BASEBALL: Players to Watch (Dade)

Dade County is again loaded with quality baseball prospects for the Class of 2009. CanesTime.com gives you a look at some of the area's top players.

Lets take a closer look at some of the top prospects from around Miami Dade County for the Class of 2009.

RHP E.J. Encinosa, 6-3, 200, R/R, Coral Park
One of the top righties in the area, Encinosa lives in the upper 80s but many say his curveball's his best pitch. Encinosa played summer ball with the South Florida Bandits in 2007 and wasn't listed on any of the local travel team rosters this summer. He carries a 4.5 GPA inside the classroom so he should get a good academic package as well.

LHP/1B Dayron Gomez, 6-2, 200, L/L, Hialeah
One of the top combo guys in the area, Gomez was a second team All-Area pick as a DH but many believe it'll be his left arm that advances him to the next level. He pitched for the Florida Legends this summer and went 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA.

IF Justin Gonzalez, 6-1, 160, R/R, Columbus
One of many talented middle infielders in Dade County's 2009 class, Gonzalez carries a 3.0 GPA inside the classroom and played for the All-American Prospects this summer. Known to have excellent gap to gap power, he has experience playing around the infield and will definitely be one to watch next season.

OF Alex Marrero, 6-0, 180, L/L, Florida Christian
One of the area's top outfielders, Marrero was an Honorable Mention All-Area pick as a junior this past spring. The talented lefty played outfield for the All-American Prospects this summer and is already getting a lot of Division 1 attention.

MIF Stephen Perez, 5-11, 170, S/R, Gulliver Prep
Widely considered the area's top prospects for the Class of 2009, Perez has already given the Hurricanes his commitment. A second team All-Area pick last season, Perez played for the All-American Prospects this summer. He carries a 3.2+ GPA in the classroom and is considered one of the state's top 10 prospects by various baseball publications.

LHP Steven Rodriguez, 6-1, 180, L/L, Gulliver Prep
This talented lefty, who has already given his commitment to the University of Florida, will be one of the area's best in '09. He touched 89 in the summer of 2007 and likely hit 90+ for the All-American Prospects this summer. He carries a 3.5+ gpa inside the classroom.

RHP Felix Roque, 6-3, 200, R/R, Miami Christian
The big righty burst onto the scene last year when he hit 90+ at the WWBA in Jupiter. He topped out at 89 at East Cobb this summer and has the size to add a few more. As a junior, he finished the season 9-5 with a 1.35 GPA and 128 K's. He was a first team All-Area pick and played with the All-American Prospects this summer.

OF Ruben Sierra Jr., 6-2, 180, L/L, Columbus
The question with Sierra is whether he'll play in Puerto Rico or Miami for his senior season. The son of a former MLB star, Sierra has a lot of physical tools to work with. He's been timed as low as 6.38 in the 60, making him one of the fastest players you'll find at this level. He also runs track and hitting from the left side makes him even more exciting as a prospect.

MIF Darnell Sweeney, 6-0, 160, S/R, American
A first team All-Area shortstop this past spring, Sweeney hit .368 with six doubles and 25 stolen bases. He also plays basketball and has been clocked in the low 6.8's. Inside the classroom, he carries a 3.7 GPA and batting from both sides of the plate makes him even more valuable as a prospect.

SS/RHP Anthony Tzamatzis, 6-0, 170, R/R, La Salle
Tzamatzis is a talented two-way player who played some this summer with the Florida Bombers. In the spring, Tzamatzis was a first team All-Area pick after hitting .387 with four home runs and 25 RBI. He's been clocked at 7.31 in the 60 and has touched low 90's off the mound. A good student in the classroom, Tzamatzis should be one of the top prospects in the area next season.


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