Here is a preview of the Eastern Jackson County American Legion baseball teams in 2013.

Here is a preview of the Eastern Jackson County American Legion baseball teams in 2013.

BLUE SPRINGS POST 499/FIKE

Top returnees: Dominic DeFeo, Reece Eddins, C.J. Egelston, Dylan Farrell, Carson Messner, Mark Montisano, Austin Nordike, Logan Taylor.

Newcomers: Cale Benson, Caleb Humphreys, Nic Mertes, Cam Miller, Alex Smith, Braden Younkin.

Coaching staff: Jim Moran, manager; Dave Benson, Joe Dutcher, Matt Hagerty, John Meyer, coaches.

Manager’s comments: “Our success this year will depend on two main areas – how well our new players and returners can mesh as a team and if our pitching staff can hold up under the always tough schedule of a Legion season. All of our players come from programs that have a history of good coaching and on-field success. As a coaching staff, we need to do our best to bring those traits to this summer’s Post 499/Fike baseball team.”

2012 finish: 48-14 overall (13-7 Zone 2 East).

2013 outlook: Another successful season is likely for one of the state’s best programs. Pitching could be the key. Eight returnees form a solid, experienced nucleus.

BLUE SPRINGS ROD’S SPORTS A’S

Top returnees: Brett Barbeck, Jay Corwin, Alex Duvall, Jon Fink, Corbin Hare, Grant Hargis, William Kesling, Wylson Lamb, Jeremy Lufft, Robert Orr, Kyle Reed, David Stober.

Newcomers: Brandon Bennefeld, Nathan Carlton, Tim Dunker, Grant Gavin, Luke Miller, Alex Van Zandt.

Coaching staff: Mike Rooney, manager; Tom Bush, Phil Caldarella, Andrew Cottle, Jack Gillis, Clyde Kubli, Brad Mayfield, coaches.

Manager’s comments: “We have lots of leadership, lots of pitching and lots of hitting. We could do well this season.”

2012 finish: 44-16 overall (18-2, first place in Zone 2 East).

2013 outlook: On paper, the A’s, with 12 returning players, appear to be the team to beat in the area. This could be one of Rooney’s better teams.

HI BOY DRIVE IN/POST 340

Top returnees: Aaron Alter, David Jean, Trevor Jeffries, Jordan Pinkley.

Newcomers: Griffin Bledsoe, Drew Bunch, Tyler Cross, Austin Garcia, Cale Petersohn, Garrett Phillips, Nico Pike, Skyler Schwab, Aaron Schuster, Blake Sellers, Jesus Villegas.

Coaching staff: Byron White, manager; Scott Cassidy, Mike Kline, coaches.

Manager’s comments: “We return only four players and one senior. Our veterans will need to show new players how to compete at this level. We have guys that want to play and will be more worried about our team goals and their individual accomplishments. My coaches and I are looking forward to working with this group of young men.”

2012 finish: 24-21 overall (8-12 fourth place Zone 2 East).

2013 outlook: Post 340 is the most inexperienced team in Zone 2. But manager Byron White and his coaches will readily accept the challenge of developing the team into a Zone 2 East contender.

INDEPENDENCE POST 21

Top returnees: Connor Adams, Nick Adrales, Bobby Brock, Cody Gregory, Stuart Lauber, Justin Madsen, Ross Paschall, Connor Polacek, Tanner Stone, Austin Tate.

Newcomers: Quinton Brown, James Curtin, Nathan Davis, Dane Garcia, Chase LaFavor, Christian Janota, Cory Pleacher.

Coaching staff: Tim Madsen, manager; Dan Garcia, David Gregory, Mike Zwiener, coaches.

Manager’s comments: “We have 10 returning players who all were impact players throughout the 2012 season in our road to the state championship tournament. With their leadership, I think our mix of returning players and new (players) will be strong. Our defense along with reliable pitching will be our greatest assets. Consistent hitting is somewhat of a concern, but if we can find the groove early and avoid mental/fundamental errors we should have a very successful season.”

