If Bishop Amat baseball wins out, they could win another mythical national title with Baseball America’s No. 2 ranking

The latest Baseball America/National Coaches poll ranks Bishop Amat No. 2 in the country, jumping all the way up from their previous spot of No. 24. In 2001 Bishop Amat was crowned USA Today’s National Champion. I know they already clinched league, but don’t say today’s game at St. Paul doesn’t mean anything. The Lancers also are trying to extend their 37-game league unbeaten streak. Check out “The Big River,” Rio Ruiz, he’s on the cover.

After all these years covering preps, I’ve never seen a better sophomore than shortstop Ruio Ruiz. Just enjoy it, he’s around two more years and will likely go down as one of the all-time greats. When you consider the teams and pitchers he’s faced throughout the season, his team-leading .520 batting average along with 28 RBIs and four home runs is amazing. Imagine if Amat had a fence, the homer total could be so much more. I guess the only negative thing I could say about him is he’s going to USC, :), someone should remind him he looks better in blue.

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    He will look just fine in Cardinal and Gold. You don’t want him to “Bruin” his life!

  • Unreal…


    Im with you. Rio would look awesome in blue… Dodger Blue!!! Im excited for this kid. He has such a bright future I just hope his parents and the coaching staff surround him with the right people that will give them the best chance to succeed.

    FYI, I’m a UCLA and Amat Alumni. As much as I would love to see him at UCLA I know he will never see an at-bat as a college player. Straight to the Bigs for Rio.

  • Fred Robledo

    Baseball nut, I was just joking with that. I can still remember my brother telling me when Rio was in eighth grade that the next “Lebron” was going to Amat. He said he was the best young player he had ever seen, and I said, yeah, yeah, yeah, but boy was he right.

  • Baseball NUT!

    I have repeated this ALL season, TOP OUT OF LEAGUE competition gets you noticed!

    The kid is unreal. He is a generational player, ie…. A-Rod, Once every 20 years or so. His parents should take out a million + policy on him just in case. He has the chance to make 100 million.

    ANYBODY can go to Westwood, but it takes a special kid to go to TROY! lol….. Won’t matter he won’t see Dedieux field ULNESS negotations STALL in the Summer of 2012!


    If he his smart he will go to college!!

  • Don

    And here I thought Bryce Harper was the NEXT prodigy.


    Tom Verducci, Robledo’s brother, Verducci, Robledo?

    Guess we’ll all have to just see how this plays out.

  • KH Fan

    Betcha he couldn’t start at Bonita. Haha. For those of you about to blast me, it’s a joke and a friendly jab at our buddy down the 210 FW.

  • Perspective

    The kid is good and is definitely a pro prospect. He should get drafted, but to say he is the next big pro thing is a joke. There are plenty of players that were better HS players than him who couldn’t learn to hit pro pitching and there are others who were just above average HS players that some how put it together in college and then managed to put together nice pro careers. Wish nothing but the best, but I think the only thing we can count on is that he will be drafted. After that, who knows.

  • Baseball NUT!


    I know you wee joking as was I. WAY too serious in here at times!

    I do see that MAYBE if UCLA can host the Regionals they may be off to Omaha this year. The Super Regionals would be cool too.

    BTW…. did you see that Pauley Pavillion FINALLY begins renovation. Would love to see about 3,000 seats added, with some padding. But then again thats tradition. OH I heard that kid from Indiana that comitted to UCLA for hoops is the real deal. I have family in Indianapolis, and they say he is a stud!

  • Educator

    I completely agree with USC Fan. If Rio is smart he will get a college education before he goes on to the big leagues. I have seen too many great baseball players leave their college education in the dust, go to the big leagues, and end up being a wash out. What does that leave them? Absolutely nothing. They no longer are in the big leagues and they have NO EDUCATION. Get an education kid…you might need it some day!!!

  • No College if drafeted early

    No way you go to college if you are drafted early with a big signing bonus. That being said you have to be smart with your money. You can always set aside for a college education if things don’t pan out in the pros. College will always be there, but a chance to be drafted early is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It may come only once.


    Yeah what 19 year old is smart with their money!!! Go to college kid!!

  • ratings are a joke

    how does a team that plays in division 4 have a chance at a national championship? ratings are a joke

  • just thinking

    Tommy Reyes or Rio? Who is better?

  • Hateration

    Typical Amat Hateration

    “how can they be #1 in the Nation they play D4” ? …look up Oaks Christian.

    “just because they are ranked #1 doesn’t mean Bonita can’t beat them”… exactly that why Monterrey’s Little League team won at Williamsport in 1957 and the reason why they “play the game” !

