Watch MLB online - Click here to Sign up for MLB.tv!


Teams > High School

Go Here For Player of the Week
Prep_Profile

DAVIS' DECISION:
ELK GROVE PREP STAR CONFIRMS NEXT YEAR HE'LL PLAY
FOR CAL STATE FULLERTON TITANS--PASSES ON RAYS

by Editor, Rick Cabral 08/12/11 

 JDDavis

J.D. Davis, a four-year starter at Elk Grove and one of the finest high school baseballplayers to come out of the greater Sacramento area in a long time, has declined an offer to play professionally with the Tampa Bay Rays and confirmed he will accept a scholarship to Cal State Fullerton, it was learned today.

In the June Major League First-Year Player Draft, Davis was drafted in the fifth round by Tampa Bay.

Later that month, the Davis' were surprised to learn that Fullerton State head coach Dave Serrano had announced he was leaving for University of Tennessee. The Fullerton vacancy immediately set off a competition for one of college baseball's most sought-after head coaching positions. It also created a brief window of anxiety among Titan recruits.

That was addressed when Fullerton State quickly announced it had tabbed UCLA assistant coach Rick Vanderhook to take the Titans back to the College World Series, something of a tradition on the southern California campus.

For Vanderhook, the job represents a return home. He played there under now-legendary head coach Augie Garrido, and served as an assistant under several different coaches, including Garrido, George Horton (the last to win a CWS at Fullerton State in 2004), and Serrano. 

 Davis_PPB
J.D. Davis at the plate for ProPlayersBaseball Collegiate squad this summer.

Meantime this summer Davisplayed for Ryan Royster's ProPlayerBaseballcollegiate team while weighing his options. Davis mashed at a .427 average with 16 doubles, four home runs and 20 RBI in 75 at bats for a 1.277 OPS (Royster is a graduate of McClatchy and UC Davis, and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners).

One of Davis' teammates was Austin Diemer  (Rocklin High), who also has a scholarship offer from Fullerton State and was drafted in the 26th Round this year by the Cleveland Indians.

Of all the years to be chosen by the Rays, Davis had the misfortune of being picked in 2011 when Tampa had an inordinately large number of picks, including three in the first round, seven in the first supplemental round, and two more in the second round for a total of 12 draft picks in the first two rounds. Of those, the team has signed seven of the selections well before the August 15 deadline when many deals are expected to culminate, based on past year's performance.

In late July, J.D. Davis summed up the Rays' challenge this way: "They know they have to go crazy (in bonus money) for me to walk away from Fullerton." As the 180th pick, Davis' bonus slot set by the Commissioner is $130,900.

Coach Vanderhook made a personal visit to the Davis household last week, a stay that included dinner and a frank discussion about JD's playing possibilities in 2012 on the Fullerton campus. Vanderhook assured the all-star high school player he would get his opportunities to start, but would have to earn his playing time.

Davis selected Fullerton over several other California schools because originally Serrano, and then later Vanderhook, agreed to allow him to both pitch and play a corner infield position.

After Vanderhook departed the Davis home, J.D. announced to his family he had made his decision: "I'm going to Fullerton." His father Greg Davis reminded him that negotiations were still ongoing with Tampa Bay and there was the possibility the Rays could come in with a "crazy" offer. But the 6'2" 215 pound righthanded slugger affirmed his desire to play collegiately where he hopes to lead to the Titans to the College World Series. It appears now he'll have three chances at college baseball's brass ring before the pros can draft him again.

Since 1975, Cal State Fullerton has made 16 appearances at the College World Series and won the crown four times. Only Southern California (12), Louisiana State (6), Texas (6), and Arizona State (5) have won more college baseball championships (Miami also has earned four). The Titans are eighth all-time with 34 wins at the CWS for a .514 winning percentage. On the West Coast only Southern California (74) and Stanford (40) have more wins.

Davis earned this baseball bounty by being named the Most Valuable Player by both BaseballSacramento.com and the Sacramento Bee in 2011. Cal-Hi Sports named Davis its Junior Baseball Player of the Year in 2010, and this year selected him to its All-State team as a multi-purpose player.

For a complete rundown of his 2011 high school statistics, view J.D. Davis' page on the 2011 All-Capitol Team.  

 

ONE FOR THE AGES:

Bradshaw Christian's Brady Dragmire
Pitches Pride to D-6 Championship

By Mark McDermott 05/30/11 

When Bradshaw Christian High School recorded the final out in its 15-2 Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI baseball championship victory over the Delta Saints at Sacramento City College on Monday, the legendary career of Brady Dragmire came to an end.  

What Dragmire accomplished for the Pride during his four-year career is mind boggling. 

Headed to the University of Nevada this fall on a baseball scholarship, he not only excelled on the ball field but was a bruising running back in football and a double-digit scoring guard in basketball.  

