I went to Cotuit on Saturday evening, and saw a Cotuit team that is really struggling lose its sixth game in a row, 5-1, to Bourne. Bourne has won three straight and leads the Western Division.
I unexpectedly caught Cotuit right-handed starter Justin Grimm again, whom I had already seen twice before with varying results. Grimm looked like one of best pitchers on the Cape the first time I saw him, and he looked really bad the second time I saw him. He fell somewhere in between Saturday, but was probably closer to the good form of his first outing. It has become pretty clear that when Grimm is on, he has the stuff to be a really good prospect. But he falls into lapses of poor concentration, his command comes and goes, and he doesn't always finish his breaking pitches. When he's at his best, Grimm's fastball sits in the 92-93 mph range, he can throw a really good overhand curveball, and he shows a good 80-82 mph changeup that is really effective when he keeps it down. Grimm will likely be a high pick next year if he finds a way to perform more consistently.
A couple of Cotuit relievers came in and were really ineffective, right-handed reliever Mike Nesseth from the University of Nebraska came in and showed a live arm, though he did give up an absolute bomb to Bourne designated hitter Kyle Roller from East Carolina. Nesseth, the Angels' 15th-round pick last month, is tall and lanky with a projectable frame at 6'5" 213. He has a jerky, awkward motion, and he tends to throw across his body and fall off the mound toward first base. His fastball sat in the 90-93 mph range, and he threw an 83-86 mph slider with good run. With more developement Nesseth has a shot to be a productive reliever.
Right-handed starter Turner Phelps from James Madison had a very good start for Bourne, allowing one run on four hits and striking out six in 6.1 innings pitched. Phelps has just average stuff though. Phelps is above average height with a husky build at 6'3" 205, and he looks surprisingly unathletic on the mound and struggles to field his position. His fastball sat around 86-87 mph, he threw an average 73-75 mph curveball with sweeping break and floated a 75-77 mph changeup. Phelps has put up good numbers so far this summer, but on Saturday he was helped out a lot by overanxious Cotuit hitters chasing bad pitches.
The usual Bourne position players caught scouts' eyes on Saturday. I heard the usual comments about second baseman Pierre LePage from UConn and his hustle and 4.1 speed down to first. Rightfielder Ben Klafczynski from Kent State showed off his tremendous athleticism again and made another spectacular catch, this time diving to grab a quickly falling shallow fly ball. And for the third consecutive time I've seen Bourne, a different scout admiringly said something like "That's a beautiful swing," about third baseman Rob Segedin from Tulane, who is proving himself to be one of the best right-handed hitters in the Cape League.
For Cotuit, I was interested to see the continued struggles of first baseman Tony Plagman from Georgia Tech. Plagman has a lot of ability, and shows some good pop when he is able to connect at the plate. But Plagman has terrible pitch recognition, and really looked bad in a couple of his plate appearances Saturday when he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. In his first strikeout, he swung comically late at one of Phelps' mediocre fastballs, then he waved at a breaking pitch to strike out in his third at-bat.
I also got my first look at Cotuit rightfielder Kevin Keyes from the University of Texas. Keyes has a good right-handed stroke and he can drive the ball to all fields. He is an incredibly slow runner, though.
I will be at Wareham at Y-D on Sunday.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Yarmouth-Dennis 8 Chatham 1: Right-handed starter John Leonard from Boston College pitched seven shutout innings for Y-D, allowing four hits and striking out three.
Falmouth 10 Hyannis 2: Centerfielder Todd Cunningham from Jacksonville State went 4-for-5 for Falmouth, shortstop B.A. Vollmuth from Southern Mississippi went 3-for-5 and finished a double short of the cycle. First baseman Hunter Morris from Auburn also homered for Falmouth.
Orleans 9 Brewster 4: Designated hitter Gary Brown from Cal State Fullerton went 3-for-5 and leftfielder Jeremy Gould from Duke homered for Orleans. Rightfielder Tant Shepherd from the University of Texas homered for Brewster.
Harwich 9 Wareham 7: First baseman Connor Powers from Mississippi State, the Dodgers' 11th round pick went 3-for-5 with a home run for Harwich. First baseman Brett Eibner from the University of Arkansas went 3-for-5 for Wareham.
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