Mr. Baseball 2018: Joe Magrisi

Joe Magrisi of San Diego Torrey Pines was told just to go out and have fun this season by his father, Mike, and it looks like he did. Photo:

Call us suckers for a great story to go with a player of the year resume, but Joe Magrisi of San Diego Torrey Pines just had too much of a spectacular season to be denied as the winner of the state’s longest-running high school baseball honor. This is the one with roots back to the 1970s and with an all-time list of winners that stretches back more than 100 years. Magrisi led the Falcons to the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title with his arm and bat and did it after missing last season with an injury.

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For the third time in the last five years, a CIF San Diego Section player has been selected as the Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year. This time, however, it wasn’t nearly as easy as the previous two.

Joe Magrisi, who recently graduated from Torrey Pines of San Diego, has earned the distinction for 2018. He follows Mickey Moniak from La Costa Canyon of Carlsbad in 2016 and Brady Aiken of Cathedral Catholic for 2014. Those two were almost automatic Mr. Baseball choices since they were both the No. 1 pick overall in the first round of the Major League Baseball amateur free agent draft.

Joe as a senior at Torrey Pines. Photo: Courtesy family.

As in many player of the year evaluations over the years in baseball, what happens in the MLB draft is considered, but it’s not automatic and can be overcome with what happened during the high school season. Magrisi was judged to be one of those players.

“This is unbelievable and a huge honor,” said Magrisi, who was reached on Monday afternoon in Las Vegas (where he was visiting his father, Mike, who recently took a job there). “I don’t know what to say. I’m at a loss for words. Wow.”

After transferring to Torrey Pines from Rancho Bernardo for his senior season, the Cal-State Fullerton-bound Magrisi quickly showed that any lingering issues from having bone fragments in his elbow that derailed his junior season were non-existent. He ended up having one of the best individual seasons in recent San Diego Section history, clearly better than even the senior seasons of Moniak and Aiken.

In leading the Falcons (29-6) to their first CIF San Diego Section Open Division title and a No. 3 final overall state ranking, Magrisi racked up a 12-0 pitching record with a 0.75 ERA. He also struck out 130 batters in 93 innings, including a four-inning stretch with no runs allowed in the 2-1 win over Poway that won the section crown.

“This says a lot about our team,” Magrisi said. “It shows how working in the off-season really translated into what happened later on. We had unbelievable chemistry.”

But the pitching highlight of the season for Magrisi was a streak of six straight shutouts that comprised almost the entire month of May. When the scoreless innings streak reached past 42, it broke the section record that had been set in 1982 by former MLB pitcher David Wells when he was at Point Loma. It was threatening the Cal-Hi Sports state record of 59 (which is now at 59 1/3), but was stopped at 54 2/3 in the first round of the CIFSD Open Division playoffs against league rival La Costa Canyon.

Joe as a freshman at Rancho Bernardo. Photo:

Wells was actually one of the coaches who worked with Magrisi in the off-season to help him come back from that injury. Wells, who does private tutoring for pitchers and also is the head coach at his alma mater, was credited by Magrisi for the season he had along with Pat Edwards (another personal coach) and his coaches at Torrey Pines, led by head coach Kirk McCaskill and pitching coach Chris Possemato.

La Costa Canyon almost put an end to Magrisi’s season in that first playoff game, too. The Mavericks were leading 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, but Magrisi came through at the plate with a two-run homer to give the Falcons a 4-3 win.

“I agree that was the moment of the season,” Magrisi said. “Honestly, it felt like it was straight out of a movie. But that’s how the game works sometimes.”

It was that kind of hitting, not just in that one playoff game, but throughout the season that was equally important for Magrisi in gaining the Mr. Baseball nod. He led the Falcons in home runs (eight), RBI (28) and was in the top three for batting average (.303).

Despite all of those numbers, it was still a very difficult decision at the end, especially since Orange Lutheran’s Cole Winn had such a great year of pitching (8-2, 0.23 ERA, 120 Ks in 70 innings) and already has been named Gatorade State Player of the Year and L.A. Times’ Player of the Year. This year’s other two Mr. Baseball finalists, Ryan Daugherty from Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo and Sean Mullen of Bakersfield Stockdale, also were fabulous, especially at the end of the season in leading their teams to section titles. In a Twitter poll completed earlier on Monday and asking who should be the winner for this season, Daugherty’s fans at Capistrano Valley showed their support for him by voting for him with 32 percent compared to 28 percent for Mullen and 23 percent for Magrisi.