Playing three sports for the Pride from 2008-11, Dragmire was part of 187 victories, seven section finals and five section titles. The Pride won the D-VII football crown in 2008 and D-VI in 2009, a D-V basketball title in 2009 and baseball championships the past two years. 

On Monday against Delta (16-8), Dragmire (5-2) pitched a four-hit, eight-strikeout complete game, went 2-for-2 with a double, drove in a run, scored four runs and stole two bases. In 2010, the Pride won their first baseball championship when Dragmire threw a complete game in beating Valley Christian 4-2 in the D-7 final.

 

Dragmire_Delivers

Pride pitcher Brady Dragmire Fired fast balls in the low '90s to Delta Saints hitters in the D-6 Championship game today at Sacramento City College. 



The 6-foot, 180-pounder is the true definition of a three-sport start. In the 2010-11 sports season, he ran for 2,019 and 33 touchdowns for the 11-2 section runner-up football team, averaged 10.7 points for the 22-9 basketball team and hit .532 for the 23-8 baseball team. 

When college football recruiters came knocking last fall, Dragmire made it clear his future was in baseball. With scholarship offers from Long Beach State, Miami, Sacramento State, Nevada and CSU-Fullerton, Dragmire, who plays shortstop when not pitching, committed early and said the best fit for him was Nevada. 

“Brady Dragmire sends the message that you can be an athlete and still go to a small school and earn a major college scholarship,” Bradshaw Christian baseball coach Drew Rickert said. “If you’re good, they’re going to find you. Because in the end, it all boils down to how well you play the game. And, he plays the game pretty well." 

With scholarship in hand, Dragmire awaits the Major League Baseball free agent draft beginning June 6. 

“I’ll wait for the draft, see whether I get drafted high enough to take me away from school and then decide what to do,” said the right-handed Dragmire, who has been contacted by a dozen teams.  

Dragmire is a breath of fresh air at a time when so many high school athletes at smaller schools transfer to a larger school seeking better exposure in their respective sport. Because of the kind of student-athlete he is, once Dragmire made his decision Rickert wasn’t worried his star would leave.

 

 

Finnerty_Dragmire

Brady Dragmire poses for a post-Championship game photograph
with Mike Finnerty (left) of the Surewest Sports Show.



“When you come to Bradshaw Christian you’re in an enjoyable atmosphere and receive a quality education,” Rickert said of his school which has an enrollment of 225 students. “Academically, we’re the best around. Students can have fun and don’t have to be 15-year-old adults.”

Dragmire agreed. 

“When I was in the eighth grade I considered going to Christian Brothers, but my parents and I decided Bradshaw Christian was best for me,” Dragmire said. “Never once during my entire stay did I ever have a thought about leaving.” 

“He has the right makeup,” said Bradshaw assistant coach Greg Vaughn, a 14-year major league veteran and four-time All-Star out of Kennedy High. “He can play anywhere and against anyone.” 

Vaughn, who hit 355 career home runs, said Dragmire’s strength is his arm, one that can throw a ball consistently at 90 miles-an-hour and as high as 93. 

 

 Vaughn_BC

Bradshaw Christian assistant coach Greg Vaughn looks on while the Pride go through pre-game warmups. He's high on Dragmire's pro potential, likening him to a young Chris Bosio.



“He reminds me of a young Chris Bosio with a bit more velocity,” Vaughn said. “He’s mean out there on the mound and has a will not to lose. He’s power with movement. I see a great opportunity for him to get to the highest level. All he has to do is make adjustments, stay humble, work hard and persevere.” 

Bosio is a Cordova High and Sacramento City College product who won 94 games with a 1,059 strikeouts in 10 big league seasons for the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers from 1986-96. In 1993, he pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox. Bosio is currently an advance scout for the Brewers. 

Monday’s championship game at Sacramento City College was not played well. In all honesty, it was ugly. There were eight errors, seven hit batters and seven passed balls. Dragmire was hit by a pitch twice, once in the head. He also made two throwing errors trying to pick runners off first base. 

The Pride’s Ron Henry went 3-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in, Austin Ragsdale had two hits in four at-bats and Logan Schaurer and Jake Adkins each had two-run singles. 

When Rickert was asked what Dragmire has meant to the Pride program, he said: 

“What Brady leaves us is the memory of how to work hard, practice hard and play hard. All the things that make you better.”  




ANTELOPE TITANS FOR REAL
By Mark McDermott 04/15/11 

Tonight, the Antelope High School baseball team faces a defining moment in the history of its youthful program.

Antelope_logo

Can the Titans, with an enrollment of 1,676 students and in only their second season of varsity competition, move up in class and play with the big boys? 

