Hot Stove 2017 Baseball… A Very Early Super 8 Preview (12/25/16)…
Boston College High School – Returning RHP Mike Vasil is a huge piece for the Eagles after having a breakout sophomore year. Vasil is the reigning Catholic Conference MVP and the University of Virginia commit looks to continue his dominance this coming season. University of Rhode Island commit Brendan Mignone was used out of the bullpen last year but could transition to a starting role given losses to graduation. Wheaton commit Gavin Reilly is also a big piece for the Eagles as he could be the second starter in what shapes up to be a very formidable starting rotation.
Braintree HS – The loss of back-to-back Super 8 MVP Scott Creedon is tough to overcome but Braintree is a team that constantly reloads with kids who play ball at a high level. Led by Justin Files and Alex Kennedy the Wamps have one of the state’s best outfields and should be a very competitive team once again.
Saint John’s Prep – The Eagles were the second place team last year coming up just short to state champion Braintree. Returning for the Eagles include all star and U Conn commit Mike Yarin. Shortstop Chris Francoeur (a University of Rhode Island golf commit) also returns as a key piece up the middle for SJP and the Eagles are always one of the teams that will be there in June.
Newton North HS – The Tigers lose all state first baseman Thomas Joyce to graduation and it can be tough remaining competitive having lost a conference MVP. However, the Tigers do return all three starting pitchers in seniors Jimmy Hodgson and Mike Banks along with junior John Grady from a team that was very competitive in the Super 8 last year.
Xaverian Brothers High School – Losing Blake DeCarr, Zach Sette, Bryan Hart and Troy Shepard are all big losses for the Hawks but they return a solid group of upperclassmen who will try to bring home the Division 1 state title. Dan Chapski pitched well in the Super 8 last year and the Bowdoin commit will look to build on last season’s success. Bates College commit Aidan McLaughlin, Army commit Tim Simoes and Southern Connecticut State University commit Vicente Mendoza round out what looks to be a very competitive roster for the Hawks.
Lincoln Sudbury – A team that was largely thought to be snubbed from the Super 8 last year and ended up as the Division 1 State runner-up. Led by RHP and Wake Forest commit Ryan Cusick the Warriors will look to make the jump into the Super 8 field this season.
Austin Prep – Prep has had multiple seasons where they have been right on the bubble and 2017 could finally be the year for the Cougars to make the Super 8. Led by Boston College commit (and previous conference MVP) Peter Burns the Cougars will be a team to watch this season.
West Springfield HS – The Terriers have one of the best pitchers in the state in University of Hartford commit Nick Dombkowski. As a junior last year Dombkowski led all pitchers in strikeouts on his way to being an all state selection. Western Mass baseball can be somewhat overlooked by the tournament (and Pope Francis lost in consecutive games last year) but with Dombkowski on the mound West Springfield could find its way into the tournament.