It wasn’t necessarily planned, but we did end up waiting after all picks were made in the 2022 MLB Draft to absolutely finalize this elite first team for the 40th edition of the Cal-Hi Sports all-state baseball team. All first team players are featured in this post. We also have a second team and a third team in a separate post.
For the all-state second and third teams (Gold Club), CLICK HERE.
(Special thanks to Orange County correspondent Chuck Nan for contributing writeups to this package.)
For Gold Club post of our all-time all-state baseball archives, CLICK HERE.
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Congratulations to these players who’ve been named first team overall for the 40th edition of the Cal-Hi Sports all-state baseball honors program:
FIRST TEAM OVERALL CATCHERS
Anthony Martinez (De La Salle, Concord) Sr.
You could call him the rock on the field and in the lineup for the Spartans. He was a crucial component in helping spark De La Salle’s run to the CIF NorCal Division 1 crown. The backstop set school records in both home runs (10) and RBI (44) to go along with a .411 batting average and a .516 on-base percentage. He also collected six doubles and 23 walks. The most impressive stat may be the fact that he struck out only twice in 124 plate appearances. Defensively, Martinez was equally remarkable with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 25 assists on the season — extremely rare for a catcher at any level. Martinez is a UC Irvine-signee who was also selected as a Collegiate Baseball First-Team All-American. He also has been named as the Bay Area News Group’s Player of the Year.
Malcolm Moore (McClatchy, Sacramento) Sr.
Our Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year had a truly magical run in his career as the catcher at McClatchy. He capped it all in his senior season. The numbers Moore posted are among the best ever for a single season and career. In his four-year stint with the Lions, he boasted a .476 batting average to go along with 27 home runs, 39 doubles, 147 RBI and 136 runs scored. This spring, the two-time California Gatorade Player of the Year (2021 & 2022) had eye-popping statistics as well: a .500 batting average, 13 home runs and 15 doubles. The home run total tied with Palo Alto’s Henry Bolte and Bakersfield Stockdale’s Austin Charles for the reported California lead. Moore’s 51 RBI ranked second in the state, and his 49 runs scored ranked eighth. Moore has committed to play at Stanford.
FIRST TEAM OVERALL PITCHERS
Michael Barnett (College Park, Pleasant Hill) Sr.
A late season 10-strikeout one-hitter against state-ranked Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa enabled Michael to be a NorCal Player of the Week. But it also was part of a series of strong outings for the UCLA-bound right-hander who is 6-foot-4 and has plenty of room to build strength on his frame. Barnett was the pitcher of the year in the Diablo Foothill League and was All-Bay Area. He now adds first team all-state with these more than solid totals: 90 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings and just 16 walks with a 1.28 season ERA.
Nic Bronzini (California, San Ramon) Sr.
After starting the season with a five-inning no-hitter (11 strikeouts) vs Liberty of Brentwood and then a four-inning no-hitter (10 strikeouts) vs. Oakland Tech, Bronzini’s senior season as one of the elite pitchers in Northern California was off to the races. He had one bad start against De La Salle, but was great in three outings vs. Foothill of Pleasanton (two close low-scoring losses and one win). Bronzini ended 9-3 with a 1.51 ERA and had a whopping 133 strikeouts in 74 1/3 innings with a 1.51 ERA in one of the top five leagues in the state. Nic already is enjoying college life as a freshman at LSU (he left home after the July 4 weekend) and the intense competition of the SEC likely won’t be an issue for him.
Dylan Goff (Etiwanda) Jr.
Regarded as one of the most improved players in Southern California since the end of his sophomore season, Goff was a dominant pitcher for an Eagles’ team that won the CIF Southern Section D2 title. He was recently named the IE Varsity (Inland Empire) Player of the Year by the Riverside Press-Enterprise. For the season, Dylan posted a 12-0 record, which set a school record and reportedly was the only 12-0 mark for a CIFSS pitcher this season. He also went 86 innings and had a 0.73 ERA with 93 strikeouts and 25 walks. In the CIFSS D2 title game against Torrance that Etiwanda won 6-1, Goff had a six-hitter complete game with nine strikeouts and no walks. With him and other key returnees such as State Freshman of the Year Brady Ebel, the Eagles should get a lot of preseason attention next spring.
Tyler Gough (JSerra, SJ Capistrano) Sr.