The answer will come on the grand stage of Raley Field when the Capital Athletic League representative and No. 10-ranked Titans (14-1) from Division III and riding an 11-game winning streak face the No. 2-ranked and Division II powerhouse Granite Bay Grizzlies (9-3-1) of the Sierra Foothill League. Game time is 6 p.m. 

Senior right-handed pitcher Kyle Tibbett believes the Titans can play with Granite Bay. 

“This is the biggest game of my life,” said Tibbett (5-1), who will start tonight against the Grizzlies. “Beating Granite Bay would really get our school’s name out there.” 

Tibbett knows there are skeptics out there who believe the Titans don’t deserve to be in the rankings because they haven’t played any of the area's established top-flight teams. However, he is quick to disagree. 

“I admit some of the teams we’ve beaten aren’t the greatest,” said Tibbett, who has a 4.6 GPA and takes AP and Honor classes. “But the quality of our opponent shouldn’t take away from what we can do. We execute and play a very good brand of baseball. We are a very good baseball team.” 

Titans’ senior center fielder and leadoff hitter Michael Gassaway looks forward to tonight’s game and sees the confrontation as an opportunity his team has earned. 

“We’ve worked hard to get a chance to play a top-rated team,” Gassaway said. “We deserve to play Granite Bay and to play at Raley Field.” 

Senior infielder Cory Moore said the Titans “have something to prove to the whole section.” 

 Antelope

Front Row (left to right): Andrew Mitchell, Steve Mercado Jr., Bryan Boyce, Robert Contreras, Kyle Tibbett, Bryan Babcock. Back Row (left to right): Assistant coach Steve Mercado Sr., Brandon Bourgeous, Kyle Spackman, Dakota Amstutz, Michael Gassaway, Eric Sandness, Cory Moore, Tyler Winston, Wyatt Castro, assistant coach Dino Quintero, head coach Javier Valdivia. Team photo provided by Sonya Gassaway-Duggins.


The game would never have come to fruition had it not been for the efforts of the Sacramento River Cats High School Series program which invites high schools to compete and enjoy playing in the professional atmosphere of Raley Field and the agreement by Granite Bay coach Pat Esposito to participate. Antelope coach
 Javier Valdivia is thankful for his team’s the opportunity. 

“The toughest thing to do as a new school is to find nonleague games against top-flight competition,” he said. “To be a successful program you need to play those good teams. We have a lot of respect for Granite Bay. We know they are good. Having them on our schedule is a huge plus. And, playing at Raley Field will be lifetime experience for our players.” 

Valdivia believes the 2011 Antelope team is special. 

“This team has been together since the school doors opened in 2009,” said Valdivia, whose team is playing with its first senior class. “They’ve also spent two entire summers together. Even now, they spend more with each other than they do with their own families.” 

Tibbett, Gassaway and Moore--three of the four Titans’ seniors--each echoed the same sentiments. Get along right away or be doomed to failure. 

“The short time we’ve been together has forced us to mesh quickly,” said Tibbett, who plans to continue his education and baseball career at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. “When you think about it, the guys on the team are the only people we know. We’re a team that’s got each other’s back and helps one another whenever someone needs it. We are family.” 

Gassaway said getting along and staying focused has been the key to the Titans’ success. 

“I’ve never been on a team like this,” said the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder. “Everyone gets along, works hard and pushes each other to do their best. And, our senior leaders on the team know what has to be done to accomplish our goals. So, we push the team harder and harder each day to reach that goal. We want to make the playoffs for the first time and win the section title.” 

The glue that holds the Antelope team together is the 38-year-old Valdivia who instilled a work ethic and fundamental philosophy that caught on quickly. 

“Coach knows how each one of us ticks,” Tibbett said. “He treats people in a way that brings out the best in each one of us. He stresses that a team doesn’t revolve around any one player. He expects us all to contribute.” 

Valdivia came to Antelope from Woodland High School. In his three-year stint at Woodland (2006-08), he compiled a 75-15 record and won a SFL title that first year after taking over for Rob Rinaldi who is now at Pleasant Grove. The 2006 Wolves team went 28-2 and won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Championship. Ironically, the only blemish on the Titans record this year is a 6-3 loss to Woodland. 

In Antelope’s initial season, Valdivia’s squad won the Capital Valley Conference junior varsity title with a 22-3 record. The Titans, in their first varsity season in 2010, were an impressive 21-7 and finished fourth in the CVC. In BaseballSacramento.com’s inaugural 2011 Dandy Dozen rankings, the Titans were tabbed the potential “Sleeper Team of the Year.” 

At 14-1, the "Sleeper Team of the Year" moniker no longer applies. These Titans are for real.

Uploaded 04/15/11

 

ELK GROVE'S J.D. Davis

Great Player, Leader and Teammate  

 by Editor Rick Cabral

T op echelon high school baseball players surface sparingly, but this region seems to enjoy unlimited bounty. Two years ago, it was Max Stassi of Yuba City (a two-time Bee Player of the Year and rising rapidly in the A's organization) and last year it was Jake Rodriguez of Elk Grove (Oregon State starter). Both were four-year varsity players. 

