BASEBALL: 2013 StateChamps Diamond Preview - Part 1: The Teams |
Top 15 prep baseball teams in Metro Detroit (alphabetical order)
Birmingham Brother Rice – Possibly the best team in the state, the Warriors are defending Catholic League champs and once again stock-full of college prospects and multi-year varsity letter-winners. SEC-commits Matt Ruppenthal (Vanderbilt) and Josh Smith (Kentucky) highlight a versatile and balanced pitching corps, while additional college recruits Ty Kiafoulis (Michigan), Nick Plummer, Randy Righter (a top-line pitcher for the club, too), Bobby Cross and Sammy Stevens headline the team’s batting assault. Plummer is a sophomore and considered “five-tool”. Fellow sophomore and returning starter Alex Malzone is someone who can hurt opposing teams as well – he’s also a Division I college recruit in football as a field general, having helped lead Brother Rice to a repeat state title on the gridiron in 2012.
Canton – Junior dominated squad that has a stud senior on the mound in lefty hurler Mike Stafford (Liberty). Nick Hazergian (OF) and Brett Matteson (IB) can both shred at the dish and ignite what could end up being an incredibly effective line-up of position players.
Detroit Western – Top team in the PSL, returns standouts Hector Gutierrez (SS/P), Jose Ramon (2B/P) and Adrian Morales (C), making the Westsiders favorites to repeat as league champions. Gutierrez is one of the best overall players in the state and is signed with the University of Michigan.
Farmington – The Falcons are a sleeper this spring, finishing below the .500 mark last year. However, with the likes of college-bound stars Connor Mohr (CF/P) and Tyler Tompson (P), heading to Michigan State and Wayne State, respectively, they’ll be a serious contender to do damage in the OAA. Senior Troy Mitchell (1B/P), the school’s quarterback back fall on the football field, is another player to keep an eye out for in Farmington’s line-up.
Grosse Pointe South – Anchored by Mr. Baseball candidate Carmen Benedetti (Michigan), a diverse talent, the Blue Devils are arguably the No. 1 team in Macomb County this season. Benedetti is a lefty first baseman that crushes at the dish and is a power-pitching specialist toeing the slab. When you team him with Jack Doyle, Eddie Champine and Richie Kish, South has a stellar rotation of hurlers and a staff of arms that can go head-to-head with any contingent of throwers in the state.
Lake Orion – Arms, arms and more arms…the Dragons have possibly the deepest pitching rotation in the area, led by the vicious one-two southpaw tandem of senior Nick Deeg (CMU) and junior Brad Schaenzer (numerous high-level DI offers). Deeg is deadly in the batter’s box, too and leads a tough Lake Orion offensive arsenal, alongside Ryan Lembrecht (Madonna) and Josh Bays, another DI recruit dotting the Dragons roster. Nick Vogelmyer goes under the radar, yet might be the hardest No. 4 pitcher around to have to deal with. Lake Orion makes a good argument for itself for being the most dangerous club in the state
Macomb Dakota – Pitching will be a real strength for Dakota’s diamond-cutters this spring, as righty Alex Lewandowski and