April 28, 2011
Catching Up: Baseball stars Kyle Porter, Max Stassi and Tim Wheeler

Kyle Porter, Oak Ridge

kyleporter.JPGPorter made a name for himself last spring as a senior pitcher for the Trojans. He's doing the same thing as a freshman at Cal.

In 16 appearances for the Bears, the left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA. He's pitched 27 2/3 innings, allowed six earned runs, struck out 33 and walked nine.

"We had high expectations for Kyle," Cal pitching coach Dan Hubbs said. "We felt he could make an impact coming in.

"He had a fastball, curve and slider mainly. The changeup was not his pitch, but now his changeup is a weapon. It's pretty much a wipeout pitch."

According to Hubbs, Porter "took the team by storm" during the Bears' fall season, and continues to impress.

"Kyle attacks the strike zone and is fearless on the mound," Hubbs said.

Cal is 23-9, and 9-3 in the Pacific-10 Conference.

Last season, Porter was a first-team All-Metro selection and helped Oak Ridge (27-4) win the Sierra Valley Conference. Porter was 10-1 with an 0.74 ERA and an area-best 127 strikeouts. Porter batted .347 with a team-best 33 RBIs. He was All-Metro honorable mention as a junior when he batted .361 and was 7-2 with a 2.10 ERA.

maxstassi.JPG

Max Stassi, Yuba City

Through 15 games with the Stockton Ports of the California League, an advanced Class-A league, Stassi is batting .217 with one home run and eight RBIs. He's batting .324 on the road, but just .077 at home.

Last season for Kane County of the Class-A Midwest League, the catcher batted .229 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs. Stassi was drafted by the A's in the fourth round (123rd overall) in 2009.

During his four varsity seasons at Yuba City, Stassi batted .514, hit 40 home runs and had 162 RBIs.

Stassi is the only area player to make The Bee's All-Metro baseball first team four years, including Player of the Year honors in 2008 and 2009.

Tim Wheeler, El Camino

timwheeler.JPGPicked in the first round by the Colorado Rockies in the 2009 draft (32nd overall), he seems to have found his groove in his first season in Double A. Through 16 games, the outfielder is hitting .302 with five home runs and 17 RBIs for the Tulsa Drillers of the Texas League. He hit .249 with 12 homers and 63 RBIs last season for Modesto (California League).

As a senior at El Camino in 2006, Wheeler hit a team-best .535 and was a first-team All-Metro selection.

- Jeff Caraska, Bee Sports staff



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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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