2018 NHSI Team Preview: Mater Dei

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.


Mater Dei (Santa Anna, Calif.) High will enter the 2018 NHSI as one of the heavy favorites. Always a strong program, Mater Dei also won the inaugural NHSI in 2012 and doubled up on championships with another in 2013. Mater Dei remains the only team to win the event multiple times, and will look to add a third title this season, while also preventing league rival Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High to repeat as NHSI champions.

A regular powerhouse in southern California with three CIF–Southern Section championships and 25 Trinity League titles, Mater Dei brings a roster to Cary, N.C., that includes ten Division I commits and returns five starters from last season’s 21-12 team. Additionally, the team has added talented center fielder Vinny Tosti after his house burned down last summer in northern California.

Tosti (an Oregon commit) is the top draft prospect on the team, but scouts will also be eyeing shortstop Emilio Rosas (committed to Southern California) who has a strong arm and some power in his bat. Mater Dei boasts another Oregon commit in second baseman Max Foxcroft, who is the team’s captain and will bring energy to the club. Two San Diego commits are also on the roster in first baseman Joey Nicolai and 6-foot-11, class of 2019 righthander Hunter Cope, who is apparently still growing and can get into the low 90s with an impressive slider.

With so many Division I players, Mater Dei should have good balance all-around, but the biggest strength could be the amount of speed and power throughout the lineup. The pitching staff is made up entirely of juniors and one freshman—UCLA commit Alonzo Tredwell—so that might be one area of weakness, but even then, four of the five pitchers are committed to Division I programs.


Head Coach: Burt Call

2017 Record: 21-12

Projected Lineup

  • C: C.J. Rodriguez (2019)
  • 1B: Joey Nicolai (2019)
  • 2B: Max Foxcroft (2018)
  • 3B: Chad Call (2019)
  • SS: Emilio Rosas (2018)
  • LF: Josh Mora (2018)
  • CF: Vinny Tosti (2018)
  • RF: Grant Burton (2018)
  • DH: Alonzo Tredwell (2021)
  • #1 P: Hunter Cope (2019)
  • #2 P: Hunter Cranton (2019)
  • #3 P: Cameron Wheeler (2019)
  • #4 P: M.J. Gabaldon (2019)
  • #5 P: Alonzo Tredwell (2021)

College Commitments: 10

Division I Commitments: 10

Returning Starters: 5

Top draft prospects

  • 2018: Vinny Tosti, Emilio Rosas
  • 2019: Hunter Cope

Multi-Sport Athletes

  • Danny Williams (basketball)

BA 300 Prospects

  • Vinny Tosti (146)
  • Emilio Rosas (211)

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