Local baseball players earn national recognition
Several local baseball players have received national attention in the earlygoing. While it doesn’t look like there is a sure-fire top draft pick from the Arizona prep ranks this season, there does seem to be some good depth.
Here is a list of East Valley standouts who have been highlighted by national publications:
• Gilbert shortstop Dustin Peterson was named Baseball America’s No. 72 high school draft prospect for 2013 (subscription access only). Peterson is committed to Arizona State but could be an early-round selection. His brother, D.J., who also went to Gilbert and now plays for New Mexico, is expected to be a high draft pick as well. Dustin Peterson is batting .467 with a homer, eight RBIs and eight runs scored in 15 at-bats for the Tigers. He has an on-base-plus-slugging-percentage of 1.498.
• Mountain Pointe shortstop Brantley Bell was listed in the ‘Next 50’ by Baseball America for players who just missed the top-100. He is the son of former major leaguer Jay Bell. Brantley is committed to Mississippi.
• Desert Ridge shortstop Riley Unroe is ranked the 83rd-best senior in the country by Maxpreps. Unroe was named a preseason All-American by Louisville Slugger. He is committed to play at Southern California next season. He is the son of former major leaguer Tim Unroe.
• Hamilton first baseman Cody Bellinger was named the No. 88 senior nationally on the same list. The sweet-swinging left-hander takes over as the top offensive bat on the Huskies following the graduation of third baseman Mitch Nay. Bellinger’s dad, Clay Bellinger, is also a former major leaguer.
• Basha shortstop Jamie Westbrook also made the top-100 list at No. 99 overall. He was the Coaches Association’s pick for Player of the Year a season ago after hitting .532 with 13 home runs and 35 RBIs. He is committed to Pepperdine.