In his first year of varsity play at St. John’s, Josh Simon was told by the coaching staff that the more versatile he could become, the more playing time he would see. Catcher is his more natural position, but older brother Brett was manning that position for the third-ranked Cadets.
Simon instead spent most of this season in left field and exhibited the versatility to play the position consistently. The 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore also hit .333 with nine RBI and three doubles for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and D.C. State Athletic Association champions.
At the May 31-June 1 Perfect Game Sunshine Northeast Showcase at Cumberland County College in Vineland, N.J. he brought his best stuff to earn a spot on their top prospect list. Simon threw an event-best 90 mph from the outfield and hit 80 mph on the radar gun from home plate to second base. He also showed solid hitting tools as he popped a 1.83 among some of the best players in the region.
“I was feeling really good heading into the showcase,” Simon said. “I finished the spring season a few weeks before the showcase, and I had finals a week before that. It was the best I felt in a while.”
With just one year of varsity on his resume he has received early interest from Duke, Louisiana-Lafayette, VMI and Maryland, and his recruiting is likely to increase this summer with the Diamond Skills 17U travel team. He has yet to take any visits to any schools.
This summer, Simon is making stops in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the Virginia Sports Complex in Ruther Glen, Va. and the Perfect Game WWBA National Championship in Marietta, Ga.
Simon, 16, said he doesn’t feel any pressure playing a year ahead of his class. He wants to gain at least 10 pounds this summer and work on placing the ball in the gaps.
“I’m playing at a high level with people a grade above me, so I feel like I am on the same level,” Simon said.
He has grown more comfortable playing in the outfield, and lists Los Angeles Angles outfielder Mike Trout as one of his favorite players to watch because of his hustle and play at the plate.
NUMBER CRUNCH: 4
Gonzaga DB Sammy Morrison became the fourth Eagles player in the class of 2015 to commit to an FBS school on Tuesday when he chose Arizona. The same school his dad, Darryl, attended before playing for the Washington Redskins from 1993 to 1996. Others to commit were offensive lineman Richie Petitbon (Alabama), quarterback Nick Johns (Virginia) and running back Reggie Corbin (Illinois).
–James Moreno, the son of D.C. United legend Jaime Moreno, has pushed Loudoun County to its first regional title and a matchup with Grafton in Friday’s 4A state semifinals.
–Oakton’s Lizzie Stewart and Adrian Bouchet swept the boys and girls individual titles at the Virginia’s 6A state singles finals. The Cougars will next face Cox in Saturday’s Virginia 6A team finals.
–Without Coach Rob Fuller on hand, Woodgrove ran past Salem 18-7 in the Virginia 5A state semifinal to advance to its first Virginia girls lacrosse state final.
VIDEO OF THE DAY:
The baseball and softball All-Mets sat down with Chelsea Janes to sound off on their respective spring seasons.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY:
Take a look at the pictures from Oakton’s tennis players sweep of the Virginia 6A singles titles.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Virginia 3A and 4A boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball and softball state semifinals. Follow @TariqYLee and @RomanStubbs for updates from Lynchburg throughout the day. At 10 a.m., Loudoun County plays Grafton in boys’ soccer and Woodgrove plays Grafton in softball. At noon, Loudoun Valley meets William Byrd in baseball. Dominion’s girls’ soccer team faces Tabb at 6 p.m.