Davis_POW

This season, that player unquestionably is J. D. Davis, senior pitcher/infielder from Elk Grove High School, who shot to the front of the class with an outstanding playoff performance in 2010. 

Entering the Division I playoffs last season, Elk Grove was the Bee's top-rated team in the Sacramento region with a 24-3-1 record. But then Pleasant Grove applied a 12-0 beat down, sending the Herd to the loser's bracket. Jeff Carlson's gritty club clawed back to the final round and earned to right to face a fresh, unbeaten Jesuit team that would send out the area's premium power pitcher, Dan Child. Elk Grove would counter with their power pitcher, Davis, placing the young man on the biggest stage of his career. 

The day before, Carlson had told the strapping junior that the team was depending on him, especially since Rodriguez had been slumping at the plate. Davis' arm was tired after so much work from late season action and the playoffs. That night he went for a run around the neighborhood to loosen his muscles, and his mother applied Ben Gay to his pitching arm.  

Davis was rarin' to pitch against the two-time Section champions, Jesuit. Slated to face them in the 2009 playoffs, Elk Grove was prematurely eliminated, forestalling the Marauders matchup until the 2010 playoffs. Before that game, Davis went into the bullpen alone to focus on sage advice he'd gleaned from his father ("Remember, it's just a game,") and Carlson ("If you play your game, no one can beat you"). Davis came out of the bullpen brimming with confidence, and quickly found all three of his pitches working (fastball hits low 90s, knuckle curve and circle change). 

Early in the game, he hit two monster solo shots off Child (one estimated at 425 feet) setting the tone. Rodriguez also broke out of his slump at the perfect time, and while Davis dominated Jesuit on the mound, Elk Grove won 4-1. "That was the greatest game I ever played," Davis admits.  

"No doubt about it, he has the physical tools, but mentally he's very calm and doesn't get rattled," Carlson says about his star player's ability to pitch in crucial situations. 

 Davis_mound
  J. D. Davis normally dominates on the mound, but gave up 5 runs to Franklin in this league contest.

Later that evening in the North Championship elimination game, Elk Grove rolled over a disheartened Marauders squad 11-0 sending them to the Division 1 Section Championship (where they lost to St. Mary's of Stockton). In the two games against Jesuit, Davis had gone 4 for 7, with 2 home runs and 4 RBI and a pitching performance that solidified his legend in the local playoff history. 

In late June, when Cal-Hi Sports announced their annual awards, Davis learned from a friend's dad that he had been selected as the Junior State Player of the Year. "I couldn't believe it. Like, out of all the (juniors) in Cal I (was selected)?" he says, awestruck. Davis figures his 60 RBI for the season, second most in Sac-Joaquin Section history (behind Grant's Lo Novey, 1990), helped his cause. 

As Cal-Hi Editor Mark Tennis wrote: "Davis put up numbers that were spectacular. On the mound, he went 10-1 with a 1.99 ERA and struck out 91 batters in 67 innings. At the plate, he led the Thundering Herd with 62 RBIs (sic, this error was reprinted from a Sacramento Bee story). He also batted .483 with 30 runs scored and eight homers." Ironically, Cal-Hi's Junior Player of the Year for 2009 was Davis' teammate, Jake Rodriguez. 


About one week after his Cal-Hi selection, Davis began to see just how much his legend had grown. On July 1—the first day colleges can offer scholarships to incoming high school seniors—his phone started ringing early in the morning, and didn't stop until late at night. Schools up and down the West Coast expressed serious interest in the 6'3", 225 pound player. Eventually, he was offered scholarships to Oregon, Cal, Santa Clara, Sac State and other colleges. But when Fullerton State called with an offer, J.D. quickly made up his mind.  

As a boy growing up in the Los Angeles area, Fullerton's games were often on television. At a young age J.D. told his father Greg Davis that he was going to play baseball for the pinstriped-Titan team. The older Davis noted that if Titans' tradition held to form, J.D. would have an excellent chance of playing in the College World Series.  

"That's one of the reasons why (I chose Fullerton). I want to go to Omaha," says a wide-eyed J.D. Davis.  

Jared Deacon, a former Elk Grove High catcher who is redshirting his freshman year at Fullerton State, helped seal the deal with a positive evaluation of Dave Serrano and his coaching staff, facilities and fan support. Coach Serrano has told Davis he will be used primarily as a corner infielder, with pitching being his secondary role.  


Last summer, J.D. played his third season for the ultimate travel-ball team, the El Dorado Hills Vipers, whose Connie Mack roster looks like a Sacramento-area high school All-Star team. When the Vipers traveled to Goodyear, Arizona (spring training complex for the Indians and Reds) to play in the 56-team Perfect Game/EvoShield National Championship (Upper Class), Davis once again rose to the challenge.  

