Meet the 2024 Herald-News All-Area Baseball Team

The best of the best across the greater Joliet area

Providence Jackson Smith tags Mt. Carmel's Kevin Zanin at second base during the Class 4A Super-Sectional game on Monday, June 03, 2024 at Crestwood.

It wasn’t easy with so much great talent to choose from, but here is the 2024 Herald-News All-Area Baseball Team.

First Team

Lincoln-Way East’s Tyler Bell connects for a RBI single against Lockport on Monday, April 22, 2024 in Lockport.

Tyler Bell, IF, sr. Lincoln-Way East

Bell overcame a slow start to the season to finish with a .391 average, .591 OBP, 25 RBIs, was walked 33 times and stole 31 bases. He’s a Kentucky commit and expected to be taken in the early rounds of the 2024 MLB Draft. ESPN has ranked him as a top 100 draft prospect in the country.

Minooka’s Nate George drives in a run against Plainfield North on Thursday, May 2, 2024 in Minooka.

Nate George, OF, sr., Minooka

Once an Eastern Illinois commit, George is currently looking to be selected in the draft as well, and for good reason. A track star as well as a baseball star, George finished this season with a .404 batting average, nine home runs, 40 RBIs, 41 runs and went 22 for 24 on stolen-base attempts.

Providence's Nate O'Donnell at bat during the Class 4A Super-Sectional game against Mt. Carmel on Monday, June 03, 2024 at Crestwood.

Nate O’Donnell, IF/P, jr., Providence Catholic

A former Creighton commit who just reopened his recruitment, O’Donnell was sensational during the Celtics’ postseason run. He was outstanding before that, too, with a .430 batting average on the season with a 1.337 OPS, 11 home runs, 55 RBIs and 43 runs scored. He also had a 3.15 ERA on the mound.

Providence's Jackson Smith makes to second base during the Class 4A Super-Sectional game against Mt. Carmel on Monday, June 03, 2024 at Crestwood.

Jackson Smith, IF, sr., Providence Catholic

Smith, a Bradley commit, was one of if not the best player on the Class 4A state champions. He finished his final season in green with 48 RBIs, 51 runs scored, six homers and a .416 batting average.

Joliet West's Jimmy Anderson throws a pitch during the non-conference game against Lincoln-Way West on Friday, April. 19, 2024, at Joliet.

Jimmy Anderson, IF/P, sr., Joliet West

Anderson was the Southwest Prairie Conference Blue Most Valuable Hitter after finishing with a .473 batting average, a .550 OBP, 48 RBIs and 37 runs scored. On the mound, he went 5-0 with 52 strikeouts and a 2.18 ERA

Joliet Catholic’s Jake Troyner drives in a run against Minooka in the WJOL tournament championship on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Joliet.

Jake Troyner, IF, sr., Joliet Catholic

The UIC commit finished his final year with a .394 batting average, 1.025 OPS and 41 hits. He also was outstanding in the field. Troyner was named East Suburban Catholic Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Lemont’s Jacob Parr delivers a pitch against Crystal Lake Central in the IHSA Class 3A Championship game on Saturday June 8, 2024 Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet.

Jacob Parr, OF/P, jr., Lemont

Parr, named All-South Suburban Conference and a Conference Player of the Year nominee, hit .407 with 35 RBIs and 37 runs scored while finishing with a 3.19 ERA on the mound.

Morris’ Cody DelFavero delivers a pitch against Highland in the IHSA Class 3A 3rd place game on Saturday June 8, 2024 Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet.

Cody DelFavero, OF/P, sr., Morris

DelFavero hit .370 on the season with 36 RBIs, 33 runs scored and a .670 slugging percentage. On the mound, he went 14-0 with 93 strikeouts, 1.28 ERA and 0.861 WHIP for the Interstate 8 Conference champs.

Lincoln-Way Central’s Landon Mensik makes a throw to first for the out against Lincoln-Way West in the Class 4A Providence Sectional semifinal on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 in New Lenox.

Landon Mensik, IF, sr., Lincoln-Way Central

Mensik, a Xavier commit, simply was outstanding. He was the Southwest Suburban Red Conference Player of the Year and was an All-Region nominee. He hit .461 with a 1.437 OPS, 41 hits, seven homers, 35 RBIs, 38 runs scored and 30 stolen bases.

Lincoln-Way West’s Lucas Acevedo delivers a pitch against Lincoln-Way Central in the Class 4A Providence Sectional semifinal on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 in New Lenox.

