2016 PBR First Team All-State



By Drew Locascio 
Illinois Scouting Director

The Illinois 2016 Prep Baseball Report First Team All-State squad features a talented group of prospects that helped their respective teams to successful seasons. Our All-State teams pull from the entire state, all classifications.

The players below, we believed, were the most dominant at their respective positions. Some positions were more loaded than others, especially pitchers and outfielders this year. We took into account several different metrics: overall performance, statistics, and strength of schedule/competition.

The All-State teams are geared more towards statistical performance, otherwise they’d just be a direct reflection of our PBR Player Rankings, which rank players on pure ability/prospect status only. We’ve also strongly considered the defensive play of several players, something that gets thrown out the window at times during all-area or all-conference debates.

Over the next few days we will also unveil our second and third teams.

Without further ado, a look at the 2016 First Team All-State selections:

Pitcher

Bradley Harrison, O’Fallon, 2016
The Southern Illinois recruit was the ace of the staff for an O’Fallon squad that sat in the top five of our Power Rankings for much of the year. Harrison shut out conference rival Edwardsville twice this spring and also put up big offensive numbers. The talented southpaw went 12-0 on the season with a 0.55 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 89.2 innings. He also added two saves for good measure. Harrison gave up less than a half hit per inning, 42 in his 89.2 innings of work. At the plate the left-handed hitter provided some punch to the Panther lineup. He hit .381 with a .555 on base percentage, 12 doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 34 RBI and 25 runs scored. He also walked 36 times and only struck out seven times in 97 at-bats.

Christian Camacho, Elk Grove, 2016
Camacho, an athletic right-hander, was the ace of the staff for the Grenadiers, who went 25-13 on the season and was also the sparkplug offensively. The Auburn commit went 12-1 on the mound with a 0.80 ERA. In 78.2 innings pitched he struck out 121 batters, gave up 46 hits and walked 14. At the plate, Camacho hit .512 with 19 doubles, two triples, 24 RBI and 39 runs scored in 37 games. He also walked 17 times compared to only six strikeouts. Camacho, ranked No. 23 in Illinois, sits comfortably in the 85-87 range with his fastball but can crank it up to the upper 80s and low 90’s when need be. He compliments his fastball a slide he can throw in any count.

Ben Brecht, New Trier, 2016
The 6-foot-8 left-hander won the Chicago Suburban League Player of the Year award this spring thanks to his incredible performances on the mound. Brecht, a UC-Santa Barbara recruit, went 8-0 on the year with a 0.34 ERA. In 41 innings pitched he struck out 69 batters and walked 13. The projectable southpaw features a clean and easy arm out of a high ¾ slot and can run his fastball into the low 90s at times. Brecht finished his senior year ranked the No. 5 prospect in Illinois and No. 47 overall.

Dalton Parker, St. Joseph-Ogden, 2016
Parker had a remarkable career and was the ace of the staff for the Spartans, who went 35-4 on the year and finished runner-up in 2A. The right-hander holds the career wins record at 25, the previous record was 21. On the season, Parker went 11-1 with a 0.69 ERA. He threw 78 innings, struck out 156 batters, gave up 32 hits and walked 13. Entering the Class 2A state tournament Parker had only surrendered two earned runs in 71 innings. At one point this spring, he twirled a perfect game and no-hitter in the same week, earning him Porsche Player of the Week honors. The Purdue recruit also helped out at the plate, chipping in with 12 doubles, a home run and 30 RBI. Parker finished his career at St. Joseph-Ogden with an impressive 25-1 record.

Catcher

Brett Whelton, St. Francis, 2016
The left-handed hitting Whelton was the leading hitter for the 23-13-1 Spartans this spring. Facing top-level competition in the Chicago Catholic League Blue Division for the first time didn’t seem to bother the McNeese State recruit. Whelton hit a remarkable .551 on the season with a .605 on-base-percentage and a 1.503 OPS. He also hit 16 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 43 RBI. In 98 at-bats he struck out only five times and walked 14 times. Not to be overshadowed by his offense, Whelton is also all-state worthy behind the plate. The durable, strong-bodied catcher features an above-average arm which plays true, accurate and has carry.

