Thursday, June 3, 2010

Montville Receives Gatorade Player of the Year


For the second consecutive year, Gatorade has decided that Portsmouth High first baseman Mike Montville is New Hampshire's best high school baseball player. On Wednesday it was announced that Montville has won the 2010 Gatorade New Hampshire Baseball Player of the Year.

Also, Goffstown shortstop Riley Palmer has won the Class L Baseball Player of the Year award.

Montville (pictured above) has helped lead the Clippers to 59 straight wins. He has been the state's most feared hitter for the past 2 seasons. He has a full ride to play baseball at the University of Maryland next season.

Palmer is likely the the state's best shortstop. He has been a key member of a Grizzlies team that won 16 regular season games. Palmer is an outstanding hitter, and has a good combination of size and quickness that is rare at his position.

31 comments:

  1. Congrats to Mr Montville. Quite a resume he has posted and much deserved award.

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  2. Dugdale(Souhegan sophomore) made him look silly. If you think Montville is good, watch out for Dugdale, sure to be headed into the MLB

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  3. LOL, 16 and headed to the bigs huh ?

    Maybe we should all wait and see how things go over the next 2 years first. An at bat or two is hardly how anyone measures a player or a pitcher. Monteville has a free education in his pocket right NOW. When dugdale has the same, then you can start drawing comparisons. For now the baseball machine in Portsmouth just keeps grinding them out.

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  4. Does anyone know what the homerun record in NH is? Season and/or career? He has to be close if he doesn't have it.

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  5. HR records in NH are totally meaningless. Many fields do not even fences, while other like Somersworth have fences set at distances barely 300 feet all around.

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  6. 2:04
    How are they meaninless if everyone in the division plays on the same field? Its a measure of your power against others in the same division. Thats like saying that batting .700 in a division outside of Class L/Div1 is meaningless because the defenses/pitching are not as good in the lower divisions. You are still being measured against your peers.

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  7. Not your peers if you are not in class L.

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  8. LOL, are you actually this foolish?

    A. Every team does not play on every field every year! Every HS field is different. You have obviously not seen any games. Portsmouth HS in the past occassionally played a game or two at Leary Field. Ask any power hitter which field he would rather hit at. Merrimack Valley never used to have a fence, I haven't been up there in few years, so I'm not sure if that has changed. Con Val did not have fences, they had a silly hill about 300 feet out in left field.

    B. Now NHIAA has even reduced the season further by moving from 18 games to 16, but allowing schools to still schedule 18 or 19 if they want.

    C. NHIAA has also changed some in the past few years with our economic times by pushing schools to play more home & home games with close schools and then cycling their other 'out-of-area' games every 2 years.

    D. Another factor which ceratinly has factored into Monteville numbers is being walked, intentionally & the good old 4 curves in the dirt. (In his 2 games Vs St Thomas this year, he got to swing the bat twice I believe out of 7 or 8 plate apperances. LOL, the STA Coach learned his lessons a year too late!)

    E. These all factor in as well as the simple fact that you are talking about 50 or so games assuming 3 varsity seasons as a general rule. So does the "record" include post season games? Do we have 2 records now the NHIAA has shortened the season?

    You contention on averages - In general terms your average over 16 or 18 games is not much of a sample. This is why many college scouts barely factor in statistics from states like NH. The season is simply to short. In Georgia, Texas & California, HS teams play twice as many games and sometimes many more.

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  9. 6:39
    Peers = everyone in your division. You are measured against them, not class L.

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  10. 1. Everytime there is a game on a field, there are two teams playing.
    2. Are the home run records held by players that called those fields home? Thought not.
    3. Your 'home field advantage' argument applies to ALL of baseball, right up to the MLB. It is actually part of the game.
    4. It appears that you want all fields to be identical? Are you aware that Fenway Park has a 305 foot porch? What you are asking for would make the game boring.
    5. All great hitters usually lead the league in walks, they make you pay when you pitch to them.
    6.LOL, are you actually this foolish?

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  11. This is Mike's Dad, I am not sure what this conversation is about but his numbers (from coach last week) for this year are 11 hr's in 44 abs with 21 walks. He told me he has 31 career hr in 68 games, I don't have the total abs.

    Portsmouth has never played at Leary Field in the last four years.

    We have played on fields with no fences, and it has cost home runs to him as well as others. My take is 3 alone this year but every hitter faces the same situation in these parks so fair is fair.

    On the Class L situation I have to believe the pitching (overall) is better and thus numbers may would be lower but he may more chances to hit (less walks?). This year we played 3 class L teams in pre season and he hit 2 Hrs in 8 abs which is 1 in evry 4 abs (all be it a small sample)which is similar to his Class I season.

    None of this means much but if there is going to be a debate might as well have the facts.

    Thanks to all those who said nice things about Michael your comments are humbling and appreciated.

