Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 13 Lincoln-Way East

By Matt Huck
Area Scout

The Illinois high school season kicks off on March 13, the first day for regular season games.

Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be rolling out team previews of high school teams all across the state and  across all classifications, eventually launching our Preseason Power 25.

We have been sending out our annual Preseason Questionnaire to coaches all across the state and as the responses flood in we will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team.

Team: Lincoln-Way East
Preseason Rank:
2016 Record:
Conference: Southwest Suburban
IHSA Class:
Head Coach:
Paul Babcock
Playoff Run:
Lost in Sectional Semifinal
2016 Final Rank:
Not Ranked
Returning Starters:
Returning Pitchers:

Top Players

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Jake Pomykalski IL
Lincoln-Way East
2017 RHP/1B
Jimmy Quinn
IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 C
Joe Prestamer
IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 RHP Illinois Wesleyan
Brett Melby IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 OF
Sean Robinson IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 SS/RHP

Jim Richmond IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 IF

Nick Tortorici IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 RHP  
Jake Arthur IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 IF

Matt Blaney IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 RHP  
Danny Zimmerman IL Lincoln-Way East 2018 LHP Louisville
James Nabelski IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 RHP/OF  
Max Shafer IL Lincoln-Way East 2017 RHP/IF  

Brandon Skopick, SS, 2016 (Central Michigan)
Andrew Garcia, INF, 2016 (Prairie View A&M)
Ryan O’Reilly, RHP, 2016 (Triton JC)

LHP Danny Zimmerman. At 6-foot, 170-pounds Zimmerman took a big leap forward this winter sitting 89-91 and touching 92 mph with his fastball while showing improved command. The Louisville commit will be key to the Griffins playoff run.

Danny Zimmerman (2.19.17)

With Lincoln-Way North closing, East saw an influx of talent come into the school this year. Most notably LHP Danny Zimmerman a Louisville commit. Since the summer Zimmerman has added 25 pounds to his frame and now sees his fastball sit in the low 90s and now looks to bring his stuff to a new program. Another new addition to the Griffins lineup are senior outfielder Sean Robinson, who has great range in the outfield and creates havoc on the base paths when he reaches. 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior catcher Jimmy Quinn is a solid hitter and works well behind the plate. Illinois Wesleyan commit Joe Prestamer will slot into the rotation behind Pomykalski and Zimmerman.  RHP Matt Blaney is coming off of Tommy john surgery and looking to pick up where he left off. SS Jake Arthur and RHP/OF James Nebelski, also join the program this season.

15-18: The Griffins record last year. With an influx of new players East will be revamped for 2017 and will look to make a deep playoff run in 2017.

The Griffins have a lot of players with varsity experience both at East and coming in from North. The pitching staff with be talented and deep with plenty of arms ready to contibute. They also feature front-end arms with Illinois-Chicago commit Jake Pomykalski and Danny Zimmerman. 6-foot-5, 205-pound, Pomykalski will be a three-year starter for the Griffins and will also contribute in the lineup at first base. Pomykalski has a live arm and No. 1 type stuff. Zimmerman is arguably the states biggest revelation this winter with an improved frame and increased fastball velocity. Zimmerman will be called on to pitch some big games for East this spring against some very talented SWSC teams. Prestamer, Nick Tortorici, James Nobelski and Max Shafer are all senior arms who will be counted on to contribute this spring. Offensively, Pomykalski and Quinn provide some thump in the middle of the lineup. Left-handed hitting Brett Melby is a solid defender expected to break out with the bat this spring. Jim Richmond and Jake Arthur are two seniors who should play the middle infield for the Griffins.

An influx of new talent might have a learning curve as the players and coaching staff take some time getting to know each other. The pitching depth, amount of seniors with varsity experience and new position players should make East one of the top teams in the SWSC and give them a chance to make a deep playoff run with two big-time starters on the mound.

Make sure to follow @pbrillinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the season.

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