Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Names to Watch on Each Team

I have received a couple of requests to rank the top players I have seen so far this summer so people know who to look for when they arrive here for their vacations. With College World Series participants and other late arrivers still trickling in this week, I hesitate to give definitive rankings at this point in the season. However, with the busiest tourist weekend of the summer coming up, here is a list of a few players on each team to keep an eye on.


1B/OF Stefen Romero, Oregon State

1B/DH Kyle Roller, East Carolina


3B/DH Jedd Gyorko, West Virginia

OF Mark Canha, California


RHP Jesse Hahn, Virginia Tech

1B Dean Green, Oklahoma State


LHP Chris Dwyer, Clemson

RHP Justin Grimm, Georgia

RHP Brandon Cumpton, Georgia Tech


1B Hunter Morris, Auburn

3B Jason Esposito, Vanderbilt


IF/OF Phil Gosselin, Virginia

OF Dan Grovatt, Virginia

2B Levi Michael, North Carolina


1B Cody Hawn, Tennessee

2B Nick Crawford, UAB


1B Jaren Matthews, Rutgers

CF Gary Brown, Cal State Fullerton


SS Derek Dietrich, Georgia Tech

OF Brett Eibner, Arkansas

RHP Matt Barnes, UConn


1B Mickey Wiswall, Boston College

LHP Chris Sale, Florida Gulf Coast

OF Austin Wates, Virginia Tech

Monday, June 29, 2009

June 30 for June 29 Update

I went to Brewster on Monday evening, and before I talk about some of the players I saw in Brewster's 9-8 win over Chatham I would like to congratulate myself on winning a 50/50 raffle prize the first time I decided to buy some raffle tickets. If any of my readers--I was going to say female readers but I don't know if there are any--is interested in joining me for a complimentary 1-hour Hyannisport Harbor Cruise for two, courtesy of the Brewster Whitecaps, applications are being accepted through the e-mail address listed at the bottom of this post.

Anyway, Brewster and Chatham combined for 17 runs and 29 hits in what was really the first slugfust I saw all summer. They were only able to play eight innings at Stony Brook Elementary before it got dark.

Breaking from tradition, we'll talk about a few hitters first.

Brewster third baseman Jedd Gyorko from West Virginia has now played very well in three consecutive games after arriving at the Cape earlier this week, and after watching two of those three appearances he is arguably the best hitter I've seen. Gyorko went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI on Monday, and he absolutely crushed the three-run homer to left-centerfield in a pitchers' park in the first inning. Gyorko is undersized for a corner infielder at 5'10"180, and he was a shortstop for his college club, but Gyorko is solidly built and he definitely has some pop in his bat. He has good balance at the plate, and he is able to take a good, hard swing without trying to do too much. He did a nice job going with an outside pitch to drive a single to right field later in the game.

An interesting observation about Gyorko, however, that I am not quite sure what to make of. Late in the game Brewster catcher Zach Jones got spiked in the hand during a play at the plate. Jones was clearly in pain, and the entire Brewster infield gathered around him near the pitcher's mound while the trainer came out to look at him. While the trainer tested to see if Jones had broken any fingers, Gyorko stood by himself at his position, not caring to join the meeting. He also was the only infielder not to participate in a conference at the mound earlier in the game. Maybe this isn't a big deal, but it was just kind of weird and he looked standoffish.

Brewster first baseman Lyle Allen from the University of Georgia also had a big day at the plate, reaching base five times after going 2-for-2 with three walks. Allen smacked a deep home run to right field, showing a slightly long swing but one that is smooth and makes good contact when he connects. Allen was hitting .100 coming into the game, struggling to adjust to the wood bat as guys with long swings tend to do, but if he shortens up he can do some damage.

The best hitter for Chatham was first baseman Dean Green from Oklahoma State who went 2-for-4 with a double. Green has good size and a powerful build at 6'4 220, and still has more room to fill out. During batting practice, one scout took out a camcorder to record only Green's swings and nobody else's, and Green did not disappoint, driving the ball with authority with his left-handed stroke.

On the mound, the most interesting appearance was the debut performance of Chatham right-handed reliever Matt Harvey from UNC, whose stock has really plummeted among scouts after he was one of the top high school prospects in the 2007 draft. It's easy to see that Harvey is really struggling with his mechanics, and it's making his once-great stuff erratic and inconsistent. He throws with weird arm action as he has developed a serious hitch in which he almost completely stops his arm on the way back before whipping it forward. "That's severe," one National League scout who followed Harvey in high school said. "He never used to have that." Harvey also has balance issues and falls off toward first base. Harvey touched 94 mph with his fastball, but he sat around 91 mph and threw a couple of fastballs at 88 mph. Last summer he was consistenly throwing 94-96. His 75-77 mph hammer curveball is still excellent when he can control it. Harvey allowed one hit and two walks in 1/3 of an inning, and he ended up taking the loss for Chatham.

Chatham right-handed starter Shawn Tolleson from Baylor also struggled, allowing five runs in the first inning before he was removed after three. Tolleson is average height for a pitcher with a solid build at 6'2" 215. He also has balance issues, and he looks like he is about to tip over on his face when he throws. Tolleson's fastball sat in the 88-90 mph range, and he threw a decent 78-81 mph slider with tight break that he mostly struggled to control. He also showed an 82 mph changeup. Tolleson wasn't as bad as his 6-run, 8-hit performance, and he got beat by a few bloopers, but hitters didn't seem to have much trouble figuring him out.

Righthander Kyle Blair from the University of San Diego started for Brewster and looked decent in his five innings of work. Blair has good size for a pitcher at 6'3" 200 and a big frame. He tends to open up his front side too early and his arm trails behind, leading him to often throw pitches farther outside than he would like. Blair's fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range and had good tailing action in on right-handed hitters. He threw a good 76-78 mph breaking ball with tight break that really falls off the table late. Blair also showed an 81 mph changeup with good tailing action. All in all he was pretty good, and he is considered a prospect.

Finally, right-handed reliever Steven Maxwell from TCU showed a good arm out of the bullpen for Brewster. Maxwell is average size at 6'1" 190, but he threw a 91 mph fastball with good tailing action that really bore in on right-handed hitters. He also showed a good 79 mph curveball with tight break that he could throw for strikes. Maxwell struggled with his control, but he was the best of the parade of relievers Brewster trotted out on Monday.


Bourne 2 Cotuit 1: Bourne -handed starter Bryan Morgado from the University of Tennessee pitched five shutout innings, allowing just one hit. He struck out 13 of the 17 batters he faced. Right-handed starter Jake Buchanan from N.C. State pitched six shutout innings for Cotuit, allowing six hits and striking out five.

Falmouth 4 Orleans 2: Falmouth centerfielder Todd Cunningham from Jacksonville State went 3-for-3 with a home run for Falmouth. Leftfielder Brian Fletcher from Auburn went 2-for-4, and highly-touted first baseman Hunter Morris from Auburn went 1-for-4 in his season debut for Falmouth.

Harwich 1 Y-D 0 in 13 innings: Harwich right-handed starter Mike Gipson from Florida Atlantic allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings and Y-D right-handed starter Greg Peavey from Oregon State University and Houston's 32nd round pick allowed five hits over eight shutout innings. Rightfielder Dan Grovatt from the University of Virginia, designated hitter Phil Gosselin from the University of Virginia, and leftfielder Keenan Wiley from the University of Kentucky each had two hits for Harwich.

