I went to Hyannis on Monday night to watch Hyannis play Cotuit. An e-mailer, a fellow scout and the league's ERA leaderboard persuaded me to catch right-handed starter Jake Buchanan from North Carolina State pitch for Cotuit, and sure enough he pitched a complete-game,three-hit shutout and struck out 10. Cotuit won 3-0.
Buchanan, whose ERA was 0.67 before he pitched a shutout Monday, didn't have tremendous stuff, but he had a good feel for four solid pitches and he wasn't afraid to throw any of them in any count. In the middle innings of his start, one American League scout said "This guy doesn't ever throw the same pitch twice in a row." Hyannis' hitters were off-balance the entire game, and only four balls left the infield. Buchanan is average height with a stocky build at 6'0" 205. He short-arms his pitches a little but throws easy and has good balance. Buchanan's fastball sat in the 88-90 mph range but hitters always seemed unsure of when it was coming and therefore it was effectively faster than its actual speed. Buchanan's best pitch was probably his tumbling 74-77 mph curveball with very good, sharp break. He also threw a 76-80 mph slider with good run and a good 76-79 mph changeup with nice downward movement. None of Buchanan's pitches, other than maybe his curveball, was sensational on its own but his full repertoire was very effective. He could certainly be drafted in the first few rounds next June.
Hyannis' starter was righthander Austin Hudson from Central Florida, the Mariners' 27th-round pick last month. He looked better than when I saw him recently, but he still wasn't anything that special. His fastball sat in the 88-89 mph range, his 76-79 mph slider had good run to it and his 80-82 mph changeup was effective Monday. He pitched a good game but was definitely outshined by Buchanan.
Cotuit catcher Cameron Rupp from the University of Texas got the day off, but I got to watch him take batting practice and to be quite honest I didn't know what to make of it. Something about his swing looked off, but he made really good contact anyway. He hunches forward in his batting stance and has an uppercut swing. I still haven't seen him in person in a game as he has sat out each time I've seen Cotuit since his late arrival. But I get the feeling he will need to straighten out his swing to continue to hit in pro ball. From what I hear he is still one of the best catching prospects on the Cape, though.
Hyannis shortstop Elliot Soto from Creighton is now officially the best defensive player on the Cape. He just looks incredibly smooth every time the ball is hit to him. I just noticed today he hasn't made an error in 29 games this summer. If only he wasn't 5'9" 155 and a light hitter.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
Bourne 4 Falmouth 3: Right-handed starter Eric Cantrell from George Washingto allowed no earned runs on four hits and struck out five in seven innings pitched. Centerfielder Scott Woodward from Coastal Carolina, Rob Segedin from Tulane and Ben Klafczynski from Kent State each had two hits for Bourne.
Wareham 3 Brewster 0: Five Wareham pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout, and rightfielder George Springer from UConn had two hits for the Gatemen.
Harwich 7 Chatham 2: Right-handed starter Mike Gipson from Florida Atlantic pitched seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out 10. Leftfielder Leon Landry from LSU went 2-for-4 with a home run and rightfielder Dan Grovatt from the University of Virginia went 3-for-4 for Harwich.
Y-D 4 Orleans 1: Y-D left-handed starter Chris Sale from Florida Gulf Coast allowed one run on seven hits in seven innings pitched, striking out five. Leftfielder Austin Wates from Virginia Tech went 2-for-4 for Y-D.
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