Season Preview: Don Bosco Prep

TJ Hunt
Director, PBR New Jersey

The 2023 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across New Jersey.

 Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons at Veteran's Field at the NJSIAA state championships, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview the top teams across NJ. 

Don Bosco Prep


High School: Don Bosco Prep

2022 Record: 24-5

Classification: Non-Public A North

Coach: Mike Rooney, 11th season

Twitter: @DBPHRC

Top Returners

2023 1B Allen Hernandez (Florida Gulf Coast)

2023 3B/OF Andy Granatell (Fairfield)

2023 SS Eric Becker (Virginia)

2023 OF Nick Locurto (Virginia Tech)

2023 LHP/1B Mike Staiano (Manhattan)

2023 LHP Jonathan Rodriguez (Emory & Henry College)

Team Outlook

Coming off an historic season which crowned the Ironmen the Non-Public A State champions and consensus No. 1 team in the state, Coach Rooney and staff will look to build upon a repeat with some new faces. Graduation took some key cogs from the mix, including NJ State Player of the Year finalist and Angels draft choice, Caden Dana, but the Ironmen return several bats to a lineup that collectively hit .332 in 2022. The catalyst for the offense will be Eric Becker - a top 10 ranked player in the '23 rankings and a player who can do it all. Becker hit .370 with 7 2B, 6 3B, and 5 HRs in 2022, while being second on the team in RBI with 27. He's a no frills type player, lefty bat, sure-handed infielder, strong arm, and a simplicity to his game that provides some stability to DBP's lineup. Power hitting FGCU commit Allen Hernandez returns to the middle of the order, too. Hernandez hit .326 with 3 2B, 5 HR, and led the team in RBI with 28 in 2022. Expect Hernandez to be a run producer once again in '23. Locurto, Granatell, and Staiano will provide some experience to the lineup, with Staiano contributing innings to the pitching staff, too.  Keep an eye on 2025 RHP/INF Dylan Henshaw and No. 1 ranked 2026, RHP Ethan Lee this spring. Henshaw, a Future Games participant, saw limited action in '22 on the varsity level, but possesses a mid-80s arm on the mound with pitchability and a steady bat at the plate. Lee was up to 89 this fall at the PBR Cup and possesses a sharp, downer breaker. Expect 2025 LHP Anthony Costello Jr. to eat up some innings along with 2023 LHP Jonathan Rodriguez, who punched out 25 in 19.2 IP last season while walking just three. Finally, the catching position has big shoes to fill after two Division 1 players saw action for the last few years in Jack Cannizzaro (James Madison) and JP Kuczik (Fairfield). Expect 2024 Gabe Cushner to step into the role and pick up right where they left off.


Super 60 Pro Showcase NATIONAL 02/05 The MAX - McCook, IL
2023 Northeast ProCase (Invite Only) NJ 02/12 The Liberty Arena / Williamsport, PA
Central New Jersey Preseason ID NJ 02/20 Iron Peak Sports - Hillsborough, NJ
2023 NJ Preseason All-State: Upperclass (Invite-Only) NJ 03/04 Top Corner Sports - Bridgewater, NJ
2023 NJ Preseason All State: Underclass (Invite-Only) NJ 03/11 Sportika - Manalapan, NJ
Northern New Jersey Preseason ID NJ 03/12 Sports Domain Academy - Clifton, NJ
2023 NJ Rising Stars ID (2027 Grads) NJ 03/19 Sports Domain Academy (Clifton, NJ)