Picking a pitcher first team who was often used as a closer and thus doesn’t have as many innings pitched as the others isn’t normal. But Gough gets the nod for several reasons. First, he closed in JSerra’s biggest CIFSS D1 playoff wins, including the 3-1 victory over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in the final. Second, we saw him throw six shutout innings (just two hits allowed) when the Lions lost 2-0 in eight innings to Huntington Beach in the CIF SoCal regional final. Third, others have already noticed his pitching skills. Gough was on the L.A. Times’ All-Star team, he struck out a number of hitters he faced at the MLB Draft Combine and then in the draft itself last Sunday he was chosen in the ninth round (sixth highest among the state’s high school players) by the Seattle Mariners. Tyler already was heading to the Northwest to play at Oregon State. Now, he’ll likely head up there for organizational duties. In 29 1/3 innings of high stress pitching, Gough had 49 strikeouts.
J.J. Hollis (JSerra, SJ Capistrano) Jr.
One of the top JSerra Catholic players who received a great many accolades after the team won the big prize in the CIF Southern Section was Hollis. He was named ScorebookLive.com’s Southern Section Player of the Year. In addition, he was an easy selection for All-Trinity League First-Team, the All CIF-SS Division 1 team and Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-American. Hollis had amazing numbers as he finished the season with a 9-0 record and an ERA of 1.01. The UC Santa Barbara signee struck out 54 batters in 63 1/3 innings of work. Hollis always wanted the ball in the biggest of situations and head coach Brett Kay’s trust in the young hurler paid dividends. Hollis even defeated mighty Trinity League rival Orange Lutheran twice.
Ben Jacobs (Huntington Beach) Sr.
This standout was a dominant force throughout his senior campaign for Huntington Beach, finishing with an 9-2 record and a 0.94 ERA. Along the way, he established new single season school records with his 99 strikeouts and 68 innings pitched. As the Oilers peaked late in the season, Jacobs was there down the stretch too, especially in the five-day period in which HB won three games to claim the CIF So Cal Division 1 crown. He appeared in two of those three games, notching a win in the quarterfinal over La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) and a relief appearance where he recorded the save in the 2-0 championship game win over JSerra Catholic. Jacobs amassed numerous awards for his brilliant season, including being named as the Sunset Surf League Most Valuable Player (& First-Team) and to the All CIF-SS Division 1 team. He will play next at UCLA.
Louis Rodriguez (Lutheran, Orange) Sr.
The Orange County Register’s Pitcher of the Year for the 2022 season, Rodriguez also gains a first team all-state nod. Overall, Louis was 8-1 with a 1.17 ERA and struck out 70 with only six walks in 53 2/3 innings of work. In the rugged Trinity League, where four of the six teams made the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, Rodriguez was even better — 5-0 with 41 strikeouts and three walks in 30 innings. He has committed to Texas Christian University. For his career with the Lancers, Rodriguez was 15-4 with a 1.49 ERA and 143 punch-outs in 126 2/3 innings. He also already has been honored as a Collegiate Baseball First-Team All-American.
Blake Rogers (St. Francis, Mountain View) Sr.
On one of the strongest pitching staffs in NorCal, Rogers handled a huge amount of the workload for the highly successful St. Francis Lancers. The senior hurler logged 70 1/3 innings and was a perfect 7-0 with a minute ERA of 0.80. The Baylor-signee struck out 95 batters including 13 in one game against WCAL rival Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco). He also held opponents to a .158 batting average against him. Rogers has received many postseason awards and accolades including being named SportStars Magazine’s NorCal Pitcher of the Year and the WCAL Pitcher of the Year.
FIRST TEAM OVERALL INFIELD
Jack Basseer (Foothill, Pleasanton) Sr.
Other honors already out helped Jack climb up to first team all-state. One was being named player of the year for the East Bay Athletic League (same league as state No. 1 De La Salle plus other players we had slated to be first team). Basseer also was selected CIF North Coast Section Player of the Year by the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area TV show. That’s not the same as this web site despite the name, but we’re close. For the season, the Pepperdine-bound Basseer batted .377 with eight homers and 35 RBI. He also was part of a very impressive Foothill infield defensively and he led the team in steals with nine and runs scored with 30.
Eric Bitonti (Aquinas, San Bernardino) Jr.
As someone already chosen as our Medium Schools State Player of the Year and already ahead of others that also were being considered for first team, Bitonti has now been able to add another honor to his treasure trove of them. He simply had too much of a gargantuan year both hitting and pitching for a 28-3 team. The University of Oregon commit, who also is highly regarded for next year’s MLB Draft, batted .526 in 31 games with eight homers and 41 RBI. Eric also had 55 runs, 50 hits, 17 doubles and an on-base percentage of .626. On the mound, Bitonti had a 6-2 record after he went 9-2 as a sophomore. He also had a 0.62 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings.
