By Eddie Castro
The 2016 High School baseball season in our borough has come to an end. Powerhouse teams like Grand Street and Telecom had their seasons end short with early playoff exits but schools like Poly Prep and Xaverian put their marks this year. Led by Mr. Brooklyn himself Rob Calabrese, of Poly Prep, won its fourth straight Ivy League Championship this year. His outstanding batting average of .422 had a lot to do with it. Then you had a Cinderella-like team in Xaverian, who caught the baseball world off-guard (you can say) as they captured the Catholic High School Athletic League city title. Although no player from the borough was selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, there was and still remains a lot of talent here in Brooklyn.
League MVP: Let’s get back to Mr. Brooklyn for a second: Poly Preps’ Rob Calabrese was a four-year starter winning four championships during his play. With that said, it’s hard not to name him as this year’s Most Valuable Player. With his .422 batting average, he hit two home runs to go along with 35 RBI’s and 36 runs scored in 33 games played. Although he wasn’t drafted this year, his name will surely be a name to watch for. Rookie of the Year: This year’s Rookie of the Year winners went to Calabrese’s teammate pitcher/outfielder Nick Storz. He earned this award in many ways but I’ll name you a few stats. As the team’s closer, Storz posted a 2.61 ERA (earned run average) and struck out 59 batters in just 51 innings pitched. He can also swing the bat, hitting .260 with a home run. You also had talented first-team players like Grand Street’s Marcus Chavez, Telecom’s first baseman Austin Ruiz, New Utrecht’s Andrew Nathan, Midwood’s Robert Feldman and Lafayette’s Davian Droz.
Baseball is on the rise in our borough and by the looks of things, it will be flooded with star talent for many years to come. Some will be competing for an MVP award, some will help their team to a state title, and some will hear their name announced by Major League Baseball’s commissioner in future drafts. Hey! It has happened before, just ask Grand Street alumni and current Yankees star relief pitcher Dellin Betances, who was drafted out of high school in 2007.
Sports Notes: (Basketball) The New York Knicks have announced that former Utah Jazz player and former Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek will be the team’s new coach.