Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Team Countdown: No. 61 Clemente

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: Clemente
Preseason Rank:
2013 Record:
CPL Jackie Robinson North
IHSA Class:  
Head Coach:
Nelson Perez
Playoff Run: Lost in Sectional Final (Nazareth)
2013 Final Rank:  Not Ranked

Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers:

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Mizraim Fuentes, OF, 2014 (Wabash Valley JC)
Jonathan Figueroa, RHP/1B, 2014 (North Carolina A&T)
Anthony Justiniano, SS/RHP, 2014 (Wabash Valley JC)
Robert Berdecia, 3B, 2014
David Gonzalez, OF, 2014 (Black Hawk College)
Ruben Olavarria, INF/RHP, 2015

Jonathan Figueroa.
The right-hander will need to step up as the team’s ace after the graduation of several key arms. Figueroa has the stuff to do it. He pitches in the 85-88 range with a good breaking ball. As a junior, he posted a 5-2 record with a 3.16 ERA.

Joey Marciano, LHP (John A. Logan JC)
Jeremiah Figueroa, OF/RHP (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)

Two-way standout Anthony Justiniano not only anchors the middle of the infield, but he posted a 6-2 record with a 1.12 ERA as a junior last season. Offensively, he batted .268.

The Wildcats graduated several key players from last year’s club that advanced to the sectional finals in 3A, but coach Nelson Perez still has plenty of talent to work with. Defensively, Clemente should be solid on the left side of the infield with Justiniano and 3B Robert Berdecia. In the outfield, Mizraim Fuentes (.349 BA, 14 SB) features a top-level arm in right field and possesses tremendous upside. Left-handed hitting David Gonzalez (10 SB) is also an excellent defender. Between Figueroa and Justiniano on the mound, they combined for 11 of the team’s 22 wins from last year. Overall depth is the question.

Last year was supposed to be the year that the Wildcats climbed to the top of the Chicago Public League, but that didn’t happen, chiefly because of inconsistent play. They will need to be far more consistent this season in order to top Simeon for the city crown. This year’s edition doesn’t have the same level of depth, but they enough talent.

Season Countdown

+ Preseason Team Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2014 Player Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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