Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Baseball: 2017 All-So Cal Team

Hagen Danner of Huntington Beach. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

So Cal Sidelines baseball writer Manny Alvarez chose the All-So Cal Team from all the top players from the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego areas.

Hagen Danner of Huntington Beach. Photo/Manny Alvarez.



P/C — Hagen Danner, Huntington Beach, 2017

Danner did it all for Huntington Beach with what might have been the best 1-2 combo in the country, Nick Pratto and himself. Danner went 11-1 with a 1.22 ERA and that’s not all. Danner also hit 12 home runs with 40 RBI while batting .350. Huntington Beach was No. 1 in So Cal for a majority of the season and they were on their way to a national championship until a hiccup in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs. Danner is committed to UCLA, but he will most likely sign with the Toronto Blue Jays after being picked 61st in the MLB Draft, which might be a little low. The So Cal Sidelines Orange County Player of the Year will likely prove the teams that passed him up wrong and is also the So Cal Sidelines So Cal Player of the Year.

Arizona-bound Matt Sauer of Righetti of Santa Maria. Photo/@redsauers.


P — Matthew Sauer, Righetti of Santa Maria, 2017

If you got a base hit off of Matt Sauer, you were lucky. Heck, if your bat made contactwith the ball, you were lucky. Sauer was unstoppable as he helped the Warriors to the PAC-8 League title. He went 9-1 with a 0.98 ERA, four complete games and 142 strikeouts in 78.1 innings. That’s 1.8 strikeouts per inning. For his fantastic season on the mound, The So Cal Sidelines LA Pitcher of the Year is also the So Cal Sidelines So Cal Pitcher of the Year.

All-IE, All-LA, All-OC and All-San Diego Teams

David Gallegos of Eastlake of Chula Vista. Photo/Eastlake Athletics.


David Gallegos, Eastlake of Chula Vista

For Eastlake, the third is the charm. After falling in the CIF-SDS Division I finals in 2015 and the CIF-SDS Open Division finals in 2016, Gallegos and the Titans got to see what the other side feels like after they defeated Helix of La Mesa, 8-3, to win the CIF-SDS Open Division title. A 32-4 record with a title pushes Eastlake to No. 1 in So Cal by So Cal Sidelines and No. 1 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and Gallegos has the San Diego Player of the Year coming back next season. Eastlake figures to be even stronger next season, but for now the So Cal Sidelines San Diego Coach of the Year cal also add the So Cal Sidelines So Cal Coach of the Year award to his honors.

Matt Bardowell of Etiwanda. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.


P — Matt Bardowell, Etiwanda, 2020

With a lineup filled with talented seniors, Bardowell jumped right in and gave the Eagle faithful hope for the future. Bardowell played a huge role in the middle of the lineup with a .381 batting average, 20 RBI, five doubles, two triples and four home runs. The So Cal Sidelines Inland Empire Player of the Year helped Etiwanda to a CIF-SS title and for that he is also picking up the So Cal Sidelines So Cal Freshman Player of the Year award.


Jake Jackson of El Toro of Lake Forest. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

P — Jake Jackson, El Toro of Lake Forest, 2017

El Toro lost some good pitchers from last year’s team to graduation, but the Chargers got back even better ones. Jackson led the way for the Chargers and they jumped on his back en route to a CIF-SS Division 1 title. Jackson went 12-1 with a 0.61 ERA, 11 complete games, four shutouts, 89 strikeouts in 73 innings with only seven walks and eight earned runs. The So Cal Sidelines Orange County Player of the Year is headed to Nevada.

P — Brendan Dixon, Tahquitz of Hemet, 2017

Dixon led the Titans to their first ever CIF-SS title with his near perfect pitching this season. Dixon went 12-2 with a 0.95 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 95.1 innings. Tahquitz will have a couple pitchers back, but it will be difficult for one of them to replace the Texas-bound Dixon.

Kevin Abel of Madison of San Diego. Photo/@KevAbel9.

P — Kevin Abel, Madison of San Diego, 2017

Madison snuck into the CIF-SDS Open Division bracket, which can be a burden for some if you have a low seed, but Madison had Kevin Abel on the mound to shut down some of the best offenses in So Cal. The Warhawks got past Eastlake of Chula Vista in the first round and Rancho Bernardo in the second round before the Titans ended the amazing run by Madison. Abel went 9-1 with a 1.30 ERA, five complete games, three shutouts and 120 strikeouts in 81 innings. Abel, the So Cal Sidelines San Diego Pitcher of the Year, will definitely be missed when the Warhawks need someone to take down some monsters in future playoff runs.

P — Jonathan Guardado, Nogales of La Puente, 2017

Guardado was nearly impossible for opposing hitters to figure out. If you scored a run off him, I hope you kept the ball. Guardado went 14-0 and with a 0.33 ERA, 135 strikeouts in 84.2 innings, 10 complete games and three shutouts. Guardado also hit .488 with 36 RBI and 13 doubles. Guardado also led the Nobles to the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs.

