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.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
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.