Posted: 12:44 pm Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012
By Matt Porter
The area’s baseball stats leaders are published in the Post on Tuesdays. There’s always something interesting that pops off the page. Here are five items of note from this week’s stats report, with an eye on the upcoming district tournaments:
2. Arms race. As it was last season, the pitching numbers are looking mighty tiny this season. Nineteen pitchers with at least 25 innings of work have ERAs of 2.00 or lower, led by Royal Palm Beach junior Justin Lauginiger, who has yet to allow a run, earned or otherwise (7-0, 0.00, 59 strikeouts in 41 innings). Benjamin’s Bennett Sousa (0.63), Santaluces’ Hunter Kyzar (0.89), Dwyer’s Bradley Emery (1.01) and West Boca Raton’s Parker Danciu (1.04) round out the top five. Last year, 19 pitchers ended the regular season with ERAs of 2.00 or lower.
3. Scot power. Last year, St. Andrew’s junior Danny Young led the area in batting (.565) and homers (10). This season, his average has cooled to a mere .400, but Young is atop the small schools leaders in homers (4), and he’s become a much more important force on the mound. Young, a Florida commit, has taken over as the Scots’ ace with the graduation of UMass-bound brothers Tim and Dan Stoops. He leads small schools pitchers in strikeouts (75) and is 3-4 with a 2.42 ERA.
4. Cool behind the dish. West Boca Raton’s Michael Barash is eighth among large school batters with a .457 average. That leads West Boca, which has taken over the top spot in District 14-7A with last week’s win over Atlantic. The defending Class 5A state champs re-enter the Post’s rankings this week, at No. 9 (see below). Barash, a junior and an LSU commit, has drawn praise from opposing coaches for the way he seems to settle down his teammates. He’s much appreciated by the Bulls’ pitching staff, which includes Danciu (4-3, 1.04, 51 strikeouts in 40.1 innings) and reliever-turned-starter Matt Warren (4-4, 2.54, 43 strikeouts in 30.1 innings).
5. Comeback road. Last year’s Park Vista team, which made it to the Class 6A state final, could have been even stronger had Brandon Rhodes been there for the whole season. The FAU-bound lefty missed most of last year with an arm injury but has had a monster senior year. He’s thrown a perfect game (against Spanish River) and beat some of the best teams around (ask Gardens, Dwyer and Pembroke Pines-Flanagan). He’s just 5-foot-8, but works in the mid-80s and throws his curve and changeup for strikes.