Best High School Baseball Programs in Florida

A lot more than wins and losses separate one baseball team from another.

And when you’re considering 508 teams from Florida high schools, there is so much more to consider.

In ValuePenguin’s search for the best prep baseball program in the state, we considered rate of success, history of sending students onto college and the professional ranks as well as the size of student body (more on our methodology below).

Why start with Florida? Easy: The state accounted for 161 – or 13 percent – of the 1,215 amateur ballplayers selected in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. That would be the share of seven states.

With the next draft coming up in June and the Florida High School Athletic Association conducting its state playoffs this month, the time is right to share our results.

Among our top five programs – four of which belong to private schools – there were four different divisions (Class 3A, 5A, 6A and 8A) and five major cities represented.

Like other states, Florida classifies each team according to its enrollment, region and district. We’re here to classify the best of the best.

Best Five Programs

Here are the Top 5 high school baseball programs in Florida based on our methodology.

1. Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School | Fort Lauderdale

Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School | Fort Lauderdale

Archbishop McCarthy, for short, ranked third in MaxPreps’ proprietary system but moved up to first, in part, because it has had a state-high seven players drafted in the past four MLB Drafts. Competing in Class 5A, the Mavericks started this season by winning their first 14 games. They won four consecutive state championships starting in 2010 and have a longtime manager, Rich Bielski, who has been among the nation’s best.

Notable MLB alumni: Current Detroit Tigers sluggers Alex Avila and Nick Castellanos

2. North Florida Christian School | Tallahassee

”North

Among the top five, North Florida Christian made the biggest jump from MaxPreps’ system to ours, leaping eight spots, from 10th to second. This was due, in large part, to the school’s enrollment of 177 students, which is 87 percent smaller than average. Cole Sands, a right-handed pitcher for the Class 3A school, was ranked as MLB’s 55th best prospect eligible for the June 2015 MLB Draft and should give the program more representation in the pros.

3. Venice High School | Sarasota

”Venice

Venice, the only public school in the top five, ranked first in MaxPreps’ system but fell to third on our list, in part because it has an enrollment that is 48 percent larger than the state’s average. The school won back-to-back state titles at the Class 7A level in 2012 and ’13, overcoming a probationary status. Currently competing in 6A, Venice has cracked the top 20 nationally this year.

Notable MLB alumni: Former lefty reliever Mark Guthrie

4. Christopher Columbus High School | Miami

”Christopher

The appropriately-named Explorers, the only Class 8A club on our list, have had 18 players receive full, baseball scholarship offers to college over its last five graduating classes. At times during the 2009-2009 season, Columbus was Baseball America’s top-ranked team in the country. The private school last reached the state title game (but lost) in 2012.

Notable MLB alumni: Current St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay

5. Jesuit High School | Tampa

”Jesuit

A Class 5A peer of Archbishop McCarthy, Jesuit won the state championship in 2014 but was bounced from the ‘15 postseason in a regional quarterfinal. Despite having the second-smallest enrollment (772) among our top five, the Tigers have routinely found results on and off the diamond. (The diamond itself, Paul Straub Field at Hyer Family Park, also earned an impressive accolade, being named the field of the year in 2011.) Miguel Mendez is in his first year as the team’s skipper after Richie Warren piloted much of that success for nine years, beginning in 2006.

Notable MLB alumni: Former outfielder and, later, manager Lou Piniella, plus Hall of Famer Al Lopez Sr. and former third baseman Dave Magadan

Read More

Top Baseball Programs by Class

Amongst our list of Top 200 high school baseball programs in Florida, here are the top teams in each class.

”Best

List of Florida HS Top 200 Baseball Programs

Here's the complete list we included in our study starting with the #1 program, Archbishop McCarthy!

