He's 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, can throw a baseball more than 90 mph, hit one 400 feet, has a 4.1 grade-point average, aspirations to be a surgeon and is as respectful as you'd want your son to be.
Tyler Ferguson is a professional baseball organization's dream.
And Tyler Ferguson is a professional baseball organization's nightmare.
What to do with the Clovis West High senior on June 4, the first day of the Major League Baseball amateur draft?
Pick and potentially burn a choice in the top five rounds on someone who could very well advance his pitching career at Vanderbilt while pursuing pre-med?
Or pass and allow someone else to roll the dice?
And they surely will.
"His ceiling is high," says Golden Eagles coach Kevin Patrick.
Consider: Ferguson, playing in a Clovis West program typically deep on the mound, hardly pitched as a freshman and didn't throw an inning while playing first base on the varsity as a sophomore.
"It's easy to forget that he just started pitching for us last year," Patrick says. "He's just starting to tap into his potential. Imagine when he's 21 years old, as he continues to fill into that frame, and with his work ethic. He could be very special."
He went 8-2 with a 2.13 ERA against state-class competition last year.
And he's 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA and 72 strikeouts against only 10 walks and 25 hits given up in 45 innings this season.
Oh, and not to forget the .390 batting average with four home runs and 27 RBIs for the 18-3 Golden Eagles, who are top-ranked in the Central Section and No. 13 and climbing in the state.
"He has received a lot of interest from pro scouts," Patrick says. "Most tell me he has top-few-rounds 'stuff,' but I think some believe it will be tough to sign him, since he's already signed with Vanderbilt."
Ferguson is concentrating on a section title for Clovis West, which -- for all its success in the past 30 years -- has only won one (2004).
"I'm trying not to think about [the draft]," he says. "But, yes, I'll absolutely consider the option. If I get drafted, we'll talk and see what's the best situation for me."
Prieto's back -- and Sunnyside is, too
A boomerang coaching career has brought Jeff Prieto back to the high school level.
And Sunnyside is the benefactor.
"Right on time," says Wildcats senior standout catcher Jose Barraza.
Sunnyside is 8-8, but progress has been anything but average in its first season under Prieto, the former Clovis East coach and UNLV assistant.
It began immediately when the Wildcats -- coming off the worst season (5-21) in their 11-year history and without a winning record since 2003 (17-11), according to section historian Bob Barnett -- beat perennial section power Clovis in their first fall ball game.
Then, unprecedented developments in the southeast Fresno program saw a strength and conditioning regimen and an offseason fundraising dinner that drew more than 200 people and raised $13,000.
And now to this season, where home games find large crowds, music piped through the public-address system and, above all, a team actually contending in the County/Metro Athletic Conference, where Sunnyside was 2-13 a year ago.
The 3-2 Wildcats are in second place after a round of league play that included a 9-7 loss at second-ranked Bullard in a game the Knights escaped following an early 8-0 lead.
Prieto's fast-track pace to become a college head coach was interrupted when UNLV coach Buddy Gouldsmith, who hired him, was fired following the 2010 season.
But Prieto, married with two children, is still only 33. And his vision remains clear: "I'd love to be a JC head coach; that's where I'd really like to be. This opportunity [at Sunnyside] came up and I had a chance to be a head coach again, which I missed. I got here and there was a half bucket of balls, drainage problems, grass baselines and no warning track. I knew it was not going to be easy; I knew it would be a challenge, but I'm always up for one. And the administration's been very supportive."
Greg Lemon: Referee's death a loss for us all
He could be seen greeting many friends with a smile and handshake in early March at the section basketball finals at Selland Arena.
That was routine for Greg Lemon, 60, a longtime football and basketball official in the San Joaquin Valley Officials Association. And that's what makes it all the more troubling for those of us who had the privilege of knowing him, yet lost him so suddenly last week. According to the Fresno County Coroner's Office, he committed suicide.
For the next wave of young officials in the area, there is but one thing to do in his honor -- call a great game.