    “If South Hills almost beat them why isn’t South Hills ranked”…almost count sonly in horse shoes and grenades

    “Neito sux”…yeah keep telling yourself that!

    “why doesn’t Amat play local teams to see what’s up”? ….who’s helping who there?

    “San Dimas beat them last year and got the ring as did South Hills”…good for them.

    “I could have played on that team, they ain’t nothing. We beat them with our travel team”…..and no one noticed!!!

    And on and on….pretty silly stuff. Great football season, outstanding Girls basketball season, Boys basketball had a nice run, Girls Soccer was terrific and now baseball’s national ranking…..bring on the hate! lol

  • Matthew Corona’s Biggest Fan

    Those that are fortunate enough to attend USC know the value of USC. My son is a senior officially now, TODAY!!! …after taking his last finals.

    It went too fast, I’ll tell you that! He’s grown in incredible ways and made some incredible friendships along the way while listening to some of the best professors in the world. When he hits the world he’ll be well prepared for whatever job market is out there.

    I’m not sure what Rio should do but those that talk about education as if they’ve done it are the kind of people who always know what’s right for the other guy, or the other guy’s kid!

    My son never earned a Varsity letter, never had his Senior Night and scored minor minutes during his two JV seasons but always gave it his all, few would deny him that. He’s proud of that for sure. Today is a sad day for me and a happy day for our family as my son is a USC Trojan SENIOR!!! Imagine that !

    He’s been a warrior thru tough times and insane circumstances but he’s made good while competing against the brightest minds in the country and holding his own. When it’s all over and he’s off to conquer the world or pursue advanced degrees I know he’ll look back on his college experience for strength knowing he’s done it before.

    USC is an incredible place, with talent, resources and connections to spare. All this talk about education this and education that and money this and money that….it’s a huge time in Rio’s life. Lucky for him he’ll have his doubters as my son did. He’ll have those that will stand in his way like my son did. And he’ll have the small minded people in his life like my son did but Rio knows what my son knows to this day.

    “Don’t let them get the best of you.” I’ve been a fan of many players and coaches along the way but I’ve always saved my biggest love for my kids. Today my son made his Senior moment…and I couldn’t be prouder.

    Well done mijo.



    Isn’t there a saying that goes somewhat like this . ” Everyone loves to hate a winner ” Well here is the proof to that saying. With this hating at an all time high you just got to believe there’s a lot envy and jealousy out there towards Amat for no other reason then Amat wins .

  • Don

    In 2007, the top 28 MLB picks got signing bonuses over a mil; total bonus packages for the same group ran from $6 mil to $1,080,000. Last year, the bonuses were even higher for the same number of guys. The #1, Strasburg, got like $15 mil from the Nats although I don’t know how much was up front and how much deferred.

    What does a year of SC goes for about these days? When you add tuition, room, board, books, labs, Fight On T Shirts, etc, maybe $40,000. Multiply that by four, or more like two years so he can be drafted as a junior, and you’re talking money equal to a 4th round pick. Assuming the kid gets a package equal to a 100% athletic scholarship it’s hard to make the math work. You can buy a lot of semesters at SC for a million dollars. For that matter, who is to say a boy taking the college route will even graduate.

    Yeah, tax takes a big bite, that’s why the smart guys lawyer up and defer (and lessen) the bite. Yeah, the education is vital to your future, that’s why so many bonus packages include college tuition, (heck, some guys even finish before they are done in the bigs).

    Rio, if you have to make this call two years from now and are having trouble deciding, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with a guy who was in exactly the same place last year at this time. Ask him his opinion.

  • dont go to school

    Rio should only have one thing on his mind. Playing pro baseball–not college. If it’s true that he already has Boras lined up that’s just another reason to pass up school. Why would anyone pass up a millions of dollars to go to school? The jiovanni guy made like 1.5 million in guaranteed money in addition to whatever his contract is. An anesthesiologists (highest paid md) makes anywhere from $200,000-$300,000. To be a doctor usually means 10-12 yrs if school. If Rio can make 1+ million dollars by just signing his name on the line he should. Even if he gets hurt in the first spring training practice he will be guaranteed millions.

  • TeachDGame

    Wow, too funny. All the opinions. Well no need to worry, Rio has the best information around and will make the right decision….

