With four state championships already under their belt, the Archbishop McCarthy Mavericks have nearly every starter returning from last year's title squad, including a talented array of pitchers. That makes them a clear favorite to win a fifth-straight state championship.
It's also the reason the Mavericks begin the year ranked No. 1 in the MaxPreps Preseason Xcellent 25 National Baseball Rankings.
To kick off our Xcellent 25 rankings for the 2014 season, MaxPreps will be counting off the top 10 teams in the rankings, starting Feb. 10 with No. 10 Archbishop Moeller. The preseason Top 100 will appear on Feb. 24.
Here's a look at what to expect over the next two weeks:No. 1 - Archbishop McCarthy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) - See Preview
The Mavericks return three of the top pitchers in Florida along with nearly every starter from a team that won a state championship in 2013.No. 2 - Owasso (Okla.) - See Preview
The Rams have won 36 games in a row and captured the program's 10th state championship in 2013.No. 3 - Cypress Ranch (Houston) - See Preview
Winners of the Class 5A state title in 2012, the Mustangs return eight players who earned all-district honors in 2013.No. 4 - Venice (Fla.) - See Preview
The Indians have won back-to-back state championships in Florida and have an All-American behind the plate in Michael Rivera.No. 5 - Milton (Ga.) - See Preview
The Eagles return eight players with at least 20 games experience from a team that won the Class 6A state championship in 2013.No. 6 - Barbe (Lake Charles, La.) - See Preview
As many as eight players for the Buccaneers could play ball at the next level, making them the heavy favorite in Louisiana.No. 7 - Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) - See Preview
The Wolverines are looking for a repeat as Southern Section Division I champions and they have 2013 MaxPreps National Player of the Year Jack Flaherty
returning to help them achieve that goal.No. 8 - Roberson (Asheville, N.C.) - See Preview
Roberson is a talented, battle-tested group that includes one of the top prospects in the Major League Baseball Draft in first baseman Braxton Davidson.No. 9 - Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) - See Preview
After falling just short of an eighth-straight state title last year, the Gaels will try to begin a new streak this year with a team built on young pitching and defense.No. 10 - Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) - See Preview
The Fighting Crusaders have won two straight Division I state titles in Ohio and are the favorite to make it three in a row.