2016 Season Preview: PAISAA



By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

Today marks the first installment of our season preview content, which will run for three weeks up to the first official competition date for PIAA schools on March 24. That calendar doesn't apply here, as some independent schools are scheduled to begin play as early as next week, which, amazingly, should be possible, if the current forecast holds up.

[mouse over pics for player names]

PAISAA Top Prospects

Brendan CellucciKyle Virbitsky1. Michael Siani, 2018, OF/LHP, Penn Charter (Virginia)
2. Shane Muntz, 2017, C/RHP, Malvern Prep (Virginia Tech)
3. Brady Devereux, 2018, RHP, Malvern Prep (Wake Forest)
4. Kyle Virbitsky, 2017, RHP, Espiscopal Academy (Penn State)
5. Sam Siani, 2019, OF, Penn Charter
6. Billy Corcoran, 2018, RHP, Malvern Prep (Pittsburgh)
7. Brendan Cellucci, 2017, LHP, Penn Charter (Miami)
8. Kenny Bergmann, 2016, C, Penn Charter (Connecticut)
9. Jack Hogan, 2016, RHP, The Hill School (Tulane)
Christopher AlleyneBryce Cunningham10. Matt Gorman, 2017, RHP, Penn Charter
11. Matt Daller, 2017, 3B/RHP, Malvern Prep
12. Christopher Alleyne, 2017, SS, Springside Chestnut Hill (Maryland)
13. Emmett Harkins, 2016, RHP, Germantown Academy (George Washington)
14. Bryce Cunningham, 2018, IF/RHP, Springside Chestnut Hill
15. Beau Lowery, 2018 , LHP, Mercersburg Academy
16. Adam Holland, 2017, OF, Penn Charter
17. Chance DiFebbo, 2016, OF, Malvern Prep (Delaware)
18. Dominic Toso, 2017, IF, Penn Charter
Jimmy KingsburySteve Lorenz19. Tommy Toal, 2017, IF, The Haverford School (La Salle)
20. Steve Lorenz, 2017, OF, Penn Charter
21. Cameron Van Hoorebeke, 2017, LHP, Episcopal Academy
22. Levi Stoudt, 2016, RHP, Perkiomen School (Lehigh)
23. Jimmy Kingsbury, 2017, RHP, Malvern Prep (Villanova)
24. Justus Sanders, 2017, RHP/OF, Penn Charter
25. Bryan Hyland, 2017, C/1B, The Haverford School

Note: statistics are from 2015

Inter-Academic League

Returning all-Inter-Ac Honorees
  1st-team 2nd-team
Episcopal Academy '17 Cam Van Hoorebeke '16 A.J. Lotsis
'17 Kyle Virbitsky
'16 Alex Burman
Germantown Academy    
The Haverford School '17 Bryan Hyland
'18 Justin Meyer
'16 James McConnon
'17 Tommy Toal
Malvern Prep '16 Chance DiFebbo '18 Billy Corcoran
Penn Charter '16 Kenny Bergmann '16 Harrison Timberlake
'18 Mike Siani
Springside Chestnut Hill '18 Aidan Frye '17 Chris Alleyne

 

Malvern Prep
Class of 2016 College Commits: RHP Mason Abate (Elizabethtown), OF Chance DiFebbo (Delaware), RHP Sean Flynn (Mount St. Mary's), RHP Brent Greeley (Tufts), IF Jake Mullan (Widener)
Class of 2017 College Commits: RHP Jimmy Kingsbury (Villanova), C/RHP Shane Muntz (Virginia Tech)
Class of 2018 College Commits: RHP Billy Corcoran (Pittsburgh), RHP Brady Devereux (Wake Forest)

Brady DevereuxThe back-to-back PAISAA champ Friars graduated their top arm, but still bring back a staggering amount of depth and talent on the mound with six pitchers (five of whom are committed to college programs) who logged between 13.2 and 29 innings last year. Devereux (28.2 IP, 35 H, 19 BB, 37 K) looks poised to assume the role of ace, while Daller (29 IP, 25 H, 5 BB, 26 K), Muntz (18 IP, 10 H, 14 BB, 35 K), and Corcoran (14.1 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 16 K) could be utilized as starters or in their lockdown bullpen roles from last year. College-bound Kingsbury, Abate, Flynn, and Greeley are also capable of logging big innings for a team that should play close to 40 games, if the weather cooperates.

