I went to Hyannis on Tuesday night to see Hyannis play Chatham. With the Cape League All-Star Game a little more than a week away, and with the preferred hotel for scouts less than 10 minutes away from McKeon Park, there were about 20 Major League scouts in attendance to see the Anglers beat the Mets 4-2.
Hyannis right-handed starter Austin Hudson from Central Florida, the Mariners' 27th round pick last month, wasn't as good as he looked like he should be. Hudson is tall and thin at 6'5" 195, but he generally looks uncomfortable and awkward on the mound. He doesn't have good balance and he falls off the mound toward first base upon release. Hudson's fastball sat in the 85-87 mph range, and it is really kind of weird to see as you would think somebody with his body type would throw a lot harder. "That's just a disappointing fastball, you know?" one scout said to another. "Disappointing." Hudson also threw a 76-78 mph slider that wasn't that good either and showed an occasional changeup.
I have already written a couple of times about Chatham right-handed reliever Jesse Hahn from Virginia Tech, so I won't go into detail again about his mechanics. But since I made such a big deal about his last appearance, I thought I'd provide an update about his stuff. Scouts clearly got a lot more alert when Hahn trotted out to the mound for the bottom of the seventh inning of a game in which no other pitchers really caught anybody's attention. Hahn's velocity was down from the 96-98 mph he showed last week, but his fastball still sat in the 92-94 mph range Tuesday night. His 75 mph curveball was the best I've seen it, and he also threw his 77-78 mph changeup effectively. Hahn retired all seven batters he faced, and is still quite possibly the best arm on the Cape.
Hyannis right-handed reliever Eric Maust from Notre Dame wasn't bad. He is average height for a pitcher with an athletic build at 6'2" 190. He gets good extension and throws with good arm action. Maust's fastball sat in the 86-87 mph range, he threw a Cape League-average 75-76 mph curveball and a pretty good 76-78 mph changeup. There isn't much good to write about him but there isn't really anything bad. He was very average in pretty much every aspect of his appearance.
The position players who stood out in this game mostly did so for their defense, though Chatham leftfielder Steven Brooks from Wake Forest had a very good day at the plate. I'm told Brooks has done a lot of individual work with Chatham assistant coach David Miller, a former first-round draft choice, and it is clearly paying dividends. Brooks' swing looked really nice Monday, and he went 3-for-4 with three doubles. He went with an outside fastball and stroked a double to the opposite field in one at-bat, then sat back on a curveball and pulled a double in his next at-bat. He's been one of Chatham's better players all season.
Chatham first baseman Dean Green from Oklahoma State impressed me with his glove. I had figured Green to be a one-dimensional power hitter who has shown good pop in batting practice but who hasn't performed in games. But Green made several athletic plays, and really gave you everything you look for in a first baseman. He made a couple of good stretches to handle throws that were off line, he scrambled back to the base in time to cover it after going for a ground ball in the hole, he made a sliding stop on a sharp ground ball and he showed some range on a pop-up in foul territory. It was good to see he could play some defense.
Shortstop Tyler Rahmatulla from UCLA had a good defensive game for Chatham too. Rahmatulla is a little small at 5'10" 170, and he looks overmatched at the plate at this level, but his glove is keeping him afloat up here. He made a great sliding catch on the outfield grass going back on a pop-up and he made a behind-the-back flip with his glove to get the force out at second on a ground ball up the middle.
Shortstop Elliot Soto from Creighton and rightfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. from the University of South Carolina were the defensive standouts for Hyannis.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
Falmouth 5 Bourne 4: First baseman Hunter Morris from Auburn went 3-for-3 with a home run for Falmouth. Third baseman Raynor Campbell went 2-for-3 for Bourne.
Cotuit 6 Orleans 2: Right-handed starter Jake Buchanan from N.C. State threw a complete game for Cotuit, allowing one earned run on six hits and striking out eight. Leftfielder Cory Vaughn homered for Cotuit.
Brewster 5 Wareham 1: Right-handed reliever Bruce Kern from St. John's pitched 3.1 shutout innings for Wareham, striking out six. Brewster right-handed reliever Caleb Cotham from Vanderbilt, the Yankees' fifth-round pick last month, pitched three shutout innings, allowing one hit while striking out seven and walking none.
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