, he’s playing in the Appalachian Rookie Instructional League. Despite his team having a sub .500 season, Barraza put up astounding numbers to earn County/Metro Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player honors. His .493 average with eight home runs and 25 RBIs, plus 104 strikeouts in 72 innings as a pitcher was too much to overlook, even in a very tough league that included Bullard of Fresno, the CIF Central Section’s Division I champion.
Jeremy Martinez (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Jr.
A fixture behind the plate for the Monarchs since his freshman year, Martinez hit .388 with 18 runs batted in. He was named to the All-Trinity League first team and the Orange County Register’s all-county team. Martinez has tried out for the USA Under-18 national team and was among the final 28 to be chosen for that squad.
R.J. Ybarra (Poly, Riverside) Sr.
Before heading to Arizona State this fall, Ybarra set the school record for hits early on in the year on his way to finish with a reported 181 hits for his high school career. On the season, Ybarra also hit .494 with six home runs and eight doubles while being named to the L.A. Times and Riverside Press-Enterprise honor teams.
FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE PITCHERS
Paul Blackburn (Heritage, Brentwood) Sr.
The senior right-handed leader of what was a young Patriots team came into the season with pretty high expectations after impressing scouts at last summer’s Area Code Games where he was the No. 33-rated pitcher among almost 100 that competed. His team was knocked out in the CIF North Coast Section Division I quarterfinals but it wasn’t due to lack of effort by the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder with 94-mile per hour heat and wicked off-speed stuff. In front of the Cal-Hi Sports caravan, other assembled media, and several Major League scouts with radar guns in hand, Blackburn pitched his first ever no-hitter in a win over Antioch Deer Valley. The team went 16-10 but Blackburn finished 10-3 with a 0.93 ERA, 100 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 83 innings pitched. Amazingly, he faced 318 batters and didn’t surrender an extra base hit. Blackburn had a full ride to Arizona State but had expressed a desire to play professionally. As a result, the Chicago Cubs took him as their No. 2 pitcher and No. 56 overall in the draft. That slot had a tag of just under a million dollars and Blackburn has signed.
Chase De Jong (Wilson, Long Beach) Sr.
Leading the way on the mound and at the plate for the Bruins, he hit a team-best .314 while driving in 14 runs. On the mound is where De Jong excelled the most as he went 6-4 with an earned run average of 0.82 with 103 strikeouts in 76.2 innings. A first team selection by the Long Beach Press Telegram, he recently signed with the Toronto Blue Jays after he was selected in the second round of the MLB Player Draft. He was the fifth highest California high school player chosen.
Luke Eubank (Newbury Park) Sr.
If there was a State Pitcher of the Year, then Eubank would have to be the choice. He led Newbury Park to the CIFSS Division I title in a 2-1 triumph over Corona in the final game. He also ended 11-0 with a 1.01 ERA and had 85 strikeouts in 83 innings. Eubank’s most impressive feat was tossing three no-hitters. He was the L.A. Times Player of the Year and shared MVP honors for the CIFSS in Division I with Mater Dei’s Ty Moore.
Stephen Gonsalves (Cathedral Catholic, San Diego) Jr.
The 6-foot-5 left-handed pitcher that can get his fastball up near the mid-90s already has been chosen Cal-Hi Sports First Team All State Underclass and All State Medium Schools, and was considered as a top three finalist for State Junior of the Year. The San Diego Union Tribune named him to its All-San Diego Section Baseball First Team but as an outfielder rather than a pitcher. This past season, in helping lead the Dons to the CIF San Diego Section Division III championship, Gonsalves was 10-0 on the mound with a 1.91 ERA and 79 strikeouts with 20 walks in 66 innings pitched. As a batter, he hit .348 with three triples, seven doubles and 27 runs scored. With his frame and talent, Gonsalves is regarded as one of the top prep lefties for the nation next season and could be headed to a first-round MLB draft selection.
Cameron Stewart (Valley Christian, San Jose) Sr.
Talk about not just being big, but coming up big in his team’s biggest game of the season. The 6-foot-9, 220-pound basketball power forward turned right-handed Warriors’ ace went out in style after pitching a no-hitter in his team’s 3-1 victory over Hollister San Benito to end the season. The win earned Valley Christian its third CIF Central Coast Section Division I title in the last three years and sixth overall. With the win, Stewart finished 10-1 with a 1.27 ERA in one of the state’s toughest leagues (West Catholic Athletic League) and playoff divisions. He also struck out 69 in 62 innings pitched. As a left-handed batter, he didn’t hit for a big average but did hit four home runs including a couple of game winners. Stewart has signed with the San Diego Padres after they took him in round No. 20 of the recent MLB Draft.
