2023 PBR Wisconsin Player of the Year: SS Alex Alicea
June 21, 2023
Senior SS Alex Alicea (St. Thomas More; Louisville commit) is the 2023 PBR Wisconsin Player of the Year. The star shortstop led the Cavaliers to a historic season, where they finished with a 27-3 record, and finished as Division 2 runners-up at the WIAA State Baseball Tournament.
After losing his freshman season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as all 2023 graduates dealt with, Alicea made an immediate impact in every aspect of the game for this St. Thomas More program as a debuting sophomore. In July of 2021, Alicea was named to the PBR Wisconsin First Team, All-State roster after his first varsity spring, in which he slashed .515/.609/.818 and went 22-for-22 in stolen base attempts, a preview of what was to come over the next two years.
The game plan from opponents was simple – or maybe wishful – when he led off ballgames: Just don’t let him get on base. We saw it at the state tournament recently, the concrete formula that Alicea executes to frustrate opponents and distract pitchers from the next batter in the box.
SS Alex Alicea (St. Thomas More, 2023; @LouisvilleBSB) has his trademark start to the game: single, steals second on the eighth pitch of the game, scores on the ninth from a single.— PBR Wisconsin (@PBRWisconsin) June 14, 2023
Alicea is now 56-for-56 on steals this season.
Top of the first: Cavaliers 1️⃣ | Railroaders 0️⃣ pic.twitter.com/gX24z6JLQp
He stole another 24 bases as a First Team junior in 2022, which brings us to this past spring, in which he stole 57 bags on 57 attempts, rounding up his career total to 104 – and in just three varsity seasons. Fifty-seven steals is a program record at STM, and he’s also the Cavaliers’ all-time hits leader which, again, he accomplished in just three springs.
Alicea, the No. 6-ranked prospect in the state, is a supercharged leadoff hitter with switch-hit skills and dynamic footspeed, who’s also effectively weaponized bunting, which allows him to frequently turn those bunt singles into doubles, essentially, by swiftly stealing second base at a perfect efficiency soon after he reaches.
All the while, the Louisville recruit is arguably Wisconsin’s – maybe even the Midwest’s – top shortstop, defensively. He flies to his forehand and ranges to his backhand in a rhythmic ease, armed with more strength on his throws across the diamond than you might expect for a player listed at 5-foot-8, 150 pounds.
His dependability as a table-setter offensively, all while captaining the infield, has transformed him into one of the best players in the WIAA in each of his three seasons at the prep level, and it culminated in a special senior spring, which earned him this honor of becoming the PBR Wisconsin Player of the Year in the process.
He finished this past spring hitting .500 exactly, tallying 51 base hits in 102 at-bats. The senior shortstop even continued to flash some occasional gap power as well, recording nine doubles, three triples, and a home run.
All of the production at the plate resulted in major run production for St. Thomas More, who finished undefeated in conference and had a nearly unblemished record against Division 2 competition. Alicea crossed home plate 50 times in 30 games, driving in a total of 29 runs despite hitting from the first spot in the order.
He was nearly perfect across 84 total chances in 2023, while also turning 13 double plays on the year. His presence up the middle for St. Thomas More was ultimately a difference-maker in big games, leading them to five playoff wins, including an 11-0 defeat of Altoona in the state semifinals.
Alicea’s stellar prep career might be over, but he’ll soon win the hearts of Louisville fans once hits campus in the fall – assuming he doesn’t get plucked in the MLB Draft – all while garnering increasing attention from pro scouts while competing alongside a few fellow Wisconsinites at the powerhouse collegiate program.
He’ll surely be the latest Wisconsin baseball ambassador to continue to thrive at Louisville. Alicea has a well-earned reputation as a selfless teammate and leader within the dugout, no matter the team he’s on, and it stretches beyond the diamond. This PBR Wisconsin Player of the Year honor is a testament to the skill set he harbors in all facets of the sport.
PBR WISCONSIN PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNERS
+ 2022: Mitch Voit, RHP/3B, Whitefish Bay
+ 2021: Owen Washburn, RHP/SS, Webster
+ 2019: Max Wagner, 3B/RHP, Green Bay Preble
+ 2018: Jack Washburn, RHP/OF, Webster
+ 2017: Ryan Hoerter, RHP, Kenosha Indian Trail
+ 2016: Gavin Lux, SS, Kenosha Indian Trail
+ 2015: Logan Wonn, RHP/1B, Oconomowoc
+ 2014: Jeren Kendall, OF, Holmen