Friday, June 6, 2008

Dade County's 100 Greatest High School Baseball Players



Pictured: Pace's Alex Fernandez (top) and Westminster Christian's Alex Rodriguez


Baseball has long been called the nation's "national pastime". In South Florida, football is considered king. Afterall, some of the best football talent comes from our back yard. But when you look at the baseball talent that has been developed and nurished from our backyard, South Florida takes a backseat to nobody.

Here's my list of the 100 greatest high school baseball players to come out of Miami-Dade County. You'll find a hall of famer (Steve Carlton), a bunch of soon-to-be hall of famers (Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson) and a who's who of great high school baseball players who excelled at various levels of the sport. Players are listed in alphabetical order with the high schools each attended.

Dade County's 100 Greatest High School Baseball Players

Yonder Alonso - Coral Gables
Alfredo Amezaga - Miami High
Robert Andino - Southridge
J.P Arencibia - Westminster Christian
J.D. Arteaga - Westminster Christian
Ronnie Belliard - Central
Nick Belmonte - North Miami
Tom Bernhardt - Columbus
Skip Bertman - Miami Beach
Kurt Bevacqua - North Miami
Randy Bush - Carol City
Juan Bustabad - Hialeah-Miami Lakes
Steve Butler - Westminster Christian
Marty Bystrom - Killian
John Cangelosi - Miami Springs
Jose Canseco - Coral Park
Ozzie Canseco - Coral Park
Adrian Cardenas - Pace
Ronald Caridad - Westminster Christian
Steve Carlton - North Miami
Tony Casas - Jackson
Frank Castro - Miami Springs
Lee Corso - Jackson
Leroy Cromartie - Booker T. Washington
Warren Cromartie - Jackson
Midre Cummings - Edison
Andre Dawson - Southwest
Bucky Dent - Hialeah
Orestes Destrade - Columbus
Nick Esasky - Carol City
David Espinosa - Gulliver
Eddy Martinez-Esteve - Westminster Christian
Jorge Fabregas - Columbus
Alex Fernandez - Pace
Mike Fiore - Coral Gables
Tom Foley - Palmetto
Fred Frink - Miami High
Mike Fuentes - Coral Gables
Alex Gonzalez - Killian
Gio Gonzalez - Pace
Orlando Gonzalez - Miami High
Yasmani Grandal - Miami Springs
Otis Green - Carol City
Rick Greene - Coral Gables
Pedro Grifol - Columbus
Ricky Gutierrez - American
Ben Grzybek - Hialeah
Garry Harper - Hialeah-Miami Lakes
Lenny Harris - Jackson
Bill Henderson - Westminster Christian
Chris Hernandez - Pace
Gaby Hernandez - Belen
Nick Hernandez - Hialeah
Steve Hertz - Miami High
Jackie Holmes - Norland
Charlie Hough - Hialeah
Raul Ibanez - Sunset
Ryan Jackson - Florida Christian
Calvin James - American
Jon Jay - Columbus
Ross Jones - Hialeah
Mickey Lopez - Westminster Christian
Mike Lowell - Coral Gables
Ed Lynch - Columbus
Jim Maler- Coral Gables
Chris Marrero - Pace
Eli Marrero - Coral Gables
Danny Matienzo - Columbus
Tony Menendez - American
Doug Mientkiewicz - Westminster Christian
Luis Montanez - Coral Park
Rob Murphy - Columbus
Steve Nicosia - North Miami Beach
Fred Norman - Jackson
Alex Ochoa - Hialeah-Miami Lakes
Orlando Palmeiro - Southridge
Rafael Palmeiro - Jackson
Jose Prado - Coral Gables
Danny Rams - Gulliver
Mickey Rivers - Northwestern
Alex Rodriguez - Westminster Christian
Javy Rodriguez - Gulliver
Sean Rodriguez - Braddock
Ricky Rojas - Hialeah-Miami Lakes
Al Rosen - Miami High
Wade Rowdon - Palmetto
Gaby Sanchez - Brito Private
Nelson Santovenia - Southridge
Howie Shapiro - Miami Beach
Dennis Sherrill - South Miami
Dale Soderholm - Coral Park
Eric Soderholm - Coral Park
David Sorokowski - Southridge
Shannon Stewart - Southridge
Bob Stinson - Miami High
Danny Tartabull - Carol City
David Yocum - Columbus
Eddie Williams - Edison
Woody Woodward - Coral Gables
Jason Woolf - American

46 comments:

UM99 said...

How about J.P. Arencibia? Westminster Christian, U of Tennessee, Toronto Blue Jays. Tied Alex Rodriguez's home run record at Westminster Christian. Look at his stats at UT. SEC's Freshman of the Year (2005) USA Baseball National Team. MVP of the 2006 FISU World Championships after leading Team USA to a Gold Medal at the event in Havana, Cuba. First round pick (21) in 2007 for the Blue Jays. One of the top prospects in Toronto Blue Jays Minor League System. Currently @ AA New Hampshire.

