2019 NHSI Preview: Top Prospects And What To Watch For
One of the top high school baseball tournaments of the year gets started this Wednesday, as 16 teams from around the country will come together in Cary, N.C., to compete in USA Baseball’s National High School Invitational.
While the event is nominally a high school tournament, it’s become a must-see scouting event for every major league club as well. Six eventual first-round picks played in the NHSI a year ago, including Angels outfielder Jordyn Adams, who used the event to boost his draft stock significantly by standing out in a field of talented players that included righthander Cole Winn, lefthander Matthew Liberatore, third baseman Nolan Gorman, shortstop Brice Turang and third baseman Triston Casas.
The field is again loaded with draft talent, including 10 players who currently rank among the top 100 prospects in the 2019 class and five more who rank inside BA's Top 300 Draft Prospects list.
Here are the top 15 prospects who will be showcasing their skills this week in Cary N.C., with their overall BA 300 rank in parentheses.
- C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga. (4)
- Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla. (7)
- Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (16)
- Rece Hinds, 3B, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (25)
- Jack Leiter, RHP, Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J. (37)
- Kendall Williams, RHP, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (45)
- Hayden Mullins, LHP, Hendersonville (Tenn.) HS (58)
- Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J. (68)
- Jason Hodges, OF, Marist HS, Chicago (91)
- Landon Sims, RHP, South Forsyth HS, Cumming, Ga. (98)
- Joshua Rivera, 3B, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (108)
- Garrett Frechette, OF, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS (161)
- Darius Perry, C, La Mirada (Calif.) HS (175)
- Jasiah Dixon, OF, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS (253)
- Aaron Roberts, RHP, Desert Oasis HS, Las Vegas (297)
While there will be plenty of opportunities for individuals to raise their draft stock and impress evaluators this week, the main goal is to win four straight games and be the last team standing to secure the eighth annual NHSI trophy.
2021 High School Baseball Rankings: Top 25 Teams In The Country
Baseball America’s High School team rankings are selected through a poll of representatives from the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (NHBCA).
Orange Lutheran—which ranks as the No. 8 team in the country in our most recent High School Top 25—returns to the event as back-to-back defending champions and will attempt to become the first team to ever win the event in three consecutive years. The first two editions of the event saw Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, Calif.) win the event in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013, but no club has won the event more than twice.
The First Academy (Fla.), San Clemente (Calif.) and Huntington Beach (Calif.) are the other programs who have claimed the NHSI championship in previous years, showing the dominance that California has shown off to this point in the event's history.
Four California teams will be in the field for the 2019 tournament along with Orange Lutheran, including Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.), La Mirada and Huntington Beach. Each of the four teams are currently ranked in the HS Top 25.
The full field of the tournament is below and includes IMG Academy, which is the most stacked team in terms of 2019 draft talent and should be considered one of the favorites to win the event, potentially giving the state of Florida a second NHSI championship.
- Blessed Trinity HS, Roswell, Ga.
- Christian Brothers College HS, St. Louis
- Corona del Sol HS, Tempe, Ariz.
- Delbarton HS, Morristown, N.J.
- Desert Oasis HS, Las Vegas
- Hagerty HS, Oviedo, Fla.
- Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.
- Hendersonville (Tenn.) HS
- Huntington Beach (Calif.) HS
- IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
- La Mirada (Calif.) HS
- Marist HS, Chicago
- Monsignor Pace HS, Miami
- Northwest Guilford HS, Greensboro, N.C.
- Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS
- South Forsyth HS, Cumming, Ga.
While the 2019 prospects are the main focus, this year's tournament also brings a number of top-of-the-class 2020 prospects as well, headlined by Southern California standouts Pete Crow-Armstrong and Jared Jones. Below are the top prospects in attendance for the 2020 draft class.
- Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.
- Jared Jones, RHP/OF, La Mirada (Calif.) HS
- Victor Mederos, RHP, Monsignor Pace HS, Miami
- Christian Rodriguez, RHP, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS
- Drew Bowser, SS, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.