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.
SanFranPreps.com All-City Team
Player of the Year
Collin Monsour, senior pitcher, St. Ignatius (1.01 ERA, 68 strikeouts)
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)
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)
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)
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)