Colorado Top 50 Countdown: No. 1 Pine Creek Eagles


John Cackowski and PBR Staff

 

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Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage. 

Like any preseason ranking for any sport, last year our list created a lot of fun conversations, debate, and opinions among players, coaches, and families. To see what we got right, and what we got wrong in 2017 Click Here

What makes our list unique is it combines all classifications (1A through 5A), and leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage.

Factors that are considered when creating the Top 50 List are the following:

- How many current players are returning that are in PBR Colorado rankings
- How many overall players committed or non-committed are returning
- How many starting pitchers are returning
- Success the previous season
- History of success in the program

* We expect the teams in the Top 50 Countdown will compete for at least a district playoff spot in 2018

Team No. 1: Pine Creek Eagles

2018 Preseason Rank: 1
2017 Preseason Rank: 3
2017 Record: 13-7
Conference: Front Range
CHSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Glen Millhauser
2017 Playoff Run: Lost to Brighton in the Region 2 5A District Playoffs 5-2. 
2017 Final Rank: 62
Returning Offensive Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 6
Returning Innings on Mound: 80
RBI's returning: 129

 

STAT RAT: 
The Eagles carried an impressive 2.52 ERA as a team and hit .398 overall. 

X-FACTORS: 
The Eagles need to find a way to get through districts. They have the talent to do it, but the 5A Final 8 has been allusive to the program. 

BOTTOM LINE: 
On paper the Pine Creek Eagles have as much talent on paper as any team in the state. With 4 players committed to D-1 colleges (three to power 5 schools) the Eagles possess arms three arms that can touch 90, and have power in the lineup. If there is a year for the Eagles to make it to the state championship this is the one. Expect the Eagles to compete in the last weekend of the season. 

Key Player Lost

Toby Scoles OF / LHP / Pine Creek, CO / 2017

6-foot-1, 180-pound left hand hitting Of who ran a 4.30 home to first.  At the plate he hits from a balanced stance.  He uses a double tow tap for timing.  Weight loads on his back side them fires through the zone.  Showed good power to the pull side.  Swing is slightly uphill with a high finish.  Exit velocity was 91 MPH.  In the outfield he is athletic and moves well to the ball.  His lower half squares up on the throw and he delivers from a high ¾ arm slot.  Throws were accurate at 80 MPH.  On the mound he is compact and quick to the plate.  He delivers from an over the top arm slot and lands in-line with the plate.  He shows good drive with his lower half and extensions on his delivery.  His fast ball was 79-80 MPH with good command of the outer half.  He added a 68-70 MPH curve with sharp late break and a 70-72 MPH change that worked well down in the zone. Had a very impressive 2017 season. Scoles went 6 and 1 with a 1.02 ERA on the mound in 41 innings. Scoles also hit .541 on the season. 

 

 

Key Players Returning

 

Justin Olson 1B / LHP / Pine Creek, CO / 2018

6-foot-2, 200 pounds. Bats and throws left. A lot of juice in Olson's bat. Power to both gaps. Strong wrists and great extension through zone with level swing through zone but generates great back spin. Ball just flies off bat. Hard to pitch to because hands are back, and there is good plate coverage. At 1B has good feet and a strong arm. Not sure if he's a 1B or OF yet at next level, but his left handed bat will for sure play. The Kentucky commit led the team with 5 homeruns, and drove in 19. 

 

 

 

 

Jeremy Onken RHP / OF / Pine Creek , CO / 2018

6-foot-3, 205 pounds. Starts with a wide set up in center of the mound, then moves to 1B side of rubber. Arm is long and loose. Comes from a high 3/4 arm slot. Lands slightly closed. Good extension to the plate. Fastball seems to be on you in a hurry. Lived at 85-86 mph, touching 87. We have had at 88-89 before. Curve has sharp late break, 12/6 shape at 72-73 mph. Change thrown at same arm speed as fastball at 74-75 mph. At the plate has an opened, slightly narrow stance, leg kick stride. Load has some slight wrap, but generates good bat whip through zone. Impressive bat speed at times in live round. Bat path is short to the ball then good extension through. Produced 90 mph exit velo off the tee. Gap to gap power. In the OF wants to use an exaggerated crow hop. Charges the ball aggressively. OF arm velo was 86 mph. Ran a 4.40 home to first.

