High-SchoolMassachusetts: Baseball

It was a fairly quiet week in Massachusetts baseball, as most of the top teams in the POWERADE state rankings enjoyed first-round byes in the MIAA tournament.

No. 1 St. John's (Shrewsbury) and No. 2 Springfield Cathedral were among the inactive teams, but they'll have to knock off the rust quickly as their playoff schedules resume this week.

POWERADE State Baseball Rankings
  1. St. John's of Shrewsbury (20-2) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Springfield Cathedral (18-2) — Last week: No. 2
  3. Franklin (19-2) — Last week: No. 3
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@MGrimalaESPN).
The regular season has come to an end, and while there isn't much turnover in this week's POWERADE state rankings, expect that to change in the coming weeks as we get deeper and deeper into the state tournament.

No. 1 St. John's (Shrewsbury) is the top-seeded team in the Central Mass Division 1 bracket, while No. 2 Springfield Cathedral is the top seed in Western Mass Division 1. The postseason is unpredictable, but both teams have to be considered heavy favorites to win their brackets and advance to the state semifinals.

Division 1 North is a loaded bracket, with No. 5 Lowell and No. 3 Franklin on a collision course as the top two seeds.

POWERADE State Baseball Rankings
  1. St. John's of Shrewsbury (20-2) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Springfield Cathedral (18-2) — Last week: No. 3
  3. Franklin (18-2) — Last week: No. 4
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@MGrimalaESPN).
The top half of this edition of the POWERADE state rankings remains unchanged from last week, but there has been significant turnover in the bottom half.

The most shocking is probably the absence of East Longmeadow, which spent a good portion of the season ranked No. 1. But the Spartans have hit a rough stretch over the past couple weeks, and a loss to West Springfield was enough to drop them out of the Top 10 for the first time all season.

New teams this week are No. 6 Lowell, No. 9 Milford and No. 10 Chelmsford.

POWERADE State Baseball Rankings
  1. St. John's of Shrewsbury (16-2) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Walpole (16-1) — Last week: No. 2
  3. Springfield Cathedral (15-2) — Last week: No. 3
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.
For the second week in a row, there's a new team atop the POWERADE state baseball rankings, as St. John's (Shrewsbury) takes over the No. 1 spot for the first time this season.

The Pioneers beat two elite teams last week, silencing No. 10 Burncoat and then dropping BC High, which was ranked No. 1 at the time.

Walpole jumps from No. 5 to No. 2 after a 3-0 week, and Springfield Cathedral is the new No. 3 team after holding off Western Mass rival East Longmeadow.

POWERADE State Baseball Rankings
  1. St. John's (Shrewsbury) (14-2) — Last week: No. 4
  2. Walpole (14-1) — Last week: No. 5
  3. Springfield Cathedral (14-2) — Last week: No. 3
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@MGrimalaESPN).
After a two-week run in the top spot, East Longmeadow is no longer the No. 1 team in the POWERADE state rankings after dropping a tough decision to No. 5 Walpole.

Last week's No. 2 team, Lowell, couldn't capitalize, however, losing to Chelmsford and dropping to No. 8. That left the door open for BC High to ascend to the top spot despite having the week off.

BC High may have backed into the No. 1 ranking, but the Eagles will get a chance to prove their worthiness very quickly. They've got dates with No. 6 St. John's Prep and No. 4 St. John's (Shrewsbury) this week.

POWERADE State Baseball Rankings
  1. BC High (11-1) — Last week: No. 3
  2. Lincoln-Sudbury (10-1) — Last week: No. 4
  3. Springfield Cathedral (12-1) — Last week: No. 8
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).
East Longmeadow remains at No. 1 for the second week in a row, but it wasn't easy. The Spartans had to outlast No. 9 Minnechaug, 1-0, in order to hold on to the top spot.