Wareham 6 Hyannis 1: Rightfielder Brett Eibner from the University of Arkansas went 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs, and first baseman Zach Wilson from Arizona State also homered for Wareham. Catcher Dan Burkhart from Ohio State went 2-for-4 for Hyannis.

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June 29 for June 28 Update

I went to Yarmouth-Dennis again on Sunday afternoon in another attempt to catch Y-D's right-handed ace Chris Sale from Florida Gulf Coast pitch against Falmouth.

I saw Sale throw an inning in an exhibition game a few weeks ago, and talked to him briefly at a game the following week about cold weather and the proper way to tilt my BlackBerry so the screen works, but I hadn't gotten another look at him yet. Sale extended his streak of innings without allowing a run to 20 before he gave up three in the seventh inning of Y-D's 6-3 win.

Sale didn't appear to have his best stuff Sunday but he still looked good. Sale is tall and strikingly thin at 6'6" 185, and he has a jerky, deceptive motion in which his long limbs flail toward the hitter. He throws from a low three-quarter arm angle. Sale's fastball sat in the 89-92 range and had really good sinking action. The pitch gets him a lot of ground ball outs. He also showed an average 77-78 mph slider and a good 77-80 mph changeup that also had really good downward movement. Sale needs to bulk up, but he has good stuff and has been one of the more effective pitchers so far this summer.

Falmouth's starter was righthander Nick Tepesch from the University of Missouri. Tepesch had good stuff but he got knocked around pretty well Sunday as Y-D hitters just sat back on his breaking pitches which he threw fairly often. Tepesch is tall with a big frame at 6'5" 219 and he still has room to fill out. He stands tall in his motion with his back stiff and he doesn't always follow all the way through, which led to his trouble leaving balls up in the zone. Tepesch's fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range and had some tailing action in on right-handed hitters. He threw an 85-87 mph slider with good bite to it. The slider didn't have a lot of lateral movement, but its velocity made it a nice complement to his fastball and gave it the effect of a cutter. He also threw a good 78-80 mph curveball that gave an effect of it stopping in midair and darting in a different direction. He also threw an occasional average 84 mph changeup. Tepesch's stuff was better than his performance, and he could be good with improved command.


Y-D 4 Falmouth 0: In the second game of the doubleheader, Y-D right-handed starter John Leonard from Boston College threw six shutout innings allowing just one hit. First baseman Mickey Wiswall from Boston College went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI for Y-D.

Bourne 6 Harwich 3: First baseman Stefan Romero from Oregon State went 3-for-3 with a home run and 4 RBI and catcher Chris Wallace from the University of Houston went 2-for-3 with a home run for Bourne. Centerfielder Trent Mummey from Auburn and third baseman Stuart Tapley from Florida State each went 2-for-3 for Harwich.

Harwich 8 Bourne 1: In the second game of the doubleheader, second baseman Phil Gosselin from the University of Virginia had two hits for Harwich and first baseman Kyle Roller from East Carolina, Oakland's 47th round pick, had two hits for Bourne.

Orleans 2 Chatham 1: Orleans left-handed starter Jimmy Reyes from Elon allowed just one unearned run on three hits and struck out nine in seven innings for Orleans. Designated hitter Joey Terdoslavich from the University of Miami had two hits for Chatham.

Cotuit 2 Hyannis 1: Cotuit right-handed reliever Ben Rowen from Virginia Tech got the win in relief after pitching three shutout innings and striking out four. Second baseman Nick Crawford from UAB and third baseman Dustin Harrington from East Carolina each had two hits for Hyannis.

Wareham 10 Brewster 2: Leftfielder George Springer from UConn went 3-for-5 with two RBI and centerfielder Ryan LaMarre from the University of Michigan went 2-for-3 with two RBI for Wareham. Second baseman Colin Walsh from Stanford and designated hitter Jedd Gyorko from West Virginia each had two hits for Brewster.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Marketing Update

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June 28 for June 27 Update

I went to Brewster on Saturday evening for a rain-shortened game bewtween Brewster and Yarmouth-Dennis that was called because of lightning after the seventh inning. Y-D scored two runs in the top of the seventh and won 5-3.

Brewster left-handed starter Scott Alexander from Pepperdine had a good arm but was kind of difficult to figure out from a scouting perspective. He was average height for a pitcher with an unathletic build at 6'2" 190, and he has a strange motion and delivery where he just leans back and then flings the ball from a three-quarter arm angle. The first fastball Alexander threw was clocked at 88 mph, but then he sat in the 91-92 mph range for most of his start and even occasionally crept up to 93 and 94. His best pitch was his changeup, which was pretty deceptive and had some good downward movement. He also spun a 77-79 mph slider.

Y-D right-handed starter Darrin Campbell from the University of San Diego was apparently on a very short leash, and he didn't show too much before he was taken out in the third inning. Campbell had a big frame at 6-4 205, and he had good balance and body control when he threw. His fastball sat in the 89-91 mph range and looked pretty straight. His slider also wasn't very good, though he was able to get some hitters out in front of it. He showed an average changeup too. All in all this was one of the more lackluster starting pitching matchups I've seen so far.

Y-D right-handed reliever Seth Simmons had a good arm, but he doesn't have much projection to higher levels. Simmons is very undersized at just 5'9 150, he throws with some effort and he falls off the mound toward first base. His best pitch is his slider, which has really tight break and just darts out of the zone. He's somebody I would like to see again so I could get a better feel.

A few position players also stood out in this one. Brewster second baseman Colin Walsh from Stanford went 3-for-4, and really showed a smooth stroke from the left side of the plate. He also looked good in the field, showing good footwork and very nice range up the middle. Brewster designated hitter Jedd Gyorko from West Virginia also has a really nice and the ball comes off his bat well. He made his first appearance of the season yesterday and is somebody who is coming to the Cape with a lot of hype.

For Y-D, rightfielder Jonathan Jones from Long Beach State showed good speed and athleticism, and went back really well to cover a lot of ground on a deep fly ball to right.


Cotuit 3 Chatham 1: Chatham centerfielder Whit Merrifield from South Carolina went 3-for-5, second baseman Brian Harris from Vanderbilt went 2-for-5 and right fielder Steven Brooks from Wake Forest homered in the loss. Designated hitter Zach Maggard from Florida Southern went 2-for-4 for Cotuit.

Hyannis 6 Falmouth 5, 12 innings: Hyannis first baseman Cody Hawn from Tennessee went 2-for-4 with a home run and Falmouth left fielder Brian Fletcher from Auburn went 3-for-6. Hyannis right-handed starter Seth Rosin from the University of Minnesota struck out seven in five innings of work.

In the least surprising development ever, two more games were rained out. Wareham at Harwich and Bourne at Orleans were the most recent washouts.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 27 for June 26 Update

I headed up to Chatham on Friday night to see the first-place Anglers take on Bourne. Chatham had to have played its worst game of the season, as it got shut out, had just four hits, and made four errors. Bourne won 4-0.

Chatham right-handed starter Kaleb Fleck from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown started out strong but got progressively worse in each inning he pitched. Fleck had scouts buzzing in the first inning, but he started to lose his command and eventually left in the fifth inning down 1-0 after giving up a solo home run and loading the bases with nobody out. Fleck is average height for a pitcher and a little thin at 6'2 190, but he has an easy motion and throws with loose arm action. All of Fleck's pitches have good movement to the point where they appear to flutter into the zone. His fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range and had some tailing action in on right-handed hitters. He threw a decent 79-83 mph slider with frisbee-like movement, and threw an 82-84 mph changeup that also tailed in on righties.

