Recognized as one of the nation's premier football players, Jameis Winston of Hueytown will take to the diamond next month as one of the best baseball prospects in the country.
Winston is one of 50 players listed by MaxPreps as the top player in each state. Hailing from Alabama, Winston will have a decision to make later this year following the Major League Baseball draft when he will have to choose between the gridiron and the minor leagues.
Not every player on the list will have such a dilemma. Instead, many will end up drafted and have to choose between their college choice and signing with the Major League organization that drafts them. Players like Lance McCullers of Jesuit (Tampa), the top player in Florida, and Lucas Giolito of Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood), the top player in California, figure to go near the top of this year's draft.
The list of the top player in each state signals the beginning of MaxPreps' baseball coverage for the 2012 season. The list includes a number of preseason All-Americans, which will be presented later this week along with a look at the top potential draft picks in the 2012 MLB draft.
The players listed are not necessarily the No. 1 recruits or top potential draft picks from each state, however they were all recognized for significant achievement on the diamond last year.Alabama - Jameis Winston, Hueytown, Outfield
An outfield prospect, Winston is a two-time all-state player in Alabama and ranks as one of the nation's top football prospects as well. He batted .370 last season and was 7-2 on the mound.Alaska - Tyler Fritz, Soldotna, Infield
One of the top batters in Alaska last season, Fritz was a Player of the Game honoree at the state tournament and batted .417 on the year. Arizona - Joey Curletta, Mountain Pointe (Phoenix), First Base
Curletta helped his team win a state championship while batting .420 with 49 runs, 57 RBIs, 10 doubles and 21 home runs. He earned a berth on the coaches association all-state team. Arkansas - Blake Baxendale, Rogers Heritage, Catcher
Baxendale earned all-state honors by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last year after batting .500 with 19 runs, 13 doubles, six home runs and 31 RBIs. He played in the Area Code Games last summer and has already committed to play at Arkansas, where his brother D.J. is a junior right-handed pitcher. California - Lucas Giolito, Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood), Pitcher
Giolito has emerged as one of the top high school pitching prospects for the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. He was named the Los Angeles Daily News Player of the Year as a junior while going 9-1 with 78 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA in 70.1 innings pitched. Colorado - Denton Keys, Rye, Pitcher
The only underclassman on the Denver Post All-State Team last year, Rye, who is only a junior, went 11-0 with 148 strikeouts and a 0.86 ERA while leading his team to the Class 2A state championship. Connecticut - Bryan Daniello, McMahon (Norwalk), Pitcher
One of the few juniors to earn all-state honors in Connecticut, Daniello batted .452 with 17 RBIs for McMahon, stole 21 bases and also posted a 6-4 record with a 1.10 ERA on the mound. Delaware - Mitchell Moore, Dover, Third Base
One of only two juniors on the all-state team, Moore batted .408 with 12 RBIs, 15 runs scored and had a .554 on-base percentage. Florida - Lance McCullers, Jesuit (Tampa), Pitcher
The MaxPreps Freshman of the Year in 2009, McCullers was the Hillsborough County Pitcher of the Year as a junior last season while going 5-2 on the mound for the Florida Class 4A state runners-up. He also had 70 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched while batting .422 with 10 doubles and seven home runs. Georgia - Matt Olson, Parkview (Lilburn), First Base
Olson played in the Under Armour All-American Game and helped lead Parkview to the Georgia AAAAA state championship. He was the Gatorade State Player of the Year thanks to a .460 batting average, 17 home runs and 50 RBIs. Hawaii - Kila Zuttermeister, Kailua, Utility
One of the state's top football recruits as well, Zuttermeister earned all-state honors last season while batting .536 with 28 RBIs, 16 runs scored and three home runs. He had a .946 slugging percentage as well. Idaho - Joey Martarano, Fruitland, Third Base
Possibly the state's top all-around athlete, Martarano helped Fruitland win state titles in three sports during the 2010-11 season and has committed to play football at Boise State as part of the Class of 2013. As a sophomore on the baseball team, Martarano batted .475 with 16 home runs and 50 RBIs. Illinois - Kyle Funkhouser, Oak Forest, Pitcher
A second team all-state pick by the Chicago Tribune as a junior, Funkhouser had a big year for Oak Forest, going 12-0 with a 0.85 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 82.2 innings pitched last season. Indiana - Nick McCarty, Indianapolis Cathedral, Pitcher
McCarty has already committed to play at Notre Dame next season. He helped the Irish reach the Class 4A state championship game. He batted .376 with 26 RBIs, eight doubles and three home runs and also went 11-0 on the mound with a 1.60 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 67.2 innings pitched. Iowa - Calvin Mathews, Davis County (Bloomfield), Pitcher
A two-time all-state player, Mathews has gone 36-3 in his high school career and has struck out 334 batters the past two seasons, including 158 last year when he was named the Class 2A Tournament MVP. He helped Davis County win the state title as a junior and a third-place finish as a sophomore. Kansas - Justin Burba, Haysville Campus (Wichita), Outfield
An all-state selection by the Wichita Eagle and an All-Metro pick by the Kansas City Star, Burba batted .536 as a junior with 34 runs scored, 26 RBIs, six triples and three home runs.