First Base

Brendan Murphy, Mundelein, 2017
Murphy led the Mustangs to a 31-10 record and a runner-up finish in class 4A. The left-left Arizona State commit, was the ace on the mound and hit in the three-hole for the Mustangs. At the plate, Murphy hit .433 with 16 doubles, two home runs and 34 RBI. Murphy was equally as impressive on the mound. On the season he went 10-2 with a 1.12 ERA. He struck out 109 batters in 69 innings pitched and opponents had a .137 batting average against him. Murphy is currently ranked No. 11 in Illinois.

Middle Infield

Mike Madej, Providence Catholic, 2016
The 2016 PBR Player of the Year led Providence to a 30-7 record and a record third consecutive 4A state title. Madej, the Celtic three-hole hitter and second baseman, has had a storied career, winning four state titles (one in football) while at Providence. The switch-hitter has been a starter on varsity since his sophomore year and was a third team All-State selection last year. Known for his propensity to deliver in the clutch, the Purdue recruit went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored in this year’s state title game. Last year Madej delivered the walk-off RBI single in extra-innings to give the Celtics a 6-5 win over Mount Carmel in the title game. In his final spring season Madej hit .446 with 17 doubles, three triple, two home runs, 30 RBI and 45 runs scored in 42 games.

Tyler Fitzgerald, Rochester, 2016
Fitzgerald is a high-ceiling prospect with premium athleticism and size, who seemed to put it all together this spring. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound shortstop hit .500 with 15 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 31 RBI and an astounding 54 runs scored. He had an on-base percentage of .644 thanks to 34 walks and only seven strikeouts. Speed was also a part of his game this spring as he was 37-for-39 in stolen bases. The Louisville recruit was drafted in the 30th round by the Boston Red Sox but chose not to sign and will be attending Louisville this fall.

Third Base

Jake Garella, Edwardsville, 2016
Garella staked his claim to first-team All-State with a record-setting spring at the plate. A two-way producer for the Tigers, the right-handed hitting third baseman set a school record hitting .570 on the season. Garella put up some extra base hits to go along with the high average. He finished the spring with 16 doubles, a triple, four home runs, 36 RBI and 26 runs scored. He was also 5-for-5 in stolen bases, walked 10 times and struck out 12 times. On the mound, he started six games and finished with a 6-1 record. In 37.2 innings pitched he gave up only one earned run on the year, good for a 0.19 ERA. He also picked up one save, struck out 47 and walked 10. Garella is a St. Louis recruit.

Outfield

Danny Oriente, Downers Grove South, 2016
Oriente, a Louisville recruit, is a hitter through and through. This is Oriente’s second consecutive year being awarded first team All-State, although last year it was as a catcher. This season he played more right field for the Mustangs but nothing seemed to affect his offensive production. He hit .513 on the spring with nine doubles, two triples, a home run, 30 RBI and 34 runs scored. He was also 24-for-26 in stolen bases and struck out only four times all spring.

Alek Thomas, Mount Carmel, 2018
Thomas, a dynamic athlete, is ranked No. 1 in the 2018 class and was the only sophomore to make First Team All-State. The left-handed hitter stands out with his bat and his glove. At the plate this spring for the No. 11 ranked Caravan, he hit .394 with seven doubles, five triples and 10 home runs. He also added 45 RBI and 46 runs scored in 38 games played. In 142 at-bats, Thomas struck out eight times.

Jordan McFarland, Waterloo, 2016
The physically advanced 6-foot-4, 225-pound Arkansas commit put up big numbers for a Waterloo squad that finished 27-7 and No. 13 in the Power Rankings. The right-handed hitter showcased his power and speed this spring. McFarland finished with a .500 batting average, 10 doubles, a triple, six home runs, 34 RBI and stole 37 bases. McFarland, ranked No. 8 in the Illinois 2016 class and No. 83 overall, was drafted in the 36th round by the Washington Nationals.  

Utility

Ryan Kutt, Brother Rice, 2017
It seemed like in every big game and every big win for the Crusaders this spring, Kutt played a vital role, whether it be on the mound or at the plate. Known for his stuff and competiveness on the mound, Kutt officially broke out with the bat this spring for the Crusaders, who at one point won 30 straight games and finished with a 35-4 record. At the plate, the right-handed hitter batted .406 with 16 doubles, two triples and eight homers. He also added 48 RBI and 23 runs scored. On the mound, the Illinois recruit went 10-0 with a 0.64 ERA. In 66 innings pitched he struck out 85 batters, gave up 41 hits, six earned runs and walked 10.

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