Collegiate Baseball HS Poll (2-2-21)

TUCSON, Ariz. — Jesuit High School (Tampa, Fla.) is ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball’s 2021 Pre-Season National High School poll presented by Diamond Pro.

The Tigers return a powerful ball club from its 2020 team that rolled to a 9-0 record before the season was stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The year prior in 2019, the Tigers won the Florida 6A state championship with a 27-5 overall record.

Jesuit has won 17 games in a row dating back to 2019 and returns 12 players who have signed or committed to high profile colleges.

Six pitchers have signed or committed to NCAA Div. I schools with seven pitchers who feature fastballs that are 90 mph or higher.

The Tigers return 13 starters from last year’s team (12 seniors and one junior). Jesuit also has 14 new players on its varsity which includes two seniors, 10 juniors and two sophomores.

Menendez said the team will rely on an extremely talented pitching staff. “We have 10 or 11 pitchers who are really good. Four of our senior pitchers are committed to NCAA Div. I schools. We also have two junior pitchers who are committed to Florida St. We also have some other guys who are right behind them who we feel very good about.

“We have a sophomore (Wes Mendez) who is being recruited by everybody, and he is a lefthanded pitcher who throws 89-91 mph. He will probably play centerfield when he doesn’t pitch. My phone was blowing up during the Christmas break from coaches who are trying to recruit him. He is a super talented young man.

“We have a lot of options with a great mix of righthanders and lefthanders that are available. We just have to figure out who can handle being on the mound in big time situations.”

Melendez said that he has four position player starters back and several others who rotated in and out with seniors last season plus some extremely talented younger players.

The skipper at Jesuit said he can’t wait for the season to get started. “There is no doubt last year’s team was incredibly special.

“But this year’s team, player for player, may be more talented than the 2020 team. I am hesitant to say that to people because I don’t want people to think I’m crazy. We have a lot of younger, extremely talented players we just haven’t proven it yet.

“These younger players have played high level travel ball but haven’t had to be the guy here at Jesuit yet. That’s a whole different animal sometimes. Last year’s team was extremely talented. Many came back from our state championship team of 2019 and knew what it took to win it all because of their experience.”

“This team definitely has the talent to contend for a state championship.”

In only nine games last season, the Tigers hit .377 and averaged 11 runs per game with 35 extra base hits (23 doubles, 6 triples, 6 homers) and swiped 34 bases. Disciplined Tiger hitters walked 51 times.

The pitching staff had a 1.48 ERA with 87 strikeouts and only 12 walks.

To read about key players Jesuit High School brings back and in-depth information about every other team ranked in the top 30, purchase the Jan. 29, 2021 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HEREThis issue also features the Collegiate Baseball pre-season H.S. All-Americans and a state-by-state rundown of the top high school players in the USA.

 

(Feb. 2, 2021)

Rank School    City/State 2020 Record
  1. Jesuit (Tampa, FL) 9-0
  2. JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capist., CA) 11-1
  3. Buford (Buford, GA) 10-2
  4. Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA) 9-0
  5. Hamilton (Chandler, AZ) 8-0
  6. St. Mary’s (Orchard Lake, MI) 0-0
  7. Reagan (Pfafftown, NC) 3-0
  8. Baylor (Chattanooga, TN) 1-0
  9. Ronald Reagan (San Antonio, TX) 11-2-3
10. Calvary Christian (Clearwater, FL) 10-2
11. Farragut (Farragut, TN) 2-1
12. Calvary Christian Acad. (Ft. Laud., FL) 2-5
13. Owasso (Owasso, OK) 9-0
14. Venice (Venice, FL) 4-5
15. Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, NC) 5-0
16. John Carroll Catholic (Fort Pierce, FL) 6-2
17. De La Salle (Concord, CA) 3-1
18. Lake Travis (Austin, TX) 14-2-1
19. Malvern Prep (Malvern, PA) 0-0
20. Carroll (Southlake, TX) 12-2
21. Doral Academy (Doral, FL) 6-5
22. Providence (Charlotte, NC) 4-1
23. Madison-Ridgeland (Madison, MS) 11-3
24. Millard West (Omaha, NE) 0-0
25. Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls, OH) 0-0
26. Jesuit Dallas (Dallas, TX) 6-4-2
27. Madison Central (Madison, MS) 7-1
28. Red Land (Lewisberry, PA) 0-0
29. Thousand Oaks (Thousand Oaks, CA) 8-0
30. Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, OK) 1-0