Mount Si High School’s baseball program is transitioning nicely this year to a new coaching staff, one which is maintaining the high expectations of the program and its fans.
[Article by contributing sports writer, Rhett Workman, owner of Snoqualmie Valley SportsJournal]
The Wildcats are 5-6 in KingCo 4A play and 5-8 overall, but don’t let the record fool you. They are very much in the hunt for a playoff spot, as of Tuesday now three games clear of Woodinville for the seventh and final playoff spot into the upcoming Wes-King 4A district tournament.
If the team continues on pace, they’re going to lock up a playoff spot in new coach Brent Lutz’s first year as head coach. The team is working hard each day to continue upholding a culture of high expectations and great success, and a playoff berth will further reinforce that program culture, one that has existed since the team won the 3A state high school title in 2011.
It is a culture that not only focuses on great success on the field, but making sure the players are prepared to have success at the next level and beyond if they choose to go down that path. Since that 2011 state title Mount Si has seen a number of players move on to college and pro baseball. This spring, Wildcat alums are playing collegiately at schools ranging from NCAA Division I down to Northwest community colleges.
That success extends to the pro ranks as well, with a number of players over the past several years with Mount Si ties seeing action at the professional level, both here and abroad. This year, three Wildcat alums have hit the pro diamond. One, pitcher Trevor Lane, has started his 2019 season strong. Lane is pitching in the New York Yankees minor-league system, with their class “AA” team in Trenton, New Jersey, and has already had two very strong outings to his credit, including one Tuesday night. Lane, a 2012 Mount Si alum, is in his fourth season with the Yankees organization after New York drafted him in the 2016 Major League Baseball amateur draft out of college at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
The other two alums played over the winter in New Zealand. Outfielder Max Brown, who graduated in 2011, and pitcher Jimmy Boyce, who graduated a couple of years ago, play for the Australian Baseball League’s Auckland Tuatara. Brown was a 2015 draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks who lasted parts of two seasons with the Arizona system before being let go in 2016, and Boyce turned pro following two seasons of community college ball here in Washington and in Arizona.
With this year’s MLB draft set for early June, there aren’t any Valley players expected to hear their names called. But one that may be on some teams’ radars is pitcher Tanner Simpson. Simpson, who graduated from Mount Si in 2014 and is a fifth-year senior at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, serves in a long relief-pitching role with the NAIA’s Warriors and is currently 3-0 with a solid 2.37 earned run average. He’s also a left-hander, which is more coveted among major league teams. With those factors, and also a history of players from the program being drafted by big league clubs or signing pro contracts, Simpson could, if he continues to see success, possibly land himself a pro opportunity this summer.
In all, these are good times for Mount Si High School baseball as the team continues to make strides and establish itself as a premier high school program within Washington State.