Video: Mark Vientos of American HeritageWatch the MaxPreps All-American in action during his senior season. The Patriots return some of the nation's top players in 2018.
The 2017 spring high school baseball season is complete, but it's never too early to take a look at the top 10 teams for the 2018 season (listed in no particular order).
MaxPreps Top 10 baseball teams for 2018
Calvary Christian (Clearwater, Fla.)
The Warriors reeled off a 30-0 season, won the Florida Class 4A state title and own one of the nation's longest winning streaks at 30. Five of the team's top offensive performers from 2017 return, including MaxPreps All-American outfielder Eric Kennedy
(.556, 39 RBIs) and All-Tampa Area catcher Matheu Nelson
(.384, five home runs). The pitching staff returns 18 wins, including 10 by MaxPreps Underclass All-American Nolan Hudi
.American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
The Patriots (20-7) have the disadvantage of playing in the same district as seven-time state champion Archbishop McCarthy. The Mavericks, however, lost nine starters from their 2017 state title team to graduation and the Patriots could be the ones to benefit. American Heritage returns two of the nation's top infielders in first baseman Triston Casas
(.446, four home runs) and third baseman Cory Acton
(.470, seven home runs). The pitching staff is also solid with Bailey Mantilla
, one of the top-ranked returning pitchers in the state by Perfect Game.Elk Grove (Calif.)
Thundering Herd (23-10) won their third straight Sac-Joaquin Section
championship last year, but bigger things could be in store in 2018.
Seven of the team's top eight offensive players from 2017 return,
including Tanner Carlson
one of the state's top-ranked shortstops. The only player missing from
that group is graduate Riley Lamb, the Sacramento Bee's All-Metro Player
of the Year. The pitching staff returns 16 wins from last year.
North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.)
The Bulldogs (35-4) posted the best season in school history last year, but fell one game short of the state finals following a Class AAAAAAA semifinals loss to Woodstock. North Gwinnett started five players who were either sophomores or freshmen — four of them earned MaxPreps Underclass All-American honors. Sophomore Michael Borah
(.388, five home runs) returns at second base, while freshmen Josh Shuler
(.317, six home runs) and Dalton Pearson
(.346, two home runs) return in the outfield, and Corey Collins
(.368, four home runs) is back at catcher.Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.)
The Trojans (31-5) will have one of the deepest pitching staffs in the nation next year after winning the first state baseball title in school history last year. Four Division I commits dot the rotation, three of whom earned All-State honors last year. John Gilreath
was the Rock Hill Herald Player of the Year last season after going 11-0, while Cameron Reeves
was 6-2 and Rob Hughes
went 9-1. The best prospect might be reliever Wesley Sweatt
, who hit 92 mph on his fastball last year. Gilreath, Reeves and Sweatt are all headed to South Carolina, while Hughes has committed to Furman.New Hanover (Wilmington, N.C.)
The Warriors (25-5) were in and out of the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Baseball Rankings last year and finished runner-up to TC Roberson in Class 4A. New Hanover had only two seniors on the roster and none in the everyday starting lineup. All-State pitcher Caleb Bishop
will be missed, but 15 wins return from the pitching rotation.Cathedral Catholic (San Diego)
San Diego annually features some of the top talent in the nation and 2018 should be no different. Cathedral Catholic (25-9) could begin the season as the top team in the state as it returns six of its top seven offensive players from a team that reached the San Diego Section Open Division semifinals. The Dons return 22 pitching wins from last year, including eight from pitcher Cade Brown
.Cypress Ranch (Houston)
State champions in 2012 and 2015, Cypress Ranch (27-8) could make another run in 2018. The Mustangs have 17 players listed as potential prospects by Perfect Game. Topping the list is Matt Thompson
, one of the top-ranked pitchers in the Class of 2019. Also back is Ty Madden
, one of the top-ranked pitchers in the state in the Class of 2018.
Colleyville Heritage (Colleyville, Texas)
The Panthers (38-6-1) were one of the top Class 5A teams in Texas last
year, falling just short of the state tournament when they lost to
Grapevine in the Region 1 finals. While All-American pitcher Alex Scherff
has graduated, Colleyville Heritage still has a strong junior class, led by MaxPreps Sophomore Player of the Year Bobby Witt
(50 RBI, 10 home runs).Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
The Dragons (32-11-1) annually have one of the top teams in Region I in Texas and could find a spot among the nation's top teams in 2018. Four all-district players return, including junior pitcher Cutter Sippel
and infielders Cade Bell
and Cole Johnson
. Carroll also has one of the nation's top players in the class of 2020 in Yanluis Ortiz.