Fleck was relieved by righthander Jesse Hahn from Virginia Tech, who probably had the best power arm I've seen so far. Hahn came in with the bases loaded and nobody out and escaped the jam without allowing a run. Hahn is tall with a thin, athletic build at 6'5" 195, and has a smooth motion and good arm action. He has a powerful leg kick, and gets good drive from his lower half. He throws downhill. In his first inning of work Hahn's fastball sat in the 94-95 mph range, and twice hit 96 on a few of the scouts' guns. His heater sat more in the 92-93 range in his second inning out of the pen, but it was still impressive. Hahn also showed a good 75-77 mph curveball with 3/8 break and an 82 mph changeup with downward motion. If he can throw his fastball with more consistency he could be a very good prospect as a reliever.

Bourne right-handed starter Turner Phelps from James Madison pitched well, throwing six shutout innings and allowing just two hits. At 6'3" 205 Phelps has a big frame but still has room to fill out. He tends to short arm the ball a little bit and he falls off toward first base when he throws. Phelps' fastball sat in just the 85-87 mph range, but he threw a good 73 mph curveball and a good 77 mph changeup. His secondary stuff was good enough for one American League scout to say "If his velo goes up I'd give him a look." Phelps threw a lot of strikes and mixed his pitches well. He also benefitted from a big, erratic strike zone.

Among the positon players, Bourne second baseman Pierre LePage from UConn stands out as a guy who really knows how to play. LePage gets everything out of his 5'8" 165-pound body, hustling on every single play. He made a couple of smart plays in the field, and covered a lot of ground on a ground ball to his left. He probably doesn't handle the bat well enough to be a legitimate prospect, but he is somebody that is certainly fun to watch.

On the other hand, leftfielder Jeff Schaus really struggled last night for Chatham. The athletic prospect was hitting .391 coming into the game, but he took two terrible swings in strikeouts in each of his first two at-bats, and looked ridiculous on a misplayed fly ball that allowed two runs to score. He did get a single in the ninth inning to finish 1-for-4, and I'll chalk the performance up to a bad day, but it was really striking to see Schaus struggle like that.


Harwich 3 Hyannis 0: right-handed starter Rob Gariano from Fairfield threw 5.1 shutout innings for Harwich, allowing four hits and striking out 11 in a game called in the sixth inning because of rain. Shortstop Chris Wade from the University of Kentucky and Florida's 11th-round draft pick and catcher Marcus Nidiffer from the University of Kentucky each had two hits for Harwich.

Y-D 3 Orleans 1: Rightfielder Jonathan Jones from Long Beach State went 3-for-5 and second baseman Blake Kelso from the University of Houston went 2-for-5 for Y-D. Right-handed reliever Tyler Burgoon from the University of Michigan pitched three hitless innings in relief for Y-D, striking out seven. Centerfielder Gary Brown from Cal St. Fullerton had the only two hits of the game for Orleans.

Brewster at Falmouth and Cotuit at Wareham were rained out.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

June 26 for June 25 Update

I went to Yarmouth-Dennis on Thursday evening and saw Orleans beat Y-D 6-0 in a briskly played game in the first summer-like weather of the season.

Eight Major League scouts were in attendance for the first pitch, perhaps to see Y-D ace Chris Sale from Florida Gulf Coast who has pitched 14 straight scoreless innings and was scheduled to make his third start of the season Thursday. Righthander Greg Peavey from Oregon State got the nod instead, and by the end of the game all of the scouts had left.

Peavey, Houston's 32nd round pick, was outpitched by Orleans right-handed starter Casey Gaynor from Rutgers, who baseball fans may remember from his days with the Toms River (NJ) Little League team that made back-to-back Little League World Series appearances in the late 1990s. Gaynor really wasn't that great, but he pitched seven shutout innings, allowed just two hits and struck out three. Gaynor is average height and a little husky at 6'2" 210, and throws with loose arm action and little effort though he does throw across his body. Gaynor's fastball sat in the 86-88 mph range, and he threw a "so-what" 70 mph curveball with slow, sweeping break. He also showed an occasional changeup that didn't do much for me. Gaynor has good control, mixes his pitches well and knows how to pitch, but the quality of his stuff does not make him a professional prospect.

Peavey, on the other hand, had better stuff, but he struggled with his command and ended up allowing five runs before he was knocked out in the fifth inning. Peavey is average size at 6'2" 190, and he throws with good arm action but with effort in his delivery. His fastball sat in the 89-91 mph range with good tailing and sinking action down and in on right-handed hitters. Peavey showed a 79-83 mph curveball with very good downward break, and complemented that pitch with a good 80-82 mph slider, but he did not have good command of his breaking pitches and almost looked as if he didn't know where the pitches were headed when he let them go. Peavey also showed an occasional changeup but relied mostly on his fastball and curve. Peavey needs to improve his command to succeed at higher levels.

Orleans left-handed reliever Matt Packer from the University of Virginia was really the only other pitcher to catch my eye Thursday night. Cleveland's 32nd round draft pick showed four good pitches in just one inning of work. His low 90s fastball had good sinking action, his curveball had steep downward break, he complimented the curve with a good hard slider, and he showed a good 79 mph changeup as well.

Among the position players, Orleans centerfielder Gary Brown from Cal State Fullerton looked very good in his first Cape League appearance of the summer. Brown has a nice compact swing, and he's able to put the ball in play and use his excellent speed to get on base. Brown beat out two infield hits Thursday night and ended up going 3-for-5. He's also an excellent defensive centerfielder as he reads the ball well off the bat and gets great jumps, then uses his speed to run down fly balls all over the outfield. More than once on Thursday he made pretty difficult plays look routine and ended up camping out under balls that looked like doubles off the bat.

Y-D leftfielder Austin Wates from Virginia Tech is locked in at the plate. The speedy Wates is leading the league with .419 batting average, and he hit three balls hard Thursday despite going just 1-for-4.


Falmouth 5 Bourne 4: Falmouth left-handed starter Taylor Wall from Rice pitched six shutout innings for Falmouth. Centerfielder Todd Cunningham from Jacksonville State and third baseman Jason Esposito from Vanderbilt each had two hits for Falmouth, while second baseman Pierre LePage from UConn and designated hitter Kyle Roller from East Carolina--Oakland's 47th round pick--each had two hits for Bourne.

Hyannis 3 Cotuit 2: Designated hitter Cody Hawn from Tennessee had two hits for Hyannis and first baseman Tony Plagman from Georgia Tech and the Yankees' 46th round pick had two hits for Cotuit.

Harwich 6 Brewster 3: Rightfielder Dan Grovatt from the University of Virginia and first baseman Connor Powers from Mississippi State and the Dodgers' 11th round pick each had two hits for Harwich. Centerfielder John Barr from the University of Virginia went 3-for-4 and scored all three runs for Brewster.

Chatham 6 Wareham 4: Chatham scored twice in the top of the ninth to improve to a league-best 9-1 this season. Rightfielder Steven Brooks from Wake Forest and leftfielder Jeff Schaus from Clemson each had two hits for Chatham, while third baseman Shea Vucinich from Washington State hit two home runs for Wareham. First baseman Cole Leonida from Georgia Tech had three hits and rightfielder George Springer from UConn had two hits for Wareham.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 25 for June 24 Update

After three straight days of rainouts, we finally got to see some action Wednesday night. I went to Falmouth and saw several very impressive young arms in Cotuit's 2-0 win over the Commodores.

