The 2019 high school baseball postseason has been riddled with upsets.
This weekend, four teams from each classification will go head-to-head in the Washington state baseball semifinals and finals. We took a look at the matchups and identified the top players to watch across 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A.
Here are our top 20 baseball players to watch:
Michael Came, Olympia, LHP (Jr.)
The 4A South Puget Sound League pitcher of the year’s velocity sits in the low 80s, but Michael Came can flat out pitch. With 2.8 ERA and 1.1 WHIP, the junior lefty flouts four pitches and is comfortable at any point in the count, according to Olympia head coach Derek Weldon. “He’s a strike-thrower and tremendous competitor who knows how to get outs,” Weldon said. “He’s a winner.” Proof of that could be found in his two wins over Puyallup this year with an average of around 70 pitches, and also throughout the under-seeded Bears’ run to the 4A state semifinals.
Noah Guyette, Skyview, infielder (Sr.)
One of the reasons Skyview is so effective with an aggressive pitching style is its consistency in the infield, and at short stop, Noah Guyette is the Storm’s most consistent presence. “He makes all the routine plays,” Skyview coach Seth Johnson said of the Air Force signee. “Our philosophy on the mound is to attack and throw strikes and it makes it easier to do that when you have defenders (like Guyette). You can pretty much bank on him being an out.”
Aidan Herrick, Olympia, shortstop (Soph.)
Aidan Herrick has been Olympia’s starting shortstop throughout the season, but after two starts late in the season, head coach Derek Welden bumped him into the rotation. And he’s delivered. The sophomore is 3-0 since his first start less than a month ago and had two season-extending performances on Saturday — first securing the final two outs to seal an upset win over Skyline, then a complete game shutout against Federal Way in the quarterfinals. With a velocity in the high 70s, he utilizes a four-pitch mix and everything moves, according to Welden — “a ton of life on the fastball.” Welden says the combo Herrick and Came make his job as a manager easier. “It’s a lot of fun for me as a coach calling pitching, it’s like a video game,” Welden said. “You say what you want, it gets done.”
Brady Liddle, Issaquah, pitcher (Jr.)
When Brady Liddle took over as Issaquah’s No. 1 pitcher midway through the season, coach Rob Reese hoped he would make good on the potential the coaching staff has seen going back to last summer. And that’s exactly what happened. “He’s been lights out for us the second half of the season and through playoffs,” Reese said. “He’s an up-and-coming pitcher, always had a strong arm and he’s learning how to pitch.” After being a one-pitch reliever last summer, Liddle developed an arsenal of pitches to elevate his already-strong arm. With mid-80s velocity, the second-team all-4A KingCo selection has blossomed into an effective top arm for the Eagles.
Evan McLean, Moses Lake, pitcher (Sr.)
Evan McClean was the Columbia Basin Big 9 pitcher of the year after going a perfect 8-0 with one earned run through league play. The senior is also the No. 4 hitter, and can do it all for the Chiefs. “He’s just a dynamic player,” coach Donnie Lindgren said. “He steals bases, runs everything down in the outfield and has a plus arm.” McLean is headed to Big Bend Community College next year.
Tyler Odegard, Issaquah, utility (Sr.)
As both a pitcher and catcher, Tyler Odegard has been Issaquah’s do-it-all utility guy. On the mound, where he will be available for relief in the semis, his coach describes him as a bulldog and a competitor. “He’d throw 100 pitches on Monday and catch two days later,” Eagles coach Rob Reese said. “He just loves to play.” Odegard was Issaquah’s lone 4A KingCo first team all-league selection.
Ryan Pitts, Skyview, pitcher/3B (Sr.)
Ryan Pitts is best when he’s looking to attack early in the count. Whether it’s a first pitch fastballs, or a breaking ball, the 4A Greater St. Helens player of the year is looking for early contact. That’s the aggressive mentality Skyview plays with, and it’s a big reason Pitts will be on the mound for the Storm in Friday’s 4A state semifinals. “And that’s a mentality for him,” Skyview coach Seth Johnson said. “He wants the ball, and we have a lot of confidence no matter what’s going to happen, we’re going to go down with an aggressive mentality.” The senior Lower Columbia College signee also plays third base, but on the mound, he’s a close to a 70 percent strike thrower.
Dominic Signorelli, Moses Lake, third base (Sr.)
Dominic Signorelli is on a roll. The senior Boise State commit has home runs in his last three games. “He’s starting to get on fire for us,” Moses Lake coach Donnie Lindgren said of one of his three captains, who was also the quarterback of Moses Lake’s football team. “He’s our big hitter.” And according to Lindgren, who has coached Signorelli since he was nine years old, the success couldn’t come to a more deserving person. “Quality young man.”
Kyle Casperson, Capital, utility (Sr.)
Kyle Casperson runs the strike zone and exhibits control on the mound with his velocity in the low 80s. He can also do much more. The senior can hit and catch, too, and was voted first-team all-league as the team’s No. 1 pitcher, and has been crucial in the Cougars’ unlikely run from finishing fifth in the 3A SSC to the 3A state semifinals.
Oliver Laufman, Lake Washington, RHP
With a fastball in the low-to-mid 80s, and a reliable breaking ball, Lake Washington’s Oliver Laufman is a player to watch in the 3A state semifinals. The senior sports a 2.51 ERA and has 40 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched. Laufman is committed to Edmonds Community College.
