In high school baseball, the most valuable players on any given team are those who are as effective on the mound as they are at the plate.
No other player exemplified that combination, at the highest level of play, like Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Chris Miguel. That’s why he’s the San Francisco Examiner and SanFranPreps.com Player of the Year.
Although his numbers were slightly deflated due to some late-season struggles, the 5-foot-9, 215-pound junior played the role of ace and slugger with equal effectiveness.
“He is clearly our most important player, because he’s not one-dimensional,” Sacred Heart coach Brian Morgan said. “We set the whole season up around him, because he’s experienced and not intimidated by anyone. He’s a great player to build around, and that he’ll be around another year is just a bonus.”
On the mound, he had a 2.56 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 71 innings, many of which came in the cutthroat West Catholic Athletic League. Miguel had a 7-4 record, three saves and four complete games, and never went less than five innings in any start this season.
When he wasn’t pitching, Miguel manned first base and was a cornerstone in the middle of the Sacred Heart lineup, hitting .345 and leading the Irish in RBIs (26), extra-base hits (12), home runs (2), on-base percentage (.515) and slugging percentage (.592).
Miguel is not alone in this multidimensional respect. Five other players on the All-City first team had solid all-around years.
Academic Athletic Association Player of the Year Dane Vande Guchte from Washington received some consideration for our top honor, with a .427 batting average, 26 RBIs and five home runs to go along with a 1.94 ERA.
A pair of seniors from International also carried quite a load for the Jaguars. Ace Clay Bloszies may have been the best pitcher in The City this year, with a 1.34 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 68 innings, but he also hit .371. Not to be outdone, fellow International captain Brian Benavides hit .487 with a team-high 34 RBIs and a staggering 24 extra-base hits in just 26 games, to go along with a 1.94 ERA.
Stuart Hall’s Ben Carrasco, the only sophomore on the first team, was also a dominant force on the mound, tallying 93 strikeouts and a 1.68 ERA in 71 innings, to go along with a .403 batting average.
Those players were the dual-threat standouts all year, but there was a diamond in the rough of sorts on an Urban team in a down year. Senior Gabe Howden hit a staggering .581 and got on base in nearly two-thirds of his at bats for the Blues, and was also their top starting pitcher with a 3.73 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 35 innings.
Rounding out the first team are a group of highly talented WCAL players who just happen to focus on hitting or pitching, rather than both. St. Ignatius junior starting pitcher Collin Monsour completed a tough WCAL season with a 2.98 ERA, and senior outfielder Kevin Barker buoyed the Wildcats’ lineup with a .351 average and 18 stolen bases.
Riordan also earned two first-team selections in seniors Ramiro Alvarez (.352 average) and A.J. Santiago (.400 average), and Sacred Heart’s Dominic Defiesta (.431 average) rounds out the top selections.
Preps sports coverage provided in partnership by The San Francisco Examiner and SanFranPreps.com
Player of the Year: Chris Miguel, junior, pitcher-first baseman, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Name Class Pos. School
Ramiro Alvarez Senior C Riordan
Kevin Barker Senior OF St. Ignatius
Brian Benavides Senior SS International
Clay Bloszies Senior P International
Ben Carrasco Soph. P Stuart Hall
Dominic Defiesta Senior 2B SHC
Gabe Howden Senior OF Urban
Collin Monsour Junior P St. Ignatius
A.J. Santiago Senior 2B Riordan
Dane Vande Guchte Junior P-SS Washington
Andy Glickfeld Soph. OF Lowell
Adam Goldstein Senior P St. Ignatius
Chris Hau Soph. P Washington
Alex Kozakiewicz Senior C Washington
Lucas Long Junior SS Stuart Hall
T.J. Najera Senior P Stuart Hall
Ismael Orozco Junior SS Riordan
Christian Pulusian Senior OF Balboa
Benny Sosnick Senior C Jewish Comm.
Nick Zatopa Junior C Waldorf
Dustin Andrick, senior, pitcher, Galileo; Alex Asadorian, junior, outfielder, Stuart Hall; Fletcher Bagden, senior, outfielder, Jordan; Danny Baldocchi, senior, first baseman, Lick-Wilmerding; Marcus Blacksher, senior, first baseman, Marshall; Connor Bottom, senior, catcher, Stuart Hall; Julius Cedeno, senior, shortstop, Wallenberg; Nick Corson, junior, pitcher, Lick-Wilmerding; Sean Donovan, junior, pitcher, Riordan; Gabe Flores, senior, shortstop, Drew; Maurice Fuller, senior, outfielder, Sacred Heart Cathedral; Daniel Galvez, senior, pitcher, Gateway; Remfel Ganal, junior, outfielder, Lincoln; Cristofer Gomez, soph., shortstop, O’Connell; Tevin Goodwin, junior, outfielder, Sacred Heart Cathedral; David Johnson, senior, shortstop, Mission; Edward King, senior, first baseman, Lowell; Matt Krook, soph., infielder, St. Ignatius; Carlos Loeza, senior, pitcher, Lincoln; Michael Li, junior, catcher, Balboa; Jordan Malik, junior, pitcher, International; Johnny Mrlik, senior, pitcher, St. Ignatius; Lucas Peck, senior, outfielder, Bay; Luke Pappas, senior, second baseman, St. Ignatius; Javon Phillips, junior, second baseman, Washington; Elijah Saunders, soph., third baseman, Lowell; Evan Schwarzenbach, senior, shortstop, Waldorf; Peter Schwarzenbach, senior, pitcher, Waldorf; Eli Smoot, freshman, third baseman, Balboa; Nick Tam, junior, pitcher, Lowell; Avery Velasco, junior, first baseman, Washington; C.J. Wong, senior, infielder, Lincoln; Jeremy Wong, soph., outfielder, Balboa