03/26/2018 6:17 PM
FIVE FUTURE NAVIGATORS HONORED PRIOR TO HIGH SCHOOL SEASON
By Joshua Kummins
LYNN, Mass. -- Five players slated to play for the North Shore Navigators during the summer of 2018 earned Preseason All-America and All-Northeast Region honors in advance of the high school season, Rawlings and Perfect Game USA announced last week.
Central Catholic High School batterymates Dominic Keegan and Steven Hajjar were each named to the All-America Third Team and All-Region First Team. Pitcher/first baseman Travis Lane also earned First Team All-Region status, while infielders Sal Frelick and Jake Gustin both filled slots on the All-Region Second Team. In addition, Lane, Frelick, and Gustin were also named Honorable Mention All-Americans.
“I am really excited to bring these high school kids on board,” first-year Navigators manager Todd Alford said. “It’s always a challenge when you move up a level, but I think all of them are ready to make the jump. I believe they will all contribute to our success this summer as well as make big impacts with their respective college teams in the fall.”
The annual teams recognize the top senior high school baseball athletes in the United States. All five players will play for the Navs in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League after completing their scholastic careers this spring.
Hajjar, a left-handed pitcher who calls North Andover home, was named Eagle Tribune Player of the Year and the Merrimack Valley Large MVP after helping Central to its first-ever Super 8 berth in 2017. He went 5-2 with a 1.41 ERA on the year, and his 77 strikeouts in 44.2 innings of work led all Eagle Tribune-area pitchers. He will attend the University of Michigan.
A future Vanderbilt catcher, Keegan is the first-ever position player prospect going to a “Power Five” conference school on North Shore’s preseason roster. The Methuen native hit .388 with 15 runs scored and 16 RBI last spring and will look to finish his career with the Raiders as a four-time Merrimack Valley Conference All-Star.
Frelick earned his second consecutive Middlesex League All-Star honor and was selected as a Boston Globe All-Scholastic following his junior season at Lexington High School. The future Boston College infielder has 71 hits and 68 runs scored during his career with the Minutemen and, remarkably, did not strike out a single time last season.
Gustin enters his senior year at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School as the reigning Northeastern Conference Most Valuable Player. The Tanner shortstop hit .409 with two home runs, 17 RBI, 19 runs scored, and nine stolen bases in 23 games as a junior. Gustin is just the second Peabody position player to commit to a Division 1 school in this decade as he will attend Bryant University.
A Georgetown native also bound for BC this fall, Lane has stood out as a two-way player throughout his Phillips Academy career. He did not allow an earned run over 21.1 innings on the mound as a junior and garnered First Team All-Central New England Prep honors for his efforts. Lane’s brother, Thomas, pitched for the Navs in 2015 and is currently a junior pitcher at BC.
North Shore’s preliminary roster includes a franchise-record six rising college players. The aforementioned five will join Swampscott native Gavin Sullivan this summer at Fraser Field. A Cheshire Academy senior, Sullivan finished 7-0 with a sub-1.00 ERA and issued just four walks en route to earning Central New England Prep Pitcher of the Year honors last season.
The Navigators open the 2018 season on Thursday, May 31 at Martha’s Vineyard before the home schedule at Fraser Field kicks off Saturday, June 2 against Worcester. To book a party deck, birthday party, or to inquire about any other business, please contact the Navigators office at 781-595-9400 or email InterimNavsGM@gmail.com.