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.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
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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