Prep Baseball Report

Season Preview: Philadelphia Catholic League

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

     Philadelphia Catholic League

Returning All-PCL Honorees

Archbishop Carroll - 2013 Steve Dengler (2nd-team Blue IF), 2013 Eric McGough (1st-team Blue P/IF)

Archbishop Ryan - 2014 Connor Golden (2nd-team Red DH)

Archbishop Wood - 2013 Joe Santospago (2nd-team Blue OF), 2013 John Santospago (1st-team Blue C)

Bishop McDevitt - [none]

Bonner-Prendergast - 2013 Jim Haley (1st-team Red IF)

Cardinal O'Hara - 2013 Scott Grinnan (1st-team Red DH), 2013 Mark Onimus (1st-team Red P)

Conwell-Egan - 2014 Bill Bonfig (2nd-team Blue IF), 2013 Dan Sullivan (2nd-team Blue DH)

Father Judge - [none]

La Salle  - 2014 Dom Cuoci (2nd-team Red P), 2013 Chris Melillo (2nd-team Red 1B)

Lansdale Catholic - 2013 Ian Conwell (1st-team Blue DH), 2014 Matt Kress (2nd-team Blue P)

Neumann-Goretti - 2013 Joe Kinee (1st-team Blue P/IF), 2014 Josh Ockimey (2nd-team Blue 1B)

Roman Catholic - 2014 Kyle Rogalski (2nd-team Red P)

Saint Joseph's Prep - 2013 Tom Mullin (2nd-team Red P), 2013 Shane Williams (2nd-team Red OF)

College Bound

Archbishop Carroll - McGough (Wagner)

Archbishop Wood - 2013 RHP Scott Boches (Marist), Joe Santospago (Mercer County CC), John Santospago (Kent State), 2013 IF Colt Smith (Neumann)

Bonner-Prendergast - 2013 RHP Danny Furman (Pittsburgh), Haley (Penn State), 2013 3B Frank Saviski (Gwynedd-Mercy), 2013 RHP Pat Vanderslice (Temple)

Cardinal O'Hara - Onimus (Millersville)

La Salle - Melillo (Notre Dame)

Lansdale Catholic - Conwell (Lackawanna)

Neumann-Goretti - Kinee (Maine), 2013 RHP John LaMotta (Marymount), Ockimey (Arkansas)

Saint Joseph's Prep - Mullin (Penn State)

News & Notes from around the PCL

Coach Joe Parisi will have his work cut out for him as La Salle attempts to reload from the loss of six senior starters off its 2012 PIAA Class AAAA championship squad.  Now that workhorse Kevin Long (Lehigh) has taken his rubber arm up the Northeast Extension, 6-foot-3, 195-pound Cuoci (9-1, 1.46 ERA) will assume the role of ace.  Filling out the staff behind him will be a quartet of southpaws, including the talented but unproven 6-foot-3, 180-pound 2014 John Scheffey and 6-foot-1, 170-pound 2015 Jimmy Herron, as well as 2013s Nick Paglione and Tom Cockill.  Cuoci (also a SS/3B) and Melillo (.436 AVG, 28 RBI) are expected to be the primary run-producers, with the latter moving from 1B behind the dish to replace Red Division MVP Corey Baiada (Bloomsburg).  Keep an eye on the multi-sport Herron (also an OF), who tallied touchdowns passing, rushing, and receiving on the gridiron this fall, and whose athleticism could serve to fill the void left by departed sparkplug Ryan Otis (Bucknell).

Bringing back two starters from last year, pitching looks to be a strength for Cardinal O'Hara.  Leading the way for coach John Grossi will be Onimus, who is tall and lanky with two solid secondary pitches that complement good command of a mid-80s fastball.  While most of the starting line-up is gone, Grinnan returns to spearhead the offense after hitting .531 with 10 runs scored and 13 RBI a season ago.

2013 OF Mike O'Hanlon hit .500 as a sophomore for Father Judge, before a knee injury hampered him as a junior (although he still managed to hit over .340).  Coach Tim Ginter expects big things from O'Hanlon, now fully healthy, as well as catcher Ryan Mackiewicz, the team's senior leader.  2013s LHP/1B Chris Thompson and RHP/3B Josh Teson will soak up the bulk of the innings on the mound, while 2015 IF Eric Petroski could make an impact early in his career.

If there's one thing that first-year coach Joe Falcone knows about his Saint Joseph's Prep team, it's that they should be tough.  Coming off a stellar fall on the gridiron, a number of players (including Williams, 2013 C/3B Tim Rafter, and 2014 Util Jawan McAllister) will be trading in their shoulder pads and facemasks for batting gloves and BBCORs.  Expected to lead an otherwise inexperienced pitching staff is Mullin, who features multiple arm angles, the toughest of which may be a sidearm slot that generates a quality FB/SL combination.

Finishing second in the regular-season to the eventual state champs is nothing to sneeze at, but Bonner-Prendergast won't be satisfied until they reclaim the PCL crown they captured in 2011.  Furman and Vanderslice, a converted catcher, will give coach Joe DeBarberie arguably the top 1-2 rotation punch in the league, as the Friars transition from the Red division to the Blue division.  Haley oozes athleticism and possesses one of the best overall tool-sets in the area (not to mention the best hair).

The Archbishop Wood offense has a solid core of returning players, led by the Santospago twins; John provides the thump (.362 AVG, 22 RBI, 12 of 21 hits for extra bases), while Joe brings an element of speed to the table (.391 AVG, 27 R, 8 SB).  6-foot-5 Boches led coach Jim DiGuiseppe's pitching staff last year in innings (37.0), strikeouts (41), wins (4), and starts (8).  2013 LHP Justin Babb, who topped the ERA chart at 2.59 in the primary relief role, hopes to slide into the open rotation spot.

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