    Bob Montville

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  12. 1. Everytime there is a game on a field, there are two teams playing.

    True, but the orginal point was "How are they meaninless if everyone in the division plays on the same field?"

    Everyone does NOT play on the same field. In fact everyone in a class does not even play on every field in any one single year! Mr Montville has just provided you with REAL factual evidence that some fields have no fences and cost Mike HRs. Now imagine he was playing 1/2 of his games on such a field. Anyone who can think can easily see his HR numbers would drop appreciably. I have watched a lot of games over the past few years at the LL, AAU, HS & legion levels. LL is the only place where the field size is uniform.

    2. Are the home run records held by players that called those fields home? Thought not.

    Who knows? If you have ever seen the field in Somersworth, you would know that any good power hitter would have highly inflated numbers playing half of his games there Vs a field like Oyster River or Merrimack Valley. I have not seen a game at OR in the past 5 years or so, but they never had a fence not did Kingswood.

    3. Your 'home field advantage' argument applies to ALL of baseball, right up to the MLB. It is actually part of the game.

    The big difference is games..simple numbers. The same is true in college. When you only play 16 to 18 games a year, your only talk about 60-70 ABs or so a year. Again, numbers verified by Mr Montville - and remember Mike is hitting on a prolific offensive team. If your a great hitter on an average or less than average team, your not going to get as many ABs.

    4. It appears that you want all fields to be identical? Are you aware that Fenway Park has a 305 foot porch? What you are asking for would make the game boring.

    I am not asking for that at all, that is only your baseless assumption. What I am saying is that the field is certainly a factor in HR production. This is especially true when you are talking about a small number of ABs. Only an idiot would argue otherwise. Both Fenway & the old Yankee Stadium had benefits to hitters. Does anyone know who Bucky Dent is if the '78 playoff game is played in Yankee stadium ? How many HRs would Ruth have had if stayed at Boston instead of being sold to the Yankees? A lot for sure, but over 700?

    By the way, that short fence is also 37' high! and the 305 is only right down the line. That wall also takes away HRs - those rockets that hit the wall halfway up that would be out in virtually every other stadium.

    5. All great hitters usually lead the league in walks, they make you pay when you pitch to them.

    Wrong yet again, not ALL great hitters lead the league in walks. Actually it is more often the case that the big HR hitters are also among the league leaders in strikeouts.

    In terms of walks affecting the number of HRs, Bonds is actually a good analogy to Montville's situation. Based on Mr. Montville's numbers, Mike lost 1/3 of his ABs this season. How many more HRs would Bonds have hit if he were not being walked one out of every three/four plate appearances - Same for Mike.

    6.LOL, are you actually this foolish?

    Can you actually find some facts to back up your assumptions?

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  13. One comment I don't agree with is you get more AB's on prolific hitting team. Two reasons, less innings due to 10 run rule and bench subsitutions in blowouts. I don't believe Michael had any game where he had more than 4 plate appearances in the last two years.

    In my opinion no HS team should be allowed to play on a field that doesn't have a fence because it changes the dynamics of game. I have seen outfielders playing deeper than would be possible if a field has a fence. Portsmouth did it when they played on these fields. Its an unfair advantage to the defensive team.

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  14. 11:41
    A 'true' power hitter will hit home runs on any field under any conditions. Bottom line. If he is going to complain about field disadvantages, then he is not a true power hitter.

    Montville is the best in NH, I am sure that he is not complaining about the field that he plays on Vs the other fields.

    All of the records are legit. The cream always rises to the top. Do you think that 17 yr old Bryce Harper would break the NH HS home run record even if his home field was the one with the silly hill? I do.

    You can't be a 12 yr old forever.

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  15. With all due respect Mr Montville as far as the better pitching being in class L. I would say that if you look at least at the top teams the pitchers in class I or Division 2 are stronger than the best pitchers in L. See Joey Maher and Jake Woodward. I do not know what your son did against those guys but I would bet those guys would be in the top 5 in L as well.

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  16. 8:22,

    This is New Hampshire HS baseball we are talking about. Yes, True power hitters will hit HRs. That is not the issue being brought forth. We are talking about HR records here in NH in seasons that very short and with that inherently comes the idea of the fields you play on. Especially your home field! You have already seen Mr. Montville concede that playing on a field with no fences cost Mike 3 HRs this season alone. Again I say, imagine if he played half his games on such fields each year.

    The point about the short fenced fields & no fence fields is that with a lower # of ABs, these other factors become a bigger part of the picture in terms of records.

    My point on the # of ABs on a prolific hitting team was to compare that to a say a Montville playing on a 6-10 team vs a 16-0 team. If your team is not putting up runs, the lineup is not turning over very often, and they will also be playing in some of those mercy rule games - but on the short side.

