Prep Baseball Report

PBR Illinois Player of the Week: 1B Daniel Pacella

By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

On Monday, we updated the state’s IHSA Power 25 Rankings for the second time, and Mundelein debuted for the first time this spring all the way at No. 13 overall following its 10-0-1 start to the season. At the center of their lineup and undefeated season is their star junior 1B Daniel Pacella, a Kentucky recruit, who’s earned a reputation as one of the top power bats in the state.

That reputation has only been enhanced thus far this spring, especially following his Week 3 performance, in which Pacella slugged six home runs – recording two homers in three straight games against Stevenson, Carmel Catholic, and Lincoln-Way West. Six of Pacella’s nine hits on the week travelled over the fence, and the other three went for extra bases anyway (three doubles), producing a staggering slugging percentage of 2.143. His offensive production resulted in 13 RBIs, eight runs scored, and he earned three walks to further up his on-base percentage to .722 on the week.

It’s one of the more impressive single-week offensive outputs that we can recall at the 4A level – or any classification for that matter – and he did so against some quality competition, even more notably.

Pacella stood out repeatedly, across multiple live looks in 2020, and he landed a spot at No. 11 overall in the state’s junior class, as well as a top-350 ranking nationally. Here’s a scouting report written from his latest appearance at a PBR Illinois showcase last fall: “... continues to put a stamp on his status as one of the top left-handed power bats in the state, and one of the top prospects overall in Illinois’ 2022 class. Pacella did nothing but launch balls with authority during his round of BP. He recorded the day’s top average exit velocity (96.4 mph) and the second-hardest max exit velocity (101.5 mph), via TrackMan. With the help of Blast, Pacella had the top bat speed of the event at 83 mph, three ticks quicker than the next best. On top of his eye-opening BP, Pacella ran a 6.87, made even more impressive when factoring in his 6-foot-3, 220-pound stature. His obvious athleticism makes him an asset at first base, too, and he’s blossoming into one of the top left-handed power threats in the Midwest.

Daniel Pacella (10/18/20)

For his efforts, Pacella has been named the PBR Illinois Player of the Week, for the week of Monday, April 26 through Sunday, May 2. We're thankful for the POTW submissions we received from the coaches across the state. The players who garnered POTW consideration will earn a place within Friday's Diamond Notes story, so be on the lookout for that by the end of this week.