I didn't get to take full advantage of the two doubleheaders scheduled Monday because I was driving back from Connecticut where I had a physical earlier in the day. Loyal readers may be relieved to know I am in good enough health to continue writing this blog, and if I were Pedro Martinez the Phillies would probably sign me.
After choosing Orleans over the previously promised Chatham, I made it to Eldridge Park in time for the end of the first game of the doubleheader. I saw Orleans third baseman Riccio Torrez from Arizona State hit a two-run double that sparked a five-run sixth inning for the Firebirds in a 6-2 seven-inning win. Orleans also won the second game 2-1 on a walk-off wild pitch.
I only got to see Orleans left-handed Game 1 starter Jimmy Reyes from Elon throw three pitches, but the curveball he threw looked excellent.
Right-handed reliever Alex Hassan from Duke, the Red Sox' 20th-round pick last month, closed out the first game for the Firebirds. Also a starting outfielder for Orleans, Hassan is above-average height with a thin, athletic build at 6'3" 200. He throws easily, but he tends to short arm his pitches a little bit. Hassan had good command of an 88-91 mph fastball, and threw a 71-73 mph curveball with inconsistent results. When Hassan finished his curveball, once every two or three times he threw it, it was a really effective pitch. The other times he just spun it and it stayed high out of the zone.
Orleans right-handed Game 2 starter Jorge Reyes from Oregon State, the Padres' 17th-round pick last month, was one of my top-rated Cape League starters when he pitched for Falmouth last year, and while he was decent Monday I can't really remember what made me think he was so special in 2008. Reyes is average height for a pitcher with a thin, athletic build at 6'2" 200. He is a quick worker who throws easily with smooth arm action. When Reyes spots his 89-91 mph fastball he is really effective, but his command comes and goes from one inning to the next. He also threw an average 83-85 mph slider that had tight break but which didn't really move all that much.
Bourne right-handed starter Alex Wimmers from Ohio State came to the Cape as a fairly highly-touted prospect, and he looked very good on Monday. Wimmers is average height for a pitcher with an athletic build but a slightly small frame at 6'2" 195. He throws with some effort and falls off the mound toward first. Wimmers' fastball sat in the 88-92 mph range, but his best pitch was definitely his 74-75 mph curveball with really good downward break. The curve's late break fooled a lot of Bourne hitters as it dropped into the strike zone. Wimmers also has a good 76-78 mph changeup with good downward movement.
Orleans designated hitter Gary Brown from Cal State Fullerton hit a deep home run off Wimmers, one of only two hits off of him. Brown doesn't look like he would have much pop at a slight 6'1" 185, but he put such a good swing on the ball that it carried a long way. I know some scouts aren't high on Brown for some reason, but I think he is a really good all-around player. He has tremendous speed, and has been clocked at as fast as 4.0 seconds to first base. He has a really smooth swing with quick hands and he covers a lot of ground in the outfield.
I will be at Chatham at Hyannis on Tuesday.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Y-D 5 Harwich 3: Left-handed starter Mario Hollands from UC Santa Barbara pitched seven strong innings for Y-D, and catcher Micah Gibbs from LSU and third baseman Brian Hernandez from UC Irvine each hit a home run. Shortstop Levi Michael from UNC went 2-for-3 for Harwich.
Hyannis 4 Chatham 3: First baseman Ryan Cuneo from Delaware went 2-for-5 with a home run for Hyannis. Rick Oropesa from USC, Mike Murray from Wake Forest and Dean Green from Oklahoma State each had two hits for Chatham.
Wareham 3 Cotuit 3, Wareham 3 Cotuit 3: Wareham and Cotuit tied both games of a double header by the same score. Wareham right-handed starter Jack Armstrong struck out eight in six strong innings and Game 1.
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