Baseball: All-City Team City Player of the Year Collin Monsour (St. Ignatius, center of top row) and first-team All-City selections (clockwise from top left) Chris Miguel (Sacred Heart Cathedral), Brett Rasso (Sacred Heart Cathedral), Matt Krook (St. Ignatius), Dane Vande Guchte (Washington), Nick Johnson (St. Ignatius), Ben Carrasco (Stuart Hall), John Schember (University), Eli Smoot (Balboa), Mike Wallace (Sacred Heart Cathedral) and Christopher Hau (Washington). (Photos by Doug Ko, Clarivel Fong, Willie Eashman, Godofredo Vasquez and Devin Chen. Illustration by Josh Jalil) City Player of the Year Collin Monsour (St. Ignatius, center of top row) and first-team All-City selections (clockwise from top left) Chris Miguel (Sacred Heart Cathedral), Brett Rasso (Sacred Heart Cathedral), Matt Krook (St. Ignatius), Dane Vande Guchte (Washington), Nick Johnson (St. Ignatius), Ben Carrasco (Stuart Hall), John Schember (University), Eli Smoot (Balboa), Mike Wallace (Sacred Heart Cathedral) and Christopher Hau (Washington). (Photos by Doug Ko, Clarivel Fong, Willie Eashman, Godofredo Vasquez and Devin Chen. Illustration by Josh Jalil)

By Jeremy Balan

Our All-City teams are not always scientific.

Sometimes, you have to go with your gut.

In the past, our Player of the Year race in baseball has been between those who have had standout seasons at the plate and on the mound — the dual-threat players that impact every game.

This time around, it’s a pitcher, but the exception is truly exceptional.

All you have to do is ask one question: Who was the best baseball player in the City this season? The answer is Collin Monsour.

Monsour’s overall numbers as St. Ignatius’ ace this season were nothing short of outstanding. A 9-2 record, 1.01 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 70 innings appear good enough, but when you look a little closer, specifically at his performances in the West Catholic Athletic League, you get a true sense of just how dominant he was.

In 35 innings in the WCAL, arguably the best high-school league in Northern California, the Cal-bound senior went 4-0, allowed just two earned runs (0.40 ERA) and struck out 38.

Then, in the postseason, he had a 1.61 ERA and picked up a pressure-packed win in relief in SI’s win over Aptos to win the school’s first-ever Central Coast Section baseball title.

That’s why he’s our Player of the Year.

That doesn’t mean the other candidates weren’t awfully close to claiming Player of the Year. The rest of The City had several dual-threat standouts and many are on the first team.

Last season’s Player of the Year, Sacred Heart Cathedral senior Chris Miguel, was again the most dangerous hitter in the Irish batting order with a .404 average and 25 RBIs, but also had a 1.92 ERA on the mound. SHC teammate and junior Mike Wallace proved to be the ace for the Irish the season with a 1.58 ERA, but also hit .388 and added 20 RBIs of his own.

In any other season, Stuart Hall junior left-hander Ben Carrasco might have earned the top honor. The Bay Counties League West Player of the Year had a 0.65 ERA and 90 strikeouts in just 54 innings of work and hit .420. He also struck out 18 of 21 batters faced in one league game against Marin Academy.

Academic Athletic Association Player of the Year Dane Vande Guchte and Pitcher of the Year Christopher Hau also received first-team All-City honors. Vande Guchte hit .471, scored a staggering 44 runs and had a 2.89 ERA, while Hau had a 1.27 ERA, hit .348 and didn’t allow a single earned run in AAA play.

AAA cohort Eli Smoot, in just his sophomore season, led Balboa in ERA (3.80), batting average (.514) and runs scored (32).

Junior left-hander Matt Krook, who started the season as St. Ignatius’ No. 3 pitcher and had a 2.66 ERA, was a key cog in the middle of the Wildcats’ order all season, hitting .404.

Youth is present on the first team, most notably in Smoot and budding star Brett Rasso, Sacred Heart’s sophomore second baseman that hit .425 with 12 doubles and 23 stolen bases, but is also strewn up and down the All-City lineups.

