Prep Roundup: Bickford Keeps Dealing

Playoffs are underway in Arizona, Florida and Texas, while Georgia’s postseason will get cranking at the end of this week. Here are a few notes from last week’s action…

• Phil Bickford has been a riser this spring in the draft landscape and is racking up some gaudy stats too. The righthander from Oaks Christian High (Westlake Village, Calif.) recently struck out 15 in a win over Bonita High (La Verne, Calif).

• Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High started the season in the Top 25, but fell out after some early losses. The Lancers rebounded by winning the Hard 9 National Classic and were on the brink of returning to the rankings, but a sweep at the hands of Santa Margarita Catholic High (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) puts that on hold for now. The Eagles showed they can handle the Trinity League competition so things should get interesting in Southern California. No. 1 Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, Calif.) is 11-0 in the league, but can’t looks past any remaining opponents.

• Bench-clearing fights are rare in high school baseball and it’s certainly something we don’t want to see. There were two more this week—one in California and another in New Jersey. The one in New Jersey got really ugly as an adult came onto the field and is being charged with assault.

• Conor Glassey had two interesting posts last week. One was on whether velocity can be too much of a good thing for high school pitchers and the other was the announcement that Major League Baseball will sponsor the Excellence Tournament in Puerto Rico.

• I was on the road all last week and filed reports on outfielder Matt McPhearson, lefthander Rob Kaminsky and righthander Chris Oakley. The Oakley report also includes a peek at an interesting junior lefthander named Zach Warren.