Lucas Acevedo, IF/P, jr., Lincoln-Way West

Acevedo was an All-SWSC selection and is a UIC commit. He finished his penultimate season with a .504 OBP, led the team in runs and had 31 hits with 23 RBIs. As a pitcher, he went 6-0 with a 1.13 ERA and gave up only seven earned runs.

Plainfield Central’s JT Augustyniak tags out Joliet West’s Dan Lukancic on the base steal attempt on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Plainfield.

JT Augustyniak, IF, jr. Plainfield Central

Augustyniak was an all-conference selection after batting .420 with a .619 slugging percentage, 33 RBIs and 37 runs while striking out only five times during the season.

Lockport's Ryan Groberski in action during the non-conference game against Joliet West on Saturday, April. 27, 2024, at Lockport.

Brayden Zilis, IF/P, jr., Minooka

An Illinois State commit, Zilis was an outstanding two-way player for Minooka. He hit .407 with a 1.25 OPS, 48 hits, seven home runs, 33 RBIs and 43 runs scored. On the mound, he was just as impressive, going 7-1 and allowing only four earned runs for a 0.58 ERA.

Lemont’s Max Michalak connects for a single against Crystal Lake Central in the IHSA Class 3A Championship game on Saturday June 8, 2024 Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet.

Max Michalak, OF, sr., Lemont

Another all-conference selection, Michalak led the team in doubles (12) and runs scored (40) to go with 27 RBIs, 22 stolen bases and a .389 batting average.

Morris’ Jack Wheeler locks in on a pitch against Highland in the IHSA Class 3A 3rd place game on Saturday June 8, 2024 Duly Health and Care Field in Joliet.

Jack Wheeler, IF, jr., Morris

A University of Illinois commit, Wheeler proved worth the scholarship at the plate this year. He hit .382 with 42 hits, 40 RBIs and 43 runs while striking out only seven times all year.

Second team

• Matt Washington, IF, Bolingbrook.

• AJ Zweeres, IF, Morris.

• Ryan Goberski, OF, Lockport.

• Jake Gimbel, P, Joliet Catholic.

• Enzo Infelise, C, Providence Catholic.

• Brayden Meyer, C, Lincoln-Way Central.

• Anthony Massa, INF, Lincoln-Way West.

• Noah Tomaras, C, Lemont.

• Blake Phommachanhom, IF, Plainfield South.

• Lucas Rink, INF/P, Wilmington.

• Paxton Giertz, IF, Seneca.

• Joe Guiliano, IF/P, Plainfield North.

• Cael Karczewski, IF, Joliet West.

• Gabe McHugh, IF/P, Coal City.

Honorable mention

• Owen Dunlap, IF, Dwight.

• Luke Gallet, IF/P, Dwight.

• Ryan Witt, OF, Bolingbrook.

• Lance Cuddy, IF/OF/P, Coal City.

• Ayden Collom, IF/OF/P, Gardner-South Wilmington.

• Zach Pomatto, C, Joliet Catholic.

• Zach Beitler, OF, Joliet Catholic.

• Jay Zepeda, IF/P, Joliet Central.

• John Stasiak, C, Joliet Central.

• James Love, IF/P, Joliet West.

• Owen Young, C, Joliet West.

• Christian Chignoli, OF, Joliet West.

• Cannon Medaj, P, Lemont.

• Luke Mensik, P, Lincoln-Way Central.

• Ethan Godlewski, P, Lincoln-Way East.

• Jack Linko, IF, Lincoln-Way West.

• Ben Shea, IF/OF, Lincoln-Way West.

• Justin VanderTuuk, OF, Lockport.

• Trace Schaaf, P, Lockport.

• Brett Bounds, P, Morris.

• Griffin Zweeres, C, Morris.

• Ximi Baftiri, IF, Morris.

• Ruben Velasco, IF/P, Peotone.

• Cory Brock, P, Plainfield Central.

• John Andretich, OF, Plainfield North.

• Daniel McCauley, IF, Plainfield South.

• Blake Phommachanhom, IF, Plainfield South.

• Cooper Eggert, OF/P, Providence Catholic.

• Kasten Gobbert, P, Providence Catholic.

• Cameron Smith, C, Reed-Custer.

• Nolan Holgado, OF, Romeoville.

• Braden Lee, OF, Romeoville.

• Casey Clennon, IF, Seneca.

• Kyle Farrell, P/IF, Wilmington.

• Ryan Kettman, IF/P, Wilmington.