ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

May, 31, 2012
5/31/12
9:30
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, May 29)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

Max Banks, Northwest (Germantown, Md.)
The senior outfielder-pitcher was a major cog in the first state championship won by the Jaguars. Northwest capped the run with a 7-6 Class 4A finals' victory over Arundel (Gambrills, Md.) in 12 innings, the longest final in state history. Northwest had to rally in the 7th and 10th innings to remain alive. In the postseason, Banks went 3-0 on the mound with a 1.22 earned run average. At the plate, he batted .600 with seven runs batted in, seven stolen bases and eight runs scored.

SOUTHEAST

Matt Olson, Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.)
Parkview’s two victories over Brookwood (Snellville, Ga.) in the Class AAAAA state championship series were both sparked by Olson. The Vanderbilt recruit was the winning pitcher and hit a two-run homer in the first game. He then hit a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh inning in the second game. For the season, Olson batted .407 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs. He also had a 12-1 mound mark with a 1.64 ERA. Parkview won its second straight state title and at 31-6 was moved up to No. 19 in this week’s FAB 50.

MIDWEST

Brian Burkhart, Moeller (Cincinnati)
The senior pitcher hurled his first career no-hitter as the Crusaders (24-5) blanked Anderson (Cincinnati) 3-0 in a Division I regional semifinal. Burkhart allowed only three base-runners -- two on walks and one hit batsman, while striking out six. Moeller's ace improved to 9-1 on the season with a 0.82 ERA and 53 strikeouts entering this week's state semifinals.

MIDLANDS

Derik Beauprez, Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village, Colo.)
A 6-foot-4 junior known mostly for his hitting, Beauprez took the ball as the pitcher for the Bruins in their Class 5A state championship game last weekend against Legend (Parker, Colo.). The result was a nine-strikeout, one-hitter as Cherry Creek prevailed 6-0 and earned the eighth state crown for longtime coach Marc Johnson. Beauprez also hit a two-run homer earlier in the day when Cherry Creek ousted defending champion Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) in the semifinals.

WEST

Cameron Stewart, Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.)
With the CIF Central Coast Section Division I championship on the line, this 6-foot-9 senior right-hander pitched a no-hitter and struck out six in a 3-1 win for the Warriors over San Benito (Hollister, Calif.). Stewart, who will play next year at Fresno State, was a hitting-pitching standout all season for Valley Christian and is a candidate for numerous postseason honors. In 62 innings this season, he allowed just 10 earned runs while striking out 70.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Final

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
5:37
PM ET
After games ending Saturday, May 26

NOTE: These are the final POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings of the season.

Cherry Creek won big games when it mattered most and won the Class 5A state championship in convincing fashion with a 6-0 win over Legend. The Bruins' impressive win over the state's former No. 1 makes them the easy favorite to claim top honors in the final installment of the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings. Senior Derik Beauprez was outstanding in the state title game. Other state champs include Broomfield in Class 4A, Eaton in Class 3A and Resurrection Christian in Class 2A.

1. Cherry Creek (24-3) Last week: No. 2

2. Broomfield (20-4) Last week: No. 10

3. Legend (19-6) Last week: No. 1

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Week 9

May, 22, 2012
5/22/12
4:43
PM ET
After games ending Saturday, May 19

The playoffs have a way of shaking things up, and that's exactly what has happened to some of our top teams in the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings. Top-seeded Grandview is out after falling early in the Class 5A state tournament and not being able to recover in the consolation bracket. So too is Dakota Ridge, which suffered a similar fate. And Faith Christian, everyone's trendy pick in Class 3A, fell short of its goal as well. The new No. 1, a previously unranked Legend squad, holds the mantle until someone can knock them off before they hold the state championship trophy this weekend.

1. Legend (19-4) Last week: NR

2. Cherry Creek (21-3) Last week: No. 2

3. Highlands Ranch (17-7) Last week: No. 8

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Week 8

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
2:36
PM ET
After games ending Saturday, May 12

The state tournaments have been set, and all 10 of our teams ranked in the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings have made the cut. That means these teams took care of business in their respective district tournaments. Now, the question is, which ones are ready to step up in the face of tough competition and justify their seeding? Grandview and Cherry Creek have nabbed the top seeds in the 5A bracket, but seeds only take you so far this time of year. Soon we'll find out which team is best, once and for all.

1. Grandview (19-2) Last week: No. 1

2. Cherry Creek (19-2) Last week: No. 2

3. Dakota Ridge (17-4) Last week: No. 3

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Week 7

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
2:37
PM ET
After games ending Saturday, May 5

The playoffs begin in earnest shortly, and there's a new No. 1 in the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings to kick it all off. Grandview used its last game of the regular season effectively, beating previous No. 1 Cherry Creek, 10-3, to claim the top spot, and we can only hope that the two best teams in Colorado meet up again in the postseason. Dakota Ridge stays firm at No. 3 and Air Academy, playing as well as any team in the state, makes a big leap up to the No. 4 spot after earning a big victory over Cheyenne Mountain.

1. Grandview (17-2) Last week: No. 2

2. Cherry Creek (17-2) Last week: No. 1

3. Dakota Ridge (15-3) Last week: No. 3

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Week 6

May, 1, 2012
5/01/12
12:04
PM ET
After games ending Saturday, April 28

With the regular season starting to wind down, our top teams haven't moved, but there's been plenty of moving and shaking near the bottom of the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings. Cherry Creek and Grandview continue to battle for top honors with Dakota Ridge and Cheyenne Mountain not far behind. But below them, two hot teams -- Faith Christian and Regis Jesuit -- are making a move to the top while some teams, such as Montrose, Canon City and Highlands Ranch, still have plenty left to prove. And new squad Air Academy, a high-scoring club, has joined the fray and hopes to make a deep run toward the postseason.

1. Cherry Creek (15-1) Last week: No. 1

2. Grandview (14-2) Last week: No. 2

3. Dakota Ridge (13-3) Last week: No. 3

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Week 5

April, 24, 2012
4/24/12
2:12
PM ET
After games ending Saturday, April 21

There's all kinds of ways to get into the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings. You can win all of your games by a healthy margin, like Cherry Creek has done all season long to lock down our top spot. You can win big games and take care of business at a regular clip like Cheyenne Mountain, the No. 4 team, has done. You can keep your head above water thanks to a plethora of talent, which is how Highlands Ranch has survived in the top 10. Or you can roll off a huge winning streak after a slow start, which is how Regis has returned to the top 10. At what is just about the midpoint in the season, there's still plenty to be learned about many of these teams.

1. Cherry Creek (12-2) Last week: No. 1

2. Grandview (11-2) Last week: No. 4

3. Dakota Ridge (10-3) Last week: No. 2

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

April, 19, 2012
4/19/12
7:43
AM ET
Here are this week's high school baseball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

(After games of Tuesday, April 17)

EAST

Randy Rodriguez, George Washington (New York)
The Trojans' leadoff hitter had a monster week as GW captured the annual George Washington Tournament crown with a 5-1 record and avenged an early-season loss to rival Cardozo (Bayside, N.Y.) 6-0 in the title game. Rodriguez, a senior veteran, was selected the tournament MVP after going 12-for-18 in the six games, driving in eight runs and playing stellar defense at short.

SOUTHEAST

Emerson Gibbs, Jesuit (New Orleans)
The senior pitcher, who got the save for the Blue Jays in last year’s Class 5A state final, posted the equivalent of a seven-inning perfect game within the team’s 2-1 victory in 18 innings last week over Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.). Gibbs retired 21 straight batters after the sixth inning of the marathon matchup. He ended up throwing 15 innings and 193 pitches. Those totals are legal in Louisiana, but would make the heads spin of many coaches around the country. Gibbs has signed with Tulane.

