Colorado Top 50 Countdown: No. 2 Mountain Vista Golden 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. 2: Mountain Vista Golden Eagles

2018 Preseason Rank: 2
2017 Preseason Rank: 
2017 Record: 18-7
Conference: 5A Continental
CHSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Ron Quintana
2017 Playoff Run: Lost to Cherry Creek 9-8 in 5A Final 4
2017 Final Rank: 16
Returning Offensive Starters: 
Returning Pitchers: 2
Returning Innings on Mound: 97
RBI's returning: 44

STAT RAT: 
The Golden Eagles were a very balanced team in 2017. They hit .341 as a team, and pitched to an overall 2.94 ERA. A lot of their offense and pitching is back in 2018. 

X-FACTORS: .
Mountain Vista has a ton of talent in their program, and have made multiple final fours over the last few years. They have lost some close games in those appearances. The experience the program has gotten will be important for the Golden Eagles to finally get to that allusive 5A State Championship Game that they have not been to in over 10 years. 

BOTTOM LINE: 
Head coach Ron Quintana enters his 7th year at the helm of the Golden Eagle Program. The Golden Eagles three projected starting pitchers are committed to power 5 schools. They also return most of the middle of their offense. Expect the Golden Eagles to be in the same spot as last year competing for the 5A state championship. 

Key Player Lost

Cole Blatchford SS / RHP / Mountain Vista , CO / 2017

Committed to Air Force, the Golden Eagles will miss Blatchford's presence in the lineup and on the mound. Last year Blatchford was 4-3 on the season and logged 44 innings with a 3.29 ERA. 

 

 

Key Players Returning

 

Sam Ireland 1B / RHP / Mountain Vista , CO / 2019

Uncommitted 6-foot-3, 195 pounds. Bats and throws right. Ireland has a high ceiling on the mound. Motion is fluid and smooth. Kinda lulls you to sleep. Comes from different arm angles, is quick and usually at a 3/4 arm slot. Fastball was highest we have had him. Lived 83-85 touching 86 twice. Slider is a plus pitch with tight spin and late depth at 69-71 mph. Advanced hitter who barreled balls all weekend, crushed base hit off 86 mph fastball. Open stance, good approach. Upper and lower half work fluid. Gap to gap power. 94 mph exit velo. Looks like he has a few more inches to grow as well. To see video click here and click here 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant Magill C / Mountain Vista, CO / 2019

6-foot, 175 pounds. Bats and throws right. Quick transfer and footwork combined with a strong throwing arm allowed him to produce 1.85-1.95 pop times. Arm velo was 76 mph. Was consistently on the bag, and looked the part behind the plate. Wide frame, and looks bigger than he measures. At the plate, got around balls but had bat speed. Short, compact swing with line drive power. Another player to watch progress. 91 mph exit velocity. Ran a 4.84 home to first.  Committed to Indiana State. 

 

 

 

 

Zach Paschke 2B / SS / Mountain Vista, CO / 2018

5-foot-8, 145 pounds. Switch hitter, throws left. At the plate stands tall on both sides. Simple approach, wants to hit hard line drives through the infield to both sides. On left side stride is short, on right utilizes a leg-kick. Level swing through zone from both sides. More power on right side as evident in his 87 mph exit velo from right compared to 80 from left. In the field has quick feet and hands. Glove to hand transfer is quick as well. Quick release from 3/4 arm slot at 77 mph across the diamond. Runs really well. 4.10 home to first. 6.8 60 time in previous events. Solid infield prospect. 

 

 

 

Jack Liffrig LHP / Mountain Vista, CO / 2018

6-foot-1, 195 pounds. Left-handed pitcher who pounds the strike zone. Bulldog mentality on the mound. Has already pitched in some big pressure games for Mountain Vista. Last year went 7-1 with a 3.04 ERA in 66 innings pitched. Times we have had on gun has consistently been between 80-83 mph with fastball, but we have had him touch 86-86 a couple of times. Pitches to both sides of the plate from high 3/4 arm slot. Has no problem pitching with traffic on bases, and induces a ton of ground balls while pitching to contact. Curve sits 69-70 with 2/7 shape, and change was 74-75 with fade. Committed to Utah

 

 

 

 

 

Clayton Burke RHP / 1B / Mountain Vista, CO / 2019

Transfer from Mullen, the Oregon State commit is a big 6-foot-3, 215-pound right handed hitting RHP/1B.  At the plate he has a balanced simple set up.  He uses a slow load to his back side and a short stride to get his weight coming forward.  Hips and hands fire through the zone and produce great pull side power.  Exit velocity was 92 MPH and he hit several balls hard off the wall in the left center gap during the live round.  In the field he is solid at first base.  He moves well on balls in the hole and shows good feet while turning a double play.  Arm velocity was 82 MPH across the diamond.  On the mound he is an imposing presence.  Projectable size and arm was on display at the TPG.  His motion is mechanically sound with no wasted movements.  He gets balanced and then drives hard to the plate.  Burke worked two very quick innings at the TPG collecting 4 K’s along the way.  Lower half lands inline with the plate and he stays square through delivery.  Arm is quick and over the top.  Fastball was 89 MPH and he could put it anywhere in the zone.  Command was on point.  He added a 71 MPH curve with tight rotation and sharp 11/5 break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elisandro Aragon 3B / Mountain Vista, CO / 2019

Aragon hit .397 in 2017 with 6 doubles driving in 13 runs. Solid 3B who will be in the middle of the lineup for the Golden Eagles in 2018