Digital Mag Issues
VYPE's 2013 Baseball Preview -- The Dirty South
February 11, 2013By Matt Malatesta of VYPE MAGAZINE - Houston
THE DIRTY SOUTH SIDE
Top 10 Teams
5. Santa Fe
8. Clear Springs
9. Galveston Ball
Others to Watch: Clear Creek, Clear Lake, Dobie,
Khevin Brewer, Travis, OF
Over the summer, Khevin Brewer has become one of the hotter young names in the select baseball world. His success should translate to the high school game with big dividends. If he can get his bat going early, he will only build on his prep resume. Rice obviously is already impressed.
Blake Goins, Pearland, P
Some kids have the it factor and Blake Goins is one of those guys. He's versatile on the diamond as a pitcher and a solid infielder, but his personality and leadership qualities are big intangibles for him. He will be a welcome at the University of Texas starting in the fall.
Kyle Ott, Galveston Ball, P
Kyle Ott is a bit of a mystery, playing way down in Galveston, but got noticed when schools were recruiting 2012 star Nick Williams. He can hit 88 mph consistently and has way more upside when he hits the college game. Ott can also swing it with the best in south Houston.
T.J. Scott, Friendswood, OF
Sometimes baseball people just like raw athletes. T.J. Scott's athleticism is ahead of his baseball skill, but he can run and is a talented left-handed hitter. Don't let him get on base due to his speed, and in the outfield, he can run down anything.
Darryn Sheppard, Dulles, OF
Headed to Baylor, Darryn Sheppard has the athletic tools that any college program looks for. At 6-foot-1, he has solid speed and good power at the plate. He will continue to grow in the future, but the Vikings want him to dominate at the high school level immediately.
Dom Taccolini, Kempner, IF/P
Dom Taccolini could have been a DI football player if he wanted at the tight end position. He likely made the right choice by sitting out of football this year to preserve his body and work on baseball. He has a ready-made college/pro frame and was signed by the nation's No. 1 preseason baseball team in Arkansas.
THE DIRTY SOUTHSIDE
Houston's south and southwest sides are loaded with power programs. Pearland has won a state championship in the past, while Brazoswood earned their rings two years ago. So who will make a run to Dell Diamond this season?
It could be a number of teams, but let's start in Class 5A.
The Dulles Vikings are loaded, with the likes of superstar Darryn Sheppard leading the charge at the plate. Shortstop Caden Williams (Houston-signee) locks down the infield, while Dakota Mills (West Virginia-signee) and Nick Hernandez will anchor the pitching staff. First-baseman Zack Belski provides punch at the plate from the left side. Joining Sheppard in the outfield is McNeese State-signee Eric Johnson who can fly around the bases and has power in the gaps. For now, Dulles is the favorite in a tough Fort Bend district.
Pearland is always competitive and was shocked by La Porte in the playoffs a year ago after winning district. With pitcher Blake Goins entering his senior season, expect a motivated Oiler program. Nathan Carter will manage the pitching staff at catcher and Andre Shewcraft is another arm who came on big last season. Skyler Valentine will hold down the middle infield at shortstop.
Kempner's strength is pitching, and in baseball, pitching is everything. Dom Taccolini is a monster on the mound and at the plate, but he's followed up by lefty Dylan Dusek (Texas Tech-signee), who is also crafty. The pair make up one of the top one-two punches in the city. Anthony Parker patrols the outfield and Gavin Tristan leads the infield. After reaching the regional finals before losing to eventual state champ Cy Ranch a year ago, the Cougars have the experience to make a run again this year.
Clements lost a ton of seniors from a year ago, but will have a pair of lefties in John King and Sam Bjorngjeld with hopes to fend off Travis' young guns for the third spot in District 23-5A. Travis returns a crew of Khevin Brewer, infielders Jacob Kiser and Richard Alamo. On the mound are righties Grant Khan and Brooks Williams, and lefty Seth Ballew.
The Class 4A level will also be competitive as Brazosport and Santa Fe return to the field. Unfortunately last season the two teams had to battle it out in the first-round of the playoffs. The Indians came out on top. Santa Fe reached the regional final before falling to Montgomery.
Galveston Ball has some high-level spot talent in their program, which should propel the Tors back to the playoffs. Ball fell to Lamar Consolidated a year ago in a three-game third-round series. T.J. Scott and Jordan Wood (BYU-signee) make for an athletic Friendswood squad that hopes to plow past their third-round exit from a year ago.