Shane MuntzCoach Freddy Hilliard has more questions to answer in his line-up, as seven position players who received regular playing time headed off to college baseball. Daller should find a home on the left side of the infield, joining DiFebbo (.343 AVG, 14 XBH, 17 BB vs 10 K, 13 SB), Muntz (.307 AVG, 10 XBH, 15 BB vs 10 K), and Mullan (.286 AVG) as offensive stalwarts while the rest of the line-up shakes itself out.

Penn Charter
Class of 2016 College Commits: C/OF Kenny Bergmann (Connecticut), IF Collin Mattice (Roanoke)
Class of 2017 College Commits: LHP Brendan Cellucci (Miami)
Class of 2018 College Commits: OF/LHP Michael Siani (Virginia)

Kenny BergmannJames GaborFollowing back-to-back tournament semifinal losses to Perkiomen School, is this the year the Quakers on-field results catch up to their significant talent? As per usual, scoring runs shouldn't be an issue. With five quality outfield options -- the Siani brothers, Holland, Lorenz, and junior James Gabor -- all of whom can run, coach David Miller's biggest headache could be finding enough playing time for each of them. Toso is back to captain the infield, while Bergmann provides thump and manages the pitching staff.

Matt GormanReturning to front that staff, after being sidelined last year by injury, is Gorman, who showed command of three pitches as a rotation stalwart his freshman year. The elder Siani, Cellucci, and veteran senior RHP Harrison Timberlake are also slated for big roles, while Sanders, a physical specimen, and Alex Cohen, who has adjusted his arm slot from sidearm to a more conventional high one, have reportedly made tremendous progress this off-season.

The Haverford School
Class of 2016 College Commits: C James McConnon (St. Joseph's), RHP Ben Tracy (Gettysburg), RHP Michael Warnick (Clark)
Class of 2017 College Commits: IF Tommy Toal (La Salle)

James McConnonOften underestimated, always in the mix at the end, coach Bob Castell routinely gets the most out of a roster that doesn't consistently have the depth of physical tools to match some of their rivals. This year's team may buck that trend on the offensive side, however, as the college-bound McConnon (.280 AVG, 22 BB vs 4 K) and Toal (.313 AVG, 16 BB vs 10 K, 11 SB) are joined by three other talented returning starters in 1B/C Hyland (.398 AVG, 14 XBH), sophomore infielder Justin Meyer (.345 AVG, 24 BB vs 13 K), and junior infielder David Hogarth (.241 AVG, 10 BB vs 9 K).

Justin MeyerOn the mound, the Fords welcome back five of seven pitchers who logged double-digit innings. Junior RHP Tyler Dunbar (48 IP, 58 H, 26 BB, 37 K) once again fronts the rotation, while Tracy (20.1 IP, 6 H, 20 BB, 20 K), who didn't pitch after mid-April last year, Warnick (31.1 IP, 36 H, 22 BB, 15 K), senior RHP Cameron Miller (23 IP, 11 H, 8 BB, 23 K), and Meyer (17.1 IP, 13 H, 3 BB, 7 K) have all shown the ability to keep the team in ballgames.

Springside Chestnut Hill
Class of 2016 College Commits: RHP Gunnar Hayes (Philadelphia), 2016 OF Nick Rowland (Campbell)
Class of 2017 College Commits: SS Christopher Alleyne (Maryland)

Aidan FryeFollowing the graduation of two middle-of-the-order thumpers, coach Joe Ishikawa may adjust his style to suit the athleticism of returners such as Rowland, Alleyne, and junior infielder Jack Cuccinotta. The team isn't totally bereft of pop, however, as junior first baseman Daniel Shubert and Cunningham have the ability to drive the baseball. A pair of competitive, strike-throwers in Hayes and sophomore RHP Aidan Frye should give the Blue Devils a chance to win most ballgames in which they appear. The junior RHP/OF tandem of Matt Hoffman and Ian Diaz should provide some two-way production as well. The offense also took a hit when George Washington-bound infielder A.J. LaBella transferred to Jenkintown for his senior season.