Hunter Greene of Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

C — Chris Jimenez, Etiwanda, 2017

Jimenez was part of a potent offense at Etiwanda, helping the Eagles win the CIF-SS Division 2 title. Jimenez batted .374 with 43 hits, 40 RBI, 10 doubles, three triples and seven home runs. Jimenez is committed to Long Beach State or he could go in the MLB Draft next week.

IF — Hunter Greene, Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, 2017

You can’t blame pitchers for throwing away from Hunter Greene. All the talk all season was about what Hunter Greene can do now and in the future when he is a star in the Major Leagues. The only debate was if he will be the top pick in the draft. Whoever gets him, will have a superstar on their hands. Greene batted .327 with 28 RBI, six doubles and six home runs. Greene is mainly a pitcher, but was shut down mid-season. Greene went 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 43 strikeouts on 28 innings of work. Greene has been compared to former Notre Dame star Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins and that is high praise. So Cal Sidelines LA PLayer of the Year’s next stop will be in the minor leagues with the Cincinnati Reds as he went No. 2 pick in the MLB Draft.

Tyler Freeman of Etiwanda. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

IF — Tyler Freeman, Etiwanda, 2017

Freeman was close to impossible to shut down this season, helping Etiwanda to a CIF-SS Division 2 title. Freeman batted .526 with 51 hits, 36 RBI, eight doubles, four triples and four home runs. Freeman is committed to Texas Christian, but he could also go in the MLB Draft.

IF — Nick Pratto, Huntington Beach, 2017

Pratto had a big year and that was thanks to his go-to guy, Hagen Danner, as the Oilers were one of So Cal’s best teams this season. Pratto batted .330 with nine home runs while going 5-1 on the mound with a 0.99 ERA. Pratto is committed to USC, but was also selected 14th by the Kansas City Royals in the MLB Draft.

IF — Royce Lewis, JSerra of San Juan Capistrano, 2017

With the buzz all on Lewis, it was hard for him to get a good pitch to hit this season, but he made the best of it for the Lions. Lewis batted .388 with 31 hits, 24 walks, 25 stolen bases and four home runs. Lewis has committed to UC Irvine, but we are pretty sure he will skip college since he was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. We’ll see Lewis in a Minnesota Twins uniform very soon!

Long Beach State-commit Steven Rivas of Etiwanda. Photo/Jon Lofdahl.

OF — Steven Rivas, Etiwanda, 2017

Whenever pitchers wanted to avoid Tyler Freeman, who was always on deck, they paid the price by going up against Steven Rivas, who led the Eagles to a CIF-SS Division 2 title, the first in the program’s history. Rivas batted .477 with 43 runs, 53 hits, 38 RBI, 12 doubles, three triples and nine home runs. Rivas and Freeman were a dangerous duo in the lineup, but it was Rivas that did more damage, including an 11-RBI game against Chino Hills. Rivas will be heading to Long Beach State and that isn’t for sure with the MLB Draft on the horizon. For his offense explosion, Rivas was named the So Cal Sidelines Inland Empire Player of the year.

OF — Jake Palmer, El Segundo, 2017

Palmer led the Eagles to the Ocean League title and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 3 quarterfinals. Palmer batted .548 with 41 RBI, eight doubles, three triples and five home runs.

Calvin Mitchell of Rancho Bernardo. Photo/

OF — Calvin Mitchell, Rancho Bernardo of San Diego, 2017

Mitchell put some big number up in his junior year for the Broncos, batting .369 with 34 RBI, 39 runs scored, six doubles and 11 home runs. Rancho Bernardo is going be dangerous with Mitchell back next season.

DH — Casey Schmidt, Eastlake of Chula Vista, 2017

Eastlake had a big year and it was thanks to the offense of Casey Schmidt, who batted .396 with 40 RBI, 11 doubles and eight home runs. The kid can also pitch, saving 10 games with a 0.79 ERA and 45 strikeouts.

UT — Grant Holman, Eastlake of Chula Vista, 2018

Eastlake was hoping to finally get a CIF-SDS title after falling short the previous two seasons. The Titans ended up jumping on the back of the junior right-hander and it worked. Holman led the Titans with his bat and his arm en route to a CIF-SDS Open Division title. Holman batted .381 with 32 RBI, seven doubles and 12 home runs while going 10-0 on the mound with a 1.00 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 78 innings. The So Cal Sidelines San Diego Player of the Year will try to lead Eastlake to another CIF-SDS title next season and hopefully have his name called in the 2018 MLB Draft.

UT — Jeremiah Estrada, Palm Desert, 2017

Estrada showed everyone why he is considered one of the best prospects in the 2017 MLB Draft this season. Estrada led the Aztecs to a Desert Valley League title and a trip to the CIF-SS Division 2 finals. Estrada can also bat, hitting .370 with 34 hits 26 RBI, nine doubles and five home runs, but it is his pitching that has been all the buzz. Estrada went 6-3 with a 1.13 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 68 innings. Estrada is committed to UCLA, but he’s also expected to go high in the MLB draft. For Estrada’s stellar senior season, he was named the So Cal Sidelines Inland Empire Pitcher of the Year.

(NOTE: Report news and notes to So Cal Sidelines baseball writer Manny Alvarez via email (, text (714-234-8506) or Tweet (@SoCalSidelines))

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