DP Insider Breakdown: Region II-3A


By: Nick Nickles – February 5, 2010

dp_logo1.pngPreseason Rankings are always a fun time for us at DP! Often times there is more of a storyline and tons of information that is gathered behind the scenes that only you, (the player, parent, coach etc…) view as a number with a team listed beside it. We take a lot of pride in providing you the best baseball content possible at this level. One of my personal goals for DP in 2010 is to provide more inside content to reader’s about what really goes on inside true baseball circles whether its team rankings, players, player rankings, or recruiting.

In this article, we are going to select and breakdown a few of these conferences that could get interesting in 2010 and give you a few reasons why things may or may not go according to our predictions: Next up, Region II-3A…

Here’s how we picked them:

-J.L. Mann


-Wade Hampton


-Travelers Rest


X-Factor Team: Eastside Eagles

thomasond-sign09.jpgWhy? Eastside has two good arms. South Carolina signee RHP Drake Thomason (right) is arguably the best right hander North of Cisco. Thomason has the ability to beat J.L. Mann twice in this Region, and everyone around knows it. If he’s on, he can easily hold any team statewide scoreless. That being said, the biggest question for the Eagles will be scoring runs. Sophomore Austin Mason is a quality arm but he will need to grow up in a hurry for Eastside to contend. If Mason can corral some big wins on the mound, and If Eastside can show any type of offensive production early in the season, then Eastside becomes a serious statewide contender. In the end, the Region Championship will have to go through the arm of Drake Thomason.

Sleeper: Wade Hampton Generals  

rowlandc-head09.jpgWhy not to sleep on the Generals: Wade Hampton has two very good arms. SS/RHP Champ Rowland (left) and southpaw 1B/LHP Kyle Martin are as good as any duo in the Upstate. Rowland was up to 90 this fall, at times dominating the DP Fall League. Rowland is also rated the #1 SS in the senior class. South Carolina commitment Kyle Martin gives opponents another difficult look from the hill while contributing a top-notch bat to the middle of the lineup for the Generals. Wade Hampton has some dangerous weapons hidden in the stockpile. Senior RHP Christian Ashford showed in the DP Fall League that he could provide some quality innings and sophomore INF Brooks Yeager showed the potential to swing the bat. The concern for the Generals entering the season is filling the void C Will Van Pelt left upon graduating in ’09. If the Generals didn’t lack depth, they could easily be a Top 10 team entering the season.

Why they should win it: J.L. Mann

DonaldD-stance.jpgJ.L. Mann should win the Region on experience alone. Mann has the most experienced players while also possessing the most collected group of talent in the region. Senior David Donald (left) is the dynamic leader for the Patriots that brings speed, power, and above average defense to centerfield. Donald missed all of ’09 with shoulder surgery. (Sophomore stats: .456, 5 HR, 21 RBI, 8 SB) Donald is without a doubt the best athlete in South Carolina that focuses solely on baseball. landersrobert-head09.jpgSenior LHP Robert Landers (right) will serve as the #1 starter for Mann, and has 8 to 10 win potential this season. Juniors OF Reid Moman, 1B Bo Thompson, and OF Matt Peden have all surfaced quickly as proven bats and should keep the Pats running around the bases all season. While the Patriots have notable offensive strengths, they have to play solid defense to win a championship. Also, Mann has to identify someone, anyone who can pitch with any kind of consistency behind Landers. If the Patriots can make the plays, especially on the left-side of the infield, they should prevail. Winning Region II will not be a cake walk.

Other Notables:

    Greenville is a young group with some talent they are grooming for the future. Sophomore Miguel Viera swung it well last year as a freshman and Wes Reynolds gives them a solid mid-80’s arm on the mound. The Red Raiders will add some depth to the region, and we will label them as a "Deep Sleeper" this season

     The layout of the schedule and weather will be very important in this Region. There are some easier games toward the bottom of the group and some teams hold a "queen of spade" type arm. If it gets backed up, it becomes luck of the draw to avoid high caliber arms.

–   X-Factor player is Drake Thomason. If Thomason starts the season on a hot note, that will put pressure on all the other teams in the region as the season progresses. It’s not only Thomason’s arm though as they will rely heavily on him for offensive production as well.