List of Florida HS Top 200 Baseball Programs

Methodology

In coming up with this list, we considered four specific data points. The first was weighted most heavily, while the latter three were weighted equally. Here they are:

• MaxPreps’ proprietary rating system, which uses a formula to reward a school for wins, quality wins (those versus quality opponents) and strength of schedule. (Playoff victories are weighted more heavily in this system.) We looked at this data over the past 5 years to reward schools who were consistently performing at the top.

• The enrollment of each school, according to the Florida High School Athletic Association’s 2014 report, to reward those with smaller student populations. • The number of college commitments that each school recorded for the five graduating classes in question, according to perfectgame.org. • The number of Major League Baseball Draft picks selected from each school, according to baseball-reference.com

Think it's easier to locate your high school alphabetically? Here's a handy list from A-Z of the top HS baseball programs in the Sunshine State!

Rank

Florida High SchoolTotal Score

16

Alonso (Tampa)33

140

American (Hialeah)125

17

American Heritage (Delray Beach)33

7

American Heritage (Plantation)20

119

Apopka109

1

Archbishop McCarthy (Fort Lauderdale)10

170

Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville)151

185

Auburndale162

108

Baker County (Glen St. Mary)98

34

Barron Collier (Naples)49

134

Bartow120

70

Bartram Trail (St. Johns)73

193

Bay (Panama City)166

69

Belen Jesuit (Miami)73

102

Benjamin (Palm Beach Gardens)94

114

Berkeley Prep (Tampa)106

56

Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville)61

90

Bishop McLaughlin Catholic (Spring Hill)89

85

Bishop Moore (Orlando)87

6

Bishop Verot (Fort Myers)17

40

Bloomingdale (Valrico)52

145

Boca Raton133

24

Bolles (Jacksonville)37

127

Boone (Orlando)115

150

Bozeman (Panama City)137

183

Braddock (Miami)160

160

Braden River (Bradenton)144

62

Brandon67

157

Brito (Miami)140

71

Buchholz (Gainesville)73

137

Calvary Christian (Clearwater)123

109

Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale)101

176

Cape Coral155

100

Cardinal Mooney (Sarasota)92

177

Charlotte (Punta Gorda)155

33

Chiles (Tallahassee)48

129

Choctawhatchee (Fort Walton Beach)117

29

Clay (Green Cove Springs)45

106

Clearwater Central Catholic (Clearwater)96

4

Columbus (Miami)15

104

Coral Gables95

120

Coral Springs Charter (Coral Springs)109

101

Coral Springs Christian (Coral Springs)93

93

Countryside (Clearwater)89

38

Creekside (Jacksonville)50

68

Crestview72

76

DeLand76

130

Doral Academy (Doral)117

57

Dr. Phillips (Orlando)61

35

Dunedin49

39

Durant (Plant City)50

48

Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens)59

20

East Lake (Tarpon Springs)36

125

Edgewater (Orlando)113

105

Episcopal School of Jacksonville (Jacksonville)96

66

Estero71

55

Eustis61

175

Ferguson (Miami)154

27

Flanagan (Pembroke Pines)43

42

Fleming Island (Orange Park)54

54

Florida Christian (Miami)60

58

Forest (Ocala)62

135

Gaither (Tampa)121

169

Goleman (Miami)151

158

Gulf Breeze141

133

Gulf Coast (Naples)120

18

Gulliver Prep (Miami)34

74

Hagerty (Oviedo)75

80

Haines City83

77

Hernando (Brooksville)78

197

Hialeah170

153

Ida Baker (Cape Coral)139

178

Indian Rocks Christian (Largo)156

124

Island Coast (Cape Coral)111

67

Jefferson (Tampa)71

63

Jenkins (Lakeland)67

111

Jensen Beach105

5

Jesuit (Tampa)15

174

John Carroll Catholic (Fort Pierce)154

14

Jupiter32

