National High School Invitational: Previewing The Field

The first two National High School Invitationals, presented by Baseball America, have quickly established the event as the premium high school tournament in the country. The event showcases the best teams in the country and prepares those teams for the stretch runs of their season, as more than half (14) of 26 teams to participate in the first two events have gone on to win state championships (Six teams of the teams that have played in the event have been from California, which does not crown a state champion). Eight of the 16 teams in the field opened the season ranked in the Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association Top 25, including No. 1 ranked Venice (Fla.) High, No. 5 Milton (Ga.) High and No. 11 Dyer County (Newbern, Tenn.). Scouts will also flock to the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., to see the bevy of top draft prospects at the event. Eleven players ranked in the Baseball America Top 100 High School Prospects will attend the event, including five of the top 16. The tournament will run March 26-29, and you can follow the daily action at

Pod 1, Game 1
Venice (Fla.) HS Gainesville (Ga.) HS
Nickname: Indians Nickname: Red Elephants
2013 Record: 28-3 2013 Record: 27-5
Top Prospect: SS Dalton Guthrie Top Prospect: OF Michael Gettys
Notable Baseball Alumni: Former Orioles LHP Mark Guthrie, Red Sox farmhand OF Nick Longhi Notable Baseball Alumni: Former MLB RHP Micah Owings, Braves OF Robby Hefflinger
Other Alumni: Actor Greg Pitts Other Alumni: Former All-Pro NFL player Billy Lothridge, former WNBA player Tasha Humphrey
Program History: Three-time state champions (2007, 2012, 2013) Program History: Seven state championships
Matchup: Preseason No. 1 Venice, who won three games in the 2013 NHSI, bring a grinding, fundamentally sound style of play to face Gainesville, which features explosive OF/RHP Michael Gettys

Pod 1, Game 2
Clovis (Calif.) HS ThunderRidge HS, Highlands, Colo.
Nickname: Cougars Nickname: Grizzlies
2013 Record: 24-9 2013 Record: 21-5
Top Prospect: SS Jacob Gatewood Top Prospect: SS Brody Westmoreland
Notable Baseball Alumni: Former Braves C Johnny Estrada, A's RHP Ryan Cook Notable Baseball Alumni: Former pro RHP Sean Thompson
Other Alumni: Former Lions LB Zack Follett, former Raiders QB Daryle Lamonica Other Alumni: NFL LB Jesse Nading, golf pro Derek Tolan
Program History: 11 league championships since 1995, 6 CIF titles since '95 Program History: Two state championships (2004, 2013)
Matchup: ThunderRidge returns six starters from its state championship club to face Clovis, a consistent winner with one of the nation's top prospects, power-hitting shortstop Jacob Gatewood

Pod 2, Game 1
Coral Springs (Fla.) Christian HS Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS
Nickname: Crusaders Nickname: Lancers
2013 Record: 22-7 2013 Record: 18-11
Top Prospect: RHP Touki Toussaint Top Prospect: SS Josh Morgan
Notable Baseball Alumni: None Notable Baseball Alumni: Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole, Mariners RHP Brandon Maurer
Other Alumni: None Other Alumni: Rams WR Austin Pettis, Olympic cyclist Amber Parkinson Neben
Program History: Four straight district championships (2010-2013) Program History: Trinity League championship (2008, 2010)
Matchup: Coral Springs has arguably the top pitcher-catcher battery in the country with righthander Touki Toussaint and catcher Benito Santiago Jr.; Orange Lutheran boasts shortstop Josh Morgan
Pod 2, Game 2
Ronberson HS, Asheville, N.C. Huntsville (Ala.) HS
Nickname: Rams Nickname: Panthers
2013 Record: 21-10 2013 Record: 29-11
Top Prospect: 1B/OF Braxton Davidson Top Prospect: RHP Whitt Davis
Notable Baseball Alumni: Padres OF Cameron Maybin, Brewers LHP Chris Narveson Notable Baseball Alumni: Brewers farmhand LHP Jed Bradley
Other Alumni: North Carolina men's basketball coach Roy Williams Other Alumni: None
Program History: Three state championships (most recent: 2002) Program History: 2011 state championship
Matchup: Team strengths collide as Roberson's deep, physical lineup, led by first baseman Braxton Davidson, faces a young Huntsville club who boasts a staple of talented arms

Pod 3, Game 1
Milton (Ga.) HS The First Academy, Orlando
Nickname: Eagles Nickname: Royals
2013 Record: 29-9-1 2013 Record: 23-4
Top Prospect: RHP Dylan Cease Top Prospect: LHP/OF Adam Haseley, LHP Foster Griffin
Notable Baseball Alumni: Astros OF Dexter Fowler, Mets RHP Kyle Farnsworth, Angels player development director Bobby Scales Notable Baseball Alumni: Florida State Fr. OF Ben DeLuzio, Cubs OF Jose Dore
Other Alumni: Professional golfer Roberto Castro Other Alumni: None
Program History: Three state championships (1955, 2004, 2013) Program History: Regional semifinalist (2013)
Matchup: Milton has won consecutive state championships, posted a winning record in the NHSI last year and returns nearly every significant contributor; TFA has the top pair of lefthanders in the country


Pod 3, Game 2
Aliso Niguel HS, Aliso Viejo, Calif. Dyer County HS, Newbern, Tenn.
Nickname: Wolverines Nickname: Choctaws
2013 Record: 21-12 2013 Record: 28-13
Top Prospect: RHP Kyle Molnar Top Prospect: LHP Trysten Barlow
Notable Baseball Alumni: Reds 2B/OF Skip Schumaker, Mets minor league OF Stefan Sabol Notable Baseball Alumni: Mets minor league pitcher Andrew Massie
Other Alumni: Olympic Gold Medal gymnast Kyla Ross, Olympic figure staker Sasha Cohen Other Alumni: None
Program History: Reached CIF section final in 2013 Program History: 2009 state championship
Matchup: Expect a pitching dominated game as Dyer County has three D-I commits on the mound; Aliso Niguel returns seven starters and one of the top juniors in the country, righthander Kyle Molnar


Pod 4, Game 1
Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga. Regis Jesuit HS, Aurora, Colo.
Nickname: Panthers Nickname: Raiders
2013 Record: 27-9 2013 Record: 14-6
Top Prospect: LHP Mac Marshall Top Prospect: LHP David Peterson
Notable Baseball Alumni: Indians OF Jeff Francoeur, White Sox INF Jeff Keppinger, A's 1B Matt Olson Notable Baseball Alumni: Rockies catcher Chris O'Dowd
Other Alumni: Former Saints OT Jon Stinchcomb, Former OT Matt Stinchcomb Other Alumni: Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, NASA astronaut Jack Swigert
Program History: Five state championships since 1996 Program History: Four coaches in last four seasons, including Walt Weiss in 2012
Matchup: The last time Parkview played in the NHSI (2012), the Panthers finished the year ranked No. 1 in the country; Regis Jesuit lost its top prospect, lefthander David Peterson, to injury but has a strong team
Pod 4, Game 2
Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix Bishop Verot HS, Fort Myers, Fla.
Nickname: Pride Nickname: Vikings
2013 Record: 23-9 2013 Record: 24-7
Top Prospect: SS Cole Tucker Top Prospect: RHP Thaddeus Ward
Notable Baseball Alumni: Angels 1B C.J. Cron, Texas Christian 1B Kevin Cron Notable Baseball Alumni: Braves 3B Chris Johnson, former A's 3B Adam Piatt, Cubs 1B Dan Vogelbach
Other Alumni: WNBA player Nicole Powell Other Alumni: Florida House Rep. Dane Eagle
Program History: 2011 state championship Program History: 2011 state championship
Matchup: Both teams are heavy on seniors and players that will play in college; Mountain Pointe features 16 seniors, while Bishop Verot has 12, eight of them committed to play college baseball