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Top 25 preseason national high school baseball rankings: Florida, California teams dominate (2/8/2024)

Thirteen of the Top 25 high school baseball teams in SBLive’s preseason national rankings are from California and Florida

The 2024 high school baseball season gets underway this weekend in Southern California and will begin in several other states across the country in the coming weeks.

With that in mind SB is taking an early look at the best high school baseball teams in the country. Our preseason rankings are dominated by teams from Florida and California, with IMG Academy and Corona at the top.

The SBLive Power 25 national high school baseball rankings include teams affiliated with the state high school athletic association in the state it resides in or those allowed to play affiliate high schools in their home state as well as some of the country’s baseball academies.

The rankings will be released weekly throughout the 2024 baseball season. Find the complete breakdown of the preseason SBLive Power 25 below.


1. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) (0-0)

Last season: 25-0

Ranking rationale: IMG went unbeaten last season, finishing No. 2 in SBLive’s final national baseball rankings and enter this season on a 31-game winning streak. The Ascenders feature nearly 20 college commits led by returners Noah Franco (TCU), Sean Gamble (Vanderbilt) and Dean Moss (LSU). After graduating five of their top six pitchers from last season, they’ve reloaded with Blake Larson (TCU), Jake Gregor (Louisville) and Drew Bellis (Vanderbilt).

2. Corona (Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 22-11

Ranking rationale: Corona features a top-tier pitching staff in Ethan Schiefelbein (UCLA), Seth Hernandez (Vanderbilt) and Sam Burgess (TCU) while returning Oregon-bound catcher Josh Springer. Outfielder Anthony Murphy was the California Freshman of the Year a season ago and is joined by two-way standout Billy Carlson (Vanderbilt). The Panthers will get a boost with the addition of infielders Brady (LSU) and Trey Ebel when their transfer sit out period ends in late March.

3. Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.) (0-0)

Last season: 29-0

Ranking rationale: The Eagles ended last season at No. 1 in the national rankings and begin this year on a 51-game winning streak. Four of their top six hitters return from last season in Rylan Lujo (Dayton), Devin Fitz-Gerald (NC State), Niko Benestad (USF) and Alex Rodriguez (UCF). The Eagles graduated star pitcher Christian Rodriguez (12-0, 0.69 ERA) but will return a lot on the mound led by Jayden Dubanewicz (Florida) and Gavin Gargiulo (UCF).

4. Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.) (0-0)

Last season: 36-3

Ranking rationale: The Bears were upset in the LHSAA Division 1 Select semifinals last season, ending their 16-game winning streak. Returning this season are LSU-bound pitchers William Schmidt and Grant Breaux. Infielder Trip Dobson (Houston) hit .340 with 13 extra-base hits last season. He’s joined in the lineup by Brooks Wright (UL-Lafayette), Jack Ruckert (LSU) and Noah Lewis (UL-Lafayette).

5. Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.) (0-0)

Last season: 36-8

Ranking rationale: Farragut hit their stride in the playoffs last season, winning eight in a row that concluded with a victory in the TSSAA 4A State championship game. The Admirals loaded roster includes more than a dozen college commits. Cade Oleary (Mississippi State) and Stratton Scott (Tennessee) will lead the way on the mound. The lineup features Brennon Seigler (Tenneessee), Lukas Buckner (Mississippi State) Eli Evans (ETSU) and Landis Davila (Mississippi State).

6. Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 20-12-1

Ranking rationale: The Lancers finished fourth in a loaded Trinity League last season, advancing to the semifinals of the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. They’re expected to have one of the nation’s most loaded lineups in 2024 that includes LSU-bound outfielder Derek Curiel. Alongside Curiel are infielders Gabe Fraser (Arkansas), Ben Reiland (Oklahoma State) and Vincent Hudson (Arizona). Junior outfielder Josiah Hartshorn (Texas A&M) is set for a huge season after hitting .316 with three home runs last year.

7. Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 21-9

Ranking rationale: The Wolverines are right up with Corona when comparing their starting rotation. Harvard-Westlake will have Bryce Rainer (Texas), Duncan Marsten (Wake Forest) and Tommy Bridges (TCU) at their disposal this season, giving them a chance against anybody in the country. Rainer, also a standout shortstop, hit .436 with nine doubles and three home runs last season. Harvard-Westlake’s lineup also features Cade Goldstein (Washington) and James Tronstein (Stanford).

8. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) (0-0)

Last season: 36-2

Ranking rationale: Bishop Gorman ended the 2023 season with 25 straight wins, concluding with their ninth state championship. The Gaels return their leading hitter in Oregon-bound catcher Burke Mabeus. Also back for the Gaels are infielders Maddox Riske (USC), Colton Boardman (Cal State Northridge) and Nolan Eberwein (USC). Henry Prindl (South Carolina) and James Whitaker (LSU) will lead the way on the mound.

9. Flower Mound (Texas) (0-0)

Last season: 37-10-2

Ranking rationale: Flower Mound won the UIL 6A championship last season, beating Pearland 6-4 in the final. The Jaguars return a lot to their lineup led by Sam Erickson (Texas A&M), Zane Becker (Arkansas) and Adrian Rodriguez (Texas A&M). Jack James (TCU) and Josh Glaser (Texas State) will lead the way on the mound after picking up experience in last season’s UIL playoffs.

10. Lewisburg (Olive Branch, Miss.) (0-0)

Last season: 29-8

Ranking rationale: Lewisburg closed out the season by taking both games from Gulfport for the 6A state title. The Patriots return nearly everyone from that team including infielders Samuel Richardson (Texas) and Austin Hannigan (Memphis). Lewisburg has no shortage of talented options on the mound. Cayden Baker (Baylor) and Talon Haley (Vanderbilt) were the two workhorses last season while Stone McCaughey (Ole Miss), Matthew Osteen (UL-Lafayette) and Gunner Gilmore (Air Force) have all made college commitments.

11. Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.) (0-0)

Last season: 32-8

Ranking rationale: Parkview’s 2023 season ended with two losses to Lowndes in the championship round of the GHSA Class AAAAAAA State title. Cade Brown (Georgia) returns after hitting .486 with 14 home runs. Catcher Ethan Finch (Kennesaw State) hit .352 with 11 extra-base hits last season while Eli Pitts (South Carolina) is primed for a big year. Thorpe Musci (Georgia Tech) returns on the mound after leading the team in strikeouts and innings pitched in 2023.

12. American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) (0-0)

Last season: 21-6

Ranking rationale: The Patriots beat Tampa-Jesuit for the FHSAA 5A State title a season ago and return six of their top eight hitters led by Lucas Ramirez (Tennessee) and Jordan Rich. Their experienced pitching staff includes Talan Holiday (UNC), Spencer Krasner (Virginia) and Antonio Turco-Rivas (NYU).

13. Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.) (0-0)

Last season: 29-13

Ranking rationale: Lowndes recovered from a six-game losing streak early in the 2023 season to sweep Parkview for the GHSA State title. Tate Sirmans (Ole Miss), Carson Page (Georgia Tech) and Jordan Hudson (UT-Martin) lead the offense while ace Noah Thigpen (Troy) returns on the mound. Sophomore two-way standout Matthew Kerrigan (Auburn) should help in both facets.

14. Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) (0-0)

Last season: 31-3

Ranking rationale: Moeller closed out the 2023 season on a 17-game winning streak to capture the OHSA Division 1 State title. The Crusaders graduated their top eight hitters and will rely heavily on a loaded pitching staff. Junior Zion Theophilus (LSU) is the leader among the returning pitchers with Kellan Klosterman (Notre Dame) and Luke Pappano (Ole Miss). Carter Christenson (Ohio State) hit .300 as a sophomore and is Moeller’s top returning hitter.

15. Pearland (Texas) (0-0)

Last season: 38-7-1

Ranking rationale: After an undefeated run in district play, Pearland fell to Flower Mound in the UIL 6A title game. The Oilers remain loaded on the mound with Ryler Smart (Tennessee), Jaden Barfield (Oklahoma) and Jacob Mader-Cooper (Rice). Isaiah Castaneda (Rice), Nicholas Partida (Arizona State) and Cade Adams (Southern Miss) will be big contributors in the lineup.

16. North Broward Prep (Coconut Creek, Fla.) (0-0)

Last season: 27-5

Ranking rationale: North Broward Prep had their 17-game winning streak ended by Calvary Christian in the FHSAA 3A State title game, ending their hopes for three straight championships. The Eagles bring back eight of their top 10 hitters this season led by Riley Luft (Appalachian State), Mateo Gray (UCF), and Gian De Castro (Arizona State). Gray and Luft along with Ryan McPherson (Mississippi State) return as North Broward Prep’s top three pitchers from a season ago.

