Brooklyn featured some of the best baseball in New York City this year.
The High School of Telecommunications Arts and Technology won its first Public School Athletic League Class A city title. But, they weren’t the only Brooklyn school earning a crown. Poly Prep Country Day School navigated through a rocky regular season to knock off previously unbeaten Berkeley Carroll School in the semis and claim a historic third straight private school championship. Xaverian High School earned the Brooklyn/Queens ‘AA’ regular season title before an early playoff exit, and Grand Street Campus reached the public school ‘AA’ semifinals.
Of all the outstanding high-school athletes playing baseball, here is this paper’s choice for Brooklyn’s best.
All-Brooklyn baseball player of the year: Josh Palacios, Telecommunications
The senior centerfielder delivered, despite an ankle injury delaying his season’s start. Palacios proved he was a three-tool player. He led the league in batting average (.667), on base percentage (.760) and slugging (1.100). In the playoffs he shined with two hits and a spectacular diving catch in the seventh inning of the title game. In Game 2 of the semifinals, Palacios made three hits and scored all three times.
All-Brooklyn baseball coach of the year: Ed D’Alessio, Telecommunications
The long-time coach finally hoisted the ultimate prize by guiding his team to its first city title. D’Alessio is an old-school baseballman with a knack for developing talent. His demand for clean, hard-nosed, fundamentally sound play helped this group mature into an elite team that was able to compete with teams featuring more star power and still finish unbeaten.
All-Brooklyn baseball first team:
RF Santo Duran, Grand Street Campus
Duran had a scorching season at the plate. The senior hit .540, drove in a league leading 36 runs and was second in slugging at 1.100. He was a key cog in the powerful Grand Street lineup.
CF Morgan Gray, Poly Prep
Grey can do it all on a baseball field. He was the Blue Devils No. 2 starter pitcher, doing enough to be an ace on most teams. The senior patrolled centerfield when not on the hill, and provided a steady bat as Poly’s third-place hitter.
P Chris Lee, Telecommunications
The senior was the team’s heart and soul, having pitched every big game for Telecom since he was a freshman. Lee had a .70 ERA in three playoff starts. He allowed four hits and struck out seven in the Yellow Jackets 4–1 win in the city title game.
CF Basael McDonald, Grand Street Campus
McDonald possessed game-changing speed and used it to perfection. He covered tremendous ground in centerfield and was powerful at the plate. McDonald hit .511 and led the league with 45 total bases, and 28 runs scored in the leadoff spot.
RF/P Nick Meola, Xaverian
The sophomore batted .421, slugged .682 and drove in 24 runs. The Clippers clean up hitter was their most consistent run producer. Meola was steady in right field and took to the mound when needed.
3B Josh Mercado, Telecommunications
This junior hit .420, drove in 19 runs and scored 15 times during the regular season. He also had five doubles and three triples.
P/2B Ian Miller, Berkeley Carroll
Miller emerged as one of the city’s more dominant starters and productive hitter. The junior was 7–0 with a 0.13 ERA. Miller got it done with the bat as well, hitting .367 with 23 RBIs. His 20 runs helped his team post an unbeaten regular season.
SS Charles Misiano, Xaverian
This senior was one of best defensive shortstops in the city. Misiano made the difficult look routine and sprinkled in a few spectacular plays. He led the Clippers offense from the leadoff spot with a .420 average and 31 steals.
RF/P Anthony Spina, Berkeley Carroll
Spina was the Lions’ top run producer, scoring 30 runs and driving in 27 more. Spina hit .431 and had a .460 on base percentage that helped jump start his team’s small ball, high-pressure offense.
P/LF Andrew Zapata, Poly Prep
The University of Connecticut-bound ace’s nasty fastball and variety of pitches left most batters shaking their heads. Zapata’s best performance came when he threw a one-hitter to beat Berekley Carroll 2–0 in the state semifinals.
P Matt Brigando, St. Edmund
C Rob Calabrese, Poly Prep
P Alex Cuas, Grand Street
C Robert Feldman, Midwood
C Yanai Feldmann, Berkeley Carroll
P/C Bryan Flores, Bushwick
P Phil Maldari, Poly Prep
P/3B Andrew Nathan, New Utrecht
SS/P Isaih Palanco, Fort Hamilton
CF Andrew Schillaci, Xaverian
P/1B Eric Tully, Bishop Ford
2B Christopher Vasquez, James MadisonReach reporter Joseph Staszewski at jstaszewsk