SportStars Magazine

Baseball Preview 2018: 20 Players To Watch

Prior To The 2018 Season, SportStars Highlights 20 NorCal Players To Keep An Eye On

Click here to see our 20 Softball Players To Watch.

PITCHERS

Ryan McLaughlin

Titus Groenweg (Wood-Vacaville), Sr. — The CSU Fullerton-bound left-hander earned All- State honors and an Area Code Games invite after posting an 11-1 record, 0.46 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 75.1 innings.

Sam Liang (Miramonte-Orinda), Sr. — Tim Tague earned most of the headlines, but Sam Liang was awful good in his own right for the Matadors, nishing 9-1 with 1.33 ERA while also hitting .387.

Ryan McLaughlin (Drake-San Anselmo), Sr. — Marin County Athletic League Player of the Year and winning pitcher in the NCS Div. III nal, McLaughlin nished 9-1 with an 0.45 ERA.

Bret Soulages (San Ramon Valley-Danville), Sr. — Why is he ticketed for national-power Oregon State? Quite simply: he misses bats. He allowed just 24 hits in 206 opponent plate appearances.

Patrick Wicklander (Valley Christian-San Jose), Sr. — Dominant lefty went 8-1 for the CCS Open Div. champions. He posted a 1.92 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 80.1 innings.

CATCHERS

Austin Elder (De La Salle-Concord), Sr. — Signed to CSU Northridge, Elder was a constant for the NCS Div. I champion Spartans a year ago. He hit .301 with 24 RBI and also threw out 7 of 9 attempted base thieves.

Albert Hsiao (Leland-San Jose), Sr. — The Washington-bound Hsiao was named All-State Underclass by Cal-Hi Sports after batting .506 with eight HR and 29 RBI last season.

INFIELDERS

Christian Almanza (St. Mary’s-Stockton), Sr. — The Utah-signed 1B is among the most skilled hitters in the SJS. He batted .467 on 42 hits with 27 runs, 27 RBI and 16 doubles.

Tanner Carlson (Elk Grove), Sr. (pictured at top)— Son of Thundering Herd coach Jeff Carlson had 31 hits, 24 runs and 18 RBI for the 2017 SJS Div. I champs. He’s signed to Long Beach State.

Jack Filby (McClatchy-Sacramento), Sr. — Bound for UCLA, Filby hit .427 with 32 hits and 33 runs scored. He also had 15 RBI and was selected to compete in the Area Code Games.

Osiris Johnson (Encinal-Alameda), Sr. — Potentially the best in elder to come out of the program since Jimmy Rollins. In 25 games, Johnson hit .481 on 38 hits and added 33 runs, 20 stolen bases and 27 RBI.

Max Jung-Goldberg (Palo Alto), Sr. — Helped Vikings post a 25-7 record by batting .394 with
39 hits, 27 runs and nine doubles.

Nick Marinconz (Valley Christian-San Jose), Jr. — He enjoyed a breakout sophomore season in 2017 with a team-best 48 hits (.414) with 23 runs, 22 RBI and 12 doubles.

A.J. Miller (Casa Grande-Petaluma), Sr. — Oregon landed Miller not long after his junior season in which he hit .370 with 32 RBI on 30 hits. He also had 22 runs scored.

OUTFIELDERS

Michael Dixon (Berkeley), Jr. – Dixon was named MaxPreps.com Underclass All-Amecican last season. His line on the season included batting .358 with eight HR and 28 RBI.

Andrew Howard (Monte Vista-Danville), Sr. — He hit .330 with 32 hits and a team-best 30 RBI for the NCS Div. I runners-up (to De La Salle).

Ryan Holgate (Davis), Sr. — The Arizona-bound OF/P hit .371 on 36 hits and added 25 runs scored and 31 RBI. He also boasted a 2.07 ERA and led the team with seven pitching wins.

UTILITY

Jake Jordan

Brett Hansen (Foothill-Pleasanton), Sr. — Stanford-bound P/1B was a two-way force for the Falcons in 2017. He hit .321 with 25 hits, 11 runs and team-best 26 RBI. On the bump he was 7-1 with a 1.38 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 61 innings.

Jake Jordan (Elk Grove), Sr. — An OF/IF/RHP signed to UC Davis, Jordan does it all. He hit .360 with 32 hits, 20 runs and 26 RBI last season while going 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA on the hill.

Sam Stoutenborough (Palma-Salinas), Sr. — Palma’s two-way star is signed to Cal after hitting .373 with 31 hits and 27 RBI a year ago. As a pitcher, he was 9-1 with a 0.61 ERA.

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