The Bronx didn’t crown a city champion, but still some of its teams and players ranked among the best in the five boroughs.
James Monroe earned the top-seed in the PSAL Class A playoffs thanks to a perfect league season and by taking home the title in its own prestigious tournament. Fordham Prep was again among the elite teams in the CHSAA, but saw its title run cut short. Bronx Science, a year after losing in the semifinals, came the closest to a crown. A sensational relay throw to the plate kept the Wolverines from celebrating a PSAL Class B championship at Yankee Stadium. Fieldston. St. Raymond and Kennedy also had strong campaigns.
Here are the players considered the best in The Bronx:
Player of the Year:
The junior was arguably the best shortstop in the city and one of its top overall players. Santorelli put all five of his tools on display each time out. He hit .389 with a team high 30 RBIs. His power led to a .655 slugging percentage and his speed helped him steal 12 bases and post eight triples. Santorelli’s arm and range at short made it tough to get any ball by him.
Coach of the Year:
Bronx Science has kept moving closer to a title under McGrath. His experienced squad rebounded from losing in the semifinals a year ago to reach the title game at Yankee Stadium this season. There the Wolverines battled back to tie the score in the bottom of the seventh inning and nearly won before suffering a heartbreaking 7-5 loss in nine innings to Beach Channel.
All-Bronx First Team
3B Robin Aames,James Monroe
The heavy-hitting junior provided big time power in the Eagles’ lineup on their way to a division title. He hit .438, posted 10 doubles and drove in 25 runs. That went along with a slugging percentage of .708, which left many pitchers shaking their heads.
P Dariel Checo,James Monroe
The flame-throwing Checo was one of the city’s most dominant pitchers. The senior went 8-1 in league play. His only defeat came in the quarterfinals. He didn’t allow an earned run in league play and struck out 50 batters in 37 innings.
SS/P Adam Delacruz, St. Raymond
Delacruz wore multiple hats for the Ravens. The senior was their best pitcher and best option at shortstop when he wasn’t on the mound. His speed and athleticism made him one of St. Ray’s top hitters and run producers.
P Nick Fanelli,Fordham Prep
The junior right-hander put himself among the CHSAA’s elite pitchers this season. Fanelli, a power pitcher, was the unquestioned ace of the Rams’ staff and had the ability to dominate a lineup every time out.
SS/P Reynaldo Guillen,St. Raymond
Guillen was the Raven’s No. 2 starter and split time with Delacruz at short. The senior was a catalyst offensively and a run creator, thanks to his speed and ability to get on base.
P Nick Padilla, Cardinal Spellman
The big right-hander was a dominant force on the mound despite Spellman’s offensive struggles. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior used his devastating fastball to retire 22 straight batters and fanned 12 over nine innings in a loss to Salesian.
P/RF Jason Polgano, Cardinal Spellman
The senior was one of the city’s most underrated players. Polgano could take over a game both at the plate and on mound. He tossed a perfect game and was arguably the most dangerous hitter in the Pilots’ order because of his power.
C Kevin Nolan,Fordham Prep
Nolan was as steady as them come. The senior provided plenty of leadership and a fine defensive skill set behind the plate. He continually produced with the bat to lead the Rams to a division title.
1B Inoel Nunez, James Monroe
Nunez was an absolute beast at the plate for Monroe and a sure glove at first base. The versatile senior batted a robust .500 during the regular season with 22 runs scored, 21 RBIs and eight extra base hits.
SS/ P Miguel Ortiz Sanchez, Morris
The junior was duel threat for Morris. He batted a whopping .545 with 28 runs scored and 19 RBIs and stole 36 bases. On the mound, he picked up four saves while posting a 1.17 earned run average.
CF Tristan Rojas, James Monroe
The senior, who has a cannon for an arm, is considered one of the best centerfielders in the city and lived up to the expectations. Rojas batted .435 with 29 runs scored and 16 RBIs. He walked 17 times and collected 12 extra base hits.