A player from a Las Vegas high school has been selected as the 2009 EA SPORTS Mr. Baseball USA, but it might not be the one most people have read about.
Looking purely at high school accomplishments, Bishop Gorman's Jeff Malm beat out city rival and recent Sports Illustrated cover boy Bryce Harper to earn the top spot on the EA SPORTS All-American Baseball Team.
Malm led Bishop Gorman to its fourth straight Class 4A state championship, a 40-4 record and a No. 4 ranking in the final ESPN RISE FAB 50.
Malm was one of just two juniors selected for the 2008 EA SPORTS All-American team after he hit .582 with 61 RBIs, 59 runs scored, 25 doubles and seven homers. He also went 5-2 as a pitcher. This year, Malm was counted on even more for his pitching as he collected 11 wins on the mound with just one loss. He also had a 1.50 ERA and struck out 87 batters.
At the plate, Malm had a slightly lower batting average (.564) but was far more powerful as he hit 17 homers with 69 RBIs. During one stretch, the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder slammed homers in five straight games, including a pair against Durango.
Malm's career statistics were equally impressive, but the one number that stands out the most is his final total of 277 hits, since it ties the reported national record.
In the Class 4A state final, Malm took the mound in the sixth inning with two runners on base and Bishop Gorman clinging to a 3-1 lead against Cimarron Memorial (Las Vegas). He struck out two batters to get out of that jam and ended up striking out four of the last five batters he faced to pick up the save.
Malm was recently selected in the fifth round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He has until Aug. 15 to either sign with the Rays or head to USC, the college he signed with last November.
The other junior who made the 2008 EA SPORTS All-American first team, pitcher Matt Hobgood of Norco (Calif.) High, was among a small group to be seriously considered for the Mr. Baseball USA honor -- along with outfielder Donavan Tate of Cartersville (Ga.) High and pitcher/first baseman Tyler Matzek of Capistrano Valley High (Mission Viejo, Calif.).
Meanwhile, Harper is the only underclassman named to the 2009 EA SPORTS All-American first team. The super sophomore was all-state in Nevada for a second straight year after he belted 14 homers with 55 RBIs, a .626 batting average and 36 stolen bases. As a pitcher, he displayed a fastball in the mid-90s. He was an obvious choice as the Sophomore Player of the Year, but his accomplishments paled in comparison to winning four straight state titles and tying a national record.
Larry Knight earned Coach of the Year honors after leading Sumrall (Miss.) High to its second straight Class 3A state title, a No. 3 ranking in the final ESPN RISE FAB 50 national baseball ranking, and a perfect 36-0 record to became the first unbeaten state champ in the state since 1996. In his 16 years of coaching high school baseball in Mississippi, Knight has piled up a record of 414-125 with six state championships. Since taking over at Sumrall three years ago, Knight's record is 100-11. Knight, who won his first four state titles during a 13-year run at Hattiesburg, his alma mater, is a former minor league player with the Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers.
2009 EA SPORTS Baseball First Team All-Americans
Bryce Harper (Las Vegas), Sophomore
He is likely the most recognizable name on this team after being touted as the most exciting sports prodigy since LeBron James. He made headlines this spring when he decided to leave high school early to play for the College of Southern Nevada. He plans to be eligible for the 2010 MLB draft.
Tom Joseph (Horizon / Scottsdale, Ariz.), Senior
Despite playing his first full season behind the plate as a catcher, he picked off 18 runners and allowed only two stolen bases. At the plate, he showed his power (15 homers) and hit .442 with 36 RBIs. Joseph was drafted in the second round of the MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants.
Wil Myers (Wesleyan Christian / High Point, N.C.), Senior
He played catcher as a senior, but the versatile 6-foot-3, 190-pound athlete was also utilized as an infielder, outfielder and pitcher in his career. He batted .532 with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs this season. A University of South Carolina recruit, he was drafted in the third round by the Kansas City Royals.