MIDWEST

Alex Darr, University Liggett (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.)
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior right-handed pitcher/infielder is off to an impressive start for the defending Division 4 state champions. Last week, he struck out 30 batters in two wins, including a no-hitter in a 4-0 blanking of Clarenceville (Livonia, Mich.). In Liggett's home opener, Darr fanned 15 and allowed only two hits in a 13-0, five-inning win over Parkway Christian (Sterling Heights, Mich.). He also helped his own cause with a three-run first-inning homer. Later in the week, he fanned 15 in the win over Clarenceville for his second no-hitter of the season.

MIDLANDS

Sean Rubalcaba, Grand Junction (Colo.)
A familiar name for anyone who follows Colorado prep sports, Rubalcaba continued his hitting tear in a Tuesday game this week by going 4-for-5 with two doubles in a 19-12 victory over Montrose (Colo.). Rubalcaba, a three-sport athlete who was the winner of the prestigious Gold Helmet Award by the Denver Post, kept his season batting average at a hard-to-believe number (.673) and also raised his season total for doubles to 12. He had his fourth four-hit game of the season and in one of those games all four hits were doubles. Rubalcaba, who has a 3.9 GPA and totaled 2,449 yards of total offense last fall as Grand Junction’s quarterback, has signed to play football at Northern Colorado.

WEST

Kyle Twomey, El Dorado (Placentia, Calif.)
Pitching no-hitters is one thing, but doing it at the Hard 9 National Classic and for a third straight shutout is something else. Twomey tossed his no-hitter and struck out 14 for the Golden Hawks in a first-round game against Galena (Reno, Nev.). They eventually went on to win the tourney title with Twomey getting the save in a 4-2 victory over El Toro (Lake Forest, Calif.). He was named the tourney’s MVP. Earlier this week, Twomey pitched a three-hitter with nine strikeouts when El Dorado topped Esperanza (Anaheim, Calif.) 2-1 in a matchup between two state-ranked squads. The 6-foot-3 senior has signed with USC.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Week 4

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
1:54
PM ET
After games ending Saturday, April 14

There's been no shortage of offense so far in the Colorado baseball season, and some of the state's hottest hitters are moving up in the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings. Cherry Creek, our No. 1 squad, plated 40 runs last week in its three victories. Another team off to a hot start, Grandview, scored 38 over its last three games. Wheat Ridge added 44 on the week, and Faith Christian scored 26...in one game. These numbers are fun to look at now, but when the playoffs come around, it'll be the pitching that will likely stand tall. Of course, some of these teams have that going for them, too.

1. Cherry Creek (9-1) Last week: 1

2. Dakota Ridge (8-2) Last week: 3

3. Cheyenne Mountain (9-3) Last week: 4

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Week 3

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
1:19
PM ET
After games ending Saturday, April 7

Cherry Creek and Longmont are off to hot starts this season, making them the top two teams without much argument in the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings. But it's the teams below the front-runners who have been jockeying for prime position as the season really gets revved up. Montrose, which started 8-1 before finally dropping its first game last week, moved up three spots to No. 5 and could be a team to be reckoned with. Keep an eye on a hot Grandview team as well. And don't forget about Highlands Ranch, which has played a remarkably difficult schedule but could be up in the top three again in no time.

