Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Team Countdown: No. 39 Downers Grove South

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the top 75 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: Downers Grove South
Preseason Rank:
2013 Record:
West Suburban Gold
IHSA Class:
Head Coach:
Darren Orel
Playoff Run: Lost in Sectional Semifinal (Downers Grove North)
2013 Final Rank: Not Ranked

Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers:


Zac Taylor, OF/RHP, 2014
Joe Becht, SS, 2014 (Santa Clara)
Danny Oriente, C/RHP, 2016
Matt Zinnecker, P/OF, 2014
Chris Pedrak, RHP/1B, 2014 (Carthage)
Joe Engel, MIF, 2015
Ryan Taylor, RHP, 2015
Peter Hamot, RHP, 2015
Anthony Metz, OF, 2014

Zac Taylor
. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Taylor is a high-level athlete who will be counted on to deliver on the mound and at the plate. The right-hander features a mid-80s fastball, but over the fall he established himself as a high-interest position player. A 6.70 runner, Taylor has top-level speed. He had originally committed to McNeese State, but has since de-committed.

Danny Oriente
, C, 2016. The 6-foot sophomore should make an immediate impact on the varsity level this year. He is one of the top 2016 prospects in Illinois and should be a highly coveted recruit.

Zack Burdi, RHP (Louisville)
Brian Glowicki, RHP (Minnesota)
Dan Mayer, 1B/RHP (University of the Pacific)

For the last four years, the Mustangs have been loaded with high-level pitching prospects, been highly ranked throughout the season, and hasn’t lived up to expectations in the playoffs. This year, Downers South still has plenty of talent in the program, but for once the team’s strength isn’t pitching. The Mustangs graduated three Division 1 pitchers last year. The program still has pitching, led by two-way talent Zac Taylor, but lacks the dominant No. 1 it has had in previous years. The Mustangs should be strong up the middle with SS Joe Becht, 2B Joey Engel, C Danny Oriente and Taylor. The team also features good team speed, and once again has an abundance of talented young pitchers coming up the ranks.

The Mustangs definitely don’t have the same level of talent as years past, but maybe not having such high expectations placed on them will enable them to have more postseason success?

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Season Countdown

+ Preseason Team Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2014 Player Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

2014 IL Top Prospect Slide