BY RYAN ABER
USA Today’s Scott Allen took time to rank the top 10 high school baseball states in the country.
You can read the full list here.
The top four are no real surprise: California, Florida, Georgia, Texas. Next comes South Carolina at No. 5, followed by Oklahoma at No. 6.
Here’s what Allen had to say about the state of baseball in the state:
Best Current High School Prospect: Jonathan Denney, C, Yukon
The Arkansas commit is a potential first-round draft pick.
Best Former ALL-USA Selection: Dylan Bundy, 2011
Bundy, the 2011 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player of the Year, was selected fourth overall in the 2011 draft. After dominating the minor leagues last season, he will compete for a rotation spot with Baltimore this spring.
Best All-Time: Johnny Bench
The 14-time All-Star and Hall of Fame catcher starred at Binger High School before the Cincinnati Reds made him the 36th overall pick of the 1965 draft.
The best current high school prospect and best former All-USA selection are pretty obvious picks. Denney, who was recently named as a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American, has a chance to be the highest state high school position player picked in a long time. Bundy broke through to the majors last season at 19 years old.
The final category might draw more of an argument. When ESPN ranked the top 100 baseball players of all-time last year in its Hall of 100 project, Mickey Mantle was the top state player on the list at No. 9. Bench came in at No. 27.
Willie Stargell (No. 84) and Paul Waner (91) also made that list.