Collegiate Baseball’s 2018 H.S. Pre-Season Poll

TUCSON, Ariz. — American Heritage High School (Plantation, Fla.) is ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball’s 2018 Pre-Season National High School Poll.

The Patriots feature a ball club that has 10 high profile NCAA Division I commits.

Two of the top hitters in the nation return in 3B/RHP Triston Casas (Miami, Fla. commit, .446, 4 HR, 5 2B, 18 RBI) and 2B/RHP Cory Acton (Florida commit, .470, 7 HR, 5 2B, 3 3B, 26 RBI).

Other high profile players include (with college they are committed to):

  • LHP Bailey Mantilla (Miami, Fla.).
  • LHP Ryan Cabarcas (Florida).
  • CF Enrique Bradfield (Vanderbilt).
  • SS/RHP Jordan Carrion (Florida).
  • 3B Gio Ferraro (Miami, Fla.).
  • LHP Devin Futrell (Vanderbilt).
  • 1B Gavin Casas (Vanderbilt).
  • C Julio Cortez (South Florida).

“This is the deepest team I have ever had at American Heritage,” said Head Coach Bruce Aven who played 10 years in the Major Leagues and has coached the Patriots the past six seasons.

“In 2012, we had an exceptional team with six or seven ending up playing professional baseball. We had a first rounder in Zach Collins and a second and third rounder as well.”

American Heritage, which posted a 20-7 overall record last season, is obviously loaded with talent but will undoubtedly play with a chip on its shoulder after bowing out of the playoffs last season with a first round loss.

“When we were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round last year, it was a shock to everybody. We were one of the best teams in the state of Florida and didn’t hit and made uncharacteristic errors that particular playoff game. The other team played better than us and deserved to win.

“Our guys have been waiting for the opportunity to play this season with that bad memory driving them. It was an experience that they can learn from.

“With that being said, we have a bunch of players who are humble and work hard. They have a special drive to get better. They have learned from that loss that they must play every single pitch and win the process which results in good things happening.”

Tristan Casas is one of the top high school player in the country.

“I don’t know many 17-year-olds who have been part of three gold medal winning ball clubs with Team USA. He has succeeded at everything he has done. What makes him special is that he has done it with the utmost respect for the game and has a great work ethic.

“Potentially he is a top five pick in the Major League Draft next June. While that is obviously important, he also wants to win a state title. It would mean a great deal to him.”

What also makes this team unique is that several players can play multiple positions.

“Cory will move around as well as Triston. We don’t really have a set lineup yet because there are different players who can perform defensively at different positions. That’s another plus with this team.”

The pitching staff goes six deep with everyone committed to Florida, Miami (Fla.) or Vanderbilt.

“I have had staffs throw harder in the past, but the guys we have can really pitch, and all of them utilize three pitches each.

“That is really rare on a high school pitching staff. You are lucky to get guys to command a fastball. But everyone has multiple pitches with exceptional command,” said Aven.

For information on all the top 30 teams in the poll, read the full story in the January 26, 2018 edition of Collegiate Baseball. This issue also includes the Collegiate Baseball 2018 Pre-Season All-Americans and a state-by-state list of top high school players. You can subscribe or purchase a single copy of Collegiate Baseball by CLICKING HERE.

Collegiate Baseball’s National H.S. Pre-Season Poll
(As of Jan. 19, 2018)

 Rank   School    City/State 2017 Record 
  1. American Heritage (Plantation, FL) 20-7
  2. Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA) 18-12
  3. Cypress Ranch (Cypress, TX) 27-8
  4. The Bolles School (Jacksonville, FL) 21-10
  5. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) 25-9
  6. Pleasure Ridge Park (Louisville, KY) 40-5
  7. Valley Christian (San Jose, CA) 22-10-1
  8. Rockwall-Heath (Rockwall, TX) 33-10
  9. Loganville (Loganville, GA) 30-13
10. Farragut (Knoxville, TN) 33-10
11. Hattiesburg (Hattiesburg, MS) 26-11
12. Parkview (Lilburn, GA) 31-6
13. Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, MD) 30-1
14. Hamilton (Chandler, AZ) 23-10
15. Providence (Charlotte, NC) 25-7
16. Calvary Christian (Clearwater, FL) 30-0
17. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) 21-12
18. St. John Vianney (St. Louis, MO) 32-7
19. Owasso (Owasso, OK) 31-4
20. El Toro (Lake Forest, CA) 27-7-1
21. Elk Grove (Elk Grove, CA) 23-10
22. Boston College H.S. (Boston, MA) 15-10
23. Southlake Carroll (Southlake, TX) 32-11
24. A.C. Flora (Columbia, SC) 25-7
25. Kokomo (Kokomo, IN) 21-4
26. Hoover (Hoover, AL) 41-11
27. Malvern Prep (Malvern, PA) 25-6
28. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, CA) 22-5-2
29. Jackson (Massillon, OH) 30-2
30. La Cueva (Albuquerque, NM) 28-1