Cotuit's left-handed starter Chris Dwyer from Clemson was the best pitcher I've seen so far this summer. Dwyer was Kansas City's fourth round draft pick earlier this month, and a high-ranking member of the Royals' front office was in attendance Wednesday to see Dwyer's first Cape League appearance. Despite a 17-day layoff, the draft-eligible freshman did not disappoint. Dwyer has a very athletic build at 6'4" 200, and he has such smooth mechanics and does everything with such ease that it looks like he is hardly working on the mound. His best pitch is his 76 mph curveball--which has very sharp, tight break--even though he occasionally doesn't follow through with it and leaves it up in the zone. His fastball sat in the 90-91 mph range and he threw a very good 80-82 mph changeup. Dwyer pitched five shutout innings Wednesday night, allowing two hits and striking out nine. The Royals' brass had to be impressed.

Falmouth's right-handed starter Tommy Collier from San Jacinto Community College was also pretty good. Collier had some trouble with his mechanics, as he opened up his front side and ended up falling way off the mound toward first base, but he threw well and showed some potential. Collier's fastball sat in the 87-90 mph range, and he threw a good overhand 79-80 mph curveball which he could throw for strikes. He also showed the occasional 83 mph changeup. Collier shut down Cotuit for four innings, then looked like he got tired in the fifth inning and got touched up for two runs.

Cotuit's right-handed reliever Daniel Tillman from Florida Southern hit 94 mph and sat between 91-93 mph with his fastball, a pitch that had some nice heavy sinking action. Tillman was just average size at 6'1" 185, and he threw with a lot of effort, but he was blowing his fastball by hitters. Tillman needs to find some kind of secondary stuff, though, as both his curveball and changeup were not up to par. He threw nearly all fastballs.

Falmouth reliever Cecil Tanner from Georgia also had a good arm, and also touched 94 with his fastball. Tanner is huge at 6'6"240, and he throws hard with little effort. His fastball also had some nice tailing action in on right-handed hitters. Tanner made quick work of three hittters, so I didn't see as much of him as I would like, but he is certainly a name to watch.

In a game that featured 32 strikeouts and just eight hits, nobody really stood out at the plate for any positive reason. Cotuit's left fielder Cory Vaughn from San Diego State did however stand out for his futility. Former Major Leaguer Greg Vaughn's son struck out in all four of his plate appearances, feebly waving at so many breaking pitches out of the strike zone that it became ridiculous. He literally swung at least a foot over the ball several times in his various at-bats. When Falmouth reliever Patrick Cooper inexplicably decided to throw Vaughn a fastball down the middle in the top of the eighth inning, and Vaughn even more inexplicably took it for strike three to complete the Golden Sombrero, one National League scout shook his head and laughed out loud in disbelief. Vaughn has now struck out in 16 of his 29 at-bats this summer.


Bourne 2 Brewster 2, 10 innings: Bourne right-handed starter Eric Cantrell from George Washington allowed one run on one hit and struck out eight over five innings, and Brewster right-handed starter Kyle Blair from the University of San Diego allowed no runs on two hits in 4.1 innings pitched in a game called by darkness. Designated hitter Stefan Romero from Oregon State hit a two-run home run for Brewster.

Chatham 8 Y-D 3: Catcher Mike Murray from Wake Forest went 3-for-3 for Chatham, and catcher Ben McMahan from the University of Florida went 2-for-4 with a home run for Y-D.

Orleans 6 Harwich 4: Orleans scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat Harwich. Second baseman Danny Muno from Fresno State and first baseman Jaren Matthews from Rutgers each had two hits for Orleans. Center fielder Trent Mummey from Auburn and right fielder Dan Grovatt from the University of Virginia each had two hits for Harwich.

Wareham at Hyannis: Rained out. Because it's not a day at the Cape without something getting postponed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June 23 Update

Tuesday was the third straight day of rainouts, and we missed out on a great Chris Dwyer v. Matt Barnes scheduled matchup in Cotuit.

We'll try again Wednesday.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22 Update

All five scheduled games were rained out tonight. Good thing the College World Series is on TV.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 22 for June 21 Update

Sunday was kind of a waste of time.

I drove to three of the five fields scheduled to have games, saw a total of one inning of baseball, then learned later that they actually played a full game up in Orleans.

I wanted to see Matt Barnes pitch for Wareham against Cotuit at 5 p.m., but that game was rained out so I drove to Yarmouth-Dennis and arrived just as Y-D manager Scott Pickler was packing up his car to leave.

Finally I drove back to Hyannis where Hyannis and Brewster skipped batting practice but planned to start at 7. The cold, steady, sideways-falling mist and strong wind forced them to stop after one full inning.

There was only one Major League scout at the game, and he put his radar gun away after seeing just a few pitches from both Hyannis' Seth Rosin and Brewster's Matt Lujan. He then stood there with a towel over his clipboard, and I decided it wasn't worthwhile to take notes anymore and have my notebook soaked through for the rest of the summer.

They called the game shortly thereafter.


Chatham 10 Orleans 7: Second baseman Brian Harris from Vanderbilt hit a grand slam in the top of the ninth to complete Chatham's comeback. The Anglers trailed 7-1 in the eighth inning. Rightfielder Alex Hassan from Duke went 3-for-4 for Orleans, left fielder Jeff Schaus went 3-for-5 for Chatham, and third baseman Mike Olt from UConn homered for Orleans.

June 21 for June 20 Update

I went to Hyannis on Saturday to see Hyannis play Cotuit at Mckeon Park. There were two major league scouts in attendance and Hyannis won 4-2 in an incredibly sloppy game during which Cotuit made five errors.

Even though he was outdueled by Hyannis' Cole Johnson and became a victim of the bad defense, Cotuit's right-handed starter Justin Grimm from Georgia was the best pitcher last night. Grimm has good size and an athletic build at 6'4 195. He has a sort of jerky motion that has a lot of parts to it, and he had a tendency to speed up his arm and overthrow early in the game. Once he settled in and found more consistency in his mechanics he was very good. His fastball sat in the 92-93 mph range, and he threw a very good curveball with nice overhand break that he could throw for strikes. He also showed a good changeup.

Johnson from Notre Dame had a good start, allowing one run on three hits in seven innings, but his stuff didn't impress me as much as it did when I saw him throw an inning in an exhibition game a week and a half ago. He has a smooth motion and good loose arm action as he simply rocks back and fires. His fastball velocity was inconsistent, coming in anywhere between 85 and 90. He threw a 71-72 mph curveball and an 80 mph slider with similar, spinning movement. Neither pitch was outstanding but they complimented each other well and he got outs with them. He also floated in an occasional changeup.

Cotuit first baseman Kevin Patterson from Auburn turned on an inside fastball to hit his second home run of the season Saturday. Patterson has a big, powerful body at 6'4" 220, and he has some serious pop. He swings hard every time, but he's really cut down on his strikeouts so far this season after whiffing far too often when he played for Cotuit last summer (47 times in 152 at-bats). Patterson did struggle in the field, as he had trouble handling a couple of low throws and overran a pop up that landed foul.