2012 finish: 40-18 overall (19-1, first place in Zone 2 West).

2013 outlook: If the 10 returnees can blend well with the newcomers and the pitching comes through, another winning season is likely for perennial area standout Post 21.

INDEPENDENCE VFW POST 1000 BEARS

Players: J.T. Bodenhammer, Tyler Bover, Jacob Ferrell, Eli Henderson, Aaron Henry, Cody Jackson, Gannon Ogle, Grady Ogle, Mike Peterson, Sam Scarbrough, Andrew Wayman, Tanner Webb.

Coaching staff: Logan Scarbrough, manager; Craig Bover, Mike Brasington, Kevin King, Garrett Ogle, coaches.

Manager’s comments: “We are hopefully looking for a new start.”

2012 finish: 10-37 overall (2-18 in Zone 2 West).

2013 outlook: The Bears are trying to put together a new program after the old Bears team folded.

LEE’S SUMMIT HAWTHORN BANK OUTLAWS

Top returnees: Quentin Bradford, Brett Conrow, Goeton Gronberg, Adam Jamerson, P.J. Seufert, Seth Soto, Dalton Woods.

Newcomers: Blake Bruning, Herb Byers, Brian Conrow, Jackson Markham, Tyler Ross.

Coaching staff: Mike Gailey, manager; Dennis Covell, Jeremy Guzman, Dan Woods, coaches.

Manager’s comments: “We return five starters from the Lee’s Summit North (High School) varsity squad. The squad has a deep and versatile roster. The returning players have played together for the past four to five seasons. The team has lost its top two pitchers from last year. Zach Bradford and Dallas Woods accounted for 16 of the team’s 24 victories in 2012. It may take a few games before the pitching staff finds its identity. The lower half of the roster is inexperienced at the American Legion level.”

2012 finish: 24-23 (13-7 Zone 2 West).

2013 outlook: Pitching appears to be the key to the team’s success this season. A good start appears essential for a winning record.

LEE’S SUMMIT POST 189 PIRATES

Top returnees: Connor Claxton, Tanner Glasper, Quinton Lewis, Josh Norris, Saul Nunez, Cole Puthoff, Travis Simonin, Blanton Spaar, Jacob Stadler.

Newcomers: Austin Buhr, Nathan Fry, Adam Howe, Jackson McIntosh, Trevor Wilson.

Coaches: Matt Carpenter, manager; Andrew Diestel, Dayton Fossey, Matt Harre, Luke Werner, coaches

Manager’s comments: “We are bring most of our team back from last year. I feel like we have added some impact bats that should allow us to be a much more solid team offensively than we were last season. We lost only one starting pitcher that was pretty solid last year. Our additions have also enabled us to put guys in their more natural positions, so look for us to be better defensively than we were a year ago. I look for us to take a big step forward this summer.”

2012 finish: 19-20 overall (12-8 Zone 2 West).

2013 outlook: A veteran returning cast could enable the Pirates to not only improve on last year’s record but contend for the Zone 2 West title.

OAK GROVE POST 379

Top returnees: Tim Collins, Cole Doherty, Colton Hilbrenner, Cameron Hilbrenner, Zach Morgan.

Newcomers: Corey Bolin, Levi Harmon, Jake Klenzler, Josh Lewis, Conner Matson, Kyle Martin, T.J. Mausbach, Austin Nibarger, Drew Phillips, Tony Phillips, Austin Reader, Lucas Schnelle.

Coaching staff: Tom Phillips, manager; Mike Harmon, G.C. Matson. J.E. Phillips.

Manager’s comments: “The nucleus of this team is made up of the Oak Grove (High School) Panthers and they are in the state final four. We are looking for a good season.”

2012 finish: 25-19 overall (11-9 Zone 2 East).

2013 outlook: Post 379 has some talented players and will be a factor in the Zone 2 East. Pitching could be a strong point.