Magrisi first came to our attention as a freshman pitcher at Rancho Bernardo where he was elevated to a starting position by longtime head coach Sam Blalock. He helped the Broncos go 26-7 that year and win the CIFSD Open Division title, finishing with an 8-1 record and 1.11 ERA in 63-plus innings. He was chosen as the State Freshman Player of the Year.

“That freshman season definitely helped this season,” Magrisi said. “You talk to any high school baseball player and they can tell you about playoff baseball vs. the regular season. It’s so much different and it helped me to have that experience.”

After his junior season and Blalock’s retirement, Magrisi went to Torrey Pines partly to learn from McCaskill, who became the Falcons’ head coach six years ago after retiring from a 12-year career as a major league pitcher.

“He has an open-door policy,” Magrisi said of McCaskill. “He made everyone feel welcome. All of us clicked. I’m very grateful to him, the other coaches and all the players for taking me under their wing.”

Up next for Magrisi is heading to Fullerton and the sting of watching the Titans lose in a heart-breaker in the NCAA Super Regionals to Washington and thus prevent them from going to the College World Series was still fresh on his mind.

“I’m looking forward to contributing to my new team,” he said. “We’re going to go even further next year.”

Hagen Danner of Huntington Beach (shown at Area Codes Games) was the Mr. Baseball honoree for 2017. Photo:


(Selected by Cal-Hi Sports)