BC High enjoyed a fantastic week, beating then-No. 2 St. John's (Shrewsbury) and then-No. 3 St. John's Prep. Those impressive wins bumped the Eagles up to No. 3 in this week's rankings.

POWERADE State Baseball Rankings
  1. East Longmeadow (11-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. Lowell (7-1) — Last week: No. 4
  3. BC High (10-1) — Last week: No. 7
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.
There is a new No. 1 in the Massachusetts POWERADE state rankings after last week's top team, Lincoln-Sudbury, suffered its first loss of the season. L-S fell to Xaverian, leaving the door open for BC High to slide into the No. 1 slot.

No. 3 St. John's Prep also lost its first game, coming up short against St. John's (Shrewsbury). East Longmeadow moves up to No. 2 in this week's rankings, while St. John's (Shrewsbury) assumes the No. 3 spot.

POWERADE State Baseball Rankings
  1. BC High (5-0) — Last week: No. 2
  2. East Longmeadow (6-0) — Last week: No. 5
  3. St. John's (Shrewsbury) — Last week: No. 8
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).
With the first full week of baseball season complete, there hasn't been any major commotion at the top of the POWERADE state rankings. The top four teams all took care of business in Week 1, holding onto their spots from the preseason rankings.

Things really start to heat up this week, as No. 1 Lincoln-Sudbury faces its first major challenge with a matchup against No. 9 Xaverian. No. 2 BC High has a tough game against Catholic Memorial, and No. 3 St. John's Prep hosts a quality Malden Catholic team. There could be some big changes in the rankings at this time next week.

POWERADE State Baseball Rankings
  1. Lincoln-Sudbury (1-0) — Last week: No. 1
  2. BC High (2-0) — Last week: No. 2
  3. St. John's Prep (2-0) — Last week: No. 3
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).
Rhett WisemanScott KurtzOne of the fastest outfielders in the nation (29 stolen bases in 2010), Wiseman has signed to play at Vanderbilt.
This story originally appeared in the April issue of ESPNHS Magazine.

It’s not easy being a high school baseball phenom from Massachusetts.

As BB&N's Rhett Wiseman can attest, he has to face obstacles that players from other parts of the country don’t have to deal with.

“It’s really tough being from New England because we only play 17 to 20 games per season,” says Wiseman. “That’s only 60 at-bats. Compared to out west and down south where they get over 200 at-bats per year, it’s a disadvantage for Northeast guys.”

Wiseman makes up for it by playing as much as he can during the offseason. And that approach has paid off for the senior outfielder, as he’s developed an elite all-around game that’s already drawing attention from MLB teams. He is rated the No. 41 player in the Class of 2012 by ESPN.

“Rhett is a complete player,” says BB&N coach Rick Foresteire. “His bat is what the scouts love. He can really hit, and he’s got pop.”

Last season, his smooth left-handed swing produced a .447 average and 11 home runs. Wiseman also has elite speed, which may be his most impressive skill. He stole 29 bases as a junior, and his legs help him cover an enormous amount of ground on defense. The center fielder drew raves for his glovework at last summer’s Area Code Games, one of the many events Wiseman attended while trying to log as many innings as the good-weather players from Cali and Florida.

“The Area Code Games were great, and the Aflac All-American Game was amazing,” says Wiseman. “It was good experience, and it gave people a chance to see me against top talent. We’ve had 26 major league teams over to the house, and I’ve spoken to every team. This offseason has been a whirlwind, but it’s really exciting and it’s been really fun.”

A potential first-round pick in June’s MLB draft, Wiseman has signed to play at Vanderbilt next year.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).
ESPNHS has announced its preseason All-State baseball teams, so feel free to start debating the Massachusetts selections.

It's hard to argue with the inclusion of elite players like BB&N senior outfielder Rhett Wiseman and Xaverian junior RHP Austin DeCarr, both of whom made the first team, but take a look for yourself and let us know if we missed anyone.

Click here for the Massachusetts All-State baseball team.

Click here for any of the other 49 states.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

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