"We came in confident. We had a bunch of pitching," J.D. remembers.  

The Vipers tied its first game, then won their next four, including a game where Davis pitched six innings of shutout ball. In the semi-final game, he hit a walk-off home run to send the Vipers to the championship game against the SoCal Outlaws. McClatchy's Max Cordy was tabbed to pitch. Before the game he confided to Davis his arm was sore from so much work over the summer. J.D. admitted he, too, was also feeling it, especially the searing desert heat. He told Cordy "'Gut it out. Give us four or five innings.'" Cordy did. 

"(Max) pitched his butt off that day, and because of it, we won (9-4), and he got pitcher of the tournament," Davis says. J.D. was voted the tournament's Offensive Player, going 12 for 20 at the plate, with seven doubles and the home run.  

That fall, Davis (and Cordy) reunited to play on the Rockies' Scout Team, coached by Gary Wilson. The former big league pitcher is high on Davis' future. "T he thing that sticks out to me is that (J.D.) is one of the most competitive kids I have been around," Wilson says in a text message. "Not only are you getting a power bat and power arm, but he is a smart player who knows the ins and outs of the game. He is not scared to succeed."

 


Coming into his senior season in 2011, Davis has attracted big-time attention from the local area scouts, who are mixed over which position he will ultimately play as a professional. One Sacramento area scout wrote, "I like his power with the bat more than anything else (about his game)." Another scout, who requested anonymity, took a different view, "(Davis is a) pretty good player. He's good enough to be a big league third baseman someday." (EDITOR'S NOTE: Scouts are discouraged, and in some cases banned, by their head office from talking to the media, prompting a swath of anonymous comments.)

Davis has been told that his body-type reminds scouts of Troy Tulowitzski, the tall shortstop for the Colorado Rockies. Which position does he prefer? "I'm totally an infielder," Davis concedes. "But I'll pitch to help out the team. I love doing both, honestly. That's why I like (the chance to play at) Fullerton, because they want me to do both."  

Hearing that J.D. could be a high-draft pick, his parents sought out Quinn Gregory, a licensed sports agent with California Sports Management (CSM) to guide them through the pre-draft process. As an "advisor," Gregory has no formal commitment with Davis (amateur players who sign an agreement with a sports agent, forfeit their collegiate eligibility). Gregory gladly provides the free advice hoping that if the Elk Grove star is drafted, the Davis family will select CSM to represent their son. 

Gregory, who also coaches the Jesuit High freshmen, played college ball at Sacramento State for three years (1987-89), which came in second in the 1988 Division II World Series. Today, the Sacramento-based CSM represents several pro players, and advises some local college players, including Sacramento City's Justin James, son of former pro, Dion James (McClatchy and #26 on the All-Time Top 50 list). 


Elk Grove High is a young team this year, concedes Carlson and the head coach points to Davis' four-year varsity leadership as a major influence on the club. "He's a great worker—as are all those other guys who have come through here and gone on to the next level. J.D.'s continuing to develop and has done a great job for us." 

Entering his junior year, Davis also played quarterback in football. But a leg fracture sent him to the sideline, where he focused on weight-lifting and core training. The result: he added fifty pounds to his large frame, dramatically increasing muscle mass and strength (he laughs at the suggestion of rivals that he's done it with steroids). 

Through 11 games this year, J. D. Davis is hitting .529 with five doubles, one triple, four home runs and 15 RBI (from 2008-2010, he compiled a .423 average with 20 doubles, four triples and 10 home runs). Over 22 innings pitched this year, he has a 2-1-1 record and a 2.55 ERA, allowing 21 hits and 10 walks with 31 strike outs. The one area that could use improvement is his defense at third base, where he currently sports a .920 fielding percentage. 

 

 Davis_swings

J. D. Davis rips at a pitch from Franklin's Jordan Johnson in a league game.
The slugger is hitting over .500 for the season.



Asked to describe the winning ethos in Elk Grove baseball, Davis credits Carlson with creating a "family atmosphere" around the clubhouse and on the diamond. He also admits that the head coach "is kind of a second dad to all of us. We would rather get yelled at by our dads, than him," the teenager laughs. Carlson has led the nationally-recognized Elk Grove program for 11 years and was an assistant for three prior years. (In 2010, the Herd was ranked as high as #16 in the nation by Baseball America until they lost to St. Mary's in the Section Championship series.) 

Davis also likes to recite another Carlson mantra drilled into the Herd players: "Never give up until the final out." 