    College or Pro — by the way, it is automatic for the asking for a high school player to get the Major League College Fund as part of his initial contract. In this, the MLB team will have to set aside the FULL value of his scholarship into a Fund for him to use for his education. Subject to certain requirements, this means he will have a guaranteed 4 year deal (all scholly’s are only 1 yr that get renewed) so really that deal is better than the college scholarship. By the way Don — I think SC is closer to the $50k range, so MLB will put around $200k aside for Rio’s education. Gee, makes perfect sense then to sign / verbal to a school like USC as opposed to Cal State Fullerton huh ! The financial value put aside for the player is 4x the amount, just in case you need it… so if your gonna sign, commit to a High Price Tag College…. lesson #1

    I firmly believe that even if he signs (MY GOD, we’re still 2 yrs away) unless of course he takes the Bryce Harper / Robert Stock approach and graduates early to get himself into the money picture sooner — funny, none of you thought of that one….Rio is a great kid and I believe will actually use this fund and get his education — otherwise I WILL KICK HIS BEHIND !

    Funny Part II — I thought this thread was about Amat being nationally ranked… how did you all spin it on Rio… aaawe ya, the picture.

    Tommy or Rio —- Rio all day long, every day ! But who know’s where positionally he’ll end up, he’s good enough athlete to play a few spots on the field. He also can pitch folks, been “officially” clocked in excess of 90 MPH.

    Bottom line, Amat is having a good Run that is for sure. Not sure though how this team would stack up against those other Mythical National #1 Teams of Kenny’s… there were some serious athletes on those teams — Lang, Simon, etc, etc. And Rio is a good kid no matter what !

  • leave the boy alone

    Don a year at USC is $54,000, five years is over $260,000 … plus T-shirts and other college stuff. You’re behind the times there buddy, lol. As far as “putting him in touch with some one”….oh okay. That makes sense. And why would he do that?

    Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemons, Barry Bonds, Mark Mc Qwire…how may went to college?

    This is a tough decision and let’s stop putting pressure on the kid. Don, where’s your son going to school? Seeing that we’re discussing other people kid’s life choices?

  • TeachDaGame Backer

    Another item to add to Teach’s comment:

    The National Championship Teams of Coach K also played teams like La Quinta-Westminister in the final.

    FYI, that team had such players as, Ian Kennedy, Ian Stewart, Bobby Crosby, one of the Laird brothers etc.

    The did BEAT a QUALITY team!

    Good luck to this year’s Amat Team, however let’s be realistic on comparisons and be fair to each team.

    Lastly, You could count on ONE HAND the number of players/people that had a dislike for Kendrena as he WAS A LANCER and his program from top to bottom represented that during that time.

    Fast Forward to now… Coach Nieto DOESN’T represent those same values. The leadership comparison’s are not equal by ANY MEANS!

  • amatfan

    thank goodness amat posts Rio’s game-by-game stats, this is great for us to follow. Too bad we can’t follow the great sophomores at south hills, why are they so far behind the times over there. C’mon Smitty, give your kids some exposure, they deserve it.

  • Amat Grad 1994

    Rios athletic days may come to a crashing halt if they continue to let him play football, much more Quarterback where the hits keep coming. I would not chance this talented young man, that has a beautiful baseball career in front of him to a HS football injury. Rio should be practicing baseball during football season. He is pro ball player waiting to happen. Trust me here, this is no Chuck Tiffany (CO) or Danny Garcia(Nogales),Rio had the Bigs written all over him and should concentrate on just baseball. Leave football now Rio, there is a big payday ahead for you. USC is a great school for baseball, but for Rio, yes he will be drafted very high and the money he will get we will never see him in Cardinal and Gold. 3 years tops in the Minors and he propels to the Majors easily. Special Talent, take care of him Amat, he will come back and take care of you someday.

  • Frank

    Good luck to Rio
    I’m sure him and his family will make the best decisions.
    But, I have to say if you are offered a couple million in a signing bonus out of HS, how could you pass it up, college is great and you should go but college is not going to guarantee that you will make a million dollars or several. With that ind of money you can always pay for a college education if baseball soesnt work out.

  • Mas Puto

    who is Matthew Corona?

  • Don

    Leave the boy alone? You must be kidding right? This young man has been out front and center with the spotlight on him since he was nine years old, and not by coincidence either. He is in the showcase his dad dreamed about when he game him his first little glove and ball in the crib. I for one wish him only well and hope he develops the thick skin needed by someone so young who gets so much attention so early.

    My knowledge of the USC expense schedule must indeed be dated. I’ll admit the last time we looked at it was about ten years ago when the oldest graduated, at least the cost hasn’t kept pace with gas prices.

    TeachDGame: Bryce Harper? If you read down a few posts you’ll see where I did mention him as the guy SI has already anointed as the next. Funny too that you mention Robert Stock because he was what caused me to bring up the issue of the signing bonuses in 2007, the year Stock was touted as a sure first rounder in the draft. What do YOU figure his time at USC cost him in bonus money?