Cutter Coffey (Liberty, Bakersfield) Sr.
With his selection as the 41st pick overall in last Sunday’s MLB Draft in the second round by the Boston Red Sox, Cutter didn’t move up on our list of first team all-state players at all. He already was slated to be on. He was regarded as the No. 2 player out of Bakersfield behind State Player of the Year finalist Austin Charles of Stockdale (who pitched and hit and led that team to the CIF Central Section title), but his high selection showed just how impressive he was as a position player and hitter. Coffey has been among the top Class of 2022 prospects in the state since his freshman season when he started at Liberty and batted. .361 with 24 RBI. This season, he ranked among the state leaders in home runs with 12 plus he had a .442 batting average. Cutter also had 48 runs scored, 32 RBI and 13 doubles. In a CIF Central Section D1 playoff win over Bullard of Fresno (state top 35 at the time), Coffey went 3-for-4 with a double, two homers and five RBI.
Gavin Grahovac (Villa Park) Jr.
One of the best young diamond talents from South Orange County in some time, Gavin was the Cal-Hi Sports State Junior of the Year and was a no-brainer choice for this team. Grahovac’s huge season also saw him named the Player of the Year by both the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times. A deadly hitter, he collected 17 doubles, three triples, batted .376 (47 hits) with five home runs and 24 RBI. Opposing coaches were very careful when pitching to this dangerous hitter. Many invoked unorthodox tactics and numerous shifts to counteract his dominance. His prowess in the batter’s box included striking out only 15 times in 146 at-bats. A Collegiate Baseball First-Team All-American selection, Grahovac is currently the No. 1 player in California’s class of 2023 rankings and has committed to Texas A&M.
Jack Gurevitch (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) Sr.
Viewed by many experts as one of the best hitters in Southern California prep baseball, Gurevitch was the top all-state player from Notre Dame’s team that went to the CIFSS D1 final and lost to JSerra. He was the main cog in the Knights’ offense with his team leading .357 batting average, 41 hits and 39 RBI. He also tied for the club lead in home runs with four. Gurevitch was named the Mission League Most Valuable Player and earned All CIF-SS Division 1 honors. The three-year varsity player finished his career with a .372 batting average and 80 base hits. Gurevitch is committed to the University of San Diego.
Jake Harvey (Woodcreek, Roseville) Sr.
It was a tough ending to the season for the Timberwolves, who had risen to No. 1 in the state at 25-1 but then lost in their last regular season game and then were stunned in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 playoffs. Harvey was their offensive ringleader and despite the finish had a monster season that has gained him a spot on this first team. The Capital Valley Conference MVP and two-time Sacramento Bee All-Metro choice racked up 53 hits and had a .570 batting average. Jake also scored 41 runs. For his 59-game career, Harvey had a .530 batting average. He has signed to play next at the University of Nevada.
Grant MacArthur (Granite Hills, El Cajon) Sr.
After having a huge season for Granite Hills, MacArthur was the an easy choice for CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year. He batted .440 with nine home runs and nine doubles for the Grossmont Hills League champion Eagles. They were the top-ranked team in the section in the regular season and went to the CIFSD Open Division final before falling to La Costa Canyon. Pitchers obviously didn’t want anything to do with facing MacArthur as he walked 38 times which led to a .639 on-base percentage. He only fanned nine times. MacArthur’s year shouldn’t have been a surprise, as he had a breakout performance in his junior season. The capper to MacArthur’s season was winning the San Diego All-Star Home Run Derby held at Petco Park. MacArthur has now said aloha to the Mainland and heads to play for Hawaii.
Chris Paciolla (Temecula Valley, Temecula) Sr.
By waiting until the MLB Draft was complete to do the absolute final moves for this year’s team primarily resulted in Paciolla going up to first team. He also had to be added to the medium schools list. He wasn’t on the All-Inland Empire first team, but looking at his numbers he could have been with a .390 batting average. Plus, Paciolla hit nine homers over the last two seasons. His signing with UCLA also showed a lot of strength for him being first team all-state. The big move, though, of course was the Chicago Cubs picking him in the third round in the MLB Draft. There were only two high schoolers from California who were selected higher and he was in the top 100 overall.