Lincoln freshman Craig Colen (second team) hit .429 and threw four complete games as a pitcher, University sophomore John O’Malley (second team) led the Red Devils in ERA (1.60) and hit .373, Washington sophomore outfielder Jordan Wilson (third team) led the AAA champs with 35 RBIs and Galileo sophomore Kyle Nelson (honorable mention) appears to have the makings of a AAA ace, hit .400 and had a 2.33 ERA. All-City Team

Player of the Year
Collin Monsour, senior pitcher, St. Ignatius (1.01 ERA, 68 strikeouts)

First Team
Ben Carrasco, junior P/1B, Stuart Hall (0.65 ERA, 90 strikeouts, .420 batting average)
Christopher Hau, junior P/3B, Washington (1.27 ERA, .348 batting average)
Nick Johnson, senior RF, St. Ignatius (.404 batting average, 15 RBIs)
Matt Krook, junior 1B/P, St. Ignatius (.404 batting average, 16 RBIs, 2 home runs, 2.66 ERA)
Chris Miguel, senior P/3B, Sacred Heart Cathedral (1.92 ERA, .404 batting average, 25 RBIs)
Brett Rasso, sophomore 2B, Sacred Heart Cathedral (.425 batting average, 12 doubles, 23 stolen bases)
John Schember, senior C, University (.433 batting average, 24 RBIs, six doubles)
Eli Smoot, sophomore P/IF, Balboa (.514 batting average, 19 RBIs, 32 runs, 3.80 ERA)
Dane Vande Guchte, senior SS/P, Washington (.471 batting average, 25 RBIs, 44 runs, 2.89 ERA)
Mike Wallace, junior P/OF, Sacred Heart Cathedral (1.58 ERA, .388 batting average, 20 RBIs)

Second Team
Craig Colen, freshman P/C/IF, Lincoln (.429 batting average, 21 RBIs, four complete games pitching)
Sean Donovan, senior P, Riordan (3.63 ERA, 46 strikeouts)
Gino Franco, senior SS, Sacred Heart Cathedral (.371 batting average, 19 RBIs)
Tevin Goodwin, senior OF, Sacred Heart Cathedral (.354 batting average, 20 RBIs, 16 runs)
Aaron Leong, junior OF/P/IF, Lowell (.397 batting average, 15 RBIs, 21 runs, 1.89 ERA)
Jordan Malik, senior P/SS, International (1.18 ERA, 76 strikeouts, .437 batting average)
John O’Malley, sophomore P/SS, University (1.60 ERA, 42 strikeouts, .373 batting average)
Jack Stinn, junior OF/P, St. Ignatius (.355 batting average, 19 RBIs, two home runs, 0.51 ERA)
Nick Tam, senior P/CF, Lowell (.374 batting average, 31 runs, two home runs, 3.08 ERA)
Avery Velasco, senior 1B/P, Washington (.382 batting average, 30 RBIs, nine doubles, 5.64 ERA)

Third Team
Alex Asdourian, senior RF, Stuart Hall (.370 batting average, five extra-base hits)
Daniel Costa, junior OF/1B, Stuart Hall (.408 batting average 15 runs, 14 stolen bases)
James Cullinane, junior OF/P, Riordan (.299 batting average, 14 runs, eight extra-base hits, 3.33 ERA)
Nico Giarratano, junior SS, St. Ignatius (.301 batting average, 13 doubles, 14 RBIs, 18 runs)
Aumen Holliday, junior P/OF, Marshall (.519 batting average, 18 RBIs, 29 runs, four home runs)
Lucas Howard, senior CF, Lick-Wilmerding (.361 batting average, 15 RBIs, two home runs)
Jack Klein, junior CF/P, St. Ignatius (.279 batting average, .416 on-base percentage, 2.55 ERA)
Jonathan Macht, junior P/1B, Urban (.425 batting average, 13 RBIs, 2.48 ERA, three complete games)
Jorge Navarro, junior P, Riordan (2.71 ERA, one perfect game)
Jordan Wilson, sophomore OF, Washington (.356 batting average, 35 RBIs, 35 runs, 11 doubles)

