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Rusconi named one of state's top freshman

Cal-Hi Sports speaks highly of the standout West Ranch baseball player

Posted: June 25, 2012 1:37 a.m.
Updated: June 25, 2012 1:37 a.m.

After bursting onto the scene at West Ranch this season, Jagger Rusconi was named as the state’s top freshman baseball player by Cal-Hi Sports.

The announcement came on Friday on, when the site announced the top players in the state at each grade level.

“He’s mature beyond his years and he has one of the brightest futures of just about any kid I’ve ever seen,” said West Ranch baseball head coach Casey Burrill.

In its summary of Rusconi’s season, the nationally recognized prep sports website explained the ninth grader as the top offensive player on a West Ranch team that advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division I semifinals.

It was a playoff run that included a stunning 5-4 win in the quarterfinals on May 25 over Orange Lutheran, which was then one of the top-ranked teams in the nation.

Rusconi hit a key two-run double late in that game.

For the year, he batted .415 with a team-high 27 RBIs along with three home runs, 34 runs and 19 stolen bases all while playing in what described as a “rugged” Foothill League.

West Ranch won the league championship for the first time in school history.

For Rusconi, it was the kind of season that has his coach believing he is much more than a one-season wonder.

“If you look at the skills that he brings, his foot speed, his arm speed, he’s definitely got the skills to be a great ball player going forward,” Burrill said. “That’s not just a bunch of bleeders and a bunch of balls dropping in. It’s not just one of those special years.”

The freshman sensation was a first-team All-Santa Clarita Valley selection by The Signal and he was the only  player in his grade to be voted to the All-Foothill first team.

It wasn’t the first time a Santa Clarita Valley player was named Cal Hi’s freshman of the year. In 2008, Valencia’s Christian Lopes earned the honor before later transferring to Edison High.

Lopes signed with the Toronto Blue Jays after being selected 229th overall in the seventh round of last year’s MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Burrill compared Rusconi to Lopes and other SCV players who have put together outstanding freshman campaigns, but wouldn’t say if Rusconi’s was the best of them all.

“Some of these guys that we’ve had along the way, that’s a tough call,” Burrill said. “It would be fun to take all those guys’ freshman years and put them together for some kind of all-star team.”


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