Bryce Rainer (Harvard-Westlake, Studio City) Soph.
It’s not always the case that the State Sophomore of the Year also is first team all-state, but it had to be for this year since Rainer was considered the No. 1 player off of a Wolverines’ squad that was among the highest ranked teams in the state all season and wound up at No. 10. Bryce is regarded as one of the top pitching prospects nationally for the Class of 2024, but did not pitch at all this last high school season. He did hit, though, where he also is highly regarded as a prospect, and finished with a .393 average to go with 35 hits, five homers and 21 RBI. Rainer also already has been selected to the All-CIFSS D1 team as well as honor teams chosen by the L.A. Daily News and L.A. Times.
Jacob Reimer (Yucaipa) Sr.
The thunder in the middle of the lineup for the Thunderbirds batted .398 for the season to go along with his eight home runs and 28 runs batted in. He was named Most Valuable Player of the Citrus Belt League for the second consecutive season. In addition, Reimer garnered selections as All CIF-SS Division 1, Inland-Empire Press Enterprise First-Team and Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-American. His most memorable game of the season came as Yucaipa defeated Redlands East Valley 15-6. The senior shortstop was 4-for-4 with a career-high three home runs and six runs batted in. At that point, he had lifted his season average to .400 with five home runs and 19 RBI just 13 games into the season. Eight former Thunderbirds have become Major League players and Reimer, a top prospect, hopes to be the next. He had signed with Washington, but on Sunday he was chosen in the fourth round of the MLB Draft (No. 119 overall) by the New York Mets.
Mikey Romero (Lutheran, Orange) Sr.
One of many talented players to emerge from from the Lutheran program over the past two decades, Mikey got the thrill of a lifetime on Sunday when he was chosen No. 24 overall by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the MLB Draft. He was was highest high school player chosen from the state. Last spring, the shortstop / pitcher batted .372, belted four home runs and drove home 26 (both second on the team). He was an easy selection for the All-Trinity League First-Team and All-CIF Division 1 squad. Late in the Trinity League season, Romero was on fire. During a three-game series versus Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita), he was 7-for-8 (.875) with three home runs, eight runs batted in, two doubles and four runs scored as the Lancers swept the Eagles. He was on his way to play for LSU, but first-round picks almost always sign with their MLB clubs. It was widely reported after the Red Sox chose him that he is close friends with 2021 first-round pick Marcelo Mayer (the No. 4 overall selection by Boston who is from Eastlake of Chula Vista).
Ralph Velazquez (Huntington Beach) Jr.
An Arizona State commit, Ralph Velazquez’s biggest moment of the season came in the CIF SoCal Division 1 Regional championship game. In the eighth inning in a 0-0 game with JSerra, the calm junior stepped to the plate and stroked a two-run home run that delivered the win and the title for Huntington Beach. The slugger’s bat got hot at the right time — over the Oilers’ run in the postseason. Then, he hit .535 with 16 RBI, seven doubles and five home runs over the final 12 games. Overall for the season, Velazquez batted .318 with 25 runs scored, 36 hits, 25 RBI, eight doubles and nine home runs. He boasts many honors including being named All-Sunset Surf League First-Team, All CIF-SS Division 1 and All-Orange County First-Team. Velazquez has established a reputation as being one of the better power hitters in California with a season to go.
FIRST TEAM OVERALL OUTFIELD
Henry Bolte (Palo Alto) Sr.
By expert accounts, Bolte made a huge jump from his junior year to his senior season at Palo Alto. His .441 batting average was over 100 points from his junior campaign. Bolte also contributed 13 long balls which put him in a tie for the reported California lead. He stole an amazing 48 bases which was close to making the state record book and challenged defenses each time he took a lead. His offensive numbers included 57 runs and 42 RBI. Bolte also exhibited what a superb defender he is by continuously making highlight catches during the season and notching a fielding percentage of .973. He was named the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League – De Anza Division Most Valuable Player and a Collegiate Baseball First-Team All-American. Bolte has signed to play at Texas and was just picked at No. 56 overall in the second round of the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics.
Andrew Lamb (JSerra, SJ Capistrano) Jr.