Honorable Mention
Jalen Allen, senior SS, Lick-Wilmerding (.333 batting average, 11 RBIs, 10 stolen bases)
Ariel Applbaum, senior P/C, Jewish Community (.450 batting average, 26 RBIs, 4.29 ERA)
Alex Arnold, senior P/1B, Balboa (3.83 ERA, .348 batting average, 30 RBI)
Anthony Auerbach, senior P/IF/OF, Leadership
Michael Beleson, senior SS, Waldorf (.490 batting average, 19 runs, 14 extra-base hits)
Warren Benavides, sophomore 2B/C, University (.400 batting average, 10 RBIs)
Albie Brown senior 1B/OF, Urban (.435 batting average, nine RBIs)
Joe Cibotti, senior C, Sacred Heart Cathedral (.315 batting average, 15 RBIs, six doubles)
Devin Conroy, junior C/P/3B, International (.364 batting average, 1.62 ERA)
Juan Cordero, sophomore SS, Marshall (.381 batting average, 20 RBIs)
Nick Corson, senior P/RF, Lick-Wilmerding (3.82 ERA)
Matt DeBenedetti, senior 2B, St. Ignatius (.246 batting average, 13 RBIs)
Stephen Everest, freshman P/IF, Stuart Hall (2.41 ERA, .316 batting average, 11 RBIs)
Dylan Foster, junior OF, St. Ignatius (.302 batting average, two home runs)
Remfel Ganal, senior 2B/P, Lincoln (.364 batting average, 13 runs, two complete games)
Andy Glickfeld, junior 1B/OF, Lowell (.337 batting average, 17 RBIs, two home runs)
Charlie Goldensohn, senior C, St. Ignatius (.226 batting average, 15 RBIs, seven doubles)
Colin Huang, junior 3B/SS/P, Urban (.413 batting average, 20 runs, 3.50 ERA)
Alexander Indick, senior UT, University (.364 batting average, 16 runs)
Michael Li, senior C, Balboa (.319 batting average, 25 RBIs)
Randy Mai, senior SS/P, Burton (.273 batting average, .412 on-base percentage, 19 runs)
Travis McDow, senior OF/DH, St. Ignatius (.275 batting average, four home runs, 14 RBIs)
Galen Melchert, junior P/3B/OF, Waldorf (.400 batting average, 16 RBIs)
Jose Murillo, senior C, Mission
Kyle Nelson, sophomore P/1B, Galileo (2.33 ERA, .400 batting average)
Jason Nemerovski, sophomore P/3B/1B, Bay (2.49 ERA, .350 batting average, 10 RBIs)
Nick Nussbaum, senior C/1B, Sacred Heart Cathedral (.305 batting average, 11 RBIs)
Ismael Orozco, senior SS, Riordan (.319 batting average, six extra-base hits, nine RBIs)
Javon Phillips, senior 2B/SS, Washington (.333 batting average, 27 RBIs, 42 runs, 11 extra-base hits)
Elijah Saunders, junior SS/P, Lowell (.354 batting average, 15 RBIs, 25 runs)
Many Serrano, senior 1B, Sacred Heart Cathedral (.294 batting average, 16 RBIs)
Gio Solorzano, freshman OF, Washington (.388 batting average, 27 RBIs)
Jesse Stein, freshman SS, Mission
Nate Stern, senior SS, Urban (.407 batting average, 12 RBIs, seven doubles)
Andrew Thompson, junior P/OF, University (2.56 ERA, 48 strikeouts, .236 batting average, 14 runs)
Kyle Tillinghast, senior 3B, St. Ignatius (.324 batting average, 13 runs)
Rafael Vergara, junior C, Galileo (.350 batting average, one home run)
Jeremy Wong, junior OF, Balboa (.352 batting average, 22 RBIs, 25 runs, nine extra-base hits)
Christopher Yee, junior IF, Washington (.347 batting average, 24 RBIs, 39 runs, seven doubles)
Nick Zatopa, senior 3B/P, Waldorf (.358 batting average, 17 RBIs, 5.79 ERA)

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14 Comments on "Baseball: All-City Team"

  1. WCAL Alum | June 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM |

    Some names can be interchangeable, but it is a fair list considering how difficult it is to weigh the four san francisco leagues SF schools participate in. In that light all should be commended for being considered.

    San Fran Prep a nice job all school year.

  2. BigMikeDC | June 21, 2012 at 1:43 PM |

    The challenge here is comparing players that are in vastly different leagues. While I know a number of these kids and they would do well in any of the leagues, it is extremely difficult to compare kids in AAA or the various independent leagues to those in the WCAL. The competition level day in and day out is just not the same.

    • It is very difficult. That’s why it took me about three weeks to get it all settled. I’m sure there are arguments to be made, but I’m content with the list.

  3. Do u know anything about sports?

    • AA…Who are you addressing this to? I thought SF PREP picked the right guy for player of the year.

