Tracking baseball prospects does have areas that are pretty predictable. One is looking up a high school senior’s stats from previous years and being impressed with what has been reported to sites like MaxPreps.
I hate high school baseball statistics. I have no idea the quality of opponent these kids have played against.
I’m always reminded of one of my local high schools here in Hardeeville, South Carolina, the Abundant Life Academy. It was a private school that allowed its coach to recruit home schooled travel team veterans in a three county radius, something no public school could do. The result was ALA won the State Championship for, like, six years in a row.
All of this sounds very impressive until you get a look at the lack of quality on the teams they played against. Some had less than 15 total players on their team. Their pitchers threw in the high 70s and there was some years that the vast majority of the games were ended early due to the lopsided scores at the time. Every ALA starter hit well over .300. Pitchers K/9 stats were off the charts. It was a statistic smorgasbord.
So, naturally, I expected to see the same thing when I went to MaxPreps to get Chris Rivera’s stats for this portion of my weekly column. I first looked up his sophomore year:
.359/.490, 28-H, 18-RBI, 21-R
Sounds normal… next came last season:
.194/.283, 18-H, 14-RBI, 19-R, .909-FP
Was I missing something here? This is the guy that Matt Garrioch says is the number one pick overall and The Bleacher Report has at #4.
No one questions Rivera’s ability to play the position. The comparisons quickly go to the likes of Christian Colon, though his speed is slower. The interesting part of his game was the success he had last year as a pitcher, sitting in the 91-92 range.
I had talked to him early this year about his 2012 stats:
Mack – Chris, I want to jump ahead to the 2011-2012 season at El Dorado. Tell us about what went right and what went wrong last season?
Rivera – “Well what went wrong was I didn’t hit the way I wanted to, but did play the defense I knew how to play and I pitched well for my team. As a team, we did a lot of things right, and I couldn’t have been any more proud to be a part of the team.”
I checked back in with him this week to see how the team was preparing for the new season:
for the rest... click here... http://bigleaguefutures.net/1/2013/02/02/mack-ade-chris-rivera-lee-mazilli-jr-nkotb-reese-mcguire-hunter-hayes/