Orleans 8 Brewster 2: Matt Koch from Loyola Marymount hit a pinch-hit grand slam for Orleans and left fielder Kevin Muno from the University of San Diego went 3-for-5. Mark Canha from Cal-Berkeley hit his league-leading third home run of the season for Brewster.

Chatham 4 Harwich 3: Catcher Mike Murray from Wake Forest went 3-for-5 and hit a walk-off single for Chatham. Rightfielder Keenan Wiley from Kentucky went 4-for-5 for Harwich.

Falmouth 5 Wareham 0: Right-handed starter Nick Tepesch from Missouri allowed just two hits over six innings pitched for Falmouth. First baseman Murray Watts from Arkansas State went 2-for-4 with a home run.

Bourne 8-Y-D 2: Designated hitter Kyle Roller from East Carolina, Oakland's 47th round draft pick, went 4-for-4 with a home run and 4 RBI for Bourne. Left fielder Austin Wates from Virginia Tech had a difficult to achieve 4-0-4-0 statline for Yarmouth-Dennis.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 20 for June 19 Update

I took a rare day off Friday for an occasion back home in Connecticut, and three of the five games were rained out anyway. We'll skip right ahead to the AROUND THE LEAGUE section. I'll be back with a full length blog post Sunday morning, weather permitting.


Cotuit 10 Brewster 9: Cotuit rallied from six runs down to beat Brewster. Cotuit first baseman Kevin Patterson from Auburn went 3-for-4 with a home run, and catcher Cody Stanley from UNC-Wilmington also had three hits. Second baseman Rico Noel from Coastal Carolina hit another home run for the Kettleers. Right-handed reliever Craig Fritsch from Baylor, one of my top-rated pitchers from last summer, allowed no runs on one hit in 3.2 innings pitched for Cotuit.

Wareham 6 Y-D 3: Wareham scored six runs in the sixth inning to beat Yarmouth-Dennis. First baseman Mickey Wiswall from Boston College, right fielder Austin Wates from Virginia Tech and left fielder Steve Chatwood from the University of San Diego each had two hits for Y-D.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19 for June 18 Update

I went to a rainy Wareham on Thursday night where they were trying hard to get the game between Wareham and Harwich in at all costs.

It wasn't a comfortable situation, and there were only about 100 people at Spillane Field, but the field was in good shape and they played through a steady rain. Wareham cruised to a 7-0 win.

Left-handed starter Eric Pfisterer from Duke had his second consecutive stellar start of the season for the Gatemen. He was taken out after the seventh inning with a no-hitter going, having faced only one hitter past the minimum. Pfisterer throws three good pitches, hits his spots and mixes his pitches well, but last night was yet another situation where a good but not outstanding starter simply outperformed his stuff. If he is able to continue his success over the course of the season I will take greater notice, but for now I'm not sure he will.

Shortstop Derek Dietrich from Georgia Tech put on a show again for Wareham. The left-handed hitter took the first pitch he saw, an outside fastball, way over the fence in left field, then turned on an inside fastball and cranked a home run to right in his second at-bat. He finished 3-for-5. Dietrich has a very smooth stroke, and the ball just flies off his bat when he connects. He moves well in the field and has a Major League-caliber arm. I have now seen each team in the league at least once, and while there are plenty of big-time players still scheduled to arrive, Dietrich is by far the most impressive prospect playing on the Cape so far.

A few other Wareham hitters put on a power display during batting practice. George Springer from UConn hit a couple balls into the bleachers beyond the leftfield fence but then struggled against breaking pitches during the game. Jake Lemmerman from Duke swung hard and hit a couple bombs during BP. Ryan LaMarre from Michigan has a smooth stroke and some pop, and Alex Dickerson from Indiana hit some majestic moon shots with his powerful, slightly uppercut swing.


Chatham 2 Bourne 0: Right-handed starter Mike Dennhardt from Boston College allowed just one hit over eight innings pitched for Chatham.

Hyannis 13 Falmouth 5: Designated hitter Cody Hawn from Tennessee hit a grand slam and went 2-for-5 for Hyannis. Second baseman Nick Crawford from UAB and third baseman Dustin Harrington from East Carolina each had two hits for Hyannis. First baseman Ryan Cuneo from Delaware and Hyannis and designated hitter Murray Watts from Arkansas State and Falmouth each hit home runs.

Orleans 6 Cotuit 1: Left-handed starter Rob Rasmussen from UCLA allowed one unearned run on two hits in six innings for Orleans. He struck out 10 and walked 1. First baseman Jaren Matthews from Rutgers and centerfielder Kevin Muno from the University of San Diego each had two hits for Orleans.

Brewster 4 Y-D 1: Brewster scored four runs in the ninth inning to spoil another strong start by Y-D left-handed starter Chris Sale from Florida Gulf Coast. Sale allowed two hits over eight shutout innings and struck out 12. Right-handed starter Sean Hoelscher from Texas Christian allowed two hits and struck out eight in 6.2 innings for Brewster.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 18 for June 17 Update

Wednesday night brought me to Harwich for an opening day makeup/2008 championship rematch between Harwich and Cotuit. While very few players remained from last year, Cotuit exacted some revenge for last year's sweep with a 7-0 victory.

There was only one major league scout in attendance even though there was only one other game last night, but there were a couple notable Major League ties to the game.

Cotuit manager Mike Roberts, father of Baltimore second baseman Brian Roberts, showed his propensity for being aggressive on the bases. Cotuit stole six bases, was caught three other times, and successfully pulled off a safety squeeze.

More interestingly, Cotuit leftfielder Cory Vaughn, son of former Major Leaguer Greg Vaughn, was the offensive hero for the Kettleers. The San Diego State Aztec was 1-for-13 coming into the game but went 3-for-4 and crushed a grand slam into the woods well beyond the left field fence. Vaughn is big (6'3" 225) and athletic, and was probably the most talented player on the field Wednesday. He's a bit of a free swinger, and has struck out 7 times in his first 17 at-bats, but he swings hard and has some tools.

Cotuit's right-handed starter Brandon Cumpton from Georgia Tech shares Player of the Game honors with Vaughn. Cumpton is just average height and has a thin frame at 6'1 190, but he has smooth mechanics and good arm action and he was able to run his fastball up to 93 mph. Cumpton's heater sat in the 91-93 range, and he was still throwing it by hitters late in his eight-inning no-run, three-hit performance. Cumpton also showed a good 74 mph curveball and a decent 80-83 mph changeup that he tended to float up in the zone but he could also throw for strikes.

Cotuit's Rico Noel also had a huge game. The diminuitive (5'9 165) second baseman from Coastal Carolina did a little bit of everything. He went 3-for-4, turned on a fastball for a deep home run to left-center, stole three bases including one steal of third and made a very athletic turn on a double play with a runner bearing down on him. If scouts are not turned off by his size, they'll see pretty clearly that he can play.

Cotuit also had three other players who showed some pop during batting practice. Riley Cooper, who was just selected in the 25th round of the 2009 MLB draft by Texas, and who played wide receiver for the University of Florida's football team, drove the ball with a power hitter's slight uppercut swing. He struggled against live hitting though and went 0-for-3 with a walk out of the No. 9 hole in the game.

Kevin Patterson from Auburn, an All-Star for Cotuit last summer who was just getting the day off, and Devin Harris from East Carolina, an 8th round pick by Baltimore, both showed home run power during BP but didn't play in the game.