  4. Dominic Defiesta | June 22, 2012 at 9:12 PM |

    Hey Jeremy,
    First and foremost, congrats on another successful year for San Fran Preps. I thought you did a phenomenal job with picking and choosing where these players ended up on the list. Big congrats to all the guys who made the All-City team from Sacred Heart. Chris Miguel has definitely proven himself as one of the best players in the city, Brett Rasso had one hell of a complete Varsity season and I couldn’t be prouder of my successor in the middle infield. Mike Wallace did exceptionally well this year and I look for big things to come.

    In short, I believe that city baseball is on the fast track to re-establish itself in the Bay Area and that there are many tremendous players that will make plenty of noise in years to come. Another huge congrats to SI for their CCS title (further proving my point).

    Thanks for everything you do and know that there are fans of high school sports that really admire how hard you work and how selfless your intentions really are.

    I look forward to another great year of coverage for high school sports in the City.

    Dominic Defiesta SHC 11′
    (All-City 1st team Baseball 2011)

  5. the player of the year is definitely the rite decisison. I am adressing Jbalan in his incompetence in puttin good players on these teams. he is obviously visually impaired and a nincompoop. goodbye

  6. Suggestion | June 22, 2012 at 10:32 PM |

    All Star Team for each Varsity League players, and have 1st and 2nd Teams for both.

    In addition of would commend Ben Duarte and Nick Curran who attend Pescadero High School.
    There are also two pitchers and a first baseman on Gateway High School that are well deserving.

    • The Pescadero players were not eligible for this team, because that school is not in San Francsico. As far as the Gateway players go, I would have loved to have them, however we did not get cooperation from the school’s athletic department. Unfortunately, they didn’t post their stats to Maxpreps and didn’t respond to my multiple e-mails over the past few weeks, asking for their statistics.

  7. City baseball is alive & well. 2000+ kids in SFYBL, 1200 in SFLL, 500 in CYO… Yes some cross over between leagues…. But significant number of younger kids playing. Good players too. Many getting good training. There are at least 4 different travel ball groups with players from 8 yrs old to 17 yrs old. Just in our 7 x 7 city!

    • WCAL Alum | June 24, 2012 at 9:30 PM |

      Big Mike,

      Yes, strides have been made but unfortunately it doesnt translate to competitive ball at the highest level (i.e. WCAL ball). I will give you this it is getting better. SFYBL and SF Little League is gaining traction and the Giant’s winning has helped keep kids (and their parents) interested. I respect the effort and intentions of both leagues. I wouldnt get caught up in the travel ball arguement, to date it hasnt translated to the highest level in the City. SI connection to Jr. Dons a few years ago has been the exception to the rule (in keeping same kids together).

      Although there are some quality ballplayers coming out of City every year at 13/14 (with potential), the systems they are coming from are robotic and dont encourage self reliance and the baseball IQ drops off. Add to this the extreme lack of proper playing facilities, summer weather pattern, parent over-involvement and lack of quality field time at the lower levels of City high school (frosh, jv, soph/frosh, etc). Finally, take whatever kids can play and divide them amoungst the countless high school in the City and they (and their teams) competitiveness are diluted and exposed. Bottom line: depth of qualifty players per team.

      Take a team like SHC, they go undefeated this season non-league v. teams from BCL, AAA and scattered public schools down peninsula. In league they cant even sniff a .500 league record. SI this year was the first City WCAL team to surpass a .500 record in league in 12 years (and for all intention should be there again next year). And by the way, to date most of the City WCAL teams try to stock their teams with kids from down the peninsula. SI had at least 15 of their 22 ball players who werent from the City; both SH and Riordan get a good number of kids from South City, San Bruno and Pacifica. I know a several parents who have their City pre-teen kids playing down the peninsula simply for the competition and access to quality fields.

      Yes, the travel phenominon(sp) is growing and I do hope it pays dividends down the road. The key is to keep City kids in the City and interested in baseball. Rec and Park is hopeless. As for the kids, hopefully they will all land in City schools and bring up the level of ball in all leagues.

      • WCAL Alum, very well said. One of the biggest problem we have here is the lack of summer baseball program. Back in the 80s we had Park and Rec, Joe Dimaggio, American Legion, Palomino for HS, Thorobred for the College kids, and Pal and Flame for the the younger kids, and adult baseball at Big Rec on Sundays. Now all we have is the feel good Jr. Giants which really does not offer enough. If we really want baseball back in the city we need to have the summer baseball leagues again. Sounds like there are a lot of interests out there.

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