In a year filled with some outstanding catchers, Wil Myers of Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) proved that he was one of the best in the nation, going to the Kansas City Royals in the third round of the Major League Draft last month.
A four-time all-state selection in North Carolina, Myers edges out fellow catcher Austin Maddox of Eagle’s View Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.) and South Carolina infielder Chris Owings for the MaxPreps Small Schools All-American Most Valuable Player honor.
Myers made his mark as one of the best hitting catchers in the draft. He hit for a .532 average and had 14 home runs at Wesleyan. If Myers does not sign with the Royals, he will likely attend the University of South Carolina.
While MaxPreps has already honored Larry Knight of Sumrall (Miss.) as the overall national coach of the year, we’ve decided to honor another coach as the Small Schools Coach of the Year. Jim Danley of Eaton (Colo.) completed his 38th season with the Reds. He has a career record of 691-149-2 with a 25-0 record and a 3A Colorado state championship in 2009. He is a Colorado High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame inductee in 2008 and was the National High School Coaches Association coach of the year in 2003 and the National Federation coach of the year in 2002.
MaxPreps Baseball Small Schools All-Americans
Tanner Bushue, South Central (Farina, Ill.) Sr, Pitcher
The top pitcher in Illinois, Bushue was 8-2 with a 0.62 ERA in 68.1 innings pitched. He struck out a phenomenal 140 batters and walked only 22 while earning all-state honors by the Chicago Tribune. He was the first Illinois player chosen in the MLB draft, going to the Houston Astros with the 69th overall pick.
Cade Lynch, Valley View (Jonesboro, Ark.), Sr, Pitcher
Lynch was selected by CoachesAid.com as the best player in Arkansas this year and his numbers certainly warrant the selection. He was 14-0 with a 0.92 ERA and struck out 147 batters in 83 innings pitched. He finished his high school career with a record of 36-1. At the plate, Lynch batted .434 with 40 RBI.
Dylan Covey, Maranatha (Pasadena, Calif.), Jr, Pitcher
Covey was named the Pasadena Star News player of the year and was also the Southern Section Div. V player of the year. He had an 11-2 record with three shutouts and struck out 127 batters in 68.1 innings pitched. He was also one of the team’s better hitters with a .370 average, 25 RBI and three home runs.
Brandon Pierce, Gunter (Texas), Jr, Pitcher
Named to the Class 2A all-state team, Pierce was the District 11-2A player of the year after going 12-0 on the mound with 134 strikeouts and a 0.99 ERA in 71 innings pitched. Only a junior, Pierce recently committed to play baseball next year at Nebraska. Pierce also led Gunter in hitting with a .449 average with 29 RBI, 10 doubles and four home runs.
Logan Ehlers, Nebraska City (Neb.), Jr, Pitcher
The Gatorade state player of the year in Nebraska, Ehler completed a 10-0 season with a 0.20 ERA and a whopping 161 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched. He was an all-Super State first team selection and threw four no-hitters during the season.
Glenn Flora, Lyndhurst (N.J.), Sr, Pitcher
A two-time all-state player in New Jersey, Flora helped lead Lyndhurst to a state title as a junior and has a 19-2 record over the past two seasons including 9-1 his senior year. He had a 0.49 ERA with 109 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 57.2 innings pitched.
Luke Bard, Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, N.C.), Sr, Pitcher
Taken in the 16th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Boston Red Sox, Bard has also signed with Georgia Tech. He led Charlotte Christian to the NCISAA 3A championship and posted a 10-0 record with a 0.31 ERA. He struck out 90 batters on the season.
Dylan Bundy, Sperry (Okla.), Soph, Pitcher
Only a sophomore, Bundy is already a two-time All-Metro first team pick in Oklahoma. He helped Sperry win the state championship and he was the Gatorade state player of the year thanks to a 12-1 record, a 0.85 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 82 innings pitched. He also had four no-hitters on the year.
MAXPREPS SMALL SCHOOLS MVP
Wil Myers, Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.), Sr, Catcher
Possibly the top player in North Carolina, Myers earned all-state honors all four years at Wesleyan and was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the third round of the MLB draft. He batted .532 with 14 home runs, seven doubles and 41 RBI.
