Digital Mag Issues
VYPE's 2013 Baseball Preview -- The Talented North Side
February 11, 2013VYPE MAGAZINE - Houston
THE NORTH SIDE
By Austin Staton
Top 10 Teams
1. The Woodlands
4. Klein Collins
6. A&M Consolidated
9. College Park
10. Klein Oak
Jake Jarvis, Klein Collins, P
A junior at Klein Collins, Jake Jarvis is a three-year veteran for the Tigers and will again anchor the pitching staff heading into the 2013 season. Committed to Texas as one of the top-ranked 2014 MLB draft prospects, Jarvis features a three-pitch arsenal highlighted by a lower 90s fastball.
Nick Banks, Tomball, OF/P
As a national Top 100 player and the second-ranked outfielder in the state of Texas, Nick Banks features a solid 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame with elite speed, plenty of pop in his bat and a powerful left arm. He’ll take his multiple tools on the diamond to the SEC next season as he’ll suit up for Texas A&M.
Andrew Kelley, Klein, P
Klein’s Andrew Kelley owns an intimidating presence on the mound. Standing at 6-foot-7, the right-handed arm has been clocked with a fastball in the low 90s with a solid curve and slider as his secondary pitches. As a national Top 200 player, Kelley is committed to play college baseball at Arkansas.
Thaddius Lowry, Spring, P/C
Heading to Texas Tech, Thaddius Lowry does it all for the Spring Lions. With an athletic 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame, Lowry is the ninth-ranked right-handed pitching prospect in the state with a fastball that sits in the low 90s. When he’s not pitching, look for his power arm to be on display behind the plate.
THE NORTH SIDE
Each year, the elite baseball programs in north Houston produce a talented crop of student-athletes that go on to make an impact at both the collegiate and professional level.
Despite the abundance of talent, the north side of town has been shut out of a state championship since The Woodlands brought home the crown during the 2006 season. So which teams have the best shot of striking gold at the end of the season?
Known for their consistency on both sides of the ball, The Woodlands appears to be one of the frontrunners on the north side of town with a plethora of division I talent lining the roster. Producing top-flight prospects like Kyle Drabek and Jameson Taillon, the Highlanders will once again have one of the area’s elite pitching staffs headlined by Ryan Burnett (TCU), Carter Hope (Oklahoma State), Brandon Miles (Houston) and up-and-comer Chris Andristos.
Although they play in Class 4A, Tomball is one of the elite teams in the Houston area each season, regardless of classification. This year is no exception. Highlighted by two-way standout Nick Banks, the Cougars should be one of the top-ranked 4A teams in the state of Texas and will likely cruise through their competition in the new look District 22-4A.
If Tomball is going to have a challenge for the top-ranked 4A team in the area this season, it will likely come in the form of defending Region III champions, the Montgomery Bears. As a defending state semi-finalist, the Bears return southpaw Ty Boland, who was an all-State performer a year ago, and Will Fox, a TCU-commit. Pitching will be a strong suit for the Bears and they’ll be a fun club to watch this season.
Last season we tabbed Klein Collins as one of the top-ranked teams in the city. It was no secret that the talent was there, but the Tigers were knocked out of the state playoffs in the second-round by Round Rock. Despite losing stalwarts like Austin Dean and C.J. Hinojosa, the Tigers return an elite arm in the highly-touted Jake Jarvis, who will anchor a rotation that boasts some talented arms.
A team that seemingly gives Klein Collins fits each season is their cross-town rival, Klein. After blowing through District 13-5A competition last season, the Bearkats will look to improve upon their third-round playoff exit in 2012 in which the club dropped two one-run games to Tomball. The team returns eight juniors from last year’s club but will have plenty of up-and-coming talent.
A&M Consolidated is a newcomer to District 14-5A and will make an immediate impact. Consolidated is loaded with talent and could sneak up and win the district, so watch of Highlanders. They have played lower competition in their previous district so we will see how they deal with the competition and travel.
Cole Williams, Noah McGowan and Garrett Luna gives Magnolia a talented trio to challenge the likes of Montgomery and Brenham for the district title. If they receive some solid pitching, the Bulldogs could be a Class 4A contender.
Spring, College Park and Klein Oak will all be battling for the last playoff spots for their respective districts, but if they catch fire, the alignments can quickly change. Stay tuned.