Colorado Top 50 Countdown: No. 11 Eaton Reds


John Cackowski and PBR Colorado 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. 11: Eaton Reds

2018 Preseason Rank: 11
2017 Preseason Rank: 19
2017 Record: 18-9
Conference: Patriot League
CHSAA Class: 3A
Head Coach: Todd Hernandez
2017 Playoff Run: Lost to Valley in the 3A state title game
2017 Final Rank: 35
Returning Offensive Starters: 8
Returning Pitchers: 5
Returning Innings on Mound: 96
RBI's returning: 134

 

STAT RAT: 2.97 ERA for the Reds in 2017, they seem to have arms coming back and could replicate this number.

X-FACTORS: Handling the expectations and pressure that come with being out in front year in and year out.

BOTTOM LINE:  Eaton continued their winning ways in 2017, falling one game short of another 3A state title. The 2018 team returns a wealth of experience and looks very balanced on Offense and Defense.  Looking at the arms coming back, Eaton should be in every game and if their offense keeps trending like the teams in the past, they will be a tough team to beat in May.

Players to Watch

 

CJ Blaskowski C / 3B / Eaton High School, CO / 2019

6-foot-0, 180-pound right hand hitting 3B who ran a 7.20 60.  At the plate he stands tall and balanced.  He uses a double toe tap on the pitch for timing.  Swing path is uphill and he showed good power to the pull side.  He has a strong weight transfer with his lower half and exit velocity was 85 MPH.  In the field he has quick reactions and good instincts.  He moves well on balls to this backhand side.  He delivers from an over the top arm slot and was 75 MPH across the diamond with accuracy.

Last year he finished with a .335 avg and 22 RBI for the Reds.

 

 

 

Travis Cunningham RHP / Eaton, CO / 2018

5-foot-10, 165 pounds. Simple, effortless delivery to plate. Short on back side, then comes from over the top arm slot. Lands inline towards plate. Fastball is 74-75 mph. Strike thrower. Off-speed pitches thrown at same arm speed as fastball. Change is 62-63 mph. Curve has gradual break with 11/5 shape. Looks like there is more explosiveness there to increase velocity. 

Cunningham added 41.1 innings for the Reds on the mound and racked up 5 wins while striking out 29.

 

 

 

Zeke Hass OF / Eaton High School, CO / 2018

5-foot-8, 145 pounds. Bats left throws right. Starts with a slightly crouched stance, loads straight back and utilizes short leg kick. Swing is level through the hitting zone with line drive power. Solid contact during live hitting round. 85 mph exit velo off the tee. Solid mechanics in the outfield. Throws from over the top arm slot at 73 mph. Has good range. Ran a 6.97 60 time. 

Hass ended the 2017 season hitting .385 with 25 hits and 3 doubles.

 

 

 

Dalton Logan OF / RHP / Eaton, CO / 2020

6-foot-3, 180-pound right hand hitting OF/RHP. At the plate he hits from a wide balanced stance with a slow load and high leg kick on the pitch.  Good lower leg drive on the swing.  Hands come through the zone on an uphill path.  Exit velocity was 86 MPH.   In the field he showed good athletic actions and instincts.  He fields through the ball. He has soft hands and a good glove to hand transfer.  Arm Velocity was 78 MPH.

Logan should see an expended role this year for Eaton after racking up 16 games of playing experience last year.

 

 

 

Jake Sandau RHP / OF / Eaton, CO / 2018

Sanau was one of the offensive leaders last year and will be called upon to do the same in 2018.  He will look to improve on a 2017 season that saw him hit .447 with 38 hits and 30 RBI.

 

 

 

Jared Ure RHP / 1B / Eaton, CO / 2019

Ure brings 30 innings of experience and a 3-0 record back with him for 2018.  He finished 2017 with a 1.83 ERA.  At the plate he hit .302 with 14 RBI.  Look for a big junior season for Jared this year.