SHORT HILLS, NJ - Nick Maldonado of Short Hills have been tabbed the No. 1 player in New Jersey’s high school class of 2019 according to Prep Baseball Report.
Maldonado, a shortstop/pitcher, plays high school ball for Seton Hall Prep and travel ball for the Diamond Jacks in Flemington.
Maldonado was 6-0 on the mound for Non-Public A state champion Seton Hall Prep this past spring, posting a 1.11 ERA. He started and picked up the victory in his team’s state final victory over St. Augustine Prep of Richland. The righthander's fastball sits at about 85-86 miles per-hour and is complemented by a sharp curveball. Maldonado also has a high ceiling at shortstop and as a hitter.
Anthony Volpe of Delbarton, a second baseman, is ranked No. 2 in the state, Lillo Paxia, a first baseman from Gloucester Catholic, is No. 4 and Joey DeChiaro, a lefthanded pitcher from Hunterdon Central in Flemington, is No. 6 in the PBR ranking. All three, like Maldonado, have played their travel ball for the Diamond Jacks.
The rest of PBR’s NJ Top 10 includes shortstop K.C. Hunt of Ramapo, at No. 3, righthander Stephen Restuccio of Hammonton, at No. 5, righthander Jordan Sweeney of Egg Harbor, at No. 7, righthander Jack Leiter of Delbarton (Morris Twp.), at No. 8, righthander Chad Cole of Passaic Valley (Little Falls), at No. 9, and catcher Just Kapuscinski of Marlboro, at No. 10.
Restuccio is the only one of the Top 10 NJ players to have committed to a college already. He has given a verbal to Wake Forest.