Calvary Christian Academy NHSI Preview
USA Baseball’s annual high school tournament, the National High School Invitational, is one of the premier high school tournaments in the country and one of the biggest events on the draft schedule as well, bringing together 16 of the top teams in the country. This year’s tournament will have some of the most impressive talent in the event’s seven-year history and will take place in Cary at USA Baseball’s National Training Complex from March 28-31. Baseball America will preview teams as we lead up to the event.
Playing in Florida’s traditionally-competitive 4-A classification, Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) enters the 2018 NHSI having won its district and region last season with a 23-8 record and a final four finish in the state tournament.
Head coach Alan Kunkel brings to Cary a team with six returning starters, 12 college commits and nine Division I commits, led by shortstop/third baseman Raynel Delgado. The Florida International commit has power from both sides of the plate, shows impressive defensive actions in the dirt, and is likely the biggest prospect on the team from a draft perspective, although he is certainly not the only one.
Calvary Christian's top arm, Christian Scott, is a projectable, 6-foot-4 righthander who can get into the low-90s with a fastball and spot pitches to both sides of the plate. Scott is committed to Florida and is also a valuable bat in Calvary Christian’s lineup. Third baseman and righthander Roberto Pena can also get into the low-90s on the mound and plays good defense at the hot corner with an energetic and competitive personality.
In addition to Scott and Pena, Calvary Christian 2018 lefthander Timothy Watkins works in the 80s with his fastball and shows an impressive breaking ball. Two underclass Division 1 commits—2019 righthander Skylar Gonzalez (West Virginia) and 2021 righty Andrew Painter (Florida)—gives the team enviable talent and depth on the mound.
Consistent defensive play and smart baserunning will be two areas to watch for with Calvary Christian, but the team has the pitching and the explosive bats to challenge any team in the tournament. Calvary Christian enters the NHSI as the highest-ranked team in the High School Top 25, checking in at No. 10.
Head Coach: Alan Kunkel
2017 Record: 23-8
- C: Ben Rozenblum (2019)
- 1B: Christian Scott (2018)
- 2B: Daniel Girardi (2020)
- 3B: Roberto Pena (2018)
- SS: Raynel Delgado (2018)
- OF: Daley Weppner (2018)
- OF: Ryan Keenan (2019)
- OF: Tyler Knierim (2019)
- #1 P: Christian Scott (2018)
- #2 P: Roberto Pena (2018)
- #3 P: Timothy Watkins (2018)
- #4 P: Skylar Gonzalez (2019)
- #5 P: Andrew Painter (2021)
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College Commitments: 12
Division I Commitments: 9
Returning Starters: 6
Top draft prospects
- 2018: Raynel Delgado, Christian Scott, Roberto Pena
- 2019: Ben Rozenblum, Mykanthony Valdez, Ryan Keenan, Tyler Knierim, Skylar Gonzalez
- 2020: Dante Girardi
- 2021: Andrew Painter
- Dante Girardi (football, basketball)
- Andrew Painter (basketball)
- Raynel Delgado (100)