    Substitutions have probably not cost Mike as many opportunties to swing the bat as the walks he had. I know from the games I saw him play this year - the 2 STA games in particular - Even with a huge lead he was not substituted for.

    I believe Mr. Montville's observation is based on the obvious fact that the overall depth of pitching in L is greater than that in I. Meaning the #1 & #2 pitchers on an 8-8 team in L are most likely better than those on an 8-8 team in I. Certianly in any given year the best pitcher could be in a class other than L - Jeff Locke from Kennett is great example.


    Comparing anyone to Harper is not only foolish, it is completely moronic. It would the same as comparing any current NH senior high school basketball player to Lebron James when he graduated HS.

    Carlton Fisk is one of the best hitters ever to emerge from NH, does he own all the hitting records?
    If not, would he if he had the advantage of the Aluminum/Composite bat?

    Chris Carpenter is arguably the best pitcher to come out of NH HS baseball. Did he have the type of season Tim Welch had a couple of years back ? Does the fact that Tim had such an incredible season mean he will make it to MLB? .. of course not!

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  17. 9:50
    I have no idea where the best 2 or 3 pitchers are, they could be in the smallest of schools. But as a whole for a full roster, I will guess that the bigger schools have deeper rosters.

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  18. My comment was noted with an (overall) based on school size and this is just an educated guess. I do not have facts to back this up.

    We have seen some very good pitchers in Olsen(sp?) from Bedford, Dugdale from Souhegan, Jon Hayes SThomas and I hear Maher, Woodward and Tempone (sp?) are excellent. Didn't mean to dish Class I pitchers, comment was based on depth of staff.

    I agree that in Mike's case lost AB's have been more to do with run rule and walks not subsitution. In my opinion he should have been hit for in 3 - 5 more games when it was out of control, not sure why he wasn't?

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  19. 11:36
    I was simply saying that trying to minimize some kids accomplishment of hitting a ton of HRs in NH is incorrect. If you are an honest to goodness power hitter in HS, you will rise to the top. You or I have no idea what conditions the current record holder had. No record is meaningless and I'm sure if you or your son broke the current record you would feel the same way.

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  20. I do not believe anyone is trying to minimize the accomplishments at all. I can see these points have merit primarily because of the very short season we have here in New Hampshire. All the extraneous factors become magnified due the limited number of plate appearances. I went to that first St. Thomas-Portsmouth match up this year. Mike Montville may have seen 2 pitches in that game that he could have put the bat on. On that night the best hitter on the field was the youngster who hit behind him. My apologies, I forget his name. He turned in some big hits in situations where the opposition was challenging him to step up.

    From what I have heard here in Portsmouth from people who have attended a lot of the games is that Montville could possibly have had as many as 16 to 20 Hrs this season, but his reputation and success have led to a lack of teams really pitching to him. Some have and he has made them pay, so you can see where others would be very cautious with him. I do not know what the Hr record is, but surely Mike Montville has been short changed in his attempt to get it, or set it. Both fields and being pitched around have definitely factored into it. That can not be questioned at all. For all we know, He may already have the record, but how high would it be if NHIAA simply mandated all fields to have at least a temporary fence.

    I do agree with those who say the depth of pitching is better in Class L. Therefore I would say he would have been pitched to more than he was in I this year.

    I also agree with those who use the old saying "the cream will rise to the top". The question is about the ultimate top though. I am sure there are some people out there, like those I talk to here in Portsmouth, who know of guys whose home diamonds had no fences who did indeed hit a lot of Hrs on oppostion fields, but were seriously short changed at home. In that regard, I am sure there may be quite a few players who could have laid claim to the record if someone simply erected a temporary fence on thier home field.

    Perhaps someone out there has the record and it is some outrageous number and this entire discussion is moot. I think we can all agree that it is a disgrace that NHIAA does not have a page on thier website that lays out the various records of high school athletics. All of those young athletes who own these records deserve to be recognized.

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  21. It will be interestintg tosee if Bedford challenges him. D1 hitter Vs a likely D1 pitcher.

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  22. Congratulations To Portsmouth for a3rd straight title!

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  23. Now that it is all over, can we make an argument that Montville was the best player, position player at least, in NH in the last 10 years or so?

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  24. I would say second best. Even though Sam Fuld only won the NH Gatorade player award once (2000), his resume after has shown he was the best position player to come from NH in quite a long time. Sam was also a better defensive player as he entered college. Also you have to realize that Sam joined a Stanford team that lost in the National championship game in 2000 and he bacame the starting CF immediately and helped to lead that team back to the CWS as its lead-off hitter. His four years at Stanford were full of conference & national accolades right from the start. In my book when you moved right into a starting role for a national D1 powerhouse, you would be considered the best over a player who may or may not play significant time for an low level D1 program. (Sorry folks, but when you only have 2 seasons at or above .500 in 30 years, you are not a high lovel program.)

