State Players on MLB Opening Rosters

Two of the three from El Toro High (Lake Forest) on MLB rosters to start the 2020 season flank head coach Mike Gonzales — Nolan Arenado on the left and Austin Romine at right. Romine is now playing for the Minnesota Twins. Photo: Twitter.com.


Major League Baseball returns this week in stadiums around the country but without fans. Each team has announced its Opening Day rosters, which is a great point to salute all of those from California who will be part of it. Hart of Newhall has been the state leader with the most MLB alums the last few years and is still tied with Harvard-Westlake of Studio Citym (with its terrific trio of starting pitchers) with four.

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With injuries and roster moves happening literally every day during a Major League Baseball season, doing an alumni list for California high schools can be impossible. At least doing one at the start of the season, which this year obviously was delayed several months due to the Coronavirus pandemic, provides a stable point at which to look over all of the rosters for each of the 30 MLB teams.

Also because of the incredible impacts of the virus, each team will be carrying 30 players on its Opening Day roster. After two weeks, that number will be cut to 28 and then eventually it will be set at 26.

Adding a designated hitter to the National League and the value of having a player who can be utilized at a number of different positions on the field also has seemed to impact which players have made it on MLB rosters and which ones will be starting at alternate training sites.

Lucas Giolito and Max Fried were two of the top 16 picks in the first round of the MLB Draft after their senior season at Harvard-Westlake. Photo: ESPNRISE.


The list below does not include anyone who was listed as one of the three alternates on each team. These will be players traveling with each team, but not on the active roster. MLB has to do that for the upcoming 60-game short season with no minor league players it can bring up due to injuries and other roster moves.

Entering Thursday’s final roster announcements, it was looking like it was a possibility that Hart of Newhall, which has been the state leader for having the most active MLB alums, could be surpassed by Harvard-Westlake of Studio City.

One of Hart’s top alums, pitcher James Shields, is currently listed as being retired. One other player, utility player Pat Valaika, also was not looking like a lock to get on a new MLB team — Valaika with the Baltimore Orioles. They both made it and therefore will be joining pitchers Trevor Bauer (now with the Cincinnati Reds), Mike Montgomery (Kansas City) and Tyler Glasnow (Tampa Bay) as MLB players this season.

Harvard-Westlake is already well-known for being the school of pitchers Jack Flaherty (St. Louis), Lucas Giolito (White Sox) and Max Fried (Atlanta). The Wolverines also can count another pitcher, Nik Turley of the Pittsburgh Pirates, for a total of four. If Ianetta ad Valaika weren’t on those other two MLB rosters, Harvard-Westlake would have had four and Hart three.

Two other schools that were counted with three MLB alums were Orange County rivals Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo (Kyle Hendricks, Brandon Brennan and former Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year Tyler Matzek) and El Toro of Lake Forest (Nolan Arenado, Matt Chapman, Austin Romine).

The only other schools with more than one are Riverside Poly, Redlands East Valley, Grossmont of La Mesa, Bellarmine of San Jose, Lakewood, Buchanan of Clovis, Edison of Huntington Beach, Elk Grove, Rancho Buena Vista of Vista, Poway, Granada Hills, Rancho Bernardo of San Diego and Dos Pueblos of Goleta. Grossmont’s two are Pittsburgh Pirates pitchers Joe Musgrove and Steven Brault, who were teammates there. Musgrove is Pittsburgh’s Opening Day starter while Brault could be used as the team’s fifth starter. So it could be that Grossmont will have back-to-back starting pitchers from the same high school team at some point this season.

The last time we did this type of list for MLB was in 2013 when we working on an e-book. California at the time had about 18 or 19 percent of all players in the league. We didn’t look up every player for 2020, but clearly there aren’t as many. Just a hunch, but Florida actually may now have more. The continued influx of foreign players, especially for position player starting roles, is making the biggest difference in California’s lower totals.

We’ve also gone through and listed each current manager from California (which is for 10 of the 30 teams).

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

Houston Astros – Joe Biagini P (Sunnyvale The King’s Academy), Chris Devenski P (Cerritos Gahr), Dustin Garneau C (San Pedro), Blake Taylor P (Dana Point Dana Hills). Manager: Dusty Baker (Fair Oaks Del Campo).

