Team Preview: Desert Ridge


Brett Thorney
Arizona Scouting Director

Players in Arizona have been eager to compete for their high school programs and it feels as we are getting close. The Arizona Interscholastic Association has announced that opening day of the 2021 season will commence on Monday, March 1st. Programs will allowed to begin practicing while holding tryouts in an official capacity before moving on to live competition. The PBR Arizona staff will start to begin its 2021 season coverage starting with our Preseason Power 25 rankings. Over the next two months and leading up to opening day, we will be highlighting some of the top programs in state in our team previews. PBR will also be publishing its state Power 25 rankings that will be updated every Monday once the season begins. Throughout the season, PBR will be pumping out coverage, highlighting individual players, games, rankings, scouting reports and nominating a player of the week. PBR looks forward to getting out there this spring to see some great baseball. 


Our Preseason Power 25 rankings coverage starts today.

Team: Desert Ridge
Preseason Rank:
Bubble
2020 Record:
 4-3
Conference: Central
AIA Classification: 6A
Head Coach: Joseph Ponce
Returning Starters: 3
Returning Pitchers: 4

OUTLOOK:

Desert Ridge is currently listed on Preseason Rankings as an "On the bubble" team to start the 2021 campaign. This team has potential to be a sneaky squad in 6A with some upset potential. While they dont have some of the marquis prospects that jump out at you like some programs, they have a tight knit group with some high energy grinder type players. Head Coach, Joseph Ponce lists their team chemistry as one of their strengths as well as maturity from some of the underclassmen. Look for 2022 Jaydan Israel (Hawaii Commit) to set the tone for this squad, should hit towards the top of the lineup as well as play some shortstop. Israel should lead by example for the Jaguars. 2023 C Gio Melchione (Gonzaga Commit) returns as the primary backstop for this squad who was a starter on varsity as a Freshmen in 2020. Versatile Senior, Tyler Bare (uncommitted) should also play a key role in this teams success. He can contribute with the bat and on the mound. Look for Desert Ridge to surprise some teams in 2021. 

KEY PLAYERS LOST:

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Brendan Thome AZ Desert Ridge 2020 RHP/1B Mesa
Jerred Lazenby AZ Desert Ridge 2020 SS/RHP Gateway
Justin Fago AZ Desert Ridge 2020 INF Sioux Falls
Hunter Bagshaw AZ Desert Ridge 2020 3B/RHP Cerro Coso
Xavier Gonzalez AZ Desert Ridge 2020 C Minot State
Gavin Muller AZ Desert Ridge 2020 RHP Cerro Coso

TOP Returners:

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Gio Melchione AZ Desert Ridge 2023 C Gonzaga
Christian Woodward AZ Desert Ridge 2022 LHP  
Tyler Richins AZ Desert Ridge 2022 OF/3B  
Tyler Bare AZ  Desert Ridge 2021  RHP/UT  
Nile Hesson AZ Desert Ridge 2021 LHP/1B  
Alex Cruz AZ Desert Ridge 2021 OF  
Ronnie Prusia AZ Desert Ridge 2021 INF  
Trey Holland AZ Desert Ridge 2021 OF  
Josiah Kidd AZ Desert Ridge 2021 UT  

PRESEASON MVP:

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Gio Melchione AZ Desert Ridge 2023 C Gonzaga

TOP NEWCOMERS:

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Jaydan Israel AZ Desert Ridge 2022 SS Hawaii
Hunter Hosino AZ Desert Ridge 2022 2B/RHP  
Brandon Frank AZ Desert Ridge 2022 1B  
Matt D'Amato AZ Desert Ridge 2022 OF/RHP  
JD Sobeck AZ Desert Ridge 2022 LHP/1B  

UNDERCLASSMEN WATCHLIST:

NAME STATE SCHOOL CLASS POS COMMITMENT
Logan Spetz AZ Desert Ridge 2024    
Caden Truman AZ Desert Ridge 2024    
Cooper Sobeck AZ Desert Ridge 2024    


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