Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 5 Mundelein

 By Matt Huck
Area Scout

The Illinois high school season kicked off yesterday, March 13, the first day for regular season games.

Over the last several weeks, we have been rolling  out team previews of high school teams all across the state and  across all classifications, eventually launching our Preseason Power 25. 

We have been sending out our annual Preseason Questionnaire to coaches all across the state and as the responses flood in we will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team.

Team: Mundelein
Preseason Rank: 5
2016 Record: 33-10
Conference: North Suburban
IHSA Class:
Head Coach:
Todd Parola
Playoff Run:
4A State Runner Up
2016 Final Rank:
Returning Starters:
Returning Pitchers:


Top Players

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Brendan Murphy IL
2017 LHP/1B
Arizona State
Will Michalski IL Mundelein 2017 RHP

Zach Zentz IL Mundelein 2017 LHP

Nick Stricker IL Mundelein 2017 3B

Jeff Morton IL Mundelein 2018 OF

Drew Breitenreiter IL Mundelein 2018 INF

Brett Parola IL Mundelein 2017 1B
Steven Sanchez
IL Mundelein 2018 LHP
Ryan Patel IL Mundelein 2018 SS/RHP

Andrew Beres IL Mundelein 2017 C


Senior LHP/1B Brendan Murphy was a PBR First Team All-State selection a year ago after posting a 10-2 record on the mound with a 1.12 ERA. In 69 innings of work he struck out 109 batters and held opponents to a .137 batting average against. Murphy is committed to Arizona State as a LHP, but also was the teams leading hitter after posting a .433 batting average with 34 RBIs, 16 doubles, and two home runs. Murphy again will be called on to be the ace of the staff and three hole hitter. Murphy will receive a lot of draft interest this spring as he is one of the top pitchers in the state of Illinois. His fastball reached as high as 92 mph last spring and showed feel for both his curveball and changeup.

Junior LHP Steven Sanchez got a taste of varsity last year making seven appearances covering 16.2 innings leading up to the state finals in Joliet. The 6-foot-7 Sanchez is already committed to Arkansas and is one of the higher ranked prospects in the Illinois Class of 2018. At 6-foot-7 Sanchez struggles to consistently find a release point which hinders his ability to fill up the strike zone. When Sanchez puts it all together he is one of the tougher arms in the state. At the PBR Future Games last August he sat 86-87 mph with his fastball and threw strikes with all his pitches.  If Sanchez can find consistency on the mound this spring Mundelein could easily find themselves in Joliet again.

Steven Sanchez (8.4.16)

Sitting at 8-6 on April 15th the Mustangs won 24 of 27 games and advanced all the way to the 4A state title game before falling to two time defending state champion Providence Catholic. Mundelein finished the season at 33-10.

Last year the Mustangs went on a huge run all the way to the state title game before losing to Providence Catholic and finishing with a 33-10 record. Mundelein brings back a lot from last years runner up team especially on the mound. Arizona State commit Brendan Murphy will headline the staff after being a First Team All-State selection last year. Seniors Will Michalski and Zach Zentz will be a big key to the Mustangs success. Michalski posted an 8-2 record with a 2.12 ERA, Zentz is a funky left-handed reliever who appeared in 15 games and posted a minuscule 0.71 ERA over 39.1 innings racking up 48 strikeouts against just six walks. Other contributors on the mound will be juniors Steven Sanchez and Ryan Patel. The Mustangs struggled on offense last year and will look to score more runs in 2017. The top returning hitters are Drew Breitenreiter (.344), Nick Stricker (.312), Jeff Morton (.372), and Brett Parola (.318). The Mustangs have the pitching depth and now the experience to make it back to Joliet in 2017.

The Mustangs bring back a lot of key pieces from last years 4A runner up team. A lot of last years seniors were team leaders so this year a group of 19 seniors will need to step up as leaders. The pitching staff is one of the best and deepest in the state, but the offense will need to come up with more runs in 2017. If everyone stays healthy the Mustangs can again find themselves in Joliet come June.

Make sure to follow @pbrillinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the season.

preseason countdown