Right-handed reliever Brian Dupra from Notre Dame was the main standout for Harwich. Dupra was a Cape League All-Star last summer. He had good command of a 92-93 mph fastball, and threw a very good 78-80 mph curveball with tight downward break and late life. He also showed an occasional 84 mph changeup. Dupra has good size at 6'3" 205, but he has some effort in his delivery as he speeds up his body late in his motion and tends to throw across his body. He also falls off the mound toward first base. With some tightening of his mechanics, Dupra could be very good.

Harwich second baseman Chris Wade from the University of Kentucky, an 11th round pick of the Florida Marlins, also played well, smoking a triple over the centerfielder's head with his smooth righthanded swing, and also made two tremendous diving stops on hard hit ground balls up the middle.


Chatham 5 Wareham 4 10 innings: Pinch runner Brian Harris from Vanderbilt scored the winning run for Chatham on a passed ball as the Anglers improved to 4-1 on the year. Second baseman Tom Belza from Oklahoma State went 2-for-4 and designated hitter Nick Schwaner, a 42nd round pick of San Francisco, from New Orleans went 2-for-5 for Chatham. Designated hitter Chris Hannick from Cal St. Northridge went 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs for Wareham.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 17 for June 16 update

It was literally a two-jacket evening in Hyannis on Tuesday night, but luckily Hyannis and Orleans made it quick and Orleans won 2-0 in about 2 hours and 10 minutes.

There were three major league scouts in attendance at various points of the game, but none seemed extremely interested in too many of the players.

Orleans first baseman Jaren Matthews from Rutgers provided all the offense in the second inning when he smoked a line-drive two-run homer to right-center at the hitter-friendly McKeon Park. Matthews has a mature, powerful body with thick legs and he turned on a fastball and really cranked it. He did show some vulnerability against off-speed pitches later in the game, though.

Hyannis centerfielder Trent Whitehead from East Carolina was the best looking position player for the Mets, even though he went 0-for-4. Whitehead crushed a fly ball to deep center field, covered a lot of ground in the outfield and showed a strong arm.

Neither starting pitcher was that outstanding, even though Orleans lefty Elliot Glynn from UConn pitched six shutout innings during which he allowed one hit. Glynn is listed at 6'1" 175 but he looks smaller and has an immature build. His fastball sat between 84-86 mph, and he also threw a 71-73 mph slider with good movement even if it didn't have especially tight break. Glynn has very good control and mixes his pitches well, but his stuff doesn't really translate to higher levels.

Scouts were slightly abuzz about Orleans right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle from Lynn University. One scout said he saw Kahnle touch 95 mph during the spring, but his fastball topped out at 93 on Tuesday. Kahnle had a solid build at 6'0" 225, and he threw with some effort in his delivery. Kahnle looked to be overthrowing a little bit and he struggled with his control. He also threw a tight 80-81 mph slider.

Hyannis right-handed reliever Kevin Moran from Boston College showed some potential in his two innings of work. He has a tall, athletic build and a projectable frame at 6'4" 205, and he brings energy and an intense presence to the mound. His fastball sat in the 89-91 mph range but he could probably throw harder with improved mechanics. He showed a very good 75-77 mph curveball with big, steep break that really darts downward late. He also threw an 86 mph cutter. Moran's a local kid from Barnstable who has a big following at games. He's somebody worth watching this summer.


Y-D 6 Harwich 5: Y-D right-handed starter Michael Goodnight from the University of Houston pitched six strong innings, allowing one run on three hits. Jordan Casas from Long Beach State went 4-for-4 for Y-D.

Bourne 4 Falmouth 2: Kyle Roller from East Carolina had three hits for Bourne.

Cotuit 5 Chatham 3: Cotuit's Chris Bisson from the University of Kentucky stole two bases to give him a league-leading 10 on the season, and Cotuit starter Chad Bell from Walters State Community College allowed three hits through five innings pitched.

Brewster 2 Wareham 2: Wareham starter Matt Barnes from UConn had scouts talking as he struck out seven in five innings pitched. Steven Maxwell from TCU pitched four shutout innings of relief for Brewster.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 16 for June 15 Update

I went to Yarmouth-Dennis on Monday night to see Y-D face Chatham. It was another cold evening, and one man with a southern accent said "It's colder than a dead bird up here."

Chatham won 3-2 in front of three major league scouts in a game that barely got the full nine innings in before it got dark.

Chatham right-handed starter Kaleb Fleck was an interesting story to watch. Fleck goes to University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and his collegiate season ended on April 26. He was visibly nervous on the mound and had some trouble finding consistency in his mechanics, throwing across his body and struggling with his release point. But Fleck's fastball sat mostly in the 90-91 range and occasionally touched 92. He showed occasional glimpses of a very good 80-82 mph slider, but he didn't always throw it the way he wanted to. Fleck also showed an 82 mph changeup. He ended up pitching five shutout innings, allowing just one hit.

An American League scout made an interesting observation about Chatham right-handed reliever Taylor Hill from Vanderbilt. "His mechanics remind me of Pedro Martinez," the scout said. "His performance does not." Hill had good size at 6'4", 220, but there was a lot of effort in his delivery and he kind of slinged the ball when he threw it. His fastball sat in the 90-91 mph range and he threw a decent 79-81 mph slider with sweeping movement.

The Anglers brought in righthander Russell Brewer, also from Vanderbilt, to pick up the save in the ninth. I really liked Brewer a lot when he closed games for Hyannis last summer, and he was exactly how I remembered him. His stuff is not that good, but he has excellent command and just consistently gets the job done. He's a little undersized at 6'0" 190, and his fastball tops out at 89 mph, but he hits his spots with it and makes hitters beat him. Brewer also throws a 75-76 mph slider that doesn't have very tight break but gets outs.

Y-D right-handed starter Scott Lyman from UC-Davis threw a great changeup, but he struggled with his control and didn't make it out of the fourth inning. Lyman is 6'3" with an athletic build, and he spins part of the way around in his motion a la Kevin Brown. He releases from almost straight over the top and there is effort in his delivery. Lyman's fastball sat mostly in the 90-91 range and once touched 92. He threw an 81 mph curveball with sweeping break and his best pitch was the 77-79 mph changeup that was really deceptive when he finished and a lot of hitters swung at and missed. But Lyman walked five and hit a batter and finished his day throwing some more in the bullpen.

Y-D right-handed reliever Matt Little from the University of Kentucky wasn't bad, but he was a max effort guy who had some balance issues as he fell way off toward third base upon his release. Little's two-seam fastball sat in the 87-89 mph range with some run in on right-handed hitters, and he occasionally dialed his four-seamer up to 91 or 92. He also threw a 77 mph slider with big frisbee-like movement that he could get hitters to chase out of the zone. He didn't always throw the slider well, though.

Among the hitters, Y-D shortstop Josh Rutledge from Alabama stood out during BP when he hit a few balls into the trees with his smooth right-handed swing. He also went 2-for-4 in the game, driving the ball to right field twice.

Y-D catcher Ben McMahan from Florida hit the ball hard a couple times in the game as well.

For Chatham, DH Nick Schwaner from the University of New Orleans impressed during batting practice. He keeps his hands in tight to the point where he is almost jamming himself, but he has quick hands and whips the bat through the zone to generate some pop. He went 2-for-4 in the game.

