Anthony’s Scotti’s choice to play baseball at Seton Hall was easy. His coaches face the tougher choice — where to put him in the batting order.
The Xaverian senior third baseman has the plate discipline and toughness to be one of the city’s best leadoff hitters, but his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame also makes him an attractive power bat in the middle of the order.
Scotti, an All-Brooklyn First Team selection by this paper, hit .375, had an on-base percentage over .500, and stole 28 bases to help the Clippers win the Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA city title last season for the first time since 2011. Despite his success over the years, he will be hitting further down in the order for this senior campaign according Xaverian coach Frank Del George to help him get better prepared for college.
“He’s the kind of kid who is going to hang in there, work the count to 3–2,” Del George said. “He’s your perfect, prototype leadoff man. The only problem is, he is 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, and in batting practice he crushes the ball.”
His versatility, speed, and strong glove at third attracted interest from a host of local colleges before Scotti verbally committed last week to Seton Hall, where he will receive a partial scholarship. He picked the Pirates over St. John’s, Rutgers, and Penn State because he felt at home on the South Orange, New Jersey campus.
There he will get to play among friends. Tottenville shortstop Robert Dadona is heading to Seton Hall this fall, and Richmond Country Baseball Club teammate and St. Joseph by the Sea catcher Chris Villa will be joining him there next year. Scotti visited Seton Hall earlier this month and enjoyed his time at a showcase camp there two years ago.
“They felt like I was a good fit for their roster,” Scotti said. “They want me to be a corner [player] for them and they think I will fit well in the Big East.”
Del George is hoping Scotti will slide nicely in the middle of the Xaverian order next year as the team looks to defend its crown. Scotti said he tailored his approach at the plate to being a leadoff man. He was hit by a pitch 33 times last season and was on base seven times in his final 12 at bats. It’s time for him to move to the next stage in his career.
“He feels very comfortable hitting in the lead off spot, but I think Seton Hall with him being a corner player is going to expect him to hit a lot more doubles and home runs,” Del George said.
Where he hits in the lineup doesn’t matter to Scotti, He just wants to help his team win, knowing he will need to be more aggressive at the plate as a middle-of-the-order hitter. He was happy he made his college decision early as well.
“It’s more relaxing, definitely for high school next year,” Scotti said. “We are going to try to win another city championship.”