Kyle Twomey (El Dorado, Placentia) Sr.
Named to the All-County First Team by the Orange County Register, Twomey also was named pitcher of the year in the Century League. On the mound, this left hander went 8-3 with a 0.76 ERA while striking out 77 batters in 73 innings. He will either head to USC next season or sign with the Oakland Athletics, who selected him in the third-round of the MLB Player Draft. The highlight of the season for Twomey was pitching El Dorado to a first-place finish at the prestigious National Classic tournament.
Hunter Virant (Camarillo) Sr.
Stinging opponents at the plate and on the mound, Virant went 8-3 with a 0.94 ERA while striking out 105 batters in 66.2 innings for the Scorpions. At the plate, he hit .390. Prior to being on the all-state team, Virant has already been named to honors teams by the Ventura County Star and L.A. Daily News and he’s the Pacific View League Player of the Year. A UCLA commit, he was also drafted by the Houston Astros in the 11th round of the recent MLB Draft.
Shane Watson (Lakewood) Sr.
Watson’s 4-3 record this season doesn't overwhelm you, but he had an ERA of just 1.19 while striking out 79 batters in 53 innings. Named to the Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team, Watson also finished his high school career with a 22-5 record and a 1.17 ERA. Committed to USC, he was selected 40th overall in the recent MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Only three California high school players were chosen higher.
Jonah Wesely (Tracy) Jr.
Although he missed the first few weeks of the season with an injury, Wesely came on strong to lead Tracy to a 24-6 record. Already committed to UCLA, Wesely turned heads by firing three no-hitters. He also had a 6-1 record and struck out 79 batters in just 37 innings. As a sophomore, Wesely went 10-1 with a 1.17 ERA. He was picked as the Stockton Record’s Player of the Year.
FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE INFIELD
Gabe Clark (J.W. North, Riverside) Sr.
Named to the All-Inland Empire First Team by the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Clark hit .511 with 11 home runs, 18 stolen bases and 41 runs batted in. On the mound, he went 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA and 43 strikeouts. Headed to Oregon State or the Seattle Mariners after being selected in the 22nd round of the MLB Draft, he was also selected as the Co-Player of the Year in the Big VIII League for the second year in a row. Clark was a big reason why J.W. North won the CIFSS Division I title in 2011 and had a second straight outstanding season.
Zach Green (Jesuit, Carmichael) Sr.
A slick-fielding shortstop with a quick bat, Green was selected in the third round of the recent MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies and has signed. Before the draft, Green was headed to Oregon State on a scholarship. He is a two-time All-Metro pick by the Sacramento Bee who batted .417 this season with 21 runs scored.
Jose Munoz (Los Altos, Hacienda Heights) Sr.
There were very few infielders in the entire nation who soared up the scouting charts this spring quite like Munoz. He ended up being chosen in the second round of the draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Only six California high school players were picked higher. In leading Los Altos to a spot in the CIFSS Division III quarterfinals, Munoz hit .419 and scored 30 runs while homering five times and driving in 27 runs. He also had nine doubles and five triples.
Cody Nulph (Lutheran, Orange) Sr.
At one point this season, the Lancers looked to be on their way to ending the season as the No. 1 team in the nation and Nulph would be their No. 1 individual. Although his batting average wasn’t prolific it was a more than solid .358 compiled against one of the state’s toughest schedules. Nulph was co-MVP in the Trinity League along with CalHiSports Mr. Baseball Player of the Year Ty Moore of Mater Dei and he was a first team selection by the L.A. Times.
Daniel Robertson (Upland) Sr.
One more honor is headed his way after he batted .560 with six home runs and 41 runs batted in this season despite being walked 29 times. Robertson was also named the Baseline League MVP and was named by the San Bernardino Sun as its Player of the Year. A UCLA commit, he has since signed with the Oakland Athletics who selected him with the 34th overall pick in the MLB Draft. Max Fried and Lucas Giolito of Harvard-Westlake were the only two California preps chosen higher.
Ryan “Rowdy” Tellez (Elk Grove) Jr.
A finalist for our CalHiSports Mr. Baseball Player of the Year honor, this talented junior has already commited to USC. Last year's State Sophomore of the Year hit .571 this season while driving in 56 runs. He also scored 30 runs while hitting six home runs and had a total of 17 extra base hits whlie earning 23 free passes to first base. Tellez already has been selected as the Sacramento Bee’s Player of the Year.
Trey Williams (Valencia) Sr.
Finishing his high school career as the Foothill League's all-time home run leader with 29, he hit five home runs this season while hitting for a .378 average. Named to the Daily News All Area First team, Williams also drove in 24 runs while walking to first 24 times. He was selected in the 11th round of the MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and he also has a commitment to Pepperdine.
FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE OUTFIELD
B.J. Boyd (Palo Alto) Sr.
A Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year finalist and another of the Area Code Games participants that impressed scouts last summer, Boyd ended up being drafted as the first high school outfielder from California and at No. 139 by the Oakland Athletics team he played for in Long Beach. His defending CIF Central Coast Section champion Vikings team lost in this year’s semifinals but not winning a section title didn’t diminish the speedy Boyd’s accomplishments batting, fielding and running the bases this past season. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound centerfielder led Paly with a .507 average on 36 hits with 32 runs scored. He also stole 28 bases and only struck out nine times in 71 at-bats. Besides being a top-notch baseball talent, Boyd caught 36 passes for 1,108 yards and 17 TDs as Paly’s leading receiver in football. Bijon (his full name) signed with the A’s and is currently hitting .375 with eight steals through June 29 in the Arizona Rookie Instructional League.
Anthony Hawkins (Fresno) Sr.
The 5-foot-10, 220-pound outfielder had the distinction of being the last player taken in the MLB Draft’s final round by the Cleveland Indians, but is going to play next at Fresno City College. He'll also heads to the next level as the CIF Central Section’s all-time home run king, and he makes first team all state. Hawkins’ 36 career home runs also gets a listing in the state record book. This past season, Hawkins hit .551 on 49 hits with 11 home runs, 32 RBIs, 47 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. He only struck out six times in 89 at bats.
Tyrone Taylor (Torrance) Sr.
An all-state underclass first team pick from last year, Taylor followed up a sensational junior season with another very strong showing. He wasn’t the Daily Breeze Player of the Year for a second straight season and wasn’t pitched to seriously very often, but still batted .488 with four homers, 29 RBIs and 28 runs scored. Taylor also was one of the highest California high school players taken in the MLB Draft. He went at No. 92 overall in the second round to the Milwaukee Brewers. Taylor also rushed for 1,521 yards and scored 31 touchdowns last fall for the Torrance football team.
FIRST TEAM ALL-STATE MULTI-PURPOSE
Troy Conyers (El Capitan, Lakeside) Sr.
He’s a two-time CIF San Diego Section player of the year and this season also added Cal-Hi Sports’ Medium Schools State POY status to his list of honors. Conyers, who played on two USA national teams in 2010 and 2011 that won international events, pitched for a 9-2 record and had a 1.02 ERA plus 131 strikeouts in 82 innings. He also hit .394 with five home runs and 26 RBIs. He will play next at the University of San Diego.
Max Fried (Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood) Sr.
After a season that saw him named a finalist for our CalHiSports Mr. Baseball Player of the Year award, he was the first California high schooler to be selected in the MLB Draft as the San Diego Padres picked him with the seventh overall pick. On the mound, Fried went 8-2 with a 2.02 ERA while striking out 105 batters in 66 innings. At the plate, he hit .448 with 20 runs batted in and 14 steals.
Nolan Gannon (Santa Fe Christian, Solana Beach) Sr.
The top pitcher for the CIF San Diego Section Division IV champions had a full-ride to San Diego State, but the 6-foot-5, 195-pound right-hander that tops out at 92 miles per hour chose to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays, who drafted him at No. 152 in the fourth round. Gannon, who was named Cal-Hi Sports’ All State Small Schools Player of the Year, finished off a 9-2 season by striking out 14 in a complete game performance and doubling home a run in the D4 title-game 4-3 victory over San Diego Madison. His overall numbers for the season were a 0.82 ERA and 127 strikeouts with only 27 walks in 77 innings pitched. As a batter, Gannon hit .301 with five home runs, eight doubles and 26 RBIs with 17 runs scored. When he didn’t pitch, he played first base and between the two positions he had a 1.000 fielding percentage in 133 total chances.
Justin Garza (Bonita, La Verne) Sr.
One of our nine finalists for California Mr. Baseball Player of the Year, Garza led the Bobcats to their first section title since 1951 as he went 12-1 with a 0.72 ERA during their run to the CIFSS Division III title. In two years, he went 25-1 on the mound with 101 strikeouts in 88 innings. At the plate, he hit .391 with 20 runs batted in. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune Player of the Year also has a commitment to Cal State Fullerton.
James Marvel (Campolindo, Moraga) Sr.