Like so many of JSerra Catholic’s stable of talented players, Andrew had a huge campaign. The talented two-way outfielder was a major contributor to the team that finally secured the first CIF Southern Section baseball championship for the school. Lamb’s season was so outstanding that he was bestowed the honor of being named the CIF-SS Division 1 Player of the Year via a vote of all the head coaches in the section. A true honor. The USC commit hit .392 with four home runs, 10 doubles, 13 walks, 19 RBI and slashed 39 hits. Lamb was even tougher in the clutch with his .444 average with runners in scoring position. He also played precision defense with his quickness and ability to cover lots of ground. Even more impressive is the fact that he made the transition from originally being a catcher by trade.
Ryan Rivera (San Marcos) Sr.
The 2021 season saw Rivera emerge as a huge force in San Diego area prep baseball for San Marcos. Then a junior, hit cracked 12 home runs. In 2022, he tied that mark early on and was easily on pace to better that total until a knee injury halted his season after only 22 games. In the nearly two dozen games he did play, Rivera still posted impressive numbers — a .527 batting average, 12 home runs, eight doubles, five triples and 44 RBI. In his San Marcos career — 52 games — he batted .497 and collected 24 home runs, 20 doubles, five triples and knocked in 81. The slugger will stay around home as he has pledged to play for San Diego State.
Evan Wallace (Buchanan, Clovis) Sr.
Stats for Wallace and the Bears were not available, but it didn’t take long in looking at CIF Central Section players to see that he had the right stuff to be on this team. Wallace ended among the school’s all-time leaders for runs scored in a season with 36 and he was named Player of the Year in the highly regarded Tri-River Athletic Conference. In helping Buchanan to a 25-4 season (the Bears were No. 1 in the state at one point), Wallace also has been selected as the Fresno Bee’s Player of the Year. The smooth-swinging and dependable outfielder will play next at UC Irvine.
FIRST TEAM OVERALL MULTI-PURPOSE (Hit & Pitch)
Austin Charles (Stockdale, Bakersfield) Sr.
By definition, Austin was a true all-around player and he did it all — successfully -– in every facet of the game. At the plate, he mashed his way to a .483 batting average to go along with 13 home runs, 13 doubles and 57 RBI. The 13 home runs tied for the reported state lead while his runs batted in total led the state. He also exhibited speed with 19 stolen bases. On the mound, Charles was 5-0 with an impressive 1.36 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings. He led Stockdale to the CIF Central Section D1 championship. His efforts also made him an easy choice for our selecting him as a “Mr. Baseball” finalist. Looking ahead, Austin will play next at UC Santa Barbara.
Donovan Chriss (De La Salle, Concord) Sr.
There is often a player or two at De La Salle who really steps up as a senior and this year Donovan is one of them. He did that both as a pitcher and as a hitter and was especially effective late in the season. The All-Bay Area player, who batted .400 overall, got hits in all seven of De La Salle’s last seven games, including 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI in the 7-6 win over St. Francis that decided the CIF NorCal D1 final. As a pitcher, Chriss only pitched 30 innings, but he got the save in the win over Foothill of Pleasanton in the NCS D1 final and in the NorCal semis he went seven innings against the same team with a three-hitter and six strikeouts in a 5-1 win. For the season, Chriss had 35 strikeouts in 30 innings with a 0.70 ERA. He also had 32 hits at the plate with 19 RBI. Donovan will play next at the University of California (San Diego).
Jacob Hudson (Valley Christian, San Jose) Jr.
Despite not pitching as much as a junior than he did as a sophomore, Hudson was impressive enough that he was chosen as the MVP of the West Catholic Athletic League. He also already has been named to several All-NorCal, All-Bay Area squads. Hudson batted .343 for the CIF NorCal D1 semifinalist Warriors and had one homer, nine doubles and 24 RBI. As a pitcher, Hudson followed up his 8-1 season from 2021 with a 3-2 mark in 2022. He also had a 2.62 ERA and struck out 43 batters in 37 1/3 innings.
Jaden Noot (Sierra Canyon, Chatsworth) Sr.
This highly touted Major League prospect posted some unreal numbers for Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) this spring. On the mound, he was virtually unhittable as he sported a 10-0 record with an ERA of 0.21 and 94 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings. He allowed just two earned runs the entire season. The LSU-signee, and four-year varsity standout, also had a huge season at the plate. Noot batted .367, registered 33 hits, 29 RBI, scored 15 runs and unleashed a team-high five home runs for the Trailblazers. He easily won the Gold Coast League Most Valuable Player award. In addition, Noot earned All CIF-SS honors, was named the Los Angeles Daily News Player of the Year and selected a First-Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. He was picked in the 19th round of MLB Draft by the Brewers, but likely would not be signing.