By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Another exciting season of high school baseball is in the books in Brooklyn. Telecom and Grand Street Campus' seasons were cut shot in the Public School Athletic League, but Poly Prep won its fourth consecutive Ivy League championship and Xaverian capped off an unlikely run to win the Catholic High School Athletic League's city title.
Nobody was drafted out of high school from Brooklyn in the Major League Baseball draft this season, but there was still plenty of talent in the borough. Here is a list of the top players from this season.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Rob Calabrese, C, Poly Prep: It's never easy picking an MVP like this, but Calabrese really stood out as a four-year starter that won four championships with Poly Prep and served its No. 3 hitter and captain this season. He hit .422 with two homeruns, 35 RBIs and 36 runs scored in 33 total games. He might not have been drafted out of high school this season, but keep an eye out for his name in future drafts after a few years at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Frank Del George, Xaverian: Xaverian lost 17 seniors from last season’s team. To put that in perspective, Telecom finished the year with 11 total players. The few kids that were returning from last season barely ever played at the varsity level. Still, Del George took an inexperienced group and won the championship. Xaverian even managed to win seven elimination games along the way.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Nick Storz, P/OF, Poly Prep: Storz might be the best player in Brooklyn before he graduates, but as a freshman he still has a long ways to go. Storz swings a decent stick, he hit .260 with a homerun this season, but where he really shines is on the mound. As Poly's closer, he had a 2.61 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 51 innings.
Marcus Chavez, C, Grand Street Campus: Chavez is a sophomore with a ton of talent. He's going to be competing for the MVP award before he's out of school. He hit .581 this season and helped Grand Street win some games with big, timely hits.
Austin Ruiz, 1B, Telecom: Ruiz was the big bat in Telecom's lineup as he hit .444 with a home run, 30 RBIs and scored 24 runs. As a junior, he’ll be back next year competing for the MVP.
Andrew Nathan, IF, New Utrecht: The Utes were a bit of a disappointment this season, but Nathan really shined. He hit .480 and showed a ton of power with two homers and nine extra-base hits.
Anthony Prato, SS, Poly Prep: A team can't win four championships in a row without some serious talent and Prato is just that. He hit .441 and scored 49 runs thanks to 38 stolen bases.
Anthony Nunez, SS, Telecom: Nunez played strong all around baseball. He hit .467, drove in 21 runs, scored 23 and played excellent defense.
Brandon Torres, OF/1B, Xaverian: Xaverian didn’t win this season by overpowering teams with its offense, but when it did need runs Torres was the most likely to come through on the team.
Robert Feldman, OF/C, Midwood: Feldman hit for a .486 average, but also showed great patience and power with his bat. He also swiped a few bases which made him one of the most dangerous hitters in Brooklyn.
Davian Droz, OF, Lafayette: The home of Sandy Koufax isn't what it once was, but it did produce Droz, who hit .450 with a home run, 12 runs, 10 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases. Any team in the city would love him in their outfield.
Luis Hidalgo, SS, Van Arsdale: Hidalgo couldn't be overlooked thanks to his .532 average and .851 slugging percentage. He also swiped 10 bags and, as a junior, there is no doubt he’ll challenge for the MVP next season.
Anthony Sigismondi, P, Xaverian: Xaverian won with its pitching this season and Siggy was its best. He pitched a dominating game against St. Joseph by-the-Sea in the semis and followed that up by another amazing game in the city final against Molloy. Siggy was the runner-up to the MVP.
Juan Rodriguez, P, Telecom: Telecom kept losing players this season, but kept competing at a high level and Rodriguez was a huge reason for that. He dominating opposing lineups with a 0.88 ERA and had 62 strikeouts in 51.3 innings. He even homered against Grand Street in a rare at bat.
Ian Miller, P, Berkeley Carroll: Berkeley Carroll was built similarly to Xaverian this season as a team without a ton of hitting, but strong pitching, defense and fundamentals. It was surprising to see its season cut short mostly because it was hard to imagine anyone beating Miller. He’s a bulldog and because of him, Berkeley Carroll could go toe-to-toe with anybody in the city for one game.
Milo Sklar, SS, Midwood; Ruben Vazquez, 1B, Grand Street Campus; Christian Capellan, 2B/P, James Madison; Christian Haynes, SS, Lafayette; Daniel Bakst, 3B, Poly Prep; Brandon Eng, 2B, Midwood; Michael Taormina, OF, Midwood; Chris Harper, 3B, Berkeley Carroll; Carlos Garcia, SS, Lincoln; Rob Amato, P, Xaverian; Emanuel Castellano, P, Grand Street; Alex Cuas, P, Grand Street.