The team exemplified that belief twice last week in come-from-behind wins against league rivals Franklin and Davis High. In the Franklin game, J.D. was touched for five runs in five innings pitched, and by the bottom of the seventh the Herd trailed 7-5. With two outs, they loaded the bases for Davis, who skied a towering fly down the left field line that dropped safely and scored all three runners to win the game, 8-7.  

The following Friday in Davis, the Herd trailed 8-1 and (again) with two outs in the seventh, Elk Grove scored 10 runs to take the lead. Ironically, J.D. failed to get a hit in that game, but he closed it for another Elk Grove win. Reminded that his hitless performance would drop his batting average below the hallowed .500 mark, Davis easily brushed it aside, saying "The team won. That's what counts." The Herd currently leads the Delta Valley standings and is the #3-ranked team in the Dandy Dozen. 

In his final year, Davis' goal is to be a model teammate for the club's impressionable younger players, emulating his big-league idol, Derek Jeter. He hopes to lead Elk Grove to another Delta Valley Conference title, and claim the ultimate team prize: a Sac-Joaquin D-1 Section title, which has eluded the Herd since 2007. 

Don't count out Elk Grove's Comeback Kids. Not when they're led by J.D. Davis. 

#  #  #  #

Cordy Leads Lions on Playoff Quest
by Editor, Rick Cabral


"McClatchy's back!" senior Max Cordy says enthusiastically about the school's baseball program.

He's fresh off a no-hitter last week against Rio Americano and the Lions are a perfect 5-0. For its reward, McClatchy jumped into Baseball Sacramento.com's Dandy Dozen for the first time this week.  Max was selected as this site's first ever "Player of the Week."

 Max_Cordy_McClatchy

To top it off, last week he was named Honorable Mention to the Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason All-American Team (Only Elk Grove's J.D. Davis, who made 2nd Team, was ranked higher among local players). 

Plus, Cordy's stoked about pitching against another top-ranked opponent this afternoon at home against Pleasant Grove. 

"He continues to impress me with each start," McClatchy head coach Mike de Necochea said in an email. "While his fastball and slider have been electric, I'm most impressed with his leadership and maturity. He is an excellent student and works very hard in the classroom and on the field."  


Cordy's rise to the elite echelon of Sacramento players may have come as a surprise to area coaches and teams. Last year as a junior, he tossed only 19 innings in just seven appearances, posting a 2-2 mark with more walks than Ks (21/19). And he only hit .222 over the season. He admits his stats were "lousy." 

A 6-3 senior, Max points out that before last year he hadn't pitched much. To start the summer, he returned for a second season with the El Dorado Hills Vipers, an elite travel ball team. The Big Hoss on that club was Davis of Elk Grove High, who came off a strong showing in the NorCal Division I playoffs, and was touted as one of California's top high school juniors. Through the Vipers' season, Cordy was used mostly in relief. But beginning with the Perfect Game/Evoshield National Championship (Upperclass) tournament in Arizona, he was promoted to starting pitcher and the Vipers ran through the playoffs.  

In the championship game, Cordy fought through arm fatigue and won a 9-4 decision. He was selected the Most Valuable Pitcher in the Tournament. Davis, meanwhile, earned MVP honors going 12-20 with 7 doubles and a game winning home run, while also pitching six scoreless and striking out 10.  

After the championship victory, Max remembers, teammates celebrated in a fairly low key style, not completely understanding what they had just accomplished. The coach reminded them, "Hey, you guys just won a national championship."  

"I didn't really think anything of it," Cordy says, "until they started (sizing) our hands for ring sizes."

EDH_Vipers

The Vipers passed on their chance to compete in the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, Florida due to travel costs.



From Arizona, Cordy went directly to playing for the Rockies Scout Team in the fall of 2010, competing against other Northern California teams managed by area scouts. Max credits Rockies' scout Gary Wilson with helping him work on his mechanics last year. "(Max) has room to improve his breaking ball, but has a good sinking fastball and feel for a change up," Wilson says. "He has tremendous upside and is also an excellent young man."

Starting the 2011 high school season, Cordy felt ready to get back against Rio Americano, an early season Dandy Dozen pick by B/S. He felt charged to avenge last season's no-hit loss to the Raiders. "I really wanted to get them." 

When Cordy went to the mound at Rio Americano, he admits to not feeling comfortable. Although he doesn't want to trash Rio's facilities, the visitor's bullpen, he claims "isn't a bullpen—it's just a big pile of dirt." So he didn't go through a normal warm-up routine. Instead, he played flat level catch to get loose. When he went out to the mound in the first inning, he faced another surprise: the varsity pitching mound felt much higher than McClatchy's. "Because it's so steep," Cordy expected his first few throws to land in the dirt while making the adjustment.  

Although he'd been staked to a 5-0 lead, Cordy admits he wasn't sharp in the early frames, walking a couple of batters while two others reached by errors. Eventually, he got in a groove when his slider started working. As the game went on he got stronger and more comfortable out on the big bump, striking out 10 batters. 