Another of the nine Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year finalists, this 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-handed pitcher and slugger was the heart and soul of the POWERADE FAB 50 No. 22 and Cal-Hi Sports’ No. 3 ranked Cougars. Marvel performed all season on the mound and at the plate just as most had anticipated after being No. 23 overall and the No. 2 Northern California rated pitcher at last summer’s Area Code Games where he played for the Oakland Athletics. Marvel went deep in the draft to the Twins at No. 1120, but the reason is the 3.76 GPA student-athlete is going to Duke and had told scouts he was choosing college. On the mound this past season he was 5-2 with a 1.33 ERA with 58 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 58 innings pitched. Marvel batted .456 on 42 hits with three home runs, 27 RBIs and 33 runs scored. Despite being shelved with arm soreness the final two weeks of the season, the Bay Area News Group East Bay Baseball Player of the Year continued to bat and had several key hits in leading Campolindo to the CIF North Coast Section Division II championship.
Ty Moore (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Sr.
The Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Baseball Player of the Year and the Gatorade State Player of the Year is an obvious first-team all-state pick. Moore was a staple of the Monarchs’ team as both a hitter and pitcher for three seasons. He was MVP of the National High School Baseball Invitational in North Carolina after leading Mater Dei to the title. As a pitcher, he went 12-1 with a 0.83 ERA. With bat in hand, he averaged .406 with three home runs and 23 RBIs. Moore will play next at UCLA.
Blake Quinn (Bullard, Fresno) Sr.
The 6-foot-4 200-pounder pitched his team to its first CIF Central Section Division I title since 1999, and did some hitting as well while displaying a rubber arm down the stretch. Two days after throwing 31 pitches in relief to get the win in a 4-3 semifinal victory over last year’s POWERADE FAB 50 top-ranked Clovis Buchanan, the Fresno State-bound right-hander came back to finish the job and win all three games in the playoffs. Quinn hit a long two-run homer in his first at-bat, pitched a no-hitter for five innings, finished with a one-hitter and struck out nine in the Knights’ 6-2 win over Clovis. He threw 135 pitches to complete the task and finished the season with a 10-2 record and a 1.70 ERA with 90 strikeouts. He only gave up four extra base hits in 74.1 innings pitched for the 26-7 Knights.
Brett Seeburger (Vista) Jr.
Even with a senior-laden roster that went 31-4, captured the CIF San Diego Section Division I title, and finished No. 1 in the Cal-Hi Sports and No. 8 in the POWERADE FAB 50 final rankings, it was this junior left-handed pitcher and quality hitter that emerged as the team’s top player. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Cal-Hi Sports State Junior of the Year and San Diego Union Tribune All-First Team San Diego Section selection finished off the season by tossing a one-hitter with six strikeouts in a 1-0 win over cross-town Rancho Buena Vista in the section finals. Seeburger, one of two juniors to be finalists for Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year and who is committed to Oregon, finished the season with a 10-1 record to go with a 0.65 ERA. He struck out 102 batters with only 20 walks in 85.2 innings of work. He also batted .347 with 16 RBIs and 28 runs scored.
Second Team All-State Catchers
Alex Jackson (Rancho Bernardo, San Diego) Soph.
Mitchell Kranson (De La Salle, Concord) Sr.
Second Team All-State Pitchers
Chris Castellanos (Poly, Long Beach) Jr.
Ben Eckles (Davis) Sr.
Kevin Grendell (San Pasqual, Escondido) Sr.
Kieran Lovegrove (Mission Viejo) Sr.
Ryan McNeil (Nipomo) Sr.
Collin Monsour (St. Ignatius, San Francisco) Sr.
Ben Sneider (Palo Alto) Sr.
Art Vidrio (Lutheran, Orange) Sr.
Second Team All-State Infield
Joey Armstrong (Lodi) Sr.
Max Dutto (San Ramon Valley, Danville) Sr.
Ty France (South Hills, Covina) Sr.
Bubu Garcia (Gilroy) Sr.
Timmy Lopes (Edison, Huntington Beach) Sr.
Corey Oswalt (Madison, San Diego) Sr.
Brody Russell (Centennial, Bakersfield) Sr.
Jackson Williford (Ramona) Sr.
Second Team All-State Outfield
Braden Bishop (St. Francis, Mountain View) Sr.
Gio Brusa (St. Mary’s, Stockton) Sr.
Chris Nicholson (El Camino Real, Woodland Hills) Sr.
Timmy Robinson (Ocean View, Huntington Beach) Sr.
Isiah Yates (Clovis East, Clovis) Sr.
Second Team All-State Multi-Purpose
Freddy Avis (Menlo School, Atherton) Sr.
John Davis (Woodcrest Christian, Riverside) Sr.
Kyle Davis (Pacifica, Garden Grove) Sr.
Brandon Erickson (Foothill, Palo Cedro) Sr.
Tyler Ferguson (Clovis West, Fresno) Sr.
Josh Pigg (Franklin, Elk Grove) Sr.
Luke Wiechec (Los Altos) Sr.
Corrections or comments? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.