March 31, 2012
Players to Watch in 2012
St. Anthony outfielder Angel Peguero stole 46 bases last season. (Photo: Jason Bernstein)
By Jason Bernstein Editorial Director
12 Players to Watch for 2012
Rory Carvajal, Hudson Catholic
One of the few veterans on a young Hudson Catholic squad, this junior is expected to bring thunder to the middle of the Hawks' lineup. An All-HCIAL Second Team selection, the junior hit over .400 on the season. Against Bergen Catholic, he homered and drove in three runs.
Frank DiPillo, Bayonne
DiPillo was one of the county's top freshmen a year ago, earning All-HCIAL Second Team honors a year ago thanks a batting approach maturity rarely seen at his age. This year he moves over from third base to shortstop and will be a key in the middle of the Bees' lineup.
Anthony Ferriero, Harrison
This strong righty showed the county what he could do on the mound when he shut down a powerful St. Peter's Prep lineup in a stunning first round win in last year's Ed Ford Memorial Tournament. An All-County player, Ferriero is also a middle of the lineup presence.
Abe Groomes, Hoboken
One of the county's top athletes, Groomes showed a flair for the dramatic late. He broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning of a playoff game vs Dayton with a two-run homer. On the mound, Groomesm Hoboken's No. 2 starter, went the distance in the Ed Ford Memorial Tournament final vs North Bergen.
Marco Hernandez, North Bergen
A hard-throwing lefty, Hernandez took a no-hitter into the seventh against Hoboken in the Ed Ford Memorial Tournament final. The junior is also one of the best two-way players as he slugged five homers last year and will hit cleanup for the Bruins this season.
Robert Hererra, Union City
One of the county's most complete shortstops, Hererra excels with the bat and the glove for the Soaring Eagles. An All-HCIAL Second Team selection a year ago, the senior exploded for seven RBI in a win over Cranford.
Sal Mendez, Weehawken
With high 80s fastball and ever-improving command, Mendez is one of the state's most promising lefties in the junior class. An All-County player, Mendez had 13 strikeouts in games vs Dunellen in the state playoffs and in regular season games vs Ridgefield Park and Saddle Brook.
Angel Peguero, St. Anthony
A lefty bat with power and speed, Peguero has emerged as a top hitter in the anonymity of the HCIAL's small school division. Committed to the New Mexico Military Institute, the 5-foot-8 senior is a terror on the bases, stealing 46 a year ago.
Joel Peralta, Marist
A mainstay in the St. Mary's rotation the past three years, Peralta takes over as the ace at Marist after the Jersey City school closed down. The right-hander has won 12 games in his career and posted a 2.82 ERA last year and will also see plenty of time at third base for the Royal Knights.
Kenny Roder, Hoboken
At 5-foot-7, Roder might not look intimidating, but with a sneaky fastball and impeccable control, few are more dangerous on a mound. A Second-Team All-State selection, Roder won six games over the county and state playoffs as he finished 10-1 with a 1.28 ERA, 137 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 82 innings.
D.J. Wilson, St. Peter's Prep
A three-year starter behind the plate, Wilson was an All-HCIAL First Team member at St. Mary's last season. Wilson stroked three homers and 12 extra base hits for the Ramblers and showed surprising speed for a catcher with six stolen bases.
Gianni Zayas, North Bergen
The hardest thrower in the county, Zayas brings a 92 mph fastball whenever he takes the mound for the Bruins. The North Carolina State commit can be lights out when his control is on and will team up Marco Hernandez and A.J. Gale to form one of the better rotation trios in the state.
Weehawken junior Sal Mendez is one of North Jersey's top left-handed pitchers. (Photo: Jason Bernstein)