When the game had ended, and McClatchy claimed a 7-0 victory, the team ran out for the traditional postgame debriefing. Catcher Hunter Carolan asked him, "Where's the game ball? You know you just threw a no-hitter." Cordy countered, "No, dude, that close play at first was a hit." But his coaches informed him that he was mistaken and that Max had tossed a no-no (Ironically, two other local pitchers that afternoon pitched 7 or more innings of no-hit ball, but neither got the victory).

Amazingly, the Rio contest was the first no-hit game Cordy had ever thrown, even dating back to his Pocket Little League days. "It was really cool," he says. 

Looking to next year, the 6'3" Cordy has verbally committed to UC Davis and is excited about playing for the Aggies against quality Big West competition. The future genetics major also hopes to show Pac-10 recruiters they missed an opportunity to select him. As a result, he says he plays with a chip on his shoulder.

Meantime, Max Cordy is excited about McClatchy's chances of winning the Metro League crown and advancing through the playoffs. With fellow pitcher senior Dennis Fennessey and he forming a formidable one-two pitching punch, Cordy likes their chances. Plus, he says the team is vastly improved on defense, with a new crop of players up from McClatchy's junior varsity. Finally, he credits catcher Ken Nishimura with being a solid starting backstop, who has instilled trust in the pitching staff. 

Looking ahead to today's matchup against powerful Pleasant Grove, Cordy plans "to just go out and throw strikes, and see if they can hit it. I know they're a good hitting team, but the good thing about playing here (at McClatchy): we have no fences." 

He's hoping another standout pitching performance, coupled with the Lions' improved defense, will result in one more victory against a quality opponent. "We look forward to these 'test days,'" Cordy says of contests against talented squads such as Pleasant Grove. 

 #  #  #  #

 

P L A Y E R
OF THE WEEK
 

 Week of May 09, 2011  

 

Dellaserra



David Dellaserra
 

Bella Vista

 

Junior   

Pitcher/Infielder 

Dellaserra tossed a three-hit gem last Monday to propel the Broncos into first place in the Capital Valley League race. In shutting out Casa Roble, he raised his record to 5-1 with two saves and a 1.06 ERA. He also doubled and drove in three runs. Two days later against Oakmont, he had a double, home run and four runs batted in. For the week, Dellaserra was 5-for-10 with two doubles, a triple and a home run, his fifth on the season, and had eight RBI.

Other Candidates:


Tyler Evanoff, Senior, Ponderosa –had hits in all three Delta River League games, extended his hitting to streak to 25 games, dating back to last year. He's had a least one hit and scored at least one run hit all 24 games this year.

Robert Daugherty, Sophomore, Pioneer –The lefthander struck out 15 batters and had two hits in a Tri-County Conference victory over Woodland.

Week of May 02, 2011 

Tellez_EG



Ryan Tellez

 

Elk Grove

Sophomore
 
Pitcher/
First Base
 

 

 

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound lefthanded hitter pounded Delta Valley Conference pitching last week going 9-for-11 with a double, three home runs and nine runs batted in. He also pitched a complete game and beat league rival #5 Franklin.

Other Candidates:

Tyler Olson, Senior, Yuba City—In three games against Woodland went 7-for-10 with three doubles, a homer and 10 RBI. Also pitched a complete game and won, striking out eight.

Alec Miramontes, Senior, Davis—pitched his second consecutive shutout, a two-hitter against Laguna Creek. He is 3-0 with a 0.65 ERA and hasn't yielded an earned run since March 11, a span of 27 and a third innings.

Andrew Prizmich, Junior, Delta—went 6-for-13 with two doubles, a homer, scored 10 runs and drove in nine runs. Also went 1-0 on the mound.

Nate Esposito, Senior, Granite Bay—went 5-for-11 with a triple and home run and nine RBI in a three-game sweep of Del Oro.



Week of April 25, 2011
 

Hunley_Brandon_CBS



Brandon Hunley

 

Christian Bros.


Freshman 

 
Shortstop 

 

 

 


In last week's Land Park Easter Tournament, the freshman went 8 for 16 with seven RBI, two doubles and led Brothers to a championship with 4 wins. He is leading the Falcons in hitting with a .390 average and 19 RBI.

 

Other Candidates:


Tyler Glenn, Galt, Senior:
8x14, 7 RBI, 2b, 3b and threw out three CBS base stealers in the LP Easter Tournament championship game.
 
Chris Gnos, Davis, Junior:
8x16, 9 RBI, two doubles, one triple and Davis won three and tied one in the Fresno Easter Classic tournament.