Kentucky - Walker Buehler, Clay (Lexington), Pitcher
The second team all-state pitcher participated in the Area Code Games in Long Beach and has also committed to play at Vanderbilt next season. Louisiana - Gavin Cecchini, Barbe (Lake Charles), Infield
The Gatorade State Player of the Year and a member of the Class 5A All-State Team, Cecchini was a standout on Team USA 18U and batted .532 with 44 runs, 13 doubles, 11 home runs and 45 RBIs during the season for Barbe. Maine - Luke Fernandes, Marshwood (South Berwick), Infield
Already committed to play at Boston College, Fernandes batted .429 last year with 12 stolen bases. He earned all-state honors last year by the Portland Press-Telegram Maryland - Ryan Ripken, Gilman (Baltimore), First Base
Son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., the Gilman first baseman earned a spot in the Under Armour All-American Game after batting . 353 with 23 RBIs last season. He has committed to play at South Carolina. Massachusetts - Rhett Wiseman, Buckingham Browne & Nichols (Cambridge), Outfield
Wiseman impressed at the Area Code Games with his size and speed and he also participated in the Perfect Game All-American Game. Wiseman batted .447 with 11 home runs and 29 stolen bases as a junior. Michigan - Carmen Benedetti, Grosse Pointe South, First Base
As a sophomore last year, Benedetti was a member of the Detroit Free Press Dream Team and the Coaches Association Dream Team. He batted .557 with 49 RBIs, 15 doubles, 40 runs and eight home runs. Minnesota - Beau Fandel, Forest Lake, Catcher
Although only a junior, Fandel was the only underclassman on the Pioneer Press All-State Team last year as a sophomore. He batted .477 with 21 RBIs and had a slugging percentage of .700. Mississippi - Anthony Alford, Petal, Outfield
One of the top football players in the country, Alford also shines on the diamond where he led Petal to a state championship as a junior. He was a member of the Clarion Ledger all-state team after batting .451 with 25 RBIs, 30 runs, five doubles and four home runs. Missouri - Tate Matheny, Westminster Christian (St. Louis), Outfield
Son of former MLB catcher and current St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, Tate is a two-time all-state pick and a two-time St. Louis Dispatch All-Metro selection. He batted .505 with eight doubles, 10 triples, 10 home runs and 54 RBIs last season. Montana - Justin Black, Billings West, Outfield
Montana does not have high school baseball, but Black impressed during the American Legion season to earn a tryout for the Team USA 18U squad and also committed to play at Nebraska. During the summer, Black batted .495 with 86 RBIs, 32 stolen bases, 18 doubles, 21 triples and seven home runs. Nebraska - Albert Johnson, Papillion-LaVista South, Pitcher
Johnson earned a spot on the all-state team after helping lead Papillion-La Vista South to a state championship. He had an 8-2 record with a 3.65 ERA and he also batted .446 with 20 RBIs. Nevada - Joey Gallo, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), Infield
The Nevada Class 4A State Player of the Year, Gallo had a monster junior season with 25 home runs, 64 runs scored, 78 RBIs and a .471 batting average. He played in the Perfect Game All-American Game and was a member of Team USA 18U. New Hampshire - Dan Kinnon, Londonderry, Pitcher
An all-state selection, Kinnon was runner-up in the MVP voting in Division I last year. He batted .466 last year with an .862 slugging percentage with three home runs and 22 RBIs. He also went 5-2 on the mound with a 2.23 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 37.2 innings pitched. New Jersey - John Brue, Gloucester Catholic (Gloucester City), First Baseman
An all-state pick on one of the top teams in the country, Brue batted .557 with 56 RBIs, 10 doubles and nine home runs. New Mexico - Alex Bregman, Albuquerque Academy, Infield
The state player of the year, Bregman broke the state record for home runs with 19 while batting .678. He was a member of Team USA 18U this summer. New York - Nelson Rodriguez, Washington (New York City), Catcher
A member of Team USA 18U and a participant in the Perfect Game All-American Game, Rodriguez was the New York Daily News City Player of the Year after helping Washington win the city championship. He batted .500 with 21 RBIs, 20 runs and three home runs during PSAL play. North Carolina - Corey Seagar, Northwest Cabarrus (Concord), Shortstop
A past member of the Gold Medal Team USA 16U team, Seager was an all-state player in North Carolina last season as well. He has signed to play at South Carolina. North Dakota - Dwight Mack, Mandan, Utility
