Baseball – Crystal Ball: What Would (Could?) 2020 at the Shore Look Like?
As of April 2, 2020, there is no way to tell if there will be a high-school baseball season in New Jersey. The NJSIAA has said all the right things about doing everything in its power to provide interscholastic competition for spring athletes in 2020, but with no clear end to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. in sight, the decision likely rests with a higher-ranking department.
The best everyone can do is to keep hope alive and to stay ready, which is why the baseball content at Shore Sports Network will be coming in hot over the next several weeks. There will be an abundance of features to scroll through while we wait for a hopeful start date and if that date never comes, at least there will be some account of the hundreds and hundreds of local players who were ready to roll before the plug got pulled on the season.
We'll start it off with the usual division-by-division previews and because we don't know if we will actually have a division schedule, we are going to call them "outlooks" this season. I'm not sure how much different an outlook is from a preview, but it is most certainly a different word.
The only difference between this year's previews and those from past years is that the capsule on each team is a tad shorter and there are no breakout players listed. There will be much more detail on teams in the upcoming Shore rankings feature, as well as a larger list of potential breakout players heading into the would-be 2020 season.
These previews would be coming out in advance of any high-school opening day so for those conditioned to check in on them before the first pitch every year, hopefully this brings back a little bit of that familiar feeling that comes with the start of the season.
Enjoy, and to those of you who know you are better than your ranking, I'm hoping against hope you get to prove the prediction wrong.
Class A North (CBA, Freehold, Freehold Twp., Howell, Long Branch, Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown South)
Class A Central (Holmdel, Manasquan, Monmouth, Raritan, RBC, Rumson, Shore, St. Rose)
Class A South (Brick, Brick Memorial, Central, Jackson Memorial, Southern, TR East, TR North, TR South)
Class B North (Colts Neck, Matawan, Middletown North, Neptune, Ocean, Red Bank, St. John Vianney, Wall)
Class B Central (Asbury Park, Henry Hudson, Keansburg, Keyport, Mater Dei, Pt. Beach, Ranney)
Class B South (Barnegat, Donovan Catholic, Jackson Liberty, Lacey, Lakewood, Manchester, Pinelands, Pt. Boro)
Shore Conference Baseball 20 in 2020
Top Players in the Shore by Position
"Breakout" Players for 2020
Plus additional feature stories throughout the spring