17. West Monroe (La.) (0-0)

Last season: 34-5

Ranking rationale: West Monroe’s 2023 season ended one game short of the title, falling to Barbe 5-1 in the Non-Select LHSAA championship. The Rebels return each of their top three hitters in Hayden Federico (Ole Miss), John Pearson (LSU) and Trey Hawsey (Louisiana Tech). Pearson hit .427 with seven home runs and 15 doubles last year while Hawsey finished with a .378 average, 11 home runs and 11 doubles. The Rebels return all but 23 innings on the mound and will be led by Andrew Ferguson (Louisiana Tech) and Bradyn Garner (LSU).

18. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) (0-0)

Last season: 26-5

Ranking rationale: The Huskies have added senior catcher Drew Rogers (Georgia Tech) who hit .417 with three home runs as a junior in Minnesota. The lineup surrounding Rogers includes Jaylen Payne (Utah) who hit .420 last season and Liam Wilson (Harvard) who hit .287 with six home runs a season ago. Two-way standout Boston Kellner (Louisville) transferred in from Colorado and is expected to make a big impact.

19. Doral Academy (Doral, Fla.) (0-0)

Last season: 24-7

Ranking rationale: Doral lost in the FHSAA 6A State semifinal round last season after winning it all in 2022. The Firebirds return two of their top hitters in outfielders Michael Torres (Miami) and Sebastian Berrios (FIU). Gabriel Milano (Miami) hit four home runs in 23 at-bats last season while Torres and Marcelo Rodriguez (Arizona State) will lead the way on the mound.

20. JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 24-9

Ranking rationale: The Lions rallied late last season, capturing their second straight Southern Section Division 1 championship, finishing No. 5 nationally. All-Southern Section pitcher Matthew Champion returns after tossing 16 shutout innings in the playoffs last season. He’s joined by Charlie Caruso (Northwestern), Josh Hollis (Oregon), Jordan Marian (UCSB) and Cole Strane (USC) who are looking to deliver a third straight CIF title.

21. Huntington Beach (Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 21-9

Ranking rationale: An up and down 2023 season ended with the Oilers falling in the second round of the Southern Section playoffs. Nate Aceves (UCSB) and Tyler Bellerose both return after combining to allow 10 earned runs over 76.2 innings a season ago. Huntington Beach has one of the nation’s best catchers in Trent Grindlinger (Mississippi State) and a loaded group of juniors in Ethan Porter (Oregon State), Linkin Garcia (Vanderbilt), Trevor Goldenetz (TCU) and John Petrie III (Oregon State).

22. Tampa Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.) (0-0)

Last season: 27-5

Ranking rationale: Jesuit fell just short of their goal last season, losing to American Heritage in the FHSAA 5A State championship game. Infielder Noah Sheffield (Florida State) and catcher Vincent Decarlo (NC State) are two of several returning hitters from that group. The Tigers return a strong group of pitching that includes Aden Knowles (NC State), McCall Biemiller (Florida) and Wilson Anderson who struck out 52 batters in 33 innings as a freshman.

23. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 28-4

Ranking rationale: The Knights won the Mission League by five games last season before falling to Corona in the Southern Section quarterfinals. Two-way Texas commit Levi Sterling returns while shooting up MLB Draft boards. He led the Knights with a 0.55 ERA last season. The pitching staff also includes Sammy Petrocelli (Stanford), Nate Kugler (Dartmouth) and Logan Berenson (Boston College).

24. Houston County (Warner Robins, Ga.) (0-0)

Last season: 37-6

Ranking rationale: The Bears went 15-0 in their region last season before taking home the GHSA Class AAAAAA State title. Eli Stephens (Mercer) returns after hitting .398 while walking twice as much as he struck out. He’s joined by fellow Mercer commit Kai Decker who hit .393 during the title run. Carson Small (Pensacola State) went 9-0 with a 2.38 ERA and will return to lead the pitching staff.

25. La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, Calif.) (0-0)

Last season: 26-7

Ranking rationale: The two-time defending San Diego Section Open Division champions ended last year with a loss to Santa Margarita in the Southern California regional championship game. Right-handed pitcher Stunner Gonzales (LSU) and catcher Kalen Applefield (Cal) lead an experienced group of returners that also include Brady Petit (St. Mary’s), Cooper Walls (Hawaii) and Max Collins (UCSB).

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