122

Key West110

195

Keystone Heights170

49

Killian (Miami)59

103

King (Tampa)94

155

King's Academy (West Palm Beach)139

25

Lake Brantley (Altamonte Springs)39

192

Lake Howell (Winter Park)165

99

Lake Mary92

112

Lake Wales105

113

Lakeland105

95

Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton)90

152

Land O'Lakes138

181

LaSalle (Miami)159

75

Leon (Tallahassee)76

41

Lincoln (Tallahassee)53

189

Lincoln Park (Fort Pierce)164

88

Manatee (Bradenton)89

196

Mandarin (Jacksonville)170

173

Marianna153

143

Mariner (Cape Coral)130

31

Martin County (Stuart)48

52

Mater Academy Charter (Hialeah Gardens)60

164

Mater Lakes Academy (Miami)146

37

Melbourne50

84

Melbourne Central Catholic (Melbourne)86

97

Merritt Island91

121

Milton110

166

Mitchell (New Port Richey)147

59

Monsignor Pace (Miami)62

13

Mosley (Lynn Haven)29

126

Naples114

142

Navarre129

128

Nease (Ponte Vedra)116

148

New Smyrna Beach134

151

Newsome (Lithia)138

28

Niceville45

72

North Broward Prep (Coconut Creek)74

2

North Florida Christian (Tallahassee)11

188

North Marion (Citra)163

199

North Port173

161

Northeast (St. Petersburg)145

117

Nova (Davie)108

8

Olympia (Orlando)21

43

Orangewood Christian (Maitland)55

53

Osceola (Kissimmee)60

107

Osceola (Seminole)97

144

Out-of-Door Academy (Sarasota)132

64

Oviedo67

10

Pace23

89

Palm Beach Central (Wellington)89

26

Palm Beach Gardens40

81

Palmetto (Miami)83

22

Park Vista (Lake Worth)36

200

Parker (Jacksonville)174

82

Pembroke Pines Charter (Pembroke Pines)84

9

Pensacola Catholic (Pensacola)21

86

Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale)87

30

Plant (Tampa)45

198

Plant City173

180

Pompano Beach158

96

Ponte Vedra91

171

Port Charlotte152

83

Port St. Lucie85

12

Providence (Jacksonville)28

73

Riverview74

154

Riverview (Sarasota)139

19

Rockledge35

60

Rutherford (Panama City)66

94

Sandalwood (Jacksonville)90

165

Santa Fe (Alachua)147

21

Sarasota36

162

Satellite (Satellite Beach)145

156

Seabreeze (Daytona Beach)140

163

Sebring146

44

Seminole56

194

Seminole Ridge (Loxahatchee)167

50

South Dade (Homestead)59

190

South Fork (Stuart)165

87

Southridge (Miami)88

131

Southwest (Miami)118

32

Spruce Creek (Port Orange)48

123

St. Brendan (Miami)111

36

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)50

182

Stanton (Jacksonville)159

47

Steinbrenner (Lutz)57

141

Stoneman Douglas (Parkland)125

172

Strawberry Crest (Dover)152

146

Sunset (Miami)133

115

Suwannee (Live Oak)106

91

Tampa Catholic (Tampa)89

139

Tampa Prep (Tampa)124

46

Tate (Cantonment)57

191

Terra Environmental (Miami)165

78

The First Academy (Orlando)80

79

Timber Creek (Orlando)81

136

Trinity Catholic (Ocala)121

132

Trinity Christian Academy (Deltona)119

98

Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville)92

138

Trinity Prep (Winter Park)123

167

University (Fort Lauderdale)148

168

University Christian (Jacksonville)150

179

Varela (Miami)156

3

Venice14

149

Vero Beach135

116

Viera107

61

Wakulla (Crawfordville)66

65

Wellington71

187

Wesley Chapel162

110

West Boca Raton (Boca Raton)104

147

West Broward (Pembroke Pines)134

92

West Florida (Pensacola)89

45

West Orange (Winter Garden)57

186

Westminster Academy (Fort Lauderdale)162

15

Westminster Christian (Miami)32

184

Wharton (Tampa)162

51

Williston59

11

Winter Haven26

118

Winter Park108

23

Winter Springs36

159

Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel)144

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