Los Angeles Angels – Matt Andriese P (Redlands East Valley), Griffin Canning P (Rancho SM Santa Margarita), Jason Castro C (Castro Valley), David Fletcher INF (Cypress), Noe Ramirez P (Alhambra), Patrick Sandoval P (Mission Viejo), Max Stassi C (Yuba City).

Oakland Athletics – Mark Canha OF (San Jose Bellarmine), Matt Chapman 3B (Lake Forest El Toro), Steven Piscotty OF (Pleasanton Amador Valley), Marcus Semien INF (Berkeley St. Mary’s). Manager: Bob Melvin (Atherton Menlo-Atherton).

Seattle Mariners – Brandon Brennan P (Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley), J.P. Crawford INF (Lakewood), Tim Lopes OF/INF (Huntington Beach Edison), Matt Magill P (Simi Valley Royal), Dylan Moore UTL (Placentia El Dorado), Bryan Shaw P (Livermore), Taijuan Walker P (Yucaipa). Note: Mitch Haniger OF (San Jose Archbishop Mitty) out for short season with injury.

Texas Rangers – Kolby Allard P (San Clemente), Willie Calhoun OF (Benicia), Scott Heineman OF (Encino Crespi), Jesse Chavez P (Fontana A.B. Miller). Manager: Chris Woodward (Covina Northview).

Trevor Bauer (left) and Newhall Hart teammate Mike Montgomery (right) both pitched in epic 2016 World Series. They are on different teams for 2020 season. Photos: Twitter.com & bleachernation.com.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox – Lucas Giolito P (Studio City Harvard-Westlake), Jimmy Lambert P (San Dimas), Evan Marshall P (Cupertino Homestead), James McCann C (Goleta Dos Pueblos). Manager: Rick Renteria (South Gate).

Cleveland Indians – Shane Bieber P (Laguna Hills), Carlos Carrasco P (Morgan Hill Live Oak), Jordan Luplow OF (Clovis Buchanan), Adam Plutko P (Glendora), Bradley Zimmer OF (La Jolla).

Detroit Tigers – Austin Romine C (Lake Forest El Toro).

Kansas City Royals – Scott Barlow P (Santa Clarita Golden Valley), Danny Duffy P (Lompoc Cabrillo), Ian Kennedy P (Westminster La Quinta), Mike Montgomery P (Newhall Hart), Gabe Speier (Goleta Dos Pueblos), Kyle Zimmer P (La Jolla).

Minnesota Twins – Sergio Romo P (Brawley).

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Baltimore Orioles – Tommy Milone P (Saugus), Rio Ruiz 3B (La Puente Bishop Amat), Chance Sisco C (Corona Santiago), Cole Sulser P (Ramona), Pat Valaika UTL (Newhall Hart). Note: Dillon Tate P (Claremont) on injured list. Manager: Brandon Hyde (Santa Rosa Montgomery).

After shining in three sports at Linden, Aaron Judge headed off to Fresno State. Photo: PerfectGame.org.


Boston Red Sox – Dylan Covey P (Arcadia Maranatha), Kevin Pillar OF (West Hills Chaminade). Manager: Ron Roenicke (West Covina Edgewood). Note: Dustin Pedroia INF (Woodland) still on injured list & hasn’t retired yet.

New York Yankees – Gerrit Cole P (Orange Lutheran), Aaron Hicks OF (Long Beach Wilson), Kyle Higashioka C (Huntington Beach Edison), Aaron Judge OF (Linden), Giancarlo Stanton OF/DH (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame), Tyler Wade INF (Murrieta Valley). Manager: Aaron Boone (Villa Park).

Tampa Bay Rays – Tyler Glasnow P (Newhall Hart).

Toronto Blue Jays – Rowdy Tellez 1B/DH (Elk Grove).

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks – Kevin Ginkel P (Lakeside El Capitan), Stephen Vogt C (Visalia Central Valley Christian). Note: Mike Leake, veteran P from Fallbrook, opted out of playing this season. Manager: Torey Lovullo (Van Nuys Montclair Prep).

Colorado Rockies – Nolan Arenado 3B (Lake Forest El Toro), Josh Fuentes DH/INF (Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills), Ryan McMahon INF (Santa Ana Mater Dei), Tony Wolters C (Vista Rancho Buena Vista). Note: Peter Lambert P (San Dimas) on injured list.

