Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 23 Sandburg


By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

The Illinois high school baseball season kicks off on April 12, opening day for regular season action under IHSA regulations. Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2021 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, leading into a countdown through the official PBR Illinois Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

Our 2021 preseason coverage continues today.

Team: Sandburg
Preseason Rank: No. 23
2019 Record: 20-8
Conference: Southwest Suburban
IHSA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Jim Morsovillo

TOP PLAYERS

NAME POS CLASS COMMITMENT
Jimmy Burke RHP 2021 -
Danny Durkin RHP/1B 2021 -
Justin Egan OF/RHP 2021 -
Brian Funk OF 2021 -
Nathan Rodriguez INF 2021 St. Norbert College
John-Michael Scumaci INF/C 2021 North Central College
Jayden Comia INF/C 2022 Illinois
Jake Cummins UTL 2022 -
Israel Delgado INF/C 2022 Missouri
Matthew Morsovillo INF 2022 -
Kyle Peterson INF 2022 -
Justin Sewers LHP 2022 -
Tyler Skrabis RHP/INF 2022 -
Thomas Starcevich INF 2022  
Grant Tenuta RHP 2023 -

UNDERCLASSMAN TO WATCH

Among the top-ranked sophomore arms in the state, RHP Grant Tenuta is the most recent member of the Tenuta family to take on a front-line starter’s responsibility at Sandburg. This has culminated in a mature arsenal that Tenuta wields with ease, enhanced by strike-throwing capabilities. Tenuta was a stand-out at the recent, loaded Underclass Invitational event, where he was up to an 89 mph high on a heavy fastball made more effective by his feel for a change and curveball that he landed for strikes. The path his brothers forged for him will allow for Tenuta to adjust to the varsity level more quickly, and he may even become this team’s go-to arm sooner than later.

Grant Tenuta (9/25/20)

X-FACTOR

Transferring in, Israel Delgado, committed to Mizzou, should expect to be an instant impact for the Eagles. An all-around athlete, Delgado can rotate from behind the plate and up the middle of the infield with Jayden Comia, giving each other the essential rest needed to keep up highly important roles as run-producers on offense. Delgado’s athleticism makes him an asset at both spots on defense, and his compact right-handed swing generates hard-hit line-drive contact with some consistency, and it shouldn’t take him long to adjust to his new dugout.

Israel Delgado (3/20/21)

OUTLOOK

Few programs will return more than a handful of players with varsity experience, so that offsets the youth Sanburg will lean on this spring. While the sophomore Tenuta is expected to headline an effective rotation, juniors without varsity experience like INF Matt Morsovillo, INF Kyle Peterson, LHP Justin Sewers, RHP/INF Tyler Skrabis, and UTL Jake Cummins will play supporting roles to a reliable class of seniors. Morsovillo sticks out, specifically, as his wiry 6-foot-4 build stole some attention at the Lockport I.D. in February, where he averaged an exit speed of 89 mph, topping 95.6. His right-handed bat can build the bridge between the top and bottom of this order that can make the Eagles’ offense go from good to great. 

Matthew Morsovillo (2/15/21)

Peterson generates similarly impressive hard-hit contact, only from the left side. He did so at that same showcase, further reinforcing what’s become a deep, if inexperienced, lineup. 

And even though he, too, is a junior, INF/C Jayden Comia has been accustomed to the varsity level since his freshman year. His experience is critical to this squad and he’s expected to be the motor that powers the Eagles – from the lineup, to the middle of the infield, and even from behind the plate.

John-Michael Scumaci, a senior, is the likely lead-off man. He’s a competitive, versatile athlete who should occupy some up-the-middle position on defense, and his competitive at-bats will gel perfectly atop this order. 1B/RHP Danny Durkin will be relied on for Sandburg as both a rotation arm and main run producer. His clean and easy arm produced an 86 mph high last summer, and his changeup looks like a quality offspeed that can offer the Eagles another reliable starter-type within the staff. He’s also an above-average athlete, and his simple right-handed swing looks fit to land the kind of contact this team needs at the center of its lineup.

Two other seniors who should receive regular innings: RHP/OF Justin Egan and RHP Danny Dolitsky. Egan’s athleticism and speed will make him useful from the outfield, defensively, and he’s an effective reliever-type of arm that can be called on late in games. Dolitsky actually saw varsity action as a sophomore in 2019, and that’ll prove vital in a season like this one.

And quickly, mentioned above, junior southpaw Sewers is a name to keep an eye on. He was up to 83 mph in the fall with a fastball that jumped and carried through the zone, and a diligent offseason could push him into an even more prominent position on the staff.

BOTTOM LINE

Used to competing game in and out, there’s a likable mix of upperclass talent and experience at Sandburg that can carry its juniors and sophomores to the point where they’re able to grow into their new varsity surroundings. Few teams can offer depth across multiple positions, and the most important ones, like Sandburg can, and that can be a separator in an atypical year like this one.

Make sure to follow @PBRIllinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2021 season.

Find more information on the 2021 Eagles below:

+ Team Website

+ Team Schedule

+ Team Twitter

PBR ILLINOIS PRESEASON POWER 25