The high school baseball season begins this week, and La Mirada is No. 1 in The Times’ preseason prep baseball rankings.
Orange Lutheran is No. 2. La Mirada and Orange Lutheran are scheduled to play Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Great Park in Irvine that will feature pitchers Jared Jones and Max Rajcic.
1. LA MIRADA. Pitcher Jared Jones leads a veteran team filled with talent and depth.
2. ORANGE LUTHERAN. If pitching is the name of the game, beware of Lancers.
3. JSERRA. Junior class is exceptional, led by four UCLA commits.
4. HARVARD-WESTLAKE. Wolverines will be able to score lots of runs.
5. SANTA MARGARITA. Division 2 champs return the entire starting lineup.
6. THOUSAND OAKS. Several top transfers bolster talented returnees.
7. HUNTINGTON BEACH. Jake Vogel will be one tough out.
8. CYPRESS. Pitcher Brett Wozniak leads defending Division 1 champions.
9. SO NOTRE DAME. Pitcher Lucas Gordon, plus veteran group return.
10. BISHOP AMAT. Strong winter ball performance indicates Lancers are very good.
11. LOYOLA. Catcher Kevin Parada leads much improved Cubs.
12. DANA HILLS. Impressive young pitchers are maturing.
13. CAPISTRANO VALLEY. Will battle it out in tough South Coast League.
14. VALENCIA. Mitchell Torres had 33 hits as a junior.
15. CORONA. Pitcher Michael Flores, OF Isaiah Greene are standouts.
16. SAN PEDRO. Loaded with veterans from 27-5 team.
17. MISSION VIEJO. Young players ready to step up.
18. DAMIEN. Jason Flores had 29 hits as a junior.
19. BECKMAN. Nick McLain becomes switch hitter in junior season.
20. AYALA. Six returning starters from 25-6 team.
21. ARCADIA. Dustin Allen, Preston Howey return from 25-2 team.
22. MIRA COSTA. Lots of quality young players join standout Kyle Karros.
23. CRESCENTA VALLEY. Pitcher Will Grimm is three-time All-CIF honoree.
24. WEST RANCH. Wildcats open with doubleheader versus JSerra.
25. EL CAMINO REAL. Pitcher Adam Christopher, infielder Andy Ambriz are standouts.