MiamiSouthPaw said...

Good call on Arencibia. He's defintely worthy of the list. I've added him in and removed Eddy Ramos from American. Hopefully Eddy doesn't read this blog and gets offended.

old viking said...

There was one name left off the list, but definitely deserves to be on it.
Jimmy Riddle was a second baseman for three years at Miami Norland. He hit over .300 all three years and was named to the All-City teams in 1967 and 1968. He was a third round draft choice by the Washington Senators in 1971. In his senior year Jimmy was 20 for 21 in stolen base attempts.

Dice326 said...

You have included some guys that have no business on this list. Ozzie Canseco? Please I played against him in HS he was average at best, Amezaga played one year at Miami High, Nick Belmonte 2nd Team All-City 74, Marty Bystrom why because he played in the Big Leagues, Calvin James why, Danny Matienzo, Wade Rowdon David Sorokowski Com'on. You left out. Alberto Zamora RHP Miami High All-City 70&71 Pitched a 24 inning shoutout, Steve Lerner LHP Miami Beach High All-City 72,73,74, Jose Barrios All City 73&75 2nd Team in 74, Bob Ramos C Jackson All-City 74 Played in Big Leagues, Eddie Escribano RHP Coral Park All-City 77&78, Andres Romero Of All-City 77 3rd Round Pick Phillies, Robbie Alvarez 3B led Carol City to State Championship All-City 75&76 Chino Cadahia C/3B Miami Springs All-City 74&75, Danny Smith All-City 78&79. These are only guys from the 70's if I go into the 50's and 60's there are some greats there also.
Dice 326

Dice326 said...

And who can forget Manny Crespo Miami High Shortstop All-City 66,67 and 68 who has to be one of the Top 5 High school players in Dade County history and was drafted by the Red Sox in the 5th round of the 68 Draft
Dice326

Dice326 said...

Jimmy Riddle was not All-City 1st Team and was drafted in the 3rd round January Draft out of Miami Dade Junior College.

UMCANES95 said...

Eddie Williams? He wasn't even one of the top 3 catchers in Miami during his years.Plus he was drunk driving and killed a teammate in Diego Ruiz who was a good pitcher at American HS. Westminster had what I believe is one of the greatest defensive catchers South Florida produced. Adrian Antonini had a cannon behind the plate and was a defensive machine. Wasn't a great hitter but a good HS hitter. I think he hit 4 or 5 for the '90 State Title team.He had to be pretty good because i think he started for years behind the plate at LSU.

javier said...

alex fernandez is the best player out of everyone there. His heart and soul belonged to baseball. Ill never forget one day. We just beat hialeah 2-1. Alex through a gem. He also had a double. After the game an old man, a scout, very respected in miami. Told alex that if he wanted to play in MLB he had to lose 25lbs. That was the first and last day i ever say Alex shed a tear. Alex lost 30lbs, and well the rest is history.

tom said...

I graduated from North Miami High School in 1968. Steve Carlton and Kurt Bevacqua graduated from NMHS in 1967. They were great, but there was also another player who graduated in my year and was the Dade County athlete of the year. His name was Bill Maloney and he was a truly spectacular catcher. As I recall he hit in the mid 400s his senior year and had terrific defensive skills. He could have become a Johnny Bench but after signing with a major league team (I think the Pirates) he tragically contracted a rare cancer an died at 18. The 1967 team lost the state semi-final with Carlton pitching well but losing 2-1. The team won it all in 1968.

tom said...

Of course I mixed up high school and college. Carlton graduated from NMHS in 1963 and Maloney in 1964!

divany said...

North Miami High was State Champs in 1964. Kurt Bevacqua Graduated in 65, Steve Carlton in 1963. Bill Maloney was class of 64 as was Richard Mehlich who also died tragically, he was murdered by an intruder in his home in 1994 I think it was.

warriorfan said...

A player that deserves to be on that list is Westminster grad Ray Brana..he played in the late 80's and was a two time all state and all city as well as being a USA Today AA his junior year..he was a two time MVP for the Warriors during a time that they were considered the best in the country..list member Alex Gonzalez was asked during a radio interview who was the best player he ever saw that did not make it to the bigs and he said it was Brana..Brana was also considered the most dominant little leaguer in dade county history..list needs to be true to what the title says...best high schoolers.

Neal said...

After his record breaking 2010 sophomore season, make room for David Thompson--he now owns the Dade County HR record. He hit more HR's in one season than Arod or J.P Arencibia's entire high school career!

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Chaminade19 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
camaro94 said...

Best players in the history of dade county are the players from Carol City High teams in 75' 76' and 1977 great players such as Robbie Alvarez,Randy Bush,Nick Esasky German Gonzalez Luis Varela, Eddie Flores ,Ben Flager and many more,There will never be another Team like 1975 team when we won it all.

camaro94 said...

Carol City High school baseball team in 1975 and 1976 7 players of those 3 years played pro ball 4 played major league ball it those not get better than that.

camaro94 said...

The best 3rd baseman in the history of dade high school Baseball hands down is Robbie Alvarez Carol city 1977 grad.

love that game said...

high school baseball in those years of 1974 thru 1978 were the best years of high school baseball,Miami high,jackson high,Hialeah, miami lakes.Carol City,North Miami,Norland,NMB,ECt were great years.

love that game said...

Carol City high school baseball 1975 team the best ever

love that game said...

the best infield in dade county ever was 1975/1976 Carol City high Robbie Alvarez 3B/ Eddie Flores SS/Nick Esasky 2B/ and Randy Bush 1B this four players were the best I have ever seen hands Down.

Dino said...

I played and grow up around the corner from one of the greatest shortstops in american high history and was a decent infielder in the bigs.Ricky Guietterez.his work ethic was unbelieveable.always took every game like it was his last.to this day I still have his rawlings gold glove series he gave me after he was drafted after ben mcdonald...and after he left the game he came back to american and became head coach with al torres that has been around for years.God bless deigo ruiz I use to knock the cover off the ball at north glade park academia de borego.who remembers those days....

Dino said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry said...

I think you left out the Hialeah Hough brothers. Both made the bigs and Richard had an incredible run. They were terrors in High School, think it was 62,3. You might consider Oscar Zamora, 64? with a good ML career.....
Jerry Reisman

kendallseo said...

He was a third circular set up option by the California Senators in 1971. In his mature season Jimmy was 20 for 21 in thieved platform efforts.
Dade Ram

NealEdwards said...

David Thompson of Westminster Christian. Set the Florida home run record with 55 and the single season record with 19. No one has hit more home runs in Dade County than Thompson...ever.

Juan Diaz said...

Carlos Castillo class of 94 southwest 25 hr's and 25 victories in 3 years

Tracy Lee said...

Pedro Gonzalez was a great catcher out of high school and Miami Dade North..Diego Ruiz was also on the Dade team, RIP..That was one funny dude..

Tracy Lee said...

Pedro Gonzalez was a great catcher out of high school and Miami Dade North..Diego Ruiz was also on the Dade team, RIP..That was one funny dude..

Evelio Perez said...

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Cubanitos/145972048770303

Hialeah baseball said...

Javier Lorenzo - HML c/o '97 - FAU '98 - Miami Dade College '99

Jose Fernandez said...

Who is Edddie Flores?
1975 cc shortstop was Harv Hammock.I know I was there, someone is lying. Lol
Jose Fernandez 1975 State Champs.

Jose Fernandez said...

1975 Carol City infield - Bush 1b , Whitaker 2b , Hammock ss , Alvarez 3b

Charles Bravo said...

1991, eddy Ramos aka el narra. And julio vinas these guys were monsters in hs. One of the most feared hitters in high school in that era.

Charles Bravo said...

Both from American hs Eddie was drafted by Houston and vinas by whitesox

Cliff said...

I don't know what the criteria is but Steve Foucault pitched in the majors for six years as a reliever appearing in 277 games. He played with Eric Soderholm at Coral Park for a couple of years.

hialeah dade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Class of 1991 David Marerro
3Rd base for hialeah miami lakes
Mvp that year of the team
All fade
Played for the all Florida team
Full ride to the university of miami
Holds batting average record at hml
Played along side Ochoa and the great players of hialeah from the late 80s and early 90s

Erick Frias said...

Class of 1991 David Marerro
3Rd base for hialeah miami lakes
Mvp that year of the team
All fade
Played for the all Florida team
Full ride to the university of miami
Holds batting average record at hml
Played along side Ochoa and the great players of hialeah from the late 80s and early 90s

Mike said...

The best hitter I ever saw in high school was Julio Vinas from American High he has to be on your list He lead all state in hitting and HRs and RBIs broke Florida record hitting 570 he was a monster always overshadowed by Eddie who couldn't even come close to the talent Julio had. What a special hitter he was always came through in the clutch.

Mike said...

The best hitter I ever saw in high school was Julio Vinas from American High he has to be on your list He lead all state in hitting and HRs and RBIs broke Florida record hitting 570 he was a monster always overshadowed by Eddie who couldn't even come close to the talent Julio had. What a special hitter he was always came through in the clutch.

Unknown said...

Ryan Jackson ????????? LMAO you guys kidding right

Unknown said...

Ryan Jackson ????????? LMAO you guys kidding right

Steve Medina said...

Forgot a certain 3rd Baseman by the name of Manny Machado.

Medina

Steve Medina said...

Loved him as a team mate hated as an opponent. A true competitor. No one played harder. Don't forget Carlos Estevez and Alexis Leal. Best hitters I ever played with.