2018 – Joe Magrisi, San Diego Torrey Pines, P-OF
2017 – Hagen Danner, Huntington Beach P/C
2016 – Mickey Moniak,
Carlsbad La Costa Canyon OF
2015 – Joe DeMers,
Pleasant Hill College Park, P/INF
2014 – Brady Aiken,
San Diego Cathedral Catholic, P
2013 – Jack Flaherty, North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, P-3B (Jr.)
2012 – Ty Moore, Santa Ana Mater Dei, P-INF
2011 – Henry Owens, Huntington Beach Edison, P
2010 – Cory Hahn, Santa Ana Mater Dei, P-OF
2009 – Tyler Matzek, Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley, P-1B
2008 – Aaron Hicks, Long Beach Wilson OF-P
2007 – Mike Moustakas, Chatsworth INF
2006 – Tyler Robertson, Fair Oaks Bella Vista OF-P
2005 – John Drennen, San Diego Rancho Bernardo OF
2004 – Matt Bush, San Diego Mission Bay INF
2003 – Ian Stewart, Westminster La Quinta INF
2002 – Delmon Young, Camarillo OF (Jr.)
2001 – J.P. Howell, Carmichael Jesuit P
2000 – Mike Stodolka, Corona Centennial DH-P
1999 – Ryan Christianson, Riverside Arlington C
1998 – Sean Burroughs, Long Beach Wilson 3B
1997 – Jon Garland, Granada Hills Kennedy P
1996 – Eric Chavez, San Diego Mt. Carmel SS-P
1995 – Eric Chavez, San Diego Mt. Carmel SS-P (Jr.)
1994 – McKay Christensen, Fresno Clovis West OF
1993 – Derrek Lee, Sacramento El Camino OF
1992 – Jason Kendall, Torrance C
1991 – Dmitri Young, Oxnard Rio Mesa 3B
1990 – Mike Lieberthal, Westlake Village Westlake C
1989 – Todd Johnson, Fresno Bullard C-P
1988 – Scott Davison, Redondo Beach Redondo Union P-DH
1987 – Tom Redington, Anaheim Esperanza SS
1986 – Brian Johnson, Oakland Skyline C
1985 – Gregg Jefferies, San Mateo Serra SS
1984 – James Mitchell, El Cerrito OF
1983 – Kurt Stillwell, Thousand Oaks SS
1982 – Bret Saberhagen, Reseda Cleveland P
1981 – Lenny Dykstra, Garden Grove OF
1980 – Darryl Strawberry, Los Angeles Crenshaw OF
1979 – John Elway, Granada Hills OF
1978 – Lloyd Moseby, Oakland 1B
1977 – Craig Landis, Napa Vintage SS
1976 – Rickey Henderson, Oakland Technical OF
1975 – Carney Lansford, Santa Clara Wilcox SS
1974 – Lonnie Smith, Compton Centennial OF
1973 – Robin Yount, Woodland Hills Taft SS
1972 – Scott McGregor, El Segundo P
1971 – Keith Hernandez, San Bruno Capuchino 1B-Semipro
1970 – Terry Forster, Santee Santana P
1969 – Jeff Burroughs, Long Beach Wilson OF
1968 – Tim Foli, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame SS
1967 – Bill Buckner, Napa 1B
1966 – Kemer Brett, El Segundo P
1965 – Bob Boone, San Diego Crawford P
1964 – Willie Crawford, Los Angeles Fremont OF
1963 – Bob Tolan, Los Angeles Fremont P-OF
1962 – Rudy May, Oakland Castlemont P
1961 – Bob Bailey, Long Beach Wilson SS
1960 – Wade Blasingame, Fresno Roosevelt P
1959 – John Boccabella, Kentfield Marin Catholic 3B
1958 – Dick Ellsworth, Fresno P
1957 – Johnny Callison, Bakersfield East OF
1956 – Mike McCormick, Alhambra Keppel P
1955 – Deron Johnson, San Diego OF
1954 – Don Drysdale, Van Nuys P
1953 – Frank Robinson, Oakland McClymonds 3B
1952 – Jim Gentile, San Francisco Sacred Heart 1B
1951 – Ed Cereghino, Daly City Jefferson P
1950 – J.W. Porter, Oakland Technical C
1949 – Paul Pettit, Harbor City Narbonne P
1948 – Karl Olson, Mill Valley Tamalpais OF
1947 – Gus Triandos, San Francisco Mission C
1946 – Jim Baxes, San Francisco Mission 2B
1945 – Jack Harshman, San Diego 1B
1944 – Jackie Jensen, Oakland OF
1943 – Herb Gorman, San Francisco Balboa 1B
1942 – Charlie Silvera, San Francisco St. Ignatius SS
1941 – Bob Brown, San Francisco Galileo SS
1940 – Duane Pillette, San Diego P
1939 – Ferris Fain, Oakland Roosevelt 1B
1938 – Bob Lemon, Long Beach Wilson SS-P
1937 – Rugger Ardizoia, San Francisco Commerce P
1936 – Bobby Doerr, Los Angeles Fremont 2B (Pro)
1935 – Ted Williams, San Diego Hoover OF
1934 – Frankie Hawkins, San Francisco Sacred Heart SS
1933 – Chet Smith, San Diego P
1932 – Gordon Maltzberger, Colton P
1931 – Joe DiMaggio, San Francisco Galileo SS (Semi-pro)
1930 – Athos Sada, San Diego OF
1929 – Arleigh Williams, Oakland Technical C
1928 – Frank Dobranksy, San Diego P
1927 – Willard Hershberger, Fullerton C
1926 – Dick Bartell, Alameda SS
1925 – Louie Almada, Los Angeles P
1924 – Joe Cronin, San Francisco Sacred Heart SS
1923 – Gene Hollister, San Francisco Mission P
1922 – Walter Berger, San Francisco Mission 3B
1921 – Babe Herman, Glendale 1B
1920 – Bernie Viveiros, Oakland Technical 2B
1919 – Ren Kelly, San Francisco Poly P
1918 – Brick Muller, San Diego OF
1917 – Johnny Gillespie, Oakland Technical P
1916 – Ray Lorrigan, San Francisco Poly P
1915 – Frank Schellenback, Hollywood P
1914 – Bert Cole, San Francisco Lowell P
1913 – George Kelly, San Francisco Poly 3B
1912 – Harry Heilmann, San Francisco Sacred Heart SS
1911 – Will James, Oroville P
1910 – Eddie French, San Francisco Sacred Heart P
1909 – Babe Hollis, San Francisco Cogswell P
1908 – Oscar Vitt, San Francisco Wilmerding SS
1907 – Lloyd Burton, Alameda SS
1906 – Mowatt Mitchell, Los Angeles 1B
1905 – Walter Johnson, Fullerton P
1904 – James Schaeffer, Berkeley C
1903 – Mead Hamilton, San Francisco Lowell P
1902 – Mead Hamilton, San Francisco Lowell 2B
1901 – Heinie Heitmuller, San Francisco Lick 1B
1900 – Orvall Overall, Visalia 1B-Town team
1899 – Will Moreing, Stockton P

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports

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2 Trackbacks

  1. By TUESDAY LINKS 6/27/18 – ROSENBLATT FOREVER on June 27, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    […] Cal Hi Sports names Torrey Pines P/OF Magrisi Mr. Baseball […]

  2. […] based on his high school performance last year at Torrey Pines High School. En route to being named California’s Mr. Baseball by Cal-Hi Sports, Magrisi ended his senior season 12-0 with an 0.75 ERA. He struck out 130 batters in 93 […]

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