2024 baseball preview: Players to watch this season

Apr. 16—Will be the Phoenix's ace this year and a team captain. When not on the mound, he'll man third base and bat in the middle of Spruce's lineup.

Threw complete-game shutouts in the C South final and Class C title game for the state-champion Mustangs. Finished the 2023 season with a 9-1 record and 1.41 ERA while striking out 82 batters in 52 innings.

Will play an important role for the Blue Devils, behind the plate and at times on the mound, and should be one of the best catchers in the KVAC this season.

A KVAC Class B First Team selection who has committed to play baseball (and football) at the University of Maine. He struck out 44 batters and accumulated a 2.9 ERA last season. He also batted .271 with an .882 OPS and scored 15 runs.

The underclassman will be an important player for the Rebels this season. He is a gap-to-gap hitter, and he has worked since last spring on his mechanical approach to pitcher.

This will be his fourth season as a starter, and he has already garnered three all-conference honors. He has led the Raiders in hitting the past three years, including 2023 when he batted .495 with 25 hits and 20 stolen bases. Also is a stellar middle infielder and will pitch more this season, after which he will play at the University of Southern Maine.

Athletic player who uses his speed to cover a lot of ground in the outfield. Batted .300 last year. On the mound, he struck out 42 batters in 24 2/3 innings and had a 2.54 ERA.

The Knights' ace teams up with catcher Regan Cohen to form a battery that plays together year-round. Gwarjanski was named second-team All-WMC last year after going 5-2 on the mound with 45 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings.

Outdueled Winkin Award winner Jay Libby in last years Class D championship game, shutting down Bangor Christian and striking out seven while pitching complete-game five-hitter. Finished the year with a 5-1 record and a sub-3.00 ERA.

An athletic catcher with a lot of power and speed. He is the reborn Bucks' most experienced player, having played as a freshman on Buckfield's last team in 2021 before spending the past two years in a co-op with Oxford Hills.

Struck out 38 batters and had a 2.63 ERA on the mound last year. His versatility extends to the field and the plate, where he tallied a .379 batting average and .881 OPS with 14 RBIs. He was a KVAC Class B second-teamer.

The Cougars' top returning player who will be looked to as a leader this season of a team made up largely of newcomers. He was second on the team in hits and third in RBIs last year while batting .321. He also pitched 31 innings and struck out 25 batters.

Maschino is team captain and a four-year varsity contributor who has hit over .300 the past two seasons, including .302 last year. He also is a strong defensive player and committed only two errors while playing third base and left field in 2023.

Tough on the mound and a hard-working player who was voted second-team All-MVC last season. He went 5-2 with 64 strikeouts in 46 innings and logged a 1.52 ERA.

A clutch player for the two-time defending state champion Saints. He threw a two-hit complete game in a D South title game win over top-seeded Searsport. This winter's Travis Roy Award winner also hit around .300 with a pair of home runs and several extra-base hits last spring.

Coming off a strong 2023 season, when he was playing baseball for the first time since seventh grade. He batted .300 and is a stellar defensive catcher with a good arm, as evidenced by the 16 would-be base stealers he threw out.

The Mustangs' leadoff hitter plays a big role in all three phases. He hit .417 with 22 RBIs and 20 runs last year, only committed three errors in the field, and on the mound was 4-0 with a .042 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 30 innings.

Hard thrower who has committed to play at UConn. Struck out 61 batters in 39 1/3 innings last season and was named to the Sun Journal's and KVAC's first teams. Also swings a powerful bat and led the Red Eddies in triples, RBIs and slugging percentage in 2023.

The Red Eddies' starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. He batted .300 and was among the team's leaders in hits and doubles. The left-hander will also be a key part of the pitching rotation this year.

Three-year starter in the infield is a smart, versatile and consistent player who rarely makes mistakes. He committed only one error last season and recorded a .970 fielding percentage. He can hit for power, move runners over or bunt. Last season he hit .413 with 18 RBIs, 20 runs and 14 walks.

The Roadrunners' top returning offensive player also is extremely versatile on defense. At the plate, he was .407 with a .485 OBP while driving in 22 runs, scoring 23 and stealing 19 bases.

2024 baseball preview capsules

High school roundup: Leavitt lights up Gardiner in baseball opener