Baseball Cabrillo

Cabrillo Jaguars Baseball Season Preview

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The562’s coverage of Cabrillo Athletics is sponsored by the Cohn Family.

A late hiring and a limited offseason program made for a challenging first season on the West Side for first-year head coach Garrett Young in 2023. A year later, with time to get the program more aligned with his vision, Young is hoping to make an imprint with the Jags and make progress in the season ahead..

“Year two, it’s about trying to establish a new culture and a new type of program that they haven’t had here at Cabrillo before,” Young said. “So setting higher standards for our kids in the classroom, off the field and on the field.”

Young has also brought in some reinforcements as assistant coaches, welcoming in Adam and Martin Renteria to help coach the squad this year, and he said it’s helped tremendously in trying to establish that new culture.

There aren’t many seniors on the squad this year, but there is experience at a key position as Frankie Rios will be the starting shortstop and team captain for Cabrillo this season.

“He’s one of our few seniors that we have, and he’s helping establish this new culture as the captain of the team that I’m trying to lay out here,” said Young of Rios. “He’s got good leadership qualities, the team respects him, so he’s going to help lead us forward.”

Micah Afoa will be a key player for the Jags this season on the mound.

Another key returner is Micah Afoa, who will be the team’s ace on the mound and will get playing time in the field when he’s not pitching. Coach Young expects him to be a middle-of-the-order bat and says he should be a “catalyst” for this year’s team.

“I’m definitely excited. We’ve got a young squad this year with a lot of younger brothers coming in,” said Afoa, who is hoping to lead by example for the Jags. “I know they all look up to me. I don’t really talk that much on the field, but they see me out on the field and they just follow my lead basically.”

Sophomore Adam Rosalez is back and should also slot in the middle of the Jags batting order, whether he’s on the mound or playing one of the corner infield spots. Johnny Orozco projects as the primary first baseman, with Erik Orozco (no relation) slotting in next to him at second base.

The Jags are a young squad overall, with three incoming freshmen expected to get lots of playing time this year. Andy Rios, Eli Torres, and Daniel Rodriguez are all ninth graders with the chance to win starting jobs, but they figure to make an impact at multiple spots around the diamond.

Cabrillo won’t have a ton of depth or experience this season, but with an influx of young talent and a few solid returners in key spots, there’s optimism that the 2024 season will be a step forward for Cabrillo Baseball.

“My big thing is establishing a good culture with them, and if they can work hard and buy in and be good people on and off the field,” said Young of his aspirations for the 2024 season. “I see us progressing in all phases of the game in the right direction, especially with how young we are overall, and moving forward in the right direction with the program.”

The Jags will have a tough start to the Moore League season with games against Lakewood, Poly and Millikan, all played on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.

Projected Starting Lineup

C – Omar Estrada / Pedro Diaz

1B – Johnny Orozco / Adam Rosalez

2B – Erik Orozco

SS -Frankie Rios

3B – Christian Rodriguez

OF – Jose Cadena / Eli Torres / Andy Rios / Pedro Diaz / Bendito Diaz

UTL – Daniel Rodriguez

P – Micah Afoa / Adam Rosalez /Johnny Orozco / Eli Torres / Andy Rios / Christian Rodriguez

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Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.