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Central Mass High School Baseball Players to Watch in 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


High School Baseball

The 2012 High School Baseball season can’t get here any sooner! So far the winter has been kind to us New England baseball fans! Players are itching to get out on the diamond and we’re itching to get out and watch them. Central Massachusetts Baseball has always been a hidden treasure. Let’s take a quick look at some of the standouts from 2011’s CMASS Division 1 District Champs and State Finalists…

St. John’s High School, Shrewsbury MA:
2011 Record: 19-8; District Champions; Conference Champions
Head Coach: Charlie Eppinger

Anthony Perry (Senior – LHP): As captain of the Pioneers, Perry will be shooting for his chance to lead his team back to the State Finals in 2012. Armed with a great curve ball, commanding fastball and outstanding work ethic, Perry has the stuff it takes to be a dominant pitcher for St John’s this season. Coming into his 4th year as a varsity player, Perry is looking to bounce back to his sophomore year form, when he posted a 7-1 record, carried a 2.27 ERA and held opposing teams to a .193 batting average. The success of the 2012 Pioneers season could possibly rest on the shoulders of Perry. Perry will be committing to Assumption College.

Phil Price, GoLocalWorcester Sports Contributor

Jimmy Smith (Senior – CF): As a threat in the outfield as well as on the bases (13 Stolen Bases in 2011), Smith is hoping to build off a very successful junior season. For the 2011 season, Smith posted the following numbers: .351 AVG, 13 SB, 202 defensive innings (only 2 errors). If he can repeat or improve on his 2011 season, the Pioneers will have a legit top of the order bat to add to their already potent lineup. Smith was later named MVP of the 2011 Central Mass District Tournament by the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association after batting .450 in the tournament. Smith has committed to Wheaton College.

Ben White (Junior – RHP): A power pitcher who became very reliable for the 2011 Pioneers as a late innings guy. The Pioneers will look for White to step up his role this season to become a starter for his team. Last year, in his role, White posted an ERA of 2.90 in 15 appearances and had 19 strikeouts versus 9 walks. He had a record of 3-0 with 2 saves during the regular season followed by 8 innings of work in the playoffs. He didn’t allow a single run in those appearances. If the Pioneers hope to be successful in 2012, they’ll need White either in the front or the back of their rotation. White is drawing interest from Wake Forest and Brown University.

Player on the Rise…

Scott Manea (Sophomore – CA): A 2011 play-off call up as a freshman, Manea will get his chance to battle for a catching position in 2012. At the plate, he possesses great bat speed, explosive hips and a terrific eye – the make up for a great hitter. Behind the plate, Manea receives and blocks well – but his greatest two assets are his ability to call games and ability to throw runners out - currently holding a 1.88 pop-time (validated through Diamond Nation in Flemington NJ). Manea is already being considered a serious college prospect.

Phil Price is the Operations Manager and Professional Baseball Instructor for Hit Quarters LLC, www.thehitquarters.com, and also the general manager for the Worcester Heat Travel Baseball Club, www.worcesterheatbaseball.net.


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