Left fielder Whit Merrifield from South Carolina, who played for Y-D last summer, scored the winning run for Chatham.


Falmouth 4 Orleans 0: Tom Collier from San Jacinto struck out nine in six shutout innings for Falmouth

Brewster 2 Harwich 0: Mark Gormley from Brown pitched six shutout innings of relief, allowing one hit and striking out six to pick up the win for Brewster.

Bourne 2 Cotuit 2 in 10 innings: Bourne starter Stephen Porlier from Oklahoma allowed one run on two hits in six innings, and Cotuit starter Jake Buchanan from N.C. State allowed just two unearned runs in six innings on the mound.

Wareham 4 Hyannis 2: Wareham starter Blake Monar from Indiana allowed two unearned runs in his five innings pitched.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 15 for June 14 Update

I went back to Bourne on Sunday for the second night in a row and saw Bourne get its first win of the season in a 5-1 victory over Wareham.

It was unseasonably cold, and some people were wearing heavy coats and wool hats in the bleachers.

The star of the night was unquestionably Bourne right-handed starter Eric Cantrell of George Washington, who pitched eight shutout innings, allowed two hits, struck out 12 and walked none. Of the last 21 hitters Cantrell faced, he retired 20 and the man who got on base reached on an error.

Unfortunately for Cantrell, the only major league scout in attendance was not overly impressed with Cantrell's stuff and the scout left after the second inning. Cantrell was tall (6'4") with a rather thin frame and there was some effort in his delivery. His fastball sat in the 87-90 mph range and once touched 91. He threw a decent 76-78 mph curveball with sharp downward break, and a very good 76-78 mph changeup with good downward action. Cantrell showed very good command and hit his spots throughout the game.

It was pretty clear Cantrell's stuff is not as good as his stat line, but it was still an impressive performance.

The only other player of note in a game in which no other hitters and no pitcher other than Cantrell really stood out was highly-touted Wareham shortstop Derek Dietrich from Georgia Tech, who is playing for the Gatemen this summer after declining an invitation to try out for Team USA.

Dietrich, a third-round draft choice of the Houston Astros in 2007 and the 2008 NCBWA National Freshman Hitter of the Year, is simply one of those guys who exudes the air of a prospect and is on a different level than almost everybody else on the field. As one National League scout said yesterday, "his major league tools jump out and bite you like a snake."

During batting practice the ball flew off Dietrich's bat and he made solid contact on nearly every one of his effortless left-handed swings. He has quick hands and good pop for a player of his size (6'1", 195). During infield practice he moved very athletically and confidently, showed good range and sound footwork and aired out his plus arm by throwing seeds to first base from shallow left field.

But Dietrich had an absolutely terrible game. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and flailed more than once at Cantrell's average breaking pitch. He also made two errors at shortstop, both times sitting back on ground balls he allowed to play him. He did make one beautiful major-league-caliber play on a ground ball headed up the middle.

First baseman Kyle Roller from East Carolina, who just arrived on the Cape yesterday, was perhaps the most noteworthy postition player for Bourne. The bruising cleanup hitter hit a sharp single to right field, but also looked badly fooled in two consecutive strikeouts in his last two at bats.


For whatever reason Sunday's box scores are not yet available, but here are the other scores.

Chatham 3 Brewster 0

Cotuit 3 Falmouth 2, 10 innings

Harwich 2 Orleans 1, 11 innings

Y-D 3 Hyannis 1

Quick Marketing Note

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June 14 for June 13 Update

I spent Saturday evening in Bourne where Yarmouth-Dennis beat Bourne 3-2 after an eighth inning rally fueled by three walks and a hit by pitch.

Two major league scouts were in attendance, and I talked with Y-D pitcher Chris Sale who makes his third blog appearance of the week for discussing our shared model of BlackBerry with me.

Once again pitching ruled the day, and several arms brought something to the table.

Y-D right-handed starter Jared Ray from the University of Houston was the best of the day as he showed four quality pitches and was not afraid to throw any of them in any count. Ray's fastball sat in the low 90s, he threw a 73 mph curveball with big break, an 81-82 mph slider with tight movement and a good 79 mph changeup with nice tailing action. Ray's stuff was not overpowering but he really knew how to pitch.

The other Y-D pitcher who looked good was closer Tyler Burgoon of the University of Michigan. Burgoon is undersized at 5'10", 165, and his fastball sat mostly in the 88-90 range, but he had a very good slider that missed a lot of bats. Burgoon struck out five batters in his two innings of work Saturday.

For Bourne, left-handed starter Cameron Roth from UNC-Wilimington was pretty good. He has kind of a thin frame, but his fastball sat mostly in the 89-91 mph range and he really attacked the strike zone with it. Roth's secondary stuff was just average as he threw a 78 mph slider with tight break but not too much movement and an 81 mph changeup he tended to leave up in the zone. He also threw the occasional 81-82 mph cutter.

Bourne reliever Kevin Munson from James Madison touched 93 mph with his fastball, but he has a lot of effort in his delivery and began to struggle with his control. He threw an 81-83 mph slider that he tended to spin and leave up in the zone, but when he followed through it was a quality pitch.

Offensively, light-hitting temp Bourne shortstop Tom Zebroski from George Washington stepped in the bucket but hit a 301-foot home run to the opposite field that barely cleared the right field fence near the foul pole. Free-swinging Y-D first baseman Mickey Wiswall from Boston College stayed back well and drove a sharp single to center in the middle of the Red Sox' key rally. Wiswall has quick hands and a nice compact swing.

Y-D's monstruous (6'5", 225) designated hitter Chase Davidson from the University of Georgia showed the most pop during batting practice, but he doesn't really have a position and entered the game as a pinch hitter.


Chatham 4 Hyannis 1: Chatham second baseman Tom Belza from Oklahoma State went 3-for-3 with a home run as Chatham beat Hyannis. Third baseman Shane Kroker from Wake Forest went 2-for-3 for Hyannis.

Harwich 10 Falmouth 5: Harwich shortstop Chris Wade from the University of Kentucky went 3-for-5 and second baseman Connor Mach from the University of Missouri went deep for Falmouth.

Brewster 10 Orleans 8: Brewster centerfielder Bobby Coyle from Arizona and shortstop Tim Ferguson from Ole Miss each went three-for-five and Brewster scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat Orleans. Third baseman Michael Olt from UConn went two-for-five with a home run and left fielder Kevin Muno from the University of San Diego went two-for-four for Orleans.

Wareham 5 Cotuit 3: Eric Pfisterer from Duke started and pitched five hitless innings with 10 strikeouts and just two walks for Wareham.

I'll be back in Bourne this evening for Wareham at Bourne, weather permitting.

Friday, June 12, 2009

June 13 for June 12 Update

My regular season opened in Brewster last night where Brewster tied Falmouth 2-2. Umpires called the game because of darkness after 10 innings even though it was only about a quarter to eight and they probably could have gotten another inning in.

Pitching dominated in a typical early-season Cape League game as hitters struggled to adjust to the wood bats and several big-name hitters on each team haven't arrived yet.

Two representatives from the New York Mets were at the game checking out their recent 15th-round pick RHP Casey Schmidt, who sat out all spring at the University of San Diego because of NCAA transfer rules and who also missed all of 2008 after offseason surgery.