Los Angeles Dodgers – Scott Alexander P (Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman), Austin Barnes C (Riverside Poly), Dylan Floro P (Atwater Buhach Colony), Joe Kelly P (Corona), Joc Pederson OF (Palo Alto), Justin Turner 3B (Lakewood Mayfair). Manager: Dave Roberts (Vista Rancho Buena Vista).

San Diego Padres – Ty France INF (West Covina South Hills), Greg Garcia INF (El Cajon Valhalla), Austin Hedges C (SJ Capistrano JSerra), Tim Hill P (Granada Hills), Joey Lucchesi P (Newark Newark-Memorial).

San Francisco Giants – C Rob Brantly (Temecula Chaparral), Brandon Crawford SS (Pleasanton Foothill), Alex Dickerson OF (Poway), Mauricio Dubon UTL (Sacramento Capital Christian), Tyler Heineman C (Los Angeles Windward), Evan Longoria 3B (Bellflower St. John Bosco), Logan Webb P (Rocklin). Manager: Gabe Kapler (Woodland Hills Taft).

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs – Tyler Chatwood P (Redlands East Valley), Kyle Hendricks P (Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley), Nico Hoerner INF (Oakland Head-Royce). Note: Daniel Descalso INF (Mountain View St. Francis) injured ankle earlier this week and will be on injured list to start season.

Two-time State Small Schools Player of the Year Nico Hoerner could be a breakout star this season for the Chicago Cubs. Photo: voqel.com.


Cincinnati Reds – Trevor Bauer P (Newhall Hart), Alex Blandino INF (Mountain View St. Francis), Michael Lorenzen (Fullerton), Tyler Mahle P (Westminster), Mike Moustakas 2B/DH (Chatsworth), Robert Stephenson P (Martinez Alhambra). Note: Amir Garrett P last played high school baseball for Lawndale Leuzinger, but went to Findlay Prep (Las Vegas) as senior for basketball.

Milwaukee Brewers – Ryan Braun OF/DH (Granada Hills), Corbin Burnes P (Bakersfield Centennial), Keston Hiura INF (Valencia), Christian Yelich OF (Westlake Village Westlake).

Pittsburgh Pirates – Steven Brault P (La Mesa Grossmont), Robbie Erlin P (Scotts Valley), Phillip Evans INF (Carlsbad La Costa Canyon), Joe Musgrove P (La Mesa Grossmont), Kevin Newman INF (Poway), Nik Turley P (Studio City Harvard-Westlake), Trevor Williams P (San Diego Rancho Bernardo). Note: Kevin Kramer P (Turlock) injured for season.

St. Louis Cardinals – Tommy Edman UTL (La Jolla Country Day), Jack Flaherty P (Studio Harvard-Westlake), Daniel Ponce de Leon P (La Mirada).

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Atlanta Braves – Travis d’Arnaud C (Lakewood), Freddie Freeman 1B (Orange El Modena), Max Fried P (Studio City Harvard-Westlake), Alex Jackson C (San Diego Rancho Bernardo), Tyler Matzek P (Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley).

Miami Marlins – Brad Boxberger P (Tustin Foothill), Garrett Cooper 1B/DH (Los Angeles Loyola), Brandon Kintzler P (Palos Verdes Estates Palos Verdes), Alex Vesia P (Spring Valley Steele Canyon), Chad Wallach C (Santa Ana Calvary Chapel).

New York Mets – J.D. Davis OF (Elk Grove), Jake Marisnick OF (Riverside Poly), Jeff McNeil 3B (Nipomo), Dominic Smith 1B/DH (Gardena Serra), Justin Wilson P (Clovis Buchanan). Note: Injured to start season are Robert Gsellman P (Los Angeles Westchester) & Jared Hughes P (Rancho SM Santa Margarita).

Philadelphia Phillies – Rhys Hoskins 3B (Carmichael Jesuit), Andrew Knapp C (Granite Bay), Cole Irwin P (Anaheim Servite), P Vince Velasquez P (Pomona Garey).

Washington Nationals – Stephen Strasburg P (Santee West Hills), Eric Thames 1B (San Jose Bellarmine).

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


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