 

 

 

Riley Cornelio RHP / SS / Pine Creek , CO / 2019

6-foot-2, 160 pounds. Bats and throws right. Athletic, wiry, and elastic. Advanced high school hitter at the plate. Has narrow open stance and aggressive stride towards ball that produced a 90 mph exit velocity off a tee. Didn’t pitch at the event, but we have seen him on mound multiple times and his arm is electric, and based on the throws from shortstop he is all that we advertise him to be on the mound. Arm was whippy, and was heaps and bounds ahead of any arm at the event throwing 88 mph. What is scary is his thin frame could easily add 30 more pounds to push his already 90+ fastball up to mid to upper 90's range. Ran a 4.5 home to first. 

 

 

 

 

Parker Gregory RHP / OF / Pine Creek , CO / 2019

fastballs down in the zone and they jump at the plate. Steps across his body which leads to some natural cut at times. More velocity to come. Changeup works well. 11/5 slurve is a tight, out pitch with multi-plane break. Sharp at times and has a chance to be a swing and miss pitch. Was recently 89 mph at the Colorado Preseason All-State

 

 

 

 

Zac Heisler 1B / OF / Pine Creek, CO / 2018

6-foot-3, 200 pounds. Bats right, throws left. Big, strong, raw athletic player who couldl move up in the 2018 rankings. Stands tall at the plate and has some good power potential. Toe-tap stride, hands load straight back, can wrap back back sometimes, but generates good power. Good extension through ball on firm front side. Could even get more of his lower back side rotated through swing. Generated a 91 mph exit velo off the tee. Needs to to work on footwork in the outfield. Throws uphill to from right to 3rd at 72 mph. Like his frame on the mound. Pretty smooth and effortless. Everything in-line towards the plate. Could generate more momentum towards plate. Looks like he stops arm a little before release which stalls arm action. Fastball was 74-76. Curve was 64-66. Ran a 7.07 60 time. Like his projectability. 

 

 

 

 

Cade Kleckner OF / 2B / Pine Creek , CO / 2018

A 5-foot-8, 140-pound right hand hitting OF/2B who ran a 6.81 60.  At the plate He is balanced and uses a short stride to get his weight coming forward.  He shows quick hands and a level swing through the zone. Good bat control with line drives to all fields.  Exit velocity was 81 MPH.  In the field he uses his speed to cut down balls left and right.  He throws from a high ¾ arm slot with an accurate 72 MPH arm.  

 

 

 

 

Grant Wilkinson 3B / OF / Pine Creek , CO / 2019

6-foot-1, 160 pounds. Bats and throws right. Really came away liking his tools. At the plate has a tall balanced stance. Generates good bat speed through the hitting zone. Just needs to keep hands inside of ball a little more at times. Lower and upper half work well together. Swing is slightly uphill with good extension. Tends to want to pull ball at times. Generated a 78 mph exit velocity off the tee. Came impressed with defensive play. Had some real nice backhands at 3B during the weekend. Shows good range to go to hole at 3B as well. Was 80 mph across the diamond. Also ran a 7.07 60 time. Strong skill set.  

 

 

 

 

Kyle Moran 2B / RHP / Pine Creek, CO / 2019

5-foot-9, 155 pounds. Bats and throws right. Slightly wide stance at the plate, rocks back with short stride. Slight load. Line drive power with level swing through zone. One handed finish. Has good bat speed, quick hands through zone as well. Liked approach and swing. Sometimes has pull tendencies. Generated 84 mph exit velocity off tee. Ran a 7.44 60 time.  Fields ball well out in front. Long arm action from short but strong arm. 78 mph across diamond. On the mound is all arms and legs. Lands in-line to plate then falls off to first. High 3/4 arm slot. Like potential on mound. Fastball was 80-82 thrown for strikes. Hitters could not barrel at all. Curveball had late depth at 64 mph.