Austin Maddox, Eagle’s View Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.), Sr, Catcher
Maddox earned player of the year honors for the Jacksonville area after leading Eagle’s View to the 1A semifinals. He batted .544 with nine home runs and was a three-time All-First Coast first-time pick. He was chosen by Tampa Bay in the 37th round of the MLB draft and has committed to play at Florida next year.
Dane Phillips, Central Heights (Nacogdoches, Texas), Sr, Catcher
Drafted by the Mariners in the 49th round of the MLB draft, Phillips was a Class 2A all-state team pick after batting .646 with 47 RBI, 14 doubles and 14 home runs for Central Heights. He has also committed to play at Oklahoma State.
Alex Byo, Parkview Baptist (Baton Rouge, La), Sr, First Base
The two-time 3A state player of the year in Louisiana, Byo led Parkview Baptist to another state championship this year. Signed to play at University of New Orleans, Byo hit .389 with nine home runs and 39 RBI. He was also the team’s top pitcher, striking out 70 batters in 44 innings.
Jake Cave, Hampton Christian (Hampton, Va.), Soph, First Base
The VISAA Div. III player of the year, Cave also earned first team honors by the Newport News Daily Press. He batted .670 with 11 home runs and 71 RBI and also posted a 10-0 record with 106 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.
Jared Miller, Sumrall (Miss.), Sr, First Base
Besides helping lead Sumrall to the No. 1 in the nation in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 rankings, Miller was an all-state first team pick while batting .412 with 50 RBI, nine doubles and 14 home runs. He was also one of Sumrall’s best pitchers with an 11-0 mark and 106 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched.
Chris Owings, Gilbert (S.C.), Sr, Infield
The two-time South Carolina 2A state player of the year, Owings was the first South Carolina chosen in the MLB draft as he went to the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 41st pick. Owings was known for his defense at shortstop for the Indians, but he also batted .400 with 30 runs, 20 RBI, seven doubles, five home runs and 22 stolen bases.
Billy Hamilton, Taylorsville (Miss.), Sr, Infield
The slick-fielding shortstop was the first Mississippi player chosen in the MLB draft, going to the Reds in the second round round. An all-state pick in football, basketball and baseball, Hamilton batted .448 with 13 doubles, four home runs, 28 RBI and 26 stolen bases.
Tyler Wallace, Eaton (Colo.), Sr, Infield
The Rockies grabbed Wallace in the 46th round of the MLB draft, making him one of three Eaton players to be selected during this year’s draft. Wallace was named the state 3A player of the year after helping to lead Eaton to an undefeated record and a state title. He batted .560 with 58 RBI.
Kenny Diekroeger, Menlo School (Atherton, Calif.), Sr, Infield
Although an injury kept him out of the playoffs, Diekroger was one of the state’s top shortstops and was selected No. 78 overall by the Tampa Bay Rays. He batted .586 with 31 runs, 20 RBI, 10 doubles and four home runs.
Mott Hyde, Calhoun (Ga.), Jr, Infield
Hyde proved to be one of the top powerhitters in the country as his 20 roundtrippers were just one off the national lead. He also batted .550 with 10 doubles and 57 RBI and was named the Rome area player of the year by the News Tribune.
Clint Gobbell, Summertown (Tenn.), Sr, Infield
Gobbell led the nation in RBI this year while leading Summertown to a Class 1A state title in Tennessee. He had 90 runs batted in to go with a .536 batting average. He also had 19 home runs, 11 doubles and 11 triples. Named to the All Mid-State first team.
Jay Baumgardner, Scottsdale Christian (Phoenix, Ariz.), Sr, Outfield
Baumgardner earned state small schools player of the year honors by the Arizona Republic and was the 2A state player of the year by the coaches association. He batted .540 with 46 runs, 59 RBI, 10 doubles and 11 home runs.
Gus Benusa, Riverview (Oakmont, Pa.), Sr, Outfield
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s player of the year, Benusa went to the San Francisco Giants in the eighth round of the MLB draft and he has already signed with the team. He batted a whopping .638 in the WPIAL with seven home runs and 21 RBI.
Mitch Delfino, Cloverdale (Calif.), Sr, Outfield
Delfino was named to the USA Today all-american team thanks to a .591 batting average that included 10 doubles, five triples and five home runs. He was also 7-2 on the mound with 101 strikeouts in 62.1 innings pitched. He will play at Cal next year.
