Season Preview: Philadelphia Public League

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

Philadelphia public league

MonteroThe Philadelphia Public League is often overlooked when it comes to scouting and recruiting.  This is, in part, due to a lack of success in the PIAA tournament and the Carpenter Cup, which leads to the assumption that the PPL lacks talent.  While the depth of individual or team talent may not be what it is in other conferences around the state, that does not mean the PPL is completely bereft of young men who have the ability to play the game beyond high school.

Take, for example, the Frankford Pioneers, who are led by coach Juan Namnun.  Rafael Cruz and Ricky Alvarez, graduated seniors from last season, are currently playing at Camden County College and DeSales University, respectively.  Esteban Meletiche, a 2009 graduate, was a driving force behind Keystone College making four straight NCAA Division III Regional appearances, including a trip to the Division III World Series in 2011.  Augusto Ortega was named to the all-City 1st-team last year after hitting .547 with 38 runs scored and 17 RBI (four of his teammates received all-City recognition as well).

This year should be no different.  Leading the charge will be hulking 2013 corner infielder Kevin Montero, whose bat speed coupled with his 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame should make him one of the top power threats in the area.  Holding down the defense in the middle of the diamond will be 5-foot-9, 155-pound switch-hitter Kidanny Cumba (2013 SS/2B) and 6-foot-1, 170-pound Carlos Ramirez (2013 CF/C).  Leading the way on the mound will be 6-foot-4, 180-pound left-hander Tim DiGiorgio, who is headed to Temple University as a quarterback, but has the frame and arm strength to contribute on the diamond.  Despite the senior-laden group, 2016 OF/P Weslly Delgado could force his way into a line-up spot.

Reigning PPL champions from last season are GAMP in class A, Esperanza in class AA, Philadelphia Electrical in class AAA, and Frankford in the overall PPL bracket.  Below is a list of the returning all-conference honorees from last season:

Division A

Central - 2014 Anthony DeVito (2nd-team P)
Esperanza - 2013 Aderly Perez (1st-team IF)
Frankford - 2013 Kevin Montero (1st-team IF)
GAMP - 2014 Jake Kurtz (2nd-team P)
Masterman - 2013 Joey Powell (2nd-team IF); 2013 Harry Taggart (1st-team IF)
Washington - 2013 Corey Sharp (2nd-team OF); 2013 Jake Wright (1st-team OF)

Division B

Bodine - 2014 Robert Marrero (2nd-team C)
Kensington - 2013 Pedro Perez (2nd-team C); 2013 Brailyn Vargas (2nd-team OF)
Lincoln - 2013 Dylan Burke (1st-team P) [Division B co-MVP]
Northeast - 2013 Daquan Bohannan (1st-team IF); 2013 Shahir Gates (2nd-team IF) 
Philadelphia Academy - 2014 Travis Zink (2nd-team IF)
Philadelphia Electrical - 2013 Ray Guinther (1st-team P); 2013 Tommy Hicks (1st-team 1B); 2013 Danny LaPorte (2nd-team IF)
Prep Charter* - 2014 Robert Freer (2nd-team P/OF); 2013 Pete Piccoli (1st-team P/IF)
*Prep Charter has moved to Division A for the 2013 season

Division C

Boys' Latin - 2015 Manny Fernandez (1st-team C); 2014 Jahlil Gregg (2nd-team IF); 2014 Antonio Harris (2nd-team P)
Bracetti - 2013 Jorge Quinones (2nd-team P/IF); 2014 Kelvin Sabastro (1st-team P/IF)
Dobbins* - 2013 Nizar Ray (2nd-team C/OF)
English & Science - 2013 Scott Ervin (1st-team 1B)
Franklin** - 2013 Khalil Coles (1st-team P) [Division C MVP]; 2013 Emmanuel Young (1st-team OF)
Furness - 2015 Marshall Drummond (1st-team IF)
Mastbaum - 2014 Frankie Quiles (1st-team C); 2014 Jose Santos (2nd-team P/OF)
Overbrook - 2014 Brandon Hines (2nd-team IF) 

*Dobbins has moved to Division D for the 2013 season **Franklin has moved to Division B for the 2013 season

Division D

Delaware Valley* - 2015 Ray Bravo (2nd-team IF); 2013 Ian Dennis (2nd-team IF); 2013 Demetrius Green (1st-team C); 2013 Jelahn Williams (1st-team IF); 2013 Charles Wright (1st-team P)
Freire - 2015 Ikeis Bradley (2nd-team C/IF)
King - 2014 Randolph Edwards (1st-team P); 2013 Albert Espinal (2nd-team IF); 2015 Isaiah Gregory (2nd-team IF)
Randolph - 2013 Malik Crawford (2nd-team IF); 2013 Justo Rodriguez (1st-team P/IF); 2013 Andrel Walker (1st-team P/IF)
University City - 2013 Brandy Morel (1st-team P/IF) [Division D MVP]

*Delaware Valley has moved to Division C for the 2013 season

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