Max Stassi (Yuba City, Calif.), Senior
The Sacramento Bee Player of the Year led the Honkers to their third straight CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship and was selected to the All-Metro first team for a fourth time. In his four-year varsity career, he batted .514 with 40 home runs and 162 RBIs while earning a scholarship to UCLA. His dad, Yuba City coach Jim Stassi, was a catcher in the Giants organization, but Max was picked by the Oakland Athletics in the fourth round of the 2009 MLB draft.
Ethan Carter (Menchville / Newport News, Va.), Senior
The right-hander was the stopper as the Monarchs captured their first state Group AAA championship. He went 11-1 with a 1.17 ERA and averaged 11 strikeouts per game (100 in 65 2/3 innings). He hurled the 7-1 state finals win over Hanover.
Mariel Checo (Norman Thomas / Manhattan, N.Y.), Senior
The Dominican Republic native was the anchor of an unbeaten, nationally ranked Norman Thomas team (24-0) that captured the Public School Athletic League Class A title. He sported an 8-0 record with 94 strikeouts and a sub-1.00 ERA in 52 innings this season. He was drafted by the New York Yankees after he won four of the Tigers' six postseason playoff games, including a 14-strikeout effort in the title game at Yankee Stadium against James Monroe (Bronx, N.Y.).
Chad James (Yukon, Okla.), Senior
James was named the All-City Big Schools Player of the Year in Oklahoma City despite the Millers just missing out on the state tournament. James went 8-2 with a 1.28 ERA in 63 1/3 innings pitched, striking out an even 100 batters. At the plate, he hit for a .336 average with 17 RBIs. He is expected to sign with the Florida Marlins, who selected the right-handed hurler with the 18th pick in the MLB draft.
Jordan John (Calallen / Corpus Christi, Texas), Senior
With a perfect 13-0 record and 0.26 ERA on the mound, John led the Wildcats to the Region IV-4A championship game. He tossed two no-hitters and five one-hitters while striking out 145 in 82 innings. John will head to Oklahoma after having postseason Tommy John surgery.
Austin Kirk (Owasso, Okla.), Senior
Kirk helped the Rams continue their dominance in Oklahoma as they reached their 12th Class 6A state championship game in the last 13 years while winning their 11th state title. Kirk was named the state Player of the Year after compiling a 9-1 record and a 0.45 ERA; he hit for a .408 average with 50 RBIs. Kirk was picked in the third round of the MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs but also has the option to be an Oklahoma Sooner next season.
Tyler Matzek (Capistrano Valley / Mission Viejo, Calif.), Senior
Matzek led his team to the top ranking in the state, earning Mr. Baseball California honors along the way. He went 11-1 with a 0.92 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 68.1 innings while batting .404 with eight homers, including a game-winning shot at Angel Stadium. The Colorado Rockies selected him 11th overall in the first round of the MLB draft.
Jacob Turner (Westminster Christian / St. Louis, Mo.), Senior
With a fastball that is consistently in the mid-90s, Turner went 7-2 this season with a 0.60 ERA and whiffed 113 batters while walking just 13 in just over 53 innings of work. The Detroit Tigers continued their trend of selecting pitchers with their first pick in the MLB draft when they took Turner with the No. 9 overall pick.
Zack Wheeler (East Paulding / Dallas, Ga.), Senior
The Gatorade state Player of the Year, and sixth overall MLB draft pick by the San Francisco Giants, Wheeler led the Raiders to the state Class AAAAA semifinals. He went 9-0 with a 0.54 ERA. In 77 2/3 innings, the right-hander struck out 151 batters, walked 20 and allowed just 31 hits while batters put up a .118 average against him.
Bobby Borchering (Bishop Verot / Fort Myers, Fla.), Senior
In his senior year, the Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida swung away for a .494 batting average with 37 RBIs and 13 home runs in 107 at-bats. The Florida recruit has a decision to make after being chosen with the 16th overall pick in the MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kelly Dugan (Notre Dame / Sherman Oaks, Calif.), Senior
A switch-hitting outfielder and first baseman, Dugan recorded a .379 batting average in his final high school season to go with eight home runs and 35 RBIs. The Philadelphia Phillies selected him with their first pick in the draft (75th overall) and have already signed him to a contract. His father, Dennis, is a movie director and his draft-day party was attended by several celebrities, including Chris Rock and Adam Sandler.
