I went to Hