High School Top 25: April 8

Although high school baseball has started in nearly every part of the country by the second week of April, the warm weather states continue to flex their collective muscles in the rankings. A Florida high school, Venice (Fla). High, began the season as the No. 1 team in the country before being supplanted by a California team for the first two in-season polls. But with Archbishop McCarthy High (Southwest Ranches, Fla.) moving up from its previous No. 2 spot, the Sunshine State has recaptured the top spot in the county in the latest Baseball America/National High School Baseball Coaches Association High School Top 25, sponsored by TeamSnap.

The Mavericks, who have 13 seniors and are in pursuit of their fifth consecutive state title, continue to dominate with a record of 19-1. The pitching staff has only allowed 22 runs in 20 games this season (1.1 per game) with eight shutouts for a run differential of plus 145. The biggest challenge remaining on their regular season schedule is this Saturday’s matchup on the road against No. 7  Flanagan High (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), which has only lost one regular season contest (15-1). Flanagan was the biggest mover among ranked teams, moving up 18 spots.

Despite constant movement at the top of the rankings, the top three teams in the country have solidified the upper tier, as Archbishop McCarthy, No. 2 Barbe High (St. Charles, La.) and No. 3 St. Francis High (Mountain View, Calif.) have been ranked in the top seven in every poll this season. St. Francis fell from the top spot after losing to Archbishop Mitty in conference play last week.

Multiple national tournaments over the last two weeks created considerable turnover in the rankings. Eight teams ranked in the last top 25 fell from the rankings, four of which played in the tournaments, including previous No. 5 Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) and No. 6 Venice. Harvard-Westlake lost a pair of games at the Horizon National Tournament Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz., before losing again upon their return to California. Venice went 1-3 at the NHSI, bringing the Indians’ record to 12-5.

Foster Griffin

Foster Griffin (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)

The First Academy (Orlando), which won the National High School Invitational, moved from unranked to No. 8 and has produced seven shutouts. Clovis (Calif.) High, who lost to TFA in the NHSI championship game, landed at No. 10 after being unranked. Both teams have marquee prospects for the upcoming draft; lefthander Foster Griffin for TFA and infielder Jacob Gatewood for Clovis.

Horizon High, the host of the Horizon tournament, won the event against a bevy of quality teams (Harvard-Westlake, No. 13 Hamilton High of Chandler, Ariz., and Brophy Prep of Phoenix) and moved to No. 22. Horizon, which has won six state titles since 1995, has a plus 96 run differential in 20 games this season.

A third top 10 team fell from the rankings after No. 8 Jenks (Okla.) High lost to Owasso (Okla.) High 10-0, vaulting Owasso back into the rankings.

Rancho Bernardo High (San Diego) fell from No. 3 to No. 23 after suffering two losses in three games, moving the Broncos’ record to 10-2. Catcher Alex Jackson, a potential top-10 overall selection who is hitting .429/.600/1.000 in 12 games this season, has hit five home runs this spring, giving him 41 for his career. He is within striking distance of the San Diego Section career home run record of 47 set by another product of “The Factory,” outfielder John Drennen, a 2005 first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians.

With Clovis moving into the rankings, the Fresno area has two teams ranked in the top 10, with Buchanan High (Clovis, Calif.) being the other. These two conference rivals will face off again at the end of April after Clovis won 4-3 in their first matchup.

Rank School Record Prev. Rank
1. Archbishop McCarthy HS, Southwest Ranches, Fla. 19-1 2
2. Barbe HS, St. Charles, La. 24-2 4
3. St. Francis HS, Mountain View, Calif. 10-2 1
4. San Antonio O’Connor HS, Texas 18-2 14
5. Moody HS, Corpus Christi, Texas 22-2 9
6. Buchanan HS, Clovis, Calif. 15-2 11
7. Flanagan HS, Pembroke Pines, Fla. 15-1 25
8. The First Academy, Orlando, Fla. 17-2 NR
9. Pearland (Texas) High 19-2 12
10. Clovis (Calif.) HS 19-3 NR
11. Lambert HS, Suwanee, Ga. 18-0 16
12. Walton HS, Marietta, Ga. 14-3 10
13. Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz. 18-2 19
14. JSerra Catholic HS, San Juan Capistrano, Calif. 10-2 13
15. Carroll Senior HS, Southlake, Texas 18-2 7
16. Christian Brothers HS, Memphis 10-1 NR
17. Chaparral HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. 16-1 NR
18. Owasso (Okla.) HS 11-3 NR
19. Loyola HS, Los Angeles, Calif. 12-1 20
20. Hanover HS, Mechanicsville, Va. 4-0 23
21. Langham HS, Houston 20-1 NR
22. Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego 9-2 3
23. Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. 17-3 NR
24. Calallen HS, Corpus Christi, Texas 23-1 NR
25. Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga. 13-3 22
Dropped Out: Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif. (5); Venice (Fla.) High (6); Jenks (Okla.) HS (8); T.C. Roberson HS, Asheville, N.C. (15); South Dade HS, Homestead, Fla. (17); ThunderRidge HS, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (18); Greenway HS, Lilburn, Ga. (21); Frenship HS, Wolfforth, Texas (24).