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SBLive Sports Florida Power 25 baseball rankings: Archbishop McCarthy, Dunedin enter the rankings this week

After one week of play, Clearwater Calvary Christian remains the No. 1 team in our Power 25 rankings

Break out the bats and gloves as high school baseball season is upon us across the country, especially in the Sunshine State. One of the tops when it comes to high level baseball, Florida features several teams that appeared in our SBLive Sports’ Preseason Power 25 Rankings recently.

Starting off at the top spot is Clearwater Calvary Christian, with teams like IMG Academy, Jesuit, Berkeley Prep and Stoneman Douglas all in the national conversation as well. Besides those few teams, who else is amongst the elites when it comes to high school baseball in Florida? Take a look at our Power 25 rankings as we give you our list after one week of play out on the diamond. 

Power 25 Baseball

Find the complete breakdown of the SBLive Sports Florida Baseball Power 25:

1. Calvary Christian (Clearwater, Fla.) (3-0): The top pitching staff in the land on the high school baseball circuit resides over in Pinellas County. Calvary Christian features Landen Maroudis (NC State signee), left-gander Hunter Dietz (USF signee) and Liam Peterson, who’s headed to Florida. All three are projected to be drafted in the early rounds of the 2023 MLB Draft.

2. IMG Academy (2-0): Right behind the Warriors is the second best pitching arguably in the state over in Bradenton. The Ascenders feature left-hander Cam Johnson, who is committed to LSU. Jaewoo Cho (Arkansas) and Noah Franco (Mississippi State) join Johnson to form a formidable pitching staff second to none.

3. Marjory Stoneman Douglas (4-0): Coming off a Class 7A state championship last season with a 30-2 record, the Eagles bring back undoubtedly one of the state’s most talented rosters. The Eagles have the talent to get back to states once again and win another title. Stoneman Douglas features a pair of Florida signees Christian Rodriguez and Jacob Gomberg.

4. Jesuit (3-0): Miguel Menendez’s club returns plenty of talent to the roster, especially when it comes to the Tigers’ pitching staff. Wes Mendes, who has signed already with Ole Miss, can do it on the mound or in the outfield. Also watch out for Florida State signee John Abraham and Miami signee Jake Kulikowski.

5. Hagerty (2-0): Though the Huskies fell short of winning it all last year in Class 6A, Mike Sindone’s squad is more than talented enough to make up for it this spring. Luis Rivero batted .330 last year and is a Saint Leo signee. Right-hander Garrett Baumann (UCF signee) will be Hagerty’s top pitcher on the mound.

6. Sickles (2-0): A run to the Final Four in Class 6A is how the Gryphons ended 2022, but this group is hungry for more this spring. Manager Eric Luksis brings back a very talented roster, which includes Florida signee Hayden Yost along with UCF signee Caden McDonald and Yost’s younger brother, Jordan (Florida commit).

7. Montverde Academy (2-0): Last year the Eagles played as an independent program, but this season will play in Class 3A, District 9. Montverde Academy, coming off an 18-7 campaign in 2022, is led by a stout pitching staff that consists of USF signee Logan Bevis and Stetson signee Matthew Heyl.

8. Strawberry Crest (1-1): A very highly anticipated matchup to start off the high school baseball season in Florida will be when the Chargers face No. 8 Sickles next week. The Chargers are led by a pair of Division I signees of shortstop Arjun Nimmala (Florida State) and pitcher/outfielder Alex Philpott (Florida).

9. Doral Academy (2-1): The defending Class 6A state champions are loaded across the board and much of that starts behind the left-arm of Florida signee Frank Menendez. He’s joined by Miami signee Adrian Santana and outfielder/pitcher Michael Torres, who is also a future Hurricane.

10. Mitchell (2-1): When talking about having possibly the top player in the state of Florida, the Mustangs have arguably that at their arsenal. Shortstop Aidan Miller is back and is projected to be a bonafide first round pick in this summer’s 2023 MLB Draft. Trevor Harrison (Florida State signee) and Chase Nystrom (UCF commit) round out a strong roster.

