Preseason Top 25 Team Countdown: No. 16 Plainfield South



By Sean Duncan
 Executive Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 25 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Austin Marozas
           RHP Austin Marozas

Team: Plainfield South
Preseason Rank:
16
2015 Record:
24-11
Conference:
Southwest Prairie
IHSA Class:
4A
Head Coach:
Phil Bodine

Playoff Run: Lost in the Regional Championship
2015 Final Rank: Not Ranked
Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers:
5

TOP PLAYERS

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Austin Marozas, RHP, 2017 (Mississippi State)
Nick Mayerhofer, SS, 2017
Konnor Ash, RHP, 2017
Gabe Wair, C, 2016
Marco Escobar, OF, 2017
Marcus Stewart, 1B, 2016
Jordan Mikel, RHP/2B, 2017

X-FACTOR
Austin Marozas. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound right-hander is one of the top-ranked 2017 prospects in the state. The Mississippi State recruit is highly athletic for his size, and features a fastball that sits 87-89, topping at 90, from a 3/4 slot. Marozas has as much upside as any pitcher in the state. If he continues to improve as he has, he should be a high-interest draft prospect next year.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH

Trey Ricko. The 6-foot, 170-pound sophomore right-hander could see some innings this spring.

KEY PLAYERS LOST

RHP Shane Ritter (Iowa)
3B Marco Melgoza (Southeastern CC)

STAT RAT
The Cougars feature three junior right-handers whose fastballs have been clocked at 88-plus over the winter with Marozas, Konnor Ash and Jordan Mikel.

OUTLOOK
The Cougars have a wealth of young talent, particularly on the mound. Coach Phil Bodine welcomes back five pitchers with experience, including a trio of hard-throwing juniors. RHP Austin Marozas, a Mississippi State recruit, will assume ace responsibilities from Shane Ritter, who’s now at Iowa. Konnor Ash also pitches in the upper-80s, and features a sharp three-pitch mix. RHP/INF Jordan Mikel, a lanky 6-foot-4 right-hander, has big upside as he flashed upper-80s velocity at the PBR Preseason All-State Showcase in February. Junior SS Nick Mayerhofer is coming off a strong sophomore campaign and should set the table at the top of the order and provide top-level defense up the middle. The Cougars will lean on two returning senior starters in left-handed hitting catcher Gabe Wair and 1B Marquis Stewart. Junior OF Marco Escobar also returns to the middle of the lineup. While the Cougars have the arms to compete with most teams in the state, their offensive consistency is a big question.

BOTTOM LINE

The Cougars should be tough to beat, but with all the juniors in the lineup and on the mound, they are likely a year away from competing with Southwest Prairie Conference powers Plainfield North and Minooka.

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

SEASON COUNTDOWN

Preseason Top 25 Team Countdown Previews 

Updated Illinois 2016 Rankings

+ Complete Illinois High School Schedules (Coming Soon)