Prep Baseball Report

2024 Preseason Preview: Hart

By: Isaiah Glidden
Staff Writer


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The 2024 California high school baseball season is quickly approaching and, as usual, excitement is abound throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across California.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in their respective CIF Section Championship Game, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across California. We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews, eventually releasing our Preseason Power 25 rankings that’ll carry us into the opening week of action and the Third Annual Prep Baseball California Spring Invitational.

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across California. Each week we will be releasing our Power 25, Players of the Week, Diamond Notes, Podcasts and much more.

Our 2024 preseason coverage continues today.

High School: Hart Indians
Head Coach: Jim Ozella
CIF Section: CIF-SS, Division 1
Conference League: Foothill League
2023 Record: 14-15 overall (7-5 Foothill League)
Team X Handle: (@hart_baseball)

Team Strengths: Pitching - Cooper, Maymo top junior, Brar / quality relief
Defense - infield defense solid
No. of Returning Starters: 6
No. of Returning Pitchers: 4
Areas of Improvement: Offensive improvement - played with young players last year - year older and better



+ ‘24 INF Brayden Jefferis - Michigan - 5’10 175 lbs.
+ ‘24 RHP Troy Cooper - Cal Poly - 6’3 190 lbs.
+ 24 LHP Taj Brar - Biola - 5’9 175 lbs.


+ ‘25 INF Michael Hogen - 6’0 175 lbs.
+ ‘25 RHP Carson Maymo - 6’3 165 lbs.
+ ‘25 OF Lincoln Daly 6’0 190 lbs.
+ ‘25 C Brady Werther - 5’11 175 lbs.
+ ‘25 LHP Tristan Purfoy - 6’0 185 lbs.


Class of 2026

+ ‘26 LHP/OF Hayden Rhodes - 6’0 165 lbs.
+ ‘26 RHP/OF Joshua Whitson - 6’0 185 lbs.


Last season, with a number of young and inexperienced members, the Indians battled for a 14-15 record, which included a 7-5 one in Foothill play. Now, in 2024, this team is no longer inexperienced and they have high hopes in 2024. Leading the way offensively for the Indians will be Michigan commit ‘24 Brayden Jefferis and he returns a team-high .345 batting average from last season, including many other team-leading offensive stats. Fellow infielder, ‘25 Michael Hogen is another offensive name to know, as he has reportedly made some big strides over the offseason. ‘24 Lincoln Daly and ‘24 Brady Wether are two other juniors that are expected to make some big contributions this season.

On the mound, Cal Poly commit ‘24 Troy Cooper will be one of the team's ace’s. Cooper features a high-80s fastball with feel for both a curveball and changeup, too. ‘24 Taj Brar, a Biola recruit, is another committed arm that is going to contribute in big ways this season. ‘25 Carson Maymo and ‘25 Tristan Purfoy are a pair of uncommitted junior arms on this squad, too. Rounding out this roster are a pair of two-way sophomores, ‘26 Hayden Rhodes who is a first-year varsity memeber and ‘26 Joshua Whitson, who earned some valuable experience last year but will look to take on a larger workload this season.

Coach Jim Ozella’s Expectations: “Successful season with key returners coming back and quality mix of young players - challenging schedule as always in non-league games (Simi Valley/ Birmingham/ Sierra Canyon/ Gahr/ Mission Hills-San Marcos/ Villa Park/ Palos Verdes/ Crespi/ Redondo)”