Preseason Team Countdown: No. 42 New Trier



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: New Trier
Preseason Rank: 42
2014 Record: 21-18
Conference: Central Suburban South
IHSA Class: 4A 
Head Coach: Mike Napoleon
Playoff Run:
Regional Champs (Lost in Sectional Championship to Evanston 3-2)
2014 Final Rank:
NR
Returning Starters:
3
Returning Pitchers:
3

TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Danny Katz, RHP, 2015 (Northwestern)

Ben Brecht, LHP, 2016 (UC-Santa Barbara)
Scott Hammes, OF, 2015
Jake Reynolds, OF, 2015
Tim Fox, RHP/INF, 2015
Matt Boscow, 1B, 2015
Will Francke, 3B, 2015
James Nash, LHP, 2015
Mike Hurley, OF, 2016

X-FACTOR
Divison-I commits Danny Katz and Ben Brecht will form a solid 1-2 punch at the top of the Trevians rotation. Katz went 5-1 this summer with a 1.19 ERA, striking out 31 in 35.1 innings and committed to Northwestern. Brecht was untouchable this summer going 5-0 with a 0.31 ERA in 22 innings pitched, with 36 strikeouts. The 6-foot-7 projectable southpaw is ranked No. 15 in the 2016 class, and has shown 84-86 mph fastball velocity from a loose and athletic arm action. 

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
New Trier is always deep talent wise, but if he receives a call up to varsity, sophomore catcher Max Rosenthal has impressed this winter with his power potential and sub 2.0 pop times (as low as 1.92) to second base. The physical 6-foot-3, 215-pound left-handed hitter is also a standout fullback/linebacker for the Trevians. Sophomore shortstop Clay Czyzynski will also get the chance to start on what will be a young New Trier team.

KEY PLAYER LOST
Brian Gerner, LHP (Wesleyan)
Grant Klenovich, 1B (Iowa)
Drew LaMotte, SS (Lehigh)
David Richman, RHP (Pitt)
Drew Fischer, RHP (Amherst)
Sam Visconti, MIF (Judson)

STAT RAT
Senior outfielders Scott Hammes and Jake Reynolds both get on base, and steal bases. Respectively they stole 18 and 13 bases in 2014, with Hames hitting .323 and Reynolds hitting .333. Look for them to be threats at the top of the order and on the base paths for the Trevians. 

OUTLOOK
Long-time Head Coach Mike Napoleon noted that this year’s strength will be team speed and pitching, with a 1-2 punch in the rotation that will be tough to beat if they can score runs. In the past when the Trevians can run, they wreak havoc on the bases. The outfield play will also be a strength with Hammes, Reynolds, and right fielder Mike Hurley, who possesses a strong, athletic body and will hit in the cleanup spot. Youth and inexperience will hurt New Trier after graduating six starters, so the Trevians may be a year or two away from being contenders in the playoffs.

BOTTOM LINE
Regardless of record or experience, Coach Napoleon’s clubs can make noise in the playoffs, as evidenced by last year’s run to the Sectional Championship despite a 21-18 overall record and a .500 regular season record. Look for the Trevians to compete for the conference title with Glenbrook South and Maine South. Two top of the line rotation options in Katz and Brecht should help ease the loss of last year’s senior laden rotation.

Preseason Countdown

+ Top 50 Preseason Countdown Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2015 Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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