Player of the Year
Mount St. Joseph
Floyd, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound right-hander with a 90-plus mph fastball, is "the best we've ever had," said coach Dave Norton. Floyd, a junior and one of three to repeat on the All-Metro first team, led the area in wins, going 12-2. But he also made major contributions with his bat to lead the Gaels into the MIAA A Conference finals. Floyd batted .383 (41-for-107) with seven homers and led his team in RBIS (42) and doubles (11). On the mound, he posted a 1.02 ERA in 82 2/3 innings with 103 strikeouts, 26 walks and gave up just 36 hits with only four (three doubles, one triple) of them for extra bases. This year's numbers ran his two-year career totals to 22-3, 187 strikeouts and 74 hits allowed in 147 2/3 innings. Floyd is the second Gael in three years to be named Player of the Year, the other being Georgia Tech sophomore 3B Mark Teixeira (1998). Both are expected to be No. 1 draft picks in 2001, which would be unique since both reside in Severna Park and were at Mount St. Joseph at the same time.
Cited by Baseball America as the only junior named preseason second-team All-American and rated the No. 1 high school pitcher in the nation by the publication for 2001, Floyd has not thrown a no-hitter but has six one-hitters. He has been near automatic in his two seasons. "Everytime he goes out there, we expect him to shut out the other team," said Norton. "When he pitches, we know if we score one run, we have a good chance to win."
A likely selection in the first nine rounds of the June 5-6 free-agent amateur draft, the 6-foot-6, 215-pounder will sign professionally or pitch at Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, Fla. Akens, a right-hander with a fastball consistently in the 88- to 92-mph range, went 8-1 with a 1.20 ERA for the top-ranked Cougars. In 56 innings pitched, Akens struck out 79, walked 24 and gave up just 30 hits. His only loss was by 3-2 in the 3A state final to Damascus (21-0), and the latter's coach said Akens was "the best we faced all year."
Mount St. Joseph
Considered by scouts to be the metro area's best all-around infielder, Strick completed his fourth varsity season with a .429 batting clip. He had 12 homers (second in metro area, 20 career), eight doubles, 36 RBIs (92 career) and led the Gaels in runs (40). iWe needed somebody to step right in and succeed Tim Hummel(projected No. 1 draft pick at shortstop) and "we don't expect to skip a beat with Allen," said coach Tony Guzzo of Old Dominion, where Strick is headed on a scholarship. "Right now Allen is like veteran college shortstop defensively."
A chiseled 6-1 and 215 pounds, Weiss is arguably the best pure hitter in the metro area and and is an excellent runner. The junior hit .434 (33-for-77), leading the surprising Crusaders in walks (22), runs (31), RBIs (31), homers (6) and stolen bases (school-record 28). Weiss has also tied the school career record for homers (17) set by '97 grad Justin Singleton (Clemson) and is closing in on several other career records. Limited to outfield play because of a shoulder injury, Weiss hopes to return to catching next season.
Banks, a control specialist with a fastball in the mid to upper 80's, led the Anne Arundel County champion Falcons (19-4) with a 9-0 record and 1.27 ERA. Three of the 6-foot-4 right-hander's wins came over county runner-up and eight-time state champion Arundel. Opponents batted just .178 (37-for-208) against Banks, who led the county in wins and strikeouts (93). He worked 55 1/3 innings, yielding 37 hits and walking only eight. Signed with Florida International University in Miami, Banks could be a late draft pick.
One of seven first-team All-Metro juniors, Brewer, a power-hitting third baseman, batted .431 (31-for-72) with a metro-area leading 13 homers to give himself 20 in his two-year career. Brewer's 13 homers tied the state public school single-season record set by Kevin Goode of Brunswick in 1999. Brewer hit .530 as a sophomore and gives the No. 10 Bears (18-5) quite a 1-2 punch with teammate Jason Maxey for one more year. Brewer also drove in 41 runs (70 two years), scored 30, had six doubles and 11 walks. His slugging percentage was 1.056, and his on-base percentage was .558 for the 2A region finalists. Brewer also did the job defensively at the hot corner.