1. Cherry Creek (6-1) Last week: No. 1

2. Longmont (9-1) Last week: No. 2

3. Dakota Ridge (7-2) Last week: No. 5

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Week 2

April, 4, 2012
4/04/12
12:25
PM ET
We're not going to dock Highlands Ranch too much for testing itself against some very tough competition at the National High School Invitational in North Carolina last week. While a 4-3 record this early in the season would likely get a lesser team bounced, the Falcons played tough in a field of some of the nation's top teams, and standout Ryan Burr pitched well enough to earn ESPNHS All-Tournament honors. Idle Cherry Creek holds on to our top spot, while Longmont moves into second in this week's POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

1. Cherry Creek (4-1) Last week: No. 1

2. Longmont (7-1) Last week: No. 4

3. Cheyenne Mountain (5-1) Last week: No. 2

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

Top prospects shine at H.S. Invitational

April, 1, 2012
4/01/12
1:39
AM ET
Baseball NHSIAndrew Craft/ESPNHSMater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) junior catcher Jeremy Martinez celebrates the Monarchs' win over Harvard-Westlake in the championship of the inaugural USA Baseball H.S. Invitational.
CARY, N.C. -- From a scouting perspective, the problem with high school baseball is the lack of competition top draft prospects face throughout the season. With prospects spread out across the country, the cream of the crop are rarely matched up against one another, which makes it difficult to accurately assess their skills.

That is why the USA Baseball National High School Invitational is such a welcome addition to the spring schedule. And not only by the major league scouts and front office executives who came out in droves, but also by the players who got a chance to prove themselves in a competitive environment. You’d be hard pressed to see better high school baseball played anywhere in the country. As one scout put it, “It’s the best collection of talent I’ve seen in one complex in my 20 years of doing this.”

Here’s a look at 10 prospects — in no particular order — who stood out over the four days in North Carolina.

Jeremy Martinez
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), C, Jr.

Martinez's beautiful line-drive stroke — in addition to his hustle and leadership — was on full display throughout his team's run to the title. The USC commit also shut down the opposition's running game. Overall, the junior backstop showed once again why he’s one of the top prep prospects in the Class of 2013.

Lucas Sims
Brookwood (Snellville, Ga.), RHP, Sr.

Sims was close to unhittable in his start against Highlands Ranch on Wednesday, giving up just one knock over six innings while striking out 11. His fastball sat between 91-93 mph with a devastating curveball and a changeup that has improved since the Prospect Classic. He’s currently committed to Clemson, but there’s a real chance he’ll be taken in the first 20 picks of June's draft.

Ty Moore
Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), RHP/OF, Sr.

Moore was one of the better two-way prospects on display over the week. He shut out the vaunted Carroll lineup over five innings on Thursday using a fastball with plenty of movement and a breaking-ball that he commanded well all day. He made good reads on the ball in the outfield, and he showed some pop at the plate by hitting one of the longer homers of the event.

Max Fried
Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.), LHP, Sr.

At No. 4 in the ESPN 100, Fried was one of the most-hyped prospects coming into the event. He didn’t disappoint. The left-handed ace struggled early against Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.), but the UCLA pledge ended up throwing a complete game and striking out eight. He hit 94 on the gun and showed the best breaking-ball of any pitcher in the field.

Arden Pabst
Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.), C, Jr.

Another impressive SoCal catcher from the Class of 2013, Pabst showed impressive pitch recognition and a swing that should be conducive to power as he gets stronger. Behind the plate, he demonstrated solid catch-throw skills. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Pabst and Martinez are off the draft board very early in 2013.

Courtney Hawkins
Carroll (Corpus Christi, Texas), OF/RHP, Sr.

When you throw a shutout and hit a home run in a 1-0 victory, you know you've had yourself a pretty good day. Hawkins did that Thursday, and he did it against Florida power Gulliver Prep (Pinecrest, Fla.). Hawkins' fastball sat in the low-90s all game, and he touched 94. His combination of arm strength, speed and raw power makes him one of the top prospects for the 2012 draft.

Brandon Lopez
American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), SS, Sr.

There was no better defensive shortstop over the week than Lopez. The Miami recruit made dazzling plays going to his left and right, and he showed plenty of arm strength for the position as well. He was no slouch with the stick, either, but it’s his glove that makes Lopez such a valuable commodity.

Ryan Burr
Highlands Ranch (Colo.), RHP, Sr.