Episcopal Academy
Class of 2016 College Commits: 1B Alex Burman (NJIT), 2B A.J. Lotsis (Georgetown), OF Will Phillips (Amherst)
Class of 2017 College Commits: RHP Kyle Virbitsky (Penn State)

Alex BurmanIf the Churchmen are going to make the leap into the upper echelon of the league, this could be the year to do it. Coach Mike Hickey's club sports the most returning all-league honorees, including the twin tower pitching duo of Virbitsky and Van Hoorebeke, who should be joined by Phillips and sophomore RHP Isaiah Payton in soaking up innings. A left-handed heavy line-up will be sparked by the gritty Lotsis, with Burman, Phillips, Everly, and the right-handed stick of Virbitsky also providing production. Payton also acquitted himself well at shortstop as a freshman.

Germantown Academy
Class of 2016 College Commits: 1B Billy Brittingham (Muhlenberg), RHP Emmett Harkins (George Washington), IF Max Schwartz (Franklin & Marshall), LHP Z.J. Zabinski (Davidson), OF Daniel Zamarin (Dickinson)

Billy BrittinghamIn coach Tim Ginter's first season after coming over from Father Judge, the Patriots must replace a decent chunk of their innings, but still have the college-bound right-left combo of Harkins and Zabinski on which they can lean. The offense graduated a couple of middle-of-the-order presences, but does not lack for experience with the return of the future Centennial Conference trio of Schwartz, Zamarin, and Brittingham, plus the junior duo of infielder Vince Capone and catcher Jake Dianno.

Friends Schools League

  all-League Honorable Mention
Abington Friends   '17 Jared Smith
Academy of the New Church '16 Charles Coyle  
Friends' Central '16 Gil Dryfuss '16 Joey Lawall
Friends Select   '16 Jack Cohen
George School '16 Luke Haug '16 Tyler Long
'16 Gabe Ortiz
Germantown Friends '17 Thomas Primosch
'17 Garrett Melby
 
Moorestown Friends (NJ) '16 Mitchell Mullock
'16 A.J. Dunham
'16 Matthew Mullock
Shipley School '16 Nick Wojtelwicz
'18 Gerard Sweeney
'17 Jack Dougherty
 
Westtown School '18 Jon Moldoff  

 

Nick WojtelwiczThe defending FSL champ, Shipley School returns its entire pitching staff and seven of nine position player starters. Sweeney (.310 AVG), a third baseman, and Dougherty (.368 AVG, 20 SB), an outfielder, will team with senior shortstop Nick Wojtelwicz (.370 AVG, 20 SB) and senior first baseman Pete Sobelman (.318 AVG) as the primary run-producers. The right-handed trio of Dougherty, Sweeney, and senior Phil Johnson combined to log 105 innings while allowing 56 walks and recording 86 strikeouts last year. Junior C/OF Darien Pass and freshman RHP Calvin Costner are also expected to make an impact for coach Bryan Bendowski.

Alec AndrewsFriends' Central welcomes back seven position player starters and six pitchers who logged double-digit innings last season. Armed with a mid-80s fastball, junior RHP Alex Andrews could be poised to jump to the top of the depth chart after having his sophomore season cut short due to a knee injury, while senior RHPs Connor McVail, Lawall, and Michael Norcini should reprise their roles for coach Jon Rubin. Shortstop Dreyfuss (.413 AVG), third baseman Lawall (.346 AVG, .452 OBP), and junior outfielder Chris Annas (.319 AVG, .468 OBP) will once again spearhead the offensive attack for the Phoenix.

Germantown Friends will turn to a trio of experienced junior pitchers -- RHPs Primosch and Joseph Block, and LHP Sam Istvan -- who posted a composite line of 89 innings, 80 hits, 45 walks, and 72 strikeouts, to keep it in ballgames. Coach Tim Gunn's offense will be led by SS/OF Melby (.308 AVG, 12 SB), infielder Primosch (.354 AVG), and sophomore infielder Alex Mirage (.275 AVG).

