Preseason Team Countdown: No. 12 Metamora



By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: Metamora
Preseason Rank:  12
2014 Record: 27-13
Conference: Mid-Illini
IHSA Class: 3A  
Head Coach: Eric Stone
Playoff Run:
Class 3A 3rd Place Finish
2014 Final Rank: 23
Returning Starters:
7
Returning Pitchers: 4

TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Ethan Skender, SS/OF, 2015
(Kansas State)
Trent Johnson, 1B/P, 2015 (Arizona)
Geremy Guerrero, LHP/1B, 2016 (Indiana State)
Brady Fairfield, 2B, 2015 (Illinois Central College)
Braden Mann, RHP, 2015 (Illinois Central College)
Caleb Brachbill, 3B, 2015

X-FACTOR
SS/OF Ethan Skender is the No. 6 ranked player in Illinois’ 2015 class. Skender was named PBR Third Team All-State in 2014 after hitting .397 with 11 homers, nine doubles, three triples, 37 RBI and 42 runs scored. For the second straight year, he lit up opposing pitchers at the World Wood Bat Championship in Jupiter, FL. As a junior, he went 8-for-18 with 10 runs scored in seven games, helping the Reds Midwest Scout Team to the playoffs. He picked up where he left off in 2014, going 6-for-12 and showing power with a double and three-run walk-off home run. He also didn’t strike out in five games and stole six bases.

NEWCOMERS TO WATCH
Jack Schaffer 3B/RHP, 2017

Jack Swain C/1B/3B, 2017

Jonathan Brunton RHP/SS, 2017

KEY PLAYER LOST

Brendan Nachtrieb, OF, 2014

STAT RAT
LHP Geremy Guerrero went 8-1 with a 1.06 ERA in 65.2 innings pitched. The Indiana State commit struck out 77, walked 17, and only allowed 46 hits in 2014. In his two year high school career he’s already 17-2.

OUTLOOK
The Redbirds Look to be deep on the mound with the return of juniors Geremy Guerrero and Alex Lewis, who led the postseason run in 2014. Adding to the depth on the mound are RHP Braden Mann (ICC) and two promising junior lefthanders in Sam Brace and Will Boettcher. RHP/1B Trent Johnson continues to rehab from Tommy John with no timetable set for a return to the mound.

Offensively, Skender leads the charge and Johnson will be back with his bat. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder is a true two-way impact player. He earned first-team All-State honors in 2013 for his offensive prowess (.462 BA, 10 HR, 9 doubles, 43 RBI) so even if he can’t pitch his return will be huge. Metamora should have the ability to put up runs and disrupt teams on the base paths. Speedy 2B Brady Fairfield returns as well as 3B Caleb Brachbill, who will solidify the left side of the infield with Skender. C Jacob Guede also returns to handle the pitching staff once again in 2015.

BOTTOM LINE
Metamora struggled early last season, and actually finished 5th in the Mid-Illini before putting it all together during the playoffs. If Johnson returns late in the season on the mound, it could give the Redbirds the extra boost to make another run at a state title. Expect to see them at the top of the Mid-Illini and firing on all cylinders for a state title run to Joliet come June.

Preseason Countdown

+ Top 50 Preseason Countdown Rankings

+ 2015 Schedules Released

+ Updated Illinois 2016 Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2015 Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

----IL 6.18.15 TP slide 2 - 6.18.15TPslide_final_2.jpg