Schmidt started for Brewster and looked good in five shutout innings. His stuff isn't overpowering but he has good command and can throw three different pitches for strikes. His fastball sat mostly in the 89-90 mph range and occasionally touched 91. His 76 mph curveball was about Cape-League average with a sweeping break and he also threw a 74-76 mph changeup.

Falmouth starter Mitch Mormann from Des Moines Area Community College dominated in four innings of no-hit ball, but his stuff really wasn't that impressive. He threw mostly all fastballs which sat in the 87-89 mph range and once hit 92. He occasionally spun a slider but it wasn't very good and he didn't seem to have much trust in it. Mormann's mechanics were inconsistent and he started to struggle with his control toward the end of his outing.

Falmouth right-handed reliever Shane Farrell from Marshall looked good, showing an 87-89 mph fastball with a very nice 79-81 mph slider with sharp, late-breaking action. He's a big kid at 6'6" and 230 lbs and it looks like he could throw harder because he tends to short-arm his pitches.

Brewster reliever Tyler Thornburg from Charleston Southern hit 95 on the radar gun, but his fastball is very flat and he left it up in the zone and the Falmouth hitters knocked him around. Thornburg blew a 2-0 lead in the top of the ninth in just three hitters and left with the game tied. He also displayed poor body language after giving up a double he thought the centerfielder should have tracked down.

Among the hitters, Brewster's Mark Canha from Cal-Berkeley was the most impressive. Canha broke up Falmouth's no-hitter with a bunt single with two outs in the sixth inning, then hit the only home run of the game on a deep drive to left in the bottom of the eighth. He did misplay a ball in right field, though that is not his natural position.

SS Jason Esposito from Vanderbilt and 3B Matt Skole from Georgia Tech were the best position players for Falmouth. Esposito ripped a double down the left field line and looked very smooth in the field with a strong arm. Skole has a power hitter's body and swings hard, and he also made a diving stop and showed a plus arm on a ground ball at third base.


Yarmouth-Dennis 4-Orleans 3: RHP Chris Sale from Florida Gulf Coast, who I liked in his inning of relief in an exhibition game on Monday, started for Y-D and pitched six shutout innings with eight strikeouts.

Hyannis 4-Bourne 1: RHP Austin Hudson scattered five hits over six innings to get the win for Hyannis.

Cotuit at Harwich and Wareham at Chatham were postponed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

An Unexciting No-Hitter

I went to the second of two exhibition games on my schedule Wednesday night, and Hyannis beat Team Cape Cod 14-0 in a game originally scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed by rain.

I actually pitched against Team Cape Cod, a senior Babe Ruth league all-star team, in the 2004 senior Babe Ruth New England regional tournament. My team lost.

Eight Hyannis pitchers combined for a no-hitter, and Team Cape Cod was simply overmatched by the Cape League talent.

A few pitchers in particular stood out as worth watching.

RHP Seth Rosin from Minnesota got the start and dominated for two innings with a hard fastball and very good command of an average curveball. Rosin is a huge guy, listed at 6'6" 250, and it will be interesting to see if his power stuff is good enough against Cape League hitters.

RHP Cole Johnson from Notre Dame also had good stuff. He has some zip on his fastball which has good run in on right-handed hitters. He throws both a curveball and a slider, and has tight break on his breaking pitches. He has good size at 6'3" 200 and an athletic build. He drops down and throws from a low arm slot.

Finally, RHP Dallas Gallant from Sam Houston State is a very raw thrower who showed flashes of potential but has a long way to go. He throws hard and has a good curveball with a steep break, but his mechanics were sloppy and he struggles with his control. Gallant, at 6'3" 185, has room to fill out. He's a potentially projectable guy, and is somebody worth watching this summer.
The forecast for tonight is questionable, but weather permitting the regular season will open in Harwich.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cape League Exhibitionists

I made it out to Brewster tonight for an exhibition game between a random assortment of Cape League Eastern Division players and the barnstorming U.S. Military All-Stars. The USMA-S won 5-2.

I was the only scout at Stony Brook Elementary, which was good from a me-being-dedicated standpoint, but bad from a it's-hard-to-evaluate-pitchers-without-a-radar-gun standpoint.

The talent level wasn't great by Cape standards, as many of the Cape League players who played tonight are temps who are still hoping to make their team's roster.

It was therefore mostly a night of writing guys off as opposed to finding any real prospects. A few guys were halfway decent though and they are described here:

The random Cape assortment used nine different pitchers, and the only two who intrigued me at all in their innings of work were 2010 draft eligibles LHP Chris Sale from Yarmouth-Dennis and Florida Gulf Coast and RHP Les Williams from Harwich and Northeastern. I need to see them throw to a radar gun, but they are at least worth watching a couple more times if they are able to stick around.

Sale is very tall (6'6") and strikingly thin (listed at 185 lbs). He has a funky delivery during which he sort of drops down and falls forward simultaneously, releasing from a low-three-quarter arm angle. He had good tail on his fastball and threw a really nice pitch that I guessed was a sinker because of its sharp downward break. He also showed a slider.

Williams is average height (6'2") but had very large, Roger Clemens-esque thighs. It seemed like he was throwing the ball pretty hard, and hopefully a gun will eventually confirm that. He spotted his fastball well and attacked the strike zone better than any of the other eight pitchers. He threw a nice slider with hard bite, a less-effective curveball and a changeup. He has a sloppy motion and he kind of slings his arm around when he releases. He also started moping and showed poor body language after two fielding miscues behind him.

The best position players of the night were 2010 draft eligibles SS Devin Lohman from Orleans and Long Beach State, and IF/OF Danny Muno from Orleans and Fresno State. Neither were outstanding, just better than the rest.

Lohman mainly impressed in the field where he showed good range to both his left and right, smooth footwork and rhythm and a strong arm. He didn't have a good approach at the plate though and really just didn't look ready to hit. He was late on several average fastballs, and struggled to adjust to breaking pitches. He finally stayed back on an off-speed pitch and pulled a single in his third at-bat.

Muno had the best-looking swing of the night, a smooth stroke from the left side. He's a switch hitter but didn't face any lefties tonight. He did a good job using the whole field.

All in all, nothing to get too excited about on the first night. The military propaganda before the game and in between every inning was a little offputting too. I'm going to an exhibition in Hyannis Tuesday night and the regular season opener in Thursday.

Bear with me, the league will get more interesting soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Hello everyone. You have found Greg Schimmel's 2009 Cape Cod Baseball League blog.

I will be working as a freelance scout this summer scouting the Cape Cod Baseball League, and I decided to start this blog to document my experience and keep my writing sharp.

I worked in a similar scouting capacity for ESPN's Peter Gammons last summer, and compiled a comprehensive 54-page report describing the best 2009 and 2010 draft-eligible Major League Baseball prospects who played on the Cape. (Several of those players will be drafted high in the 2009 draft on Tuesday. My top two prospects from last year's Cape League are shortstop Grant Green and right handed pitcher Ben Tootle).

Because my scouting objectives will be much narrower this season, I will likely be unable to create a report similar to last year's which made sure to touch on every player of interest on the Cape.

This blog will provide updates just about every day throughout the summer with my thoughts and observations about players I watched in the most recent games I saw. I will probably work out some kind of easy-to-read format as I go along and hopefully you will find my information informative, enlightening, and engaging.

So if you are interested in amateur baseball, the Major League Baseball Entry Draft, or simply my dry wit and writing style, this is a blog you will definitely need to check frequently.

The season starts June 11. Tell your friends.