Burr battled Sims neck and neck for five innings on Wednesday, but some defensive miscues ultimately led to the lopsided final score of 7-0. The Arizona State signee sat in the low-90s and touched 93. Additionally, he showed good commanded of both his fastball and hard-biting breaking ball.

Matt Olson
Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.), RHP/1B, Sr.

Georgia's Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2011, Olson was a dominant force on the mound and at the plate during the tournament. He shut down a strong George Washington (New York) lineup on Wednesday and then crushed a Fried fastball for a homer on Thursday.

Rock Rucker
Russell County (Seale, Ala.), OF, Sr.

In addition to having one of the best names out there, Rucker is an impressive athlete who turned a lot of heads at the event. The left-handed hitting OF has plenty of arm strength — his fastball has been clocked in the 90s — and there’s raw power and plenty of bat-speed in his stroke as well.

Honorable Mentions
Joey Gallo, Bishop Gormon (Las Vegas), 3B/RHP, Sr.
Jack Flaherty, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.), RHP, Soph.
Adrian Marin, Gulliver Prep (Pinecrest, Fla.), SS, Sr.
Ryan McMahon, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 3B, Jr.
Ivan Pelaez, Gulliver Prep (Pinecrest, Fla.), LHP, Sr.

Christopher Crawford is the founder and executive editor of MLB Draft Insider and a contributor to Prospect Insider. Follow him on Twitter @CrawfordChrisV.

POWERADE Colorado Baseball Rankings: Week 1

March, 28, 2012
3/28/12
2:40
PM ET
After games ending Monday, March 26

It's always tough to really grasp what teams are truly top of their classifications early in the season, but we have forged ahead anyway in Week 1 of the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings. The reason it's so tough is because many teams play unbalanced schedules. Take Regis, for example, which started its season with current No. 1 Cherry Creek and later plays top teams from Oregon and Arizona. Rocky Mountain, to its credit, has embarked on a tour of baseball-rich Arizona, playing some of the state's top teams. As a result, the records are skewed. But it's early, so we'll wait to see if those teams bounce back from some early adversity and get back on the winning side of things. In the meantime, there are plenty of teams getting things done at home, including a host of teams on the bubble who are just waiting for their chance to crack the top 10.

1. Cherry Creek (4-1) Last week: No. 4

2. Highlands Ranch (3-1) Last week: No. 1

Cheyenne Mountain (5-1) Last week: No. 3

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

POWERADE Colorado Hoops Rankings: Final

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
12:30
PM ET
After games ending Sunday, March 11

Some spectacular endings paved the way for Chaparral, Lewis-Palmer and Faith Christian to earn state championships over the weekend and earn high finishes in the POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings. Lewis-Palmer held on to the top spot after a late 3-pointer helped seal the victory for the Rangers. Chaparral took the second spot thanks to a buzzer-beating tip-in by senior Josh Adams. And Faith Christian's narrow one-point win over Kent Denver was enough to bring home the hardware.

1. Lewis-Palmer (27-1) Last week: No. 1

2. Chaparral (25-3) Last week: No. 2

3. Sierra (25-1) Last week: No. 3

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

POWERADE Colorado Hoops Rankings: Week 12

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
11:37
AM ET
After games ending Sunday, March 4

With the Class 4A and Class 5A teams in the state semifinals, we're down to our penultimate POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings. A Class 4A state title for Lewis-Palmer will keep the Rangers in the top spot in our rankings, but anything short will usher in a new top team. Chaparral is still knocking on the door after advancing to the 5A state semifinals, and some 3A teams join the ranks this week after making some deep runs in their respective tourneys. The finish is shaping up to be a great one.

1. Lewis-Palmer (25-1) Last week: No. 1

2. Chaparral (23-3) Last week: No. 2

3. Sierra (25-1) Last week: No. 3

Click here for the full POWERADE Colorado Weekly Rankings.

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