Signed with North Dakota State, Mack was all-state as a junior and was also a standout on the Mandan Chiefs American Legion team that won the North Dakota state championship. Mack batted .384 with 16 doubles, four triples and three home runs during the legion season. Ohio - Taylore Cherry, Butler (Vandalia), Pitcher
One of the tallest pitchers in the country, the 6-foot-9 Cherry signed a letter of intent to play at North Carolina next season. The Gatorade State Player of the Year, Cherry was 6-1 on the mound with a 1.38 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched. Oklahoma - Ty Hensley, Edmond Santa Fe, Pitcher
Hidden in the shadows last year behind fellow Oklahoma hurlers Archie Bradley of Broken Arrow and Dylan Bundy of Owasso, Hensley rates as a top prospect thanks to a 94 mph fastball. He played in the Under Armour All-American Game and had a stellar junior season, going 6-0 with a 2.26 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 31 innings. Oregon - Carson Kelly, Westview (Portland), Pitcher
A member of Team USA 18U, Kelly was the Oregon Class 6A State Player of the Year in 2011 after posting a 9-1 record with a 1.64 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched. He was also a threat at the plate with a .473 batting average, 14 home runs and 51 RBIs. Pennsylvania - Scott Williams, Conestoga (Berwyn), Catcher
Williams led Conestoga to a Class AAAA state championship and landed a scholarship to the University of Virginia. Williams batted .500 last season with 25 RBIs, three triples and seven doubles. Rhode Island - T.J. Lynch, South Kingstown (Wakefield), Third Base
An all-state pick as a junior after batting .400, Lynch signed to play at Rhode Island. He is also one of the state's best ice hockey players. South Carolina - Jamie Callahan, Dillon, Pitcher
A South Carolina commit, Callahan played in the Under Armour All-American Game over the summer. Possessing a fastball that averages around 90 mph, Callahan can also hit as he batted .450 with seven home runs as a junior. South Dakota - Austin Richey, Winner/Colome, Catcher
A four-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball, track), Richey earned Class B all-state honors last year after batting .636 with six doubles, five home runs and 24 RBIs. Tennessee - A.J. Simcox, Farragut (Knoxville), Infield
A Tennessee commit, Simcox was the district MVP after helping Farragut capture the AAA state championship. He batted .521 with 14 doubles and 32 RBIs.
Texas - Courtney Hawkins, Carroll (Corpus Christi), Outfield
A member of Carroll's state championship team as a sophomore, Hawkins hopes to lead Carroll back to the state championship game as a senior. He was a member of Team USA 18U this summer and was a Class 5A all-state pick last season in Texas. He batted .422 and also had a pitching record of 10-2. Utah - Kayden Porter, Spanish Fork, Pitcher
The Gatorade State Player of the Year, Porter led Spanish Fork to the 4A state championship with a 9-1 record and a 2.14 ERA. He struck out 85 batters in just 59 innings pitched and also batted .570 with 50 RBIs, nine doubles and 14 home runs. Vermont - Tony Baldic, Mount Anthony (Bennington), Pitcher
Baldic was a key performer as a pitcher for Mount Anthony, which won the Division I state championship in 2011. Virginia - Sean Kennedy, North Stafford, Pitcher
The Northwest Region Player of the Year, Kennedy had 121 strikeouts in 72 innings while leading his team to the Commonwealth District championship. Washington - Andrew Pullin, Centralia, Outfield/Pitcher
A two-time all-state selection, Pullin batted .446 with six home runs and 18 RBIs and also went 3-1 on the mound despite battling through an injury last season. He has signed with the Oregon Ducks. West Virginia - Korey Dunbar, Nitro, Catcher
An all-state player for one of the state's top programs, Dunbar batted .533 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs last season. He has signed a letter of intent to play at North Carolina. Wisconsin - Alex Cordova, Merrill, Infield
Cordova was the lone junior to earn all-state honors on the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association all-state first team. He batted .493 on the season for Merrill. Wyoming - Zach Lain, Central (Cheyenne), Shortstop
The exposure of Brandon Nimmo that led to him being a first round draft pick has no doubt helped Lain, who earned all-state honors in American Legion (Wyoming does not have high school baseball) and has earned invitations to a number of baseball showcases.