Ryan Macomber, Lake Washington, LHP
Ryan Macomber is a senior lefty, and part of the pitching corps that has helped Lake Washington to a blistering 24-2 record and a 3A state semifinal appearance. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound starter is described by Prep Baseball Report as having a “big, lanky frame with some deception to his arm action.”
Zane Skansi, Gig Harbor, shortstop (Jr.)
If you’re looking for a highlight, look no further than Gig Harbor shortstop Zane Skanski. “He makes the web gem play, and occasionally he’ll do the routine play,” Gig Harbor coach Pete Jansen said. The junior bats .395 and has 26 RBI on the season, too.
Jake Snyder, O’Dea, right-handed pitcher (Sr.)
With a big, 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame, O’Dea right-hander Jake Snyder is one to watch. The Creighton commit is a vocal leader for the Fighting Irish, who ran the table in the 3A Metro League (15-0), and a dominating presence on the mound.
Zach Toglia, Gig Harbor, third base (Soph.)
There’s another Toglia making his mark for Gig Harbor. Zach Toglia, younger brother of UCLA sophomore baseball player Michael Toglia, earned first-team all 3A SSC for the Tides, who won the league and bring a 19-6 record into the 3A state semifinals. The youngest Toglia has 27 RBI on the season with a .397 batting average, and he has only struck out eight times out of 88 at bats. “He likes to be up (to bat) when there’s guys in scoring position,” Gig Harbor coach Pete Jansen said. “He doesn’t pucker at all, he loves that.”
Owen Wild, Gig Harbor, RHP (Jr.)
Owen Wild was the 3A SSC league player of the year, and the accolades are proof enough why. The junior righty sports a .777 ERA and has 108 strikeouts in 71.1 innings — a school record, per Gig Harbor coach Pete Jansen. Plus, he’s accurate. Wild has walked just 19 of the 277 batters he’s faced all year and has eight earned runs all year. “The kids are confident when Owen is on the mound,” Jansen said.
Nation Wood, Lake Washington, outfielder (Sr.)
If you’re looking for fireworks, look no further than Nation Wood. The Lake Washington senior outfielder has eight home runs on the season, which broke the program single season record. That’s in addition to his 36 RBI — also a school record. Wood provides a hitting spark for the Kangaroos, who spent much of the season atop 3A rankings while running the table in league.
Dylan Bishop, Selah, RHP (Sr.)
Dylan Bishop will start in Friday’s 2A semifinal game between Selah and Archbishop Murphy, and Selah coach Mike Archer has no problem explaining why. “He’s a tough guy,” Archer said. “He’s your lunch pale type kid, gritty, great competitor, tough guy, loves the big moment. Guy you want on the mound, guy you want hitting , he’s just one of those kids.” With a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 80s, Bishop, a senior, touts a curveball and changeup, too, and is Selah’s most consistent strike thrower.
Brandon King, infielder/pitcher, Archbishop Murphy (Sr.)
Brandon King can do a little bit of everything for Archbishop Murphy. He plays third base, outfield and pitches, but what makes King stand out is his hitting. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior has a .462 batting average, .613 on base percentage and has 13 RBI on the season for the Wildcats.
Judah Graham, Fife, RHP (Jr.)
Judah Graham is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound junior, and has posted blistering numbers for Fife this season, to the tune of a 0.93 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 37.2 innings pitched. Hitting, he has 21 RBI on the season for Fife, which ran through the SPSL tournament and finished second at districts before its two 2A state tournament wins last Saturday over Lynden and Liberty (Issaquah) on Saturday.
Carter Young, Selah, shortstop, (Sr.)
There’s a chance Carter Young could hear his name called as high as the second or third round in the upcoming MLB Draft. But first, the senior shortstop and Vanderbilt commit will help lead Selah in its efforts to bring home a 2A state title. Selah coach Mike Archer describes Young as a “great listener, student of the game” who has a “great work ethic, is a great teammate and listens to coaches.” Couple this with the draftable skillsets, and Young is a player many should be on the lookout for in the state semis.
Colt Corrigan, Chelan, outfielder (Sr.)
There’s a reason Chelan coach Dana Dapasedero wishes he had nine carbon copies of Colt Corrigan. Beyond the above average hitting, knack for base-stealing and defensive prowess in the outfield, Corrigan is a leader for Chelan. “Kids look up to him,” Papasedero said. “Biggest thing that stands out for me is his love of baseball, he’s dedicated his high school career” to getting better, which includes transforming his body in the weight room. Now Corrigan, a Whitworth commit, will end his high school career on the biggest stage. Corrigan hit .456, three home runs and 35 RBI for the year for Chelan.
Sam Austin, Chelan, LHP (Sr.)
Sam Austin is Chelan’s top arm for a reason. The senior is 7-0 with 59 strikeouts across 42 innings. The 6-foot-4 lefty is one of multiple pitchers head coach Dana Papasedero is contemplating trotting out in Friday’s 1A semifinal, along with Quinn Stamps, another 6-foot-4 pitcher.
John Knight, Colville, RHP (Sr.)
A three-sport athlete in football, wrestling and baseball, John Knight has won state championships in the first two this school year and is knocking on the door of a trifecta. Colville’s No. 1 pitcher, also an all-state quarterback who is committed to play football at Montana State, has been at the forefront of his team’s run to the 1A state semifinals. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior also plays shortstop and second base.