Baseball: Pitching depth is a strength in 2014

It's two weeks before the high school baseball season begins, and let me offer one certain conclusion: Don't worry about the top teams not having a No. 2 pitcher. In fact, most will have three and four top pitchers.

I can't remember a preseason when I have seen more teams with outstanding depth at the pitcher position. Forget about the days teams worried about having to play three games in a week because of rainouts. No big deal this season.

Let's start with the two teams that have the best group of pitchers. That would be Loyola, with Pac-12-bound Nathan Hadley (UCLA), Quinn Brodey (Stanford) and Kyle Beadles (Arizona). Then comes Los Alamitos, with Jacob Nix (UCLA), Darren McCaughan (Long Beach State) and sophomores Kyle Mora (UCLA) and Scott Andersen. If they played a doubleheader, the coaches could sit back all day without a single worry about not having anyone left to pitch.

But there's also lots of other teams with the same strength. Chino Hills, Orange Lutheran, Huntington Beach, Temecula Valley, Bishop Amat, Damien, Alemany, Mater Dei, Warren, Santa Margarita, St. John Bosco, Capistrano Valley, South Hills, Cypress, Mission Viejo, Newport Harbor and Great Oak are just a few of the schools with multiple top pitchers.

It means the hitters are going to face big challenges in the big games. And come playoff time, it won't really matter about saving the ace, because the No. 2 pitcher will be very good at lots of schools this season.


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