2014 National High School Invitational Preview



By Nathan Rode
National Supervisor

The 2014 USA Baseball National High School Invitational kicks off Wednesday, pitting 16 of the country’s top teams against each other. The first two editions of the event have been spectacular and this year has a chance to top them. It’s a single-elimination tournament and simply participating bolsters teams resumes for national rankings. The last two Baseball America national champions have been NHSI participants and a total of 38 players have been selected in the draft.

Eleven players from my National Top 50 are on participating teams, but two of them—RHP Dylan Cease (Milton HS, GA) and LHP David Peterson (Regis Jesuit HS, CO)—will not play due to injury. That still makes for plenty of talent and good baseball to be seen. The last two NHSI championship games have been between California’s Mater Dei HS and Harvard-Westlake HS with Mater Dei prevailing both times. Neither school returns in 2014 so we’ll have a new champion.

I stated in one of USA Baseball’s NHSI Preview videos that my pick to win was Parkview HS, GA, and I’m sticking with that selection. As you’ll read below, the Panthers have a wealth of experience returning and played in the 2012 NHSI.

Listed below are looks at each of the first-round match-ups. Though they are listed in order of their game number, they will not be played chronologically. You can view the schedule on USA Baseball’s web site. You can also see the bracket view to see each team’s potential path to the title. Players to watch are members of the 2014 class, unless otherwise noted, and where applicable, college commitments are listed in parenthesis.

Game 1: Gainesville HS (GA) vs. Venice HS (FL)
Players To Watch: OF Michael Gettys (Gainesville), C Michael Curry (2015, Gainesville), C Michael Rivera (Venice), SS Dalton Guthrie (Venice)
Match-Up: Gainesville boasts two Georgia recruits in Gettys and Curry, with Gettys also being a potential first-round pick in the 2014 draft. Gettys has one of the strongest arms in the class, which Gainesville uses on the mound, but the Red Elephants face a tough task against Venice. The Indians finished third in the 2013 NHSI, beating The Woodlands HS, TX. They’re seeking a third consecutive 7-A title in Florida and are led by Guthrie and Rivera, both of whom are committed to Florida. Rivera starred with Team USA’s 18U National Team in 2013.

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