11. Miami Christian (1-1): The 2022 Class 2A state champions are back in the mix with a very talented roster. Manager Chris Cuadro has a couple right-handers coming back on the mound in Miami signee Christopher Diaz and David Bosque.

12. Naples (2-0): Top team in the Southwest Florida region is the Golden Eagles as they are coming off a state semifinal appearance last year in Class 5A. The Golden Eagles bring back outfielder Michael Graziano and pitcher Reilly Witmer, who has signed on with Florida.

13. North Broward Prep (3-0): The Eagles have one of the top lineups in Broward County and despite graduating multiple key seniors, they bring back plenty. North Broward Prep returns junior Riley Luft, who batted .337 last season and committed to Appalachian State.

14. Pensacola Catholic (1-0): A region quarterfinal exit in the Class 3A playoffs is how the Crusaders’ season ended last year. Pensacola Catholic is another panhandle program that’s expected to make waves. Leading the talented roster is catcher Will Barter, who has signed with Tulane.

15. Viera (3-0): Getting past the region semifinal round will be a check mark the Hawks want to make sure happens this spring. The Hawks went 21-8 under Brock Doty last year and will be a contender in Class 6A, one of the state’s strongest classifications.

16. Miami Springs (2-0): The Golden Hawks were a region finalist in Class 4A in 2022 and manager David Fanshawe has another impressive group to work with. Miami Springs will be led by senior pitchers Jordan Vargas, Brandon Olivera and David Davila.

17. Plant City (2-0): Don’t judge these Raiders by when they bowed out of the Class 6A playoffs last season. All you have to look at is the bevy of talent coming back to see they belong. Pitcher/designated hitter Chase Mobley (Florida State signee) heads a talented roster.

18. Bartram Trail (3-0): Gainesville is a future home to several of Bartram Trail’s players. The Bears have the talent to make a deep run in Class 7A as sophomore Jacob Kendall and juniors Kolt Myers and Schuyler Sandford are all University of Florida commits.

19. Pace (1-1): The Patriots got to the Class 6A state championship game before falling to Hagerty. Pace went 26-4 last year and Jason McBride’s club has a couple of Division I signees back, including Jackson McKenzie (Mississippi State) and Nash Pires (Alabama).

20. Winter Springs (1-1): Mike Bradley’s bunch was ousted in the Class 6A region quarterfinals last year, but now return a majority of their team this spring. Amongst those back on the diamond for the Bears is junior pitcher Braeden Weckman (Florida commit) and senior hurler Joey Wimpelberg (UCF signee).

21. Archbishop McCarthy (3-0): The Mavericks weren’t a team on our initial radar when it came to the rankings, but they’ve certainly caught our attention. A 5-3 win over Doral Academy this past Friday was impressive. Pitcher Andrew IIdefonso has been solid for Archbishop McCarthy, striking out eight through four innings. 

22. Tate (1-0): A March 31 matchup against No. 15 Pace and a meeting with Chiles on April 8 will be tall telling on exactly this Aggies club is at. The Aggies went 23-4 a year ago and return plenty in order to compete in Class 6A.

23. Dunedin (2-1): Last year’s Class 4A state semifinalists started off the on the outside looking in when it came to our preseason rankings. A season opening victory over No. 7 Mitchell vaults them into our list this week. Trey Beard remains had a strong showing against the Mustangs. 

24. Lake Brantley (2-1): Several seniors graduated from last year’s 24-5 squad, but the Patriots should have enough to make another push in Class 7A. The strength of the club lies in its outfield with seniors Ethan Beal and Benjamin Jurenko back.

25. Key West (2-0): The Conchs ended 2022 with a 22-7 record and were able to play with many of the state’s top programs throughout the season. Though the team graduated several key starters, sophomore Noah Burnham looks to be the next great in line down in the Keys.

On the bubble: Berkeley Prep, Bishop Verot, Chiles, Columbus, Eau Gallie, Fletcher, Jensen Beach, Lakeland Christian, Park Vista, Plant, Plantation American Heritage, Sarasota, Sarasota Riverview, Spruce Creek, St. Johns Country Day, St. Thomas Aquinas, Suwannee, Taravella, Trinity Christian Academy, Western.

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo.