Constructing a lineup

Having seen Rancho Bernardo and Cathedral Catholic play several times over the last few years, it’s easy to see why Sam Blalock and Gary Remiker have had so much success with those teams over the years.

Unlike in the college and professional game, where managers tend to bat their best players in the 3rd of 4th spots in the lineup (I believe that the best hitter should bat second), these two managers take the smart approach of batting their top hitters in the leadoff spot. Rancho Bernardo catcher Alex Jackson, arguably the top high school hitter in the country, has been batting leadoff for the Broncos this season. With runs harder to come by in the high school game now, ever since CIF made the decision to switch to BBCOR bats from the traditional aluminum, it makes sense to put Jackson in the top spot. By batting him there, he is guaranteed to get the most at-bats on the team. Who better than a guy with a career slash of .376/.497/.841.

In the case of Cathedral Catholic, they probably have a deeper lineup than that the Broncos, but they still take a similar approach. Senior shortstop Sean Bouchard, an All-American and UCLA commit leads off games for the Dons. He’s followed up by Giovanni Garbella, a Valporaiso commit and member of the Italian National Team. When scoring runs comes at a premium, the best thing to do is to give your best hitters the chance to swing the bat more often.