Week of April 18, 2011

Johnson_Jordan_34

Jordan Johnson

 

Franklin


Senior
 

 
Pitcher/Infielder 

 

 

 

 

 

The CSU Northridge-bound righthander threw six innings of two-hit ball, allowed one run run and struck out 12 in the Wildcats 4-3 win over then No.6-ranked Davis Blue Devils. Two days later he added a home run, double and three RBI in a 21-14 victory over Laguna Creek. For the season, Johnson is 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA with 45 strike-outs in 29.1 innings of work. He is also hitting .310 with two home runs and 17 RBI.

Other candidates: 

Austin Ales, Senior, Oak Ridge, tossed a two-hit shutout against then No. 1-rated Pleasant Grove.

Dustin Vaught, Senior, Bella Vista, went 7-for-12 with two doubles and a triple.

Ryan Tellez, Sophomore, Elk Grove, had a double, two home runs and 11 RBI in three games.

Tyler Milani, Sophomore, Woodcreek, pitched a complete game and went 4-for-6 with three runs scored, two doubles, a home run and four RBI.


Week of April 11, 2011

Davis_JD 

J. D. Davis

 

Elk Grove


Senior
 

 
Pitcher/Infielder 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder went 6-for-12 with three doubles, a home run and six RBI in the Thundering Herd's victories over #4 Franklin, #6 Davis, Laguna Creek and Oak Ridge. On the mound, he had a no-decision against Franklin and a save against Davis.

Other candidates: 

Alex Ruiz, Junior, Woodland, threw a four-hit shutout against Natomas.

Christian Divelbiss, Senior, 7-for-11 with a triple, four RBI and three stolen bases in three-game sweep of Inderkum

Jay Puckett, Senior, Pioneer, went 4-for9 with a double, triple, home run and nine RBI.

Zach Green, Junior, Jesuit, collected 3 doubles, 1 HR and 7 RBI in wins against Sheldon and CB.


 Week of April 4, 2011

 Mejia_Jesuit

Louis Mejia

Jesuit 

 

Junior 

 
Infielder
 

 


The fesity second baseman had a monster day against D-1 Section Champs St. Mary's of Stockton, going 4 for 5 with 2 home runs. The second homer (see pic above) came in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, sending the game into extra innings. Jesuit eventually lost 7-3 in 11 innings. In two other games last week, Mejia went 3 x 5 with a double.
 

 

Other candidates: 

 

Max Magleby, Senior, Del Oro, went 4x10 with 6 RBI, 2 2b and 1 HR 

 

Garrett Heisinger, Senior, Pleasant Grove, went 5x5 with 2 2b, 2 3b and 3 RBI.

 


Week of March 28, 2011 

 Chambers_RioLinda

Miles Chambers

Rio Linda

Junior

Pitcher 

 

 

 

 

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound righthander pitched a five-inning complete game and struck out 10 and had two hits, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs in a 12-2 victory over San Juan. For the season, Chambers is 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA and 5-for-10 at the plate. In his 2010 sophomore season, he was 8-1 with a 2.13 ERA and batted .362 with 23 runs batted in.

 

Other candidates: 

 

Junior Casas, Valley Christian, had two home runs and five RBI against Grant. 

 

Max Cordy, McClatchy, pitched a complete game with 16 strikeouts and had two hits with a double against Kennedy.

 

Alex Ruiz, Woodland, pitched a two-hit, 3-0 shutout against Woodcreek. 

 


Week of March 21, 2011

 Dylan_Malone

  Dylan Malone

   Rosemont High

   Senior

   Pitcher


The 5-foot-10, 150-pound righthander, who relies on location and off-speed pitches to baffle hitters, tossed a no-hitter against Kennedy in the Wolverines Metro League opener on Thursday. In beating the Cougars, Malone faced three batters over the minimum, struck out six and walked three. Sporting a 2-0 record and 0.41 ERA, he has pitched 17 innings on the season, allowed six hits, one earned run and struck out 17. Teams are hitting .041 against him. Malone is coming off a 2010 season in which he was 9-1 with a 0.62 ERA for the two-time defending Metro League champions.


Week of March 21, 2011

 Max_Cordy

Max Cordy

McClatchy High

Senior

Pitcher


The 6-foot-3, 190-pound righthander pitched a no-hitter, struck out 10 and walked three in a 7-0 nonleague victory against Rio Americano on Wednesday. In two starts this season, Cordy is 1-0 with a 0.51 ERA and 16 strikeouts. He has held opponent batters to a .071 average. At the plate, he is 7-for-15 with a home run and five runs batted in.

 

He's verbally committed to the UC Davis Aggies.

 

Updated 08/12/11
All contents © Rick Cabral, 2011

Shop for Baseball Jerseys, Collectibles and Accessories at the MLB.com Shop!

  

 Nav-button-Home

 Nav-button-Teams

 Nav-button-Equipment

 Nav_button_Training

 Nav-button-History 

Nav_button_Media


SpotLight

Time_Travelin

AT-50