Prep Baseball Report

2024 Preseason Preview: Highland

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: Highland Bulldogs
Head Coach: Chris Paxton
CIF Section: CIF-SS, Division 3
Conference League: Golden League
2023 Record: 20-5-1
Team X Handle: @HHS_Bulldogs1

Team Strengths: Pitching depth
No. of Returning Starters: 7
No. of Returning Pitchers: 3
Areas of Improvement: Consistent defensive play



+ ‘24 OF/RHP Will Paxton - Saint Peters - 6'0 182 lbs.

+ ‘24 RHP/C Cesar Casas - Regis - 6'4 210 lbs.


+ ‘24 RHP Jacob Badillo - 6'2 190 lbs.

+ ‘24 SS/RHP Caleb Montemayor - 5'10 190 lbs.

+ ‘24 MIF Carlos Toro - 6'0 150 lbs.

+ ‘24 OF/1B Luke Manzano - 6'4 170 lbs.


Class of 2026

+ ‘26 C/1B Cole Studt - 6'2 170 lbs.

+ ‘26 OF/RHP Colton Booterbaugh - 6'0 145 lbs.

+ ‘26 RHP Landon Manzano - 5'9 150 lbs.

Class of 2027

+ ‘27 INF Nick Gonzalez - 5'7, 150 lbs.

+ ‘27 RHP/3B Jacob Arragon - 6'4 180 lbs.

+ ‘27 1B/LHP Jake Wilson - 5'10


With a number of experienced veterans that tallied 20 wins last year, en route to a second place league finish, the Bulldogs have their sights set even higher in 2024. A pair of committed prospects are set to make some big two-way contributions in ‘24 Will Paxton and ‘24 Cesar Casas. Paxton returns a .449 batting average and a .551 OBP from last year - both of which were team highs. On the mound he was also dominant, as he pitched to an ERA of .82 in 17 appearances and he earned Golden League Player of the Year honors as a result. As for Casas, he is going to be a large part of the Bulldogs’ pitching efforts, while also locking it down behind the plate on his days not on the mound.

There are a number of other seniors to know on this team, including ‘24 Caleb Montemayor who returns a .441 batting average, ‘24 Carlos Toro who earned a hit in more than half of his 14 plate appearances last year, and ‘24 Luke Manzano who tallied a .364 batting average previously. On the mound, Jacob Badillo is another senior that will be leaned on, too.

As for underclassmen, both ‘26 Cole Studt and ‘26 Colton Booterbaugh earned small but important varsity experience last year, and expect their workloads to greatly increase this season. ‘26 Landon Manzano rounds out the sophomore class, as he is a young arm to note on this team. A trio of freshmen, ‘27 Nick Gonzalez, ‘27 Jacob Arragon, and ‘27 Jake Wilson will all be looking to contribute for the Bulldogs this year, too.

Coach Chris Paxton’s Expectations: “Should be a strong season with 9 returning seniors ”