By Jarrett Guthrie
The Florida Athletic Coaches Association has announced its State Baseball All-Star team, and its 2020 player and coaches of the year for each classification.
Under normal circumstances, the FACA All-Star game series is usually made up of four region teams of seniors from across the state, with each district nominating three players and MLB scouts filling in the rest of the rosters for the game. The FACA All-Star series has been held annually at various sites, most recently in Lakeland at Joker Marchant Stadium, Spring Training home to the Detroit Tigers. This season’s series has been cancelled, however, the FACA is still recognizing seniors deserving of the All-Star teams.
Hillsborough County makes up FACA’s District 15 and the area coaches, who are also members of the FACA, selected the five Hillsborough County players for the honorary All-Star Team.
FACA All-Star Team – District 15 representatives
(listed in order of coach voting results)
Brock Wilken, 3B/C, Bloomingdale
After smashing a county-leading 12 home runs last season, the Bulls slugger earner our 813Preps Hitter of the Year nod. Wilken is a Wake Forest signee, who had four homers in eight games for Bloomingdale this season. A four-year varsity starter, Wilken finished his prep career with 62 RBI, 37 runs scored, 14 doubles and 17 home runs.
Camden Minacci, RHP, Jesuit
Last season’s Florida Dairy Farmers 6A Player of the Year and the 6A FACA District 15 POY, Minacci helped Jesuit to a state title in 2019. In his senior season, Minacci mad five appearances and three starts, going 3-0 with a 0.64 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 11 innings, for the Jesuit, which held the No. 1 ranking in many national polls. Like Wilken, Minacci is a Wake Forest signee. Throughout his Tigers career, Minacci was 18-2, with a 1.56 ERA, 135 strikeouts and just 37 walks across 94 innings of work.
Chase Centala, RHP, Sickles
Centala, a University of Florida signee, finished his Sickles career with a 18-4 record, a 1.92 ERA and 152 strikeouts, while also hitting .396 in his career with 27 RBI and 18 runs scored. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound righty went 2-1, with 23 strikeouts in five appearances on the mound this season.
Bennett Lee, C, Jesuit
One of the Tigers captains, Lee has been an excellent backstop for Jesuit and been a huge contributor at the plate during his career. In his senior season he was hitting .393, with eight RBI and five doubles. Signed to play next year at Tulane, Lee was a career .385 hitter at Jesuit, with 18 doubles, eight triples and five home runs and was a 2019 All-813Preps first team selection.
Zach DeVito, RHP, Newsome
DeVito was 3-0 during his senior season, with a 0.62 ERA and 32 strikeouts, including a no-hitter against Lennard. Adding to his success on the mound this season, DeVito was also hitting .370. DeVito, a first-team All-813Preps selection last season, was 13-1 in his high school career for the Wolves with a 0.70 ERA. He is also signed to continue his baseball career at Tulane.
FACA Region 15 Player and Coach of the Year
Class 2A Player of the Year – Tilden Agee, C, Cambridge Christian
Agee, a Florida Southern signee, was hitting .571, with 11 RBI, three doubles, two triples and two home runs in 2020. Across five years at the varsity level at Cambridge Christian, Agee posted a .347 average, 54 RBI, 16 doubles and was a standout defensive backstop.
2A Coach of the Year – Sal Giardina, Seffner Christian
After dropping the season opener, Giardina led the Crusaders to eight-straight victories, including two district wins and in-county victories against Cambridge Christian and Tampa Prep. Giardina is in his fourth season at Seffner Christian.
Class 3A Player of the Year – Cade Kurland, SS, Berkeley Prep
Though just a freshman, Kurland has had two standout seasons for the Buccaneers already, including a 2019 season where the middle infielder earned All-813Preps first team honors. In 2020, Kurland batted .529, with eight RBI, scoring 12 times, with three triples and two doubles for the 11-0 Buccaneers. Kurland is verbally committed to the University of Florida.
3A Coach of the Year – Richie Warren, Berkeley Prep
In his seventh season as the Buccaneers skipper, Warren (who previously won a state championship as a coach at Jesuit) had guided Berkeley Prep to an 11-0 start of the season, including a 5-0 district slate that included a victory over reigning state champions Calvary Christian.
Class 4A Player of the Year – Ben Kim, OF, Robinson
Kim was pacing the Knights with a .481 average and nine runs scored when the season ended for Robinson (6-3). Kim’s big triple and eventual deciding run led the Knights to a victory over Armwood in its final game of the season. For his career at Robinson, he hit .382 and scored 31 times in 36 games.
4A Coach of the Year – Alex Barron, Robinson
In his first year as head coach at his alma mater, Barron led the Knights to a 6-3 record, including wins over 2019 state finalist Strawberry Crest and nearby rival Plant.
Class 5A Player of the Year – Henry Politz, 1B, Jesuit
Politz hit for a .526 average, with a team-leading 13 RBI and seven runs scored in 2020. The Holy Cross signee hit .369 for his four-year career, with 49 RBI, 30 runs scored and 16 doubles.
5A Coach of the Year – Miguel Menendez, Jesuit
Menendez coached Jesuit to the Class 6A state championship in 2019. This year the sixth-year Tigers head coach steered Jesuit to a 9-0 start to the 2020 season and multiple National No. 1 rankings.
Class 6A Player of the Year – Jarod Wingo, RHP/2B, Plant City
The righty, who tossed a complete-game win in the Raiders 2019 state championship victory, was 2-0 in four starts this season, posting a 0.79 ERA and struck out 46 batters in 26 2/3 innings, while issuing just five walks on the mound this season. Wingo is signed to continue his career at Hillsborough Community College.
6A Coach of the Year – Mike Fryrear, Plant City
After leading Plant City to the programs first-ever state title in 2019, Fryrear’s eighth season as the Raiders coach was off to a 7-1 start, including a 4-0 district record.
Class 7A Player of the Year – Carson Caso, LHP, Wharton
Caso was 4-0 for the Wildcats to start the season, posting a 0.34 ERA (just a single earned run), while striking out 19 in 20 innings pitched. The lefty finished his Wharton career with a 7-2 record, making 28 appearances with a 0.81 ERA over his four years. Caso recently committed to the University of Tampa
7A Coach of the Year – Scott Hoffman, Wharton
The 19-year veteran coach of the Wildcats, Hoffman had his team cruising with an 8-1 record in 2020, including a 5-0 start in district play.