Nick Franklin (Lake Brantley / Altamonte Springs, Fla.), Senior
The All-Central Florida Player of the Year batted .538 with 11 home runs to wrap up a stellar high school career. Before the season, he was a member of the U.S. 18-Under national team and was selected 27th overall in the MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners.
Mychal Givens (Plant / Tampa, Fla.), Senior
On the mound or at shortstop, Givens showed off his impressive arm as he struck out 113 in 78 innings with just 14 walks and a 1.17 ERA. Known more for his glove and arm than his bat, he still managed to hit .374 with 31 RBIs and four homers. Givens has a baseball scholarship offer to Oklahoma State if he decides to not sign with the Baltimore Orioles after being selected with the 54th overall pick in the MLB draft.
K.C. Hobson (Stockdale / Bakersfield, Calif.), Senior
For the second year in a row, Hobson was named the Bakersfield Californian's Baseball Player of the Year after the Mustangs defended their CIF Central Section championship this season. On the mound, he went 7-1 after compiling a perfect 10-0 record last season, but he made the most impact at the plate. He led the Central Section with 15 home runs and knocked in 47 runs while batting .489. The son of son of former Boston Red Sox manager Butch Hobson, K.C. was drafted in the sixth round by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Brett Jacobs (Richland, Wash.), Senior
The son of Bombers coach Ben Jacobs has been a rock for four years in the infield and has led the team to two state titles, including this year's. The Washington State recruit had a .417 batting average as a senior with five homers and 33 RBIs. For his career, he racked up 24 homers and 117 RBIs.
Curt Powell (Farragut / Knoxville, Tenn.), Senior
The four-year regular shortstop and Gatorade state Player of the Year helped the Admirals to back-to-back state Class AAA titles and three crowns in four years. The Vanderbilt University recruit batted .504 with eight home runs, 39 RBIs, 17 doubles and 79 runs scored this season.
Randal Grichuk (Lamar Consolidated / Rosenberg, Texas), Senior
The 24th overall MLB draft selection by the Los Angeles Angels posted an all-state senior season. He led the greater Houston metro area with 21 home runs, adding 46 RBIs and a robust .613 batting average. The University of Arizona recruit has been making home run headlines since starring in the 2004 Little League World Series.
Zach Heathcott (Texas / Texarkana, Texas), Senior
He hit for a .472 average this season with nine homers and 46 RBIs as the big bat in the Tigers' offense in their Class 5A state championship season. After not pitching all year, he came in to close the state championship game with a scoreless inning of relief. The New York Yankees selected him with the 29th overall pick in the MLB draft, but if he doesn't sign he will end up at LSU, where he also could play football.
Donavan Tate (Cartersville, Ga.), Senior
The speedy outfielder was the first non-college player picked in the MLB draft (No. 3 overall to San Diego). Tate, who had already signed a two-sport national letter of intent to play baseball and football at North Carolina, had a terrific senior season in baseball as he hit .525 with 10 home runs. The son of former NFL running back Lars Tate finished his high school baseball career with a total of 32 home runs while impressing scouts with his superior defensive skills in center field.
Mike Trout (Millville, N.J.), Senior
Trout set a state record for home runs in a season with 18 while hitting for a .531 average and 45 RBIs. He also recorded a 5-1 record on the mound with a 1.71 ERA to finish his high school career with a record of 20-5. He had committed to East Carolina but is expected to sign with the Los Angeles Angels after being selected 25th overall in the MLB draft.
Everett Williams (McCallum / Austin, Texas), Senior
The all-state outfielder had a productive senior season, showing a combination of hitting and speed. He batted .462 with 34 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. He was the 52nd overall selection in the MLB draft (the second-round choice of the San Diego Padres).
Reggie Williams Jr. (Brooks-DeBartolo / Tampa, Fla.), Senior
The first All-American selection for this charter school, and son of former Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland Indians player Reggie Williams, he batted .604 and stole 61 bases in 63 attempts this season. The Miami recruit was selected by the Texas Rangers in the MLB draft.
Multi-Purpose (Hitting, Pitching)
Jake Barrett (Desert Ridge / Mesa, Ariz.), Senior
The Arizona Republic's Big Schools Player of the Year helped lead Desert Ridge to a Class 5A Division II championship as he was a threat on the mound and at the plate. On the mound, the Arizona State recruit was 9-3 with a 1.90 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 62 innings while leading the state in homers with 20 as he hit for a .510 average with 66 RBIs. The Toronto Blue Jays selected him in the third round of the MLB draft.
Matt Davidson (Yucaipa, Calif.), Senior
He ended his senior season with a scorching bat as he hit eight homers in his last 12 games. Davidson finished with 11 homers, a .553 batting average and 45 RBIs. He has already signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks after being selected 35th overall in the recent Major League Baseball draft.
Matt Hobgood (Norco, Calif.), Senior
The Gatorade National Player of the Year was dominant on the mound and at the plate and was chosen fifth overall in the MLB draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Despite a disappointing end to his season that saw him suffer his lone loss of the year, he went 11-1 with a 0.92 ERA and 101 strikeouts in just over 68 innings. He also hit .475 with 21 homers. Hobgood's home run total reportedly was No. 1 in the nation.
Josh Patton (Naples, Fla.), Senior
The Florida Dairy Farmers Class 4A Player of the Year led the Golden Eagles to a 33-1 record, a state title and the ESPN RISE FAB 50 national No. 1 ranking. The pitcher/first baseman went 11-0 on the mound with a 0.90 ERA and 97 strikeouts. At the plate, he batted .355.
Zack Von Rosenberg (Zachary, La.), Senior
A recruit of NCAA champion LSU, he pitched in a state championship game all four seasons, including the last three Class 4A title teams at Zachary. The Gatorade state Player of the Year was 11-1 as a right-handed pitcher and also hit .489 with 10 home runs, 45 RBIs and 28 stolen bases.
2009 EA SPORTS Baseball Second Team All-Americans
Chad Gough-Fortenberry (Northshore / Slidell, La.), Senior
Luke Maile (Covington Catholic / Covington, Ky.), Senior
John Murphy (Pendleton School / Bradenton, Fla.), Senior
Andrew Susac (Jesuit / Carmichael, Calif.), Senior
D.J. Baxendale (Sylvan Hills / Sherwood, Ark.), Senior
Tanner Bushue (South Central / Farina, Ill.), Senior
Logan Ehlers (Nebraska City, Neb.), Junior
Chad Girodo (Hartselle, Ala.), Senior
Kurt Heyer (Edison / Huntington Beach, Calif.), Senior
Kyle Hunter (South Fork / Stuart, Fla.), Senior
Tyler Skaggs (Santa Monica, Calif.), Senior
Tyler Skulina (Walsh Jesuit / Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio), Junior
Stetson Allie (St. Edward / Lakewood, Ohio), Junior
Ryan Abrahamson (Tartan / Oakdale, Minn.), Senior
Scooter Gennett (Sarasota, Fla.), Senior
Taylor Lindsey (Desert Mountain / Scottsdale, Ariz.), Junior
Christian Lopes (Valencia, Calif.), Sophomore
Cameron Perkins (Southport / Indianapolis), Senior
Jake Rodriguez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Junior
Cory Falvey (Socorro / El Paso, Texas), Senior
Rudy Flores (Moody / Corpus Christi, Texas), Senior
Ty Linton (Charlotte Christian / Charlotte, N.C.), Junior
Chris Marangon (Tahoma / Covington, Wash.), Senior
Mark Payton (St. Rita / Chicago), Senior
Levon Washington (Buchholz / Gainesville, Fla.), Senior
Luke Bole (Hartselle, Ala.), Senior
Colton Cain (Waxahachie / Texas), Senior
Darren Farmer (West Lauderdale / Collinsville, Miss.), Senior
John Martinez (De La Salle / Warren, Mich.), Senior
Jake Stewart (Rocky Mountain / Fort Collins, Colo.), Senior