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Season Preview: Coronado Islanders


Les Lukach
State Scouting Director

With the 2019 high school baseball season just around the corner in California we will begin rolling out team previews from around the state.

In this edition we will take a closer look at the Coronado Islanders (Coronado, CA), a team that won the CIF San Diego Section Division 3 title a year ago and who returns nearly their entire roster with the expectation of another title in 2019.

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Team: Coronado

Nickname: Islanders

CIF Section: San Diego Section Division 2

League: Eastern League

Head Coach/Years at school: Morgan Cummins (9th/4th as varsity head coach)

Team Twitter Handle: N/A

2018 Overall Record: 24-9

2018 Postseason Finish: CIF SDS D3 Champions

Number of Returning Starters: 6

Number of Returning Pitchers: Entire Staff

Top Returning Players:

'21 INF Tobey Brown, '20 RHP Raden Perry, '19 RHP Luke McCollough, '19 Dylan Miller, '19 C Jared Pratt

College Commits:

'19 RHP Luke McCollough - New Mexico; '22 INF Ryan Ward - University of Arizona

Other Players To Watch:

'19 1B/LHP Bobby Zajonc, '20 OF Kyle Phin, '20 MIF Heath Miller, '20 UTIL Colter Maldonado, '21 RHP Luke Meloche, '21 UTIL Caden Sutherland, '21 RHP Ryan Depperschmidt, '22 INF Ryan Ward

2019 Outlook:

Repeating as champions in any sport is always a challenge, in high school baseball that challenge is often amplified due to roster attrition or the movement of divisions within the respective CIF section. For the Coronado Islanders, the latter could be the case while the former does not appear to be an issue. With a loaded roster that returns its entire pitching staff from a championship run, the Islanders move up a division to take a another crack at winning it all.

"Moving up a league and division should prove to be a great challenge," said 4th year head coach Morgan Cummins. "We should be a competitive team with a lot of returning players."

Coach Cummins may have been a bit modest in not including the words very good when describing his players, because you can't begin to discuss the Islanders without first mentioning the quality of their pitching staff that includes three returning starters who accounted for the majority of innings last year.

Junior right hander Raden Perry is a big 6-foot-2, 185-pounder that has a quality three-pitch mix while running his fastball into the mid-80's. He's a stoic presence on the mound for the Islanders that finished 8-2 with a 1.39 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 64 innings last season. Senior right-hander Luke McCollough is a hard thrower with projectable size at 6-foot-3, 180-pounds. Senior right-hander Dylan Miller is a fearless competitor on the mound that flashes a three-pitch mix with a mid-80's fastball.

Beyond those three starters the Islanders have quality depth with senior right-hander Jon Tessier, senior left-hander Bobby Zajonc, and sophomore right-handers Luke Meloche and Ryan Depperschmidt both of whom will be counted on in a variety of roles in 2019.

If there's an area that Cummins would consider a place where the Islanders must improve it's on the offensive side of things. While it may be an area of improvement, the offense shouldn't be too much of a concern for the Islanders.

When discussing offensive players for Coronado you have to start with sophomore infielder Tobey Brown who hit .400 and finished the season in the Top 10 in San Diego county in hits last season. He's an aggressive hitter that flashes some power and a keen knack for getting the barrel on the ball. He's also a stout defender with an above average arm. Senior catcher Jared Pratt shows the ability to handle a very strong pitching staff behind the plate while flashing some power at the plate. Zajonc is an excellent defender at first base that shows some good pop from the left side. Sophomore outfielder Kyle Phin is a freakishly athletic player that shows great range in the outfield and some power at the plate. Sophomore middle infielder Heath Miller is the type of player all championship teams have, he's an above average defender and baserunner that handles the bat well. Sophomore Colter Maldonado provides quality depth and position flexibility. Freshman Ryan Ward should step in and play on the dirt right away. He shows a big, strong arm and some sneaky power to all fields for a freshman.

The schedule won't be easy for Coronado in 2019 as they look to repeat as champions. They open with traditional power Eastlake on the road. They'll play other loaded teams like El Capitan, Francis Parker, San Ysidro, Otay Ranch, and Bonita Vista all before league play begins.

As the old saying goes, in order to be the best you have to beat the best. If the 2019 Coronado Islanders are to finish as the best they certainly will have beaten the best and earned the title of back-to-back CIF SDS Champions.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Northern California Preseason All-State (Invite-Only) CA 01/27 San Joaquin Delta College
Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/03 The Max
Solano-Sac Junior Future Games Trials CA 02/24 Vacaville Christian HS
SoCal Junior Future Games Trials CA 03/09 O'Malley Field - Harvard Westlake
East Bay Junior Future Games Trials CA 03/24 Athenian School
North Bay Junior Future Games Trials CA 04/28 Clyde P. Smith Field - Cardinal Newman HS
Northern California Future Games Trials CA 05/26 Islanders Field
Orange County Futures Games Trials CA 06/08 Hart Park - Orange CA

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