Jordan Poyer, Astoria, (Ore.), Sr, Outfield
The state player of the year in football and baseball, Poyer led Astoria to state titles in both sports and was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 42nd round of the MLB draft. He batted .465 on the season with nine home runs and 39 RBI. He was also 10-1 on the mound with 116 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched.
John Nogowski, North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.), Soph, Outfield
Named the 2A state player of the year by the Florida Dairy Farmers, Nogowski made the All-Big Bend team thanks to a .594 batting average with 11 doubles, five home runs and 35 RBI. He was also 6-1 on the mound with a 1.22 ERA.
Jose Dore, First Academy (Orlando, Fla.), Jr, Outfield
One of the leading home run hitters in the state of Florida, Dore was second behind Nogwoski in the Florida Dairy Farmers 2A state player of the year voting. He batted .443 with 47 RBI, nine doubles and 16 home runs.
Christian Walker, Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic (Norristown, Pa.), Sr, Utility
The Philadelphia Daily News player of the year, Walker batted .588 with 25 RBI, eight doubles, five triples and two home runs. Although signed to play at South Carolina, Walker was also chosen in the 49th round of the MLB draft by the Dodgers. In January, Walker beat out the likes of Las Vegas’ Bryce Harper and Lamar Consolidated’s Randall Grichuk to win the Power Showcase Home Run Derby.
Andrew Rich, Washington (Easton, Calif.), Sr, Utility
Rich was named the Fresno Bee’s Player of the Year after earning MVP honors in the North Sequoia League for the third straight season. According to the Bee, Rich won 36 games in his career and had 180 career hits. As a senior, he batted .474 with 23 RBI, 14 doubles and three home runs. He was also 10-1 on the mound with 62 strikeouts and a 2.04 ERA in 75.2 innings pitched.
Clint Moseley, Leroy (Ala.), Sr, Utility
Moseley led Leroy to three state championships in football and two in baseball during his storied career. A second-team all-state choice by the Birmingham News, Moseley batted .453 with 53 RBI, 13 doubles and 11 home runs. The state player of the year in football, Moseley will play quarterback at Auburn next year.
Mike Radvansky, Toronto (Ohio), Sr, Utility
The Division IV state player of the year in Ohio, Radvansky was one of the more dominant players in the state regardless of school size. He was 12-0 on the mound with a 1.42 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 79 innings pitched. He also batted .472 with 11 doubles and 55 RBI.
For the purposes of compiling this team, MaxPreps defines the following state divisions as small schools:
Alabama 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A; Arizona 2A, 1A; Arkansas 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A; California – Northern Section Div. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; North Coast Section Div. 1A, 1B; Sac-Joaquin Section Div. 5, 6, 7; Central Section Div. 4, 5; Southern Section Div. 5, 6, 7; San Diego Section Div. 4; Colorado 3A, 2A, 1A; Connecticut M, S; Delaware Div. 2; Florida 2A, 1A; Georgia 2A, 1A; Idaho 3A, 2A, 1A; Illinois 2A, 1A; Indiana 2A, 1A; Iowa 2A, 1A, A; Kansas 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A; Kentucky 3A, 2A, 1A; Louisiana 3A, 2A, 1A, B, C; Maryland A; Massachusetts Div. 3; Maine B, C, D; Michigan Div. 4; Minnesota A; Mississippi 3A, 2A, 1A; Missouri Class 2, 1; Nebraska B; Nevada Class 2A, 1A; New Hampshire Class S; New Jersey Public Group 1; New Mexico 3A, 2A, 1A; New York B, C, D; North Carolina 1A; North Dakota B; Ohio Div. 3, 4; Oklahoma 3A, 2A, 1A, B; Oregon 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A; Pennsylvania 2A, 1A; Rhode Island Div. 2; South Carolina 2A, 1A; Tennessee 1A; Texas 2A, 1A; Utah 2A, 1A; Vermont Div. 2, 3, 4; Virginia A; Washington 1A, 2B, 1B; West Virginia 2A, 1A; Wisconsin Div. 3, 4.
MORE ALL-AMERICAN BASEBALL COVERAGE
Medium School All-American Team / All-American Team