The Massachusetts high school baseball season is underway, and our latest guest on The Base Path Podcast helped break down the state championship picture.
Hopkinton High coach Steve Simoes, a recent inductee to the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, led Hopkinton to the D2 state championship game last year. Hopkinton fell to eventual state champion St. Mary’s each of the last two seasons. Simoes put together a difficult schedule for 2022 — including defending D1 champion Xaverian Brothers.
“Division 2 is incredibly loaded,” Simoes said. “St. Mary’s, obviously with (Aiven Cabral) coming back, and Milton, are both outstanding. I would say that they’re probably the favorites in terms of reputation. (Milton coach Brendan Morrissey) runs such an outstanding program. They deserve it. It’s their time. I’m rooting for them because they’ve been on the cusp. They should be rewarded for all they’ve done with that program.
“Plymouth North is a powerhouse. We’re playing Xaverian, Medfield, Lincoln-Sudbury and Franklin. So, we’re going to take our lumps. I like challenging kids. It’s the only way they’ll get better. We do have some kids going on to play college. It’s wide open to an extent without sectionals any longer.”
Simoes also works with some of the top prospects in the MetroWest region as an infield instructor. One of those prospects, Medfield senior Jack Goodman, is committed to Pepperdine University.
“Jack Goodman, in my opinion, is definitely a pro prospect,” Simoes said. “He’s going to Pepperdine to play shortstop. Over time, he would have had his pick of the litter. He’s a really special player, special talent, speed, power and arm strength. He’s a great kid from a great family. A kid like (Cabral), I wouldn’t count out. There’s a lot of quality arms. Medfield has two 88-plus mph arms. Bellingham, in our league, has an 80-plus mph arm. There’s a lot out there, and the velocity is off the charts. We tell our kids they need to be prepared for 85, 86, 87 mph. That was never the case.”
Simoes finished off the pod by making a bold prediction for the D2 state championship.
“I’m going to go with Milton,” Simoes said. “I hate to put the whammy on them, but it’s not just because of talent. There’s a reason there’s so much talent there — because the coaching staff does an incredible job. I’m going with Milton. We just saw Plymouth North. They’re going to be tough. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say St. Mary’s. They’ve taken it to us two championships in a row.”
Listen to the entire pod with Simoes.
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