  • kh

    the family should move to south american.
    that way he will be in this years draft and next season we all can watch him play at dodgers stadium,
    that would be cool.
    div 4 rated # 1 in the nation,
    are they growin some magic mushroom.in l.p.
    we dont know about.
    whats next bob marley playing at there prom.
    just let him be a kid.
    play ball,football too.
    i heard hes a really good qb.
    they make way more money and less stress on the body.
    16 games a year
    compared to 161 plus spring training.
    if you guys debated the election,half as much as this young man future.
    things would of changed,we wouldnt be in this pickel.
    the boys from bonita signed for 1million plus out of h.s. last season.
    the s.s. at usc signed for over 2 million and playing in a higher league,so theres pros and cons about every thing in live.we dont ned any more babes jackie r pete roses.
    how about the next kid rio.
    i like that
    kid rio, it has a bite.

  • Justrab

    If anyone is on Facebook someone loaded up a few nice photos of the first day of Amat’s spring practice…Some faces I did not know as I assume they have the 9th and 10th graders out for spring before they decide who to keep or drop back down. Also Booth sure looks like a QB. What is he about 215 – 220?

    Ted Aguirre’s Photos – Bishop Amat Spring Football 2010

    BTW, I would not want to be a CB trying to cover Gonzalez as he looks like he is ready for 2010.

  • wormseyeview

    TeachDGame said: by the way, it is automatic for the asking for a high school player to get the Major League College Fund as part of his initial contract.

    He’s right on the money. So you take the money when you have the chance. But don’t forget keeping HS grades up. You never know the future.

    And if signing out of HS doesn’t work out, I can think of a better maroon and gold for Ruiz than USC. In two years ASU’s Maggi and Marrero will be in the bigs. Perfect timing for an ASU uni.

  • Confused

    Can they go back to college and play ball after signing?

  • Have Fun

    For all you young readers.

    Mike Pill

    David Clyde

  • TeachDGame

    OK, Don kind of asked the question, but since I like analysis, here is my take.

    Bryce Harper is the reincarnation of Robert Stock, only maybe a little higher toughted and maybe better, time will tell . Robert Stock skipped the Draft by entering SC early. If my memory serves me correct, he would have been part of the 2007 Draft class. Was definitely a Top 10 Pick. Moustakas & Vitters were top HS picks that year at #2 & #3 overall and received bonus of $4M and $3.2M respectively that is MILLION FOLKS. Maybe Stock would have taken Vitters spot. For arguments sake, say he didnt but was still in the Top 10. Still would have put him at $2.0 Million.. soooo, when he signed in 2009 for $525,000 how much did it cost him. HUGE !!!! Now Harpers camp is way smarter and saw this as a great example. So instead of bowing out of HS early and going to a 4 year college, he parks himself in a JC which allows him to be immediately available for the draft. Also, he parks himself at a JC that plays in a WOOD BAT league so all those pro scouts see him hit with wood every single day big difference. So, this move will cost Harper ZERO, hell still go #1. However, economics (by the way, that is what helped screw Mr Stock by the way as much as dropping to the second round 2 years later) will most likely not get him anywhere close to Strausberg money, that and he is further away from the Major Leagues than Strausberg was, hell still get some serious duckets come June.

    Before I go too far, I am a HUGE Proponent of going to school. Anything can happen in sports especially baseball which is a very long road to the Bigs where the real money is. Even for a First Round Bonus Baby, it is a few years. So I always want a player to go to school and really set up their long term life. BUT.. the first round players are still raking in Bonus of $1.0M (ok, so $900k) and above. It is still crazy money in the Top 5. If a player is First Round material, it is hard to say NO. just surround yourself with wise and good advisors, put the money in safe places AND LIVE YOUR DREAM. There will be time for the REAL world all to quickly

    As the rounds go later, now you have some serious considerations as the Bonus Money drops like a lead balloon with each pick….. then that college scholarship money as well as the development you will make during that time start to converge real quickly in the decision making process…..

  • Don

    You’re sure right about the size of Stock’s bonus shrinking after his stint at ‘SC. The way I heard the story was the Stock brain-trust, couldn’t decide whether he was better suited to playing everyday behind the plate or as a Pitcher. They knew that once you take the money you play where you are told to play. The Trojans told him although they didn’t have any schollie money left in 2007 , they didn’t object to a Pitcher catching and presumably vice versa so Stock entered a year early under the USC Resident Honors Program and an invited walk on for baseball.

    Harper’s situation is a little different as he took his GED and entered JC as a 17 year old strictly to go into the draft as soon as he could. He has always been viewed as a left handed power hitting Catcher until this season in JC where he has played some outfield but there are some who project him as a corner IF down the road if he continues to grow. Harper is 6’4 and 205 now but if you would have seen him as a kid five or six years ago you would know he has the genes to thicken up a smidge.

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