The bulk of the line-up returns for Abington Friends, which will be led by senior shortstop Jake Gaev (.325 AVG, 10 BB vs 8 K), senior outfielder Jordan Baker (.429 AVG, 8 BB vs 4 K), and junior infielder Jared Smith (.486 AVG, 6 BB vs 4K). Coach Gavin White's pitching staff will need to improve its strike-throwing (more walks that strikeouts last season) in order to challenge the favorites in this league.

Academy of the New Church will be led by a pair of senior two-way players in RHP/SS Coyle and RHP/IF Zach Brock, who will be joined by junior outfielder Braden Heilman in powering the offense for coach Shawn Synnestvedt in his 28th year at the helm.

Other Independents

Levi StoudtPerkiomen School must replace six departed seniors, all of whom are playing college baseball this spring, but has plenty of talent remaining to make a run to its third straight PAISAA title game. Entering his second quarter-century leading the Panthers, coach Ken Baker will hand the ball to Stoudt (33.2 IP, 31 H, 8 BB, 31 K) atop a staff that will also feature senior RHP Christian Del Toro (12 K in 6 IP during a junior year that was limited due to a back injury), junior RHP Josh Cruz (23.1 IP, 17 H, 9 BB, 16 K), and crafty Penn State Harrisburg-bound LHP Devon Crossin (28.1 IP, 25 H, 9 BB, 28 K). Also an infielder, Stoudt (.364 AVG) leads the offense along with physical outfielder Cruz (.367 AVG, 28 SB) and shortstop Del Toro (.400 AVG). They will be joined by junior 1B/OF Marlon Lindsey in his return from injury that sidelined him last season, while a pair of sophomore transfers from Puerto Rico, C/3B Nathaniel Urbina and C/OF Diego Millan, provide reinforcements as well.

After being eliminated in the PAISAA quarterfinals in extra innings last season, Jake RistMercersburg Academy will look to integrate newcomers such as senior RHP Jake Rist (a transfer from duPont Manual HS in Kentucky) and post-grad outfielder Jake Artz (.389 AVG, .470 OBP, 10 BB vs 5 K last year at Central Dauphin) in an attempt to make it to the final day of competition this spring. Rist will bolster a pitching staff that also features a pair of talented sophomores in Lowery (65 IP, 15 BB, 65 K) and RHP Dylan Bartlett, plus senior RHP Miles Hearon. Joining St. Joseph's-bound Artz in first-year coach John Lowery's line-up will be Kenyon-bound SS Will Oakley, junior outfielder Brandon Thomas, plus senior infielders St. John Smith and Shugo Tahara.

Nick ChroscinskiA mix of older and younger players at The Hill School must find a way to account for the loss of Hogan to Tommy John surgery. Senior RHP Jeff Armstrong, sophomore LHP Luke Allain should assume larger roles on the mound, while sophomore RHP/OF Max Putt and Rochester Tech-bound RHP/IF Greg Speroni (a transfer from Corning HS in New York) are expected to have a two-way impact for coach Chris Drowne. A accounting for primary run production duties will be sophomore outfielder Danny Monzo, senior infielder Nick Chroscinski, and senior outfielder Jeremy Jacobs.

Season Preview Schedule

3/2 - PAISAA
3/3 - PIAA District V
3/4 - PIAA District IX
3/5 - PIAA District VI
3/6 - PIAA District IV
3/7 - PIAA District X
3/8 - PIAA District III (Class A & AA)
3/9 - PIAA District VII (Class A)
3/10 - PIAA District VII (Class AA)
3/11 - PIAA District II
3/12 - PIAA District XI
3/13 - PIAA District I (Class A, AA & AAA)
3/14 - PIAA District III (Class AAA)
3/15 - PIAA District VII (Class AAA)
3/16 - PIAA District I (Class AAAA)
3/17 - PIAA District III (Class AAAA)
3/18 - PIAA District VII (Class AAAA)
3/19 - PIAA District XII