Thursday, June 7, 2012
Mr. Baseball Player of the Year Finalists
By Harold Abend & Paul Muyskens
Justin Garza went 25-1 in 2011 and 2012 seasons for Bonita of La Verne (Calif.).
One of these nine standouts will be chosen as the 2012 honoree and would join an exclusive club of Cal-Hi Sports players of the year that dates back more than 100 years.
Here are the nine players who have been selected as finalists to be 2012 ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year:
B.J. Boyd (Palo Alto) Sr. The speedy and athletic two-sport star was the first California high school outfielder drafted when he went in the fourth round and at No. 139 to his favorite team and the one he played for in last summer’s Area Code Games, the Oakland Athletics. This past season, Boyd batted .507 with 32 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. He also only struck out nine times in 97 plate appearances. In football, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound receiver had 1,108 yards and 17 touchdowns receiving, another 174 yards and one TD rushing and seven scores on returns. Boyd helped Paly win the CCS baseball title last season and sparked the Vikings (27-7) to the semifinals this season.
Troy Conyers (El Capitan, Lakeside) Sr. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound University of San Diego-bound left-handed pitcher and slugger couldn’t pitch in the 3-1 CIF San Diego Section D3 title game loss to San Diego Cathedral Catholic so his season ended at a record of 9-2 with a 3-1 win over St. Augustine (San Diego) in the semifinals. Besides the won-loss record, Conyers had a 1.02 ERA with 131 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 82 innings pitched. He also batted .394 on 39 hits with five home runs, 26 RBIs and 28 runs scored. As a junior, Conyers was the San Diego Union-Tribune Player of the Year.
Luke Eubank (Newbury Park) Sr. For pure pitching, even with fellow finalists like Max Fried and Ty Moore, it’s going to be hard to beat Eubank and the season he had. In the CIF Southern Section Division I final held at Dodger Stadium, Eubank tosed a three-hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks in Newbury Park’s 3-1 win over Corona. Eubank created a stir earlier in the season by throwing his second and third no-hitters. He also ended with six shutouts. For the season, he went 11-0 with two saves and struck out 85 batters. He closed the final two innings when the Panthers knocked off Mater Dei 5-2 in the semifinals when Mater Dei was ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 1 in the FAB 50.
Max Fried (Harvard-Westlake, North Hollywood) Sr. The much-hyped duo of Lucas Giolito and Fried didn't last long because of an injury to Giolito but Fried still shined as he went 8-2 with a 2.02 earned run average while striking out 105 batters in 66 innings. Showing he could more than just pitch, he hit .448 with 20 runs batted in while also stealing 14 bases. Fried had the honor of being the first California high schooler to hear his name called at the MLB Player Draft as the San Diego Padres selected him seventh overall.
Justin Garza (Bonita, La Verne) Sr. Going 12-1 on the mound with a 0.72 ERA, he led the Bearcats to a CIF Southern Section Division III championship, which was their first section title since 1951. In 88 innings, he struck out 101 batters to wrap up a two-year run that saw him go 25-1 on the mound. At the plate, the Cal State-Fullerton commit batted .391 with 20 runs batted in. He was drafted in the 26th round of the MLB Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians.
James Marvel (Campolindo, Moraga) Sr. The heart and soul of the ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50 No. 22-ranked Cougars 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. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder went deep in the draft to the Twins, but the reason is the 3.76 GPA student-athlete is going to Duke. On the mound, he was 5-2 with a 1.33 ERA with 58 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 58 innings pitched. Marvel also batted .456 on 42 hits with three home runs, 27 RBIs and 33 runs scored.
Ty Moore (Mater Dei, Santa Ana) Sr. Already selected as the Gatorade State Player of the Year, Moore nearly helped the Monarchs to a state and national championship. He led the pitching staff, going 12-1 with a 0.83 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 67.1 innings pitched. At the plate, he hit .406 with three home runs and 23 runs batted in. Despite likely heading to UCLA, he was still drafted in the 25th round of the MLB Player Draft by the New York Yankees.
Brett Seeburger (Vista) Jr. Considered to be among the top junior pitchers in the nation, Seeburger pitched a one-hitter in the San Diego Section Division I finals as the Panthers captured the section title and ended the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the state. On the year, he went 9-1 with two saves as he struck out 97 in 78.2 innings with a 0.71 earned run average. At the plate, he also hit .355 with 16 runs batted in. Seeburger’s season totals were just a bit better than San Diego Cathedral Catholic junior Stephen Gonsalves, who may be a better pro prospect.
Ryan Tellez (Elk Grove) Jr. Known for hitting some tape-measure home runs, this talented junior hit .571 and drove in 56 runs while scoring 30 runs. To go along with his six home runs, he also doubled eight times and had three triples while also walking 18 times and being hit by pitches five times. Tellez added modest pitching totals, but it’s his hitting that has so many scouts excited. The State Sophomore of the Year last season, Tellez also is No. 49 in the ESPN 60 player rankings for his class. He has committed to USC.
Comments or corrections? Email Mark.Tennis@espn.com.