    Mike is joining a Maryland team that only won 5 conference games and went 17-39 this year. From looking at the Maryland site, Mike is probably going to have his work cutout for himself getting playing time. The Terps also have a 6'4", 240 lb power hitting first baseman who was the #2 ranked player in CT and drafted by the Washinton Nats. Maryland had 9 players sign when Mike did and also has 10 more from thier spring signings. If you look at the write-ups from the offical Maryland realeases, you will notice Mike is listed as 1B/OF, yet it does not say where he would play. Others, like Tim Klein (from CT -> "will play first base for the Terps." ) are described as playing a particular poisition. Now Mr. Montville and Mike are the only ones who know exactly what Mike has been told to expect, but as anyone who has been through this process can tell you, what is told to you during the recruiting process is not written in stone - For Mike or any of the recruits.

    The next four years will tell us if Mike surpasses Sam as the best position player of the past decade.

    No matter what kind of collegiate career Mike has, he will certainly be remembered as one of the best to come out of NH. I wish him the best of luck in & out of the classroom in his time at Maryland.

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  25. Very nice post. I agree with it and good luck to Mike at Maryland.

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  26. Tough to call anyone in NH the best in the past 10 years. Most of us have not seen most or all of them play, they play in different divisions and during different years. Some other recent notables would be Zapenas, Ferriter, Neverman, Fransoso, The BG/Windham kid @ Trinity College who was just drafted (Name?)....just to name a few recent kids worthy of discussion. Tough to pick one, but I guess it's fun to discuss.
    Obviously, Fuld is worthy and there are a number of pitchers and other players we could list.

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  27. I am proud of my son but honestly to put him the Sam Fuld conversation is crazy. Sam has reached the pinnacle of college baseball and he has played in the majors. (Mike worked out with Sam this winter for about three weeks, great guy.)

    I have never liked "best of" conversations because there are many variables from year to year. In my opinion what a "position" player accomplishes in high school baseball in NH (most of NE for that matter) is irrelevant. We just don't see great pitching. Two examples, last night Mike played his first summer team game. Faced a college pitcher who was sitting at 90 for five innings. First two times up K'd, he just hadn't seen this type of pitching this year - did measure him on third AB. It's just not him, his team's starting 9 are all playing college baseball next year, 7 with scholaships at D 1 schools. College pitcher K'd 11 of first 12 he faced. The same thing happen to Mike at Olympic trials last year summer. Took him three games to adjust (he faced 3 pitchers drafted in round 1 this year).
    Sam Fuld has delivered against great competition so to me Mike is light years behind him (and I am sure there are others).

    On the Maryland issue I agree he has got a bunch of work ahead of him to earn playing time. As of now, the plan is to move him to a corner outfield position. They like him (could be recruiting speak) because they can use them in OF, at firstbase and dh. They say his flexibility is plus but like any position player, you hit, you play. Four of the Maryland recuits have or will sign shortly, two of which were Mike's teammates last summer (along with Bryce Harper - they played together for a week in NC and at Yankee Stadium).

    Bottom line its been a fun ride the last four years but the real test begins in Georgia next week and beyond.

    Here's a good one, this baseball season he opened up playing Coe-Brown. Next year at Maryland he opens up against Texas in Austin. Where not in NH anymore TOTO!

    If there are NH high school baseball fans out there who want to know more about the odds our kids face I would be glad to share what we heard from MLB scouts this year relating to competition, position etc. This was backed up by an MLB scouting report on Mike which we optioned - very intersting.

    Bob Montville

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  28. Great post Mr Montville. I did not have the opportunity to see your son play until the championship game this year so I am probably not the best to judge what he accomplished. However the entire Portsmouth program has been very impressive to say the least. I was very impressed with both he and Nate Jones but the program as a whole was obviously very well trained and well coached. You could see the time spent on the game and the fundamentals show through from infield practice and the execution during the game. No doubt baseball like all the other sports are crazily competitive these days as the price of college goes up and the parents of these kids realize that a athletic scholarship is like winning the lottery. The fact that your son is going to a great school and getting a free education should be celebrated. I hope that what ever happens between now and his last baseball game is all he hoped for but if not he will have some great memories,great friends and a great education to walk away with. I also hope that if he gets to school and things do not go as he hopes the people on these blogs will have the heart to praise what he has accomplished. I know this world is fascinated by being the greatest and the number 1 however if all of us are judged as failures for being no better than second than 99.9% of the world is a failure. I do not think that is the case and I hope that someday these kids understand that as well.
    So good luck to Mike over the next four years at college and what ever comes after.

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  29. Ian Seawards, shortstop for Dover High School, is winning gatorade player of the year next year. kid is FILTHY look out for him next year

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