Baxter: Midlands’ top baseball players

02/16/2014 10:29 PM

02/16/2014 11:23 PM

We are heading into the third week of February, and baseball practices are well underway; the ice storm last week delayed the first week of scrimmages, but the teams were on the field this weekend. Who are the Midlands’ top teams to watch in 2014?

In Class 4A, defending state champion Lexington will be in a ‘rebuild’ mode after graduating a king’s ransom of starters. But the Wildcats should be more than competitive late in the season. Blythewood, which finished second in the final state coaches’ poll, could be the team to watch in the Midlands. The Bengals return impact players, including third baseman Tyler Romanik.

In 3A, A.C. Flora is the team to beat and might be the best team in the Midlands. Airport will have growing pains but is strong on the hill with Austin Hawley. Gilbert returns strong talent and will be in the mix late.

With a little less than a month remaining before the first game of the season, we’ll take a look at the Top Fifteen Players from the Midlands, regardless of graduating class:

Rank Player Postion School
1. Madison Stokes SS A.C. Flora
2. Tyler Romanik 3B/1B Blythewood
3. Ryan Brown CF Lexington
4. Thomas Durant LHP Chapin
5. Donald Gilespie 3B A.C. Flora
6. Aaron Dahm OF Blythewood
7. Jake Mueller SS Richland Northeast
8. Jared Williams SS Gilbert
9. Jordan Buster P Lexington
10. Shannon Glover C Richland Northeast
11. Derek Olenchuk SS Dutch Fork
12. Austin Hawley RHP Airport
13. Chandler Engel OF Blythewood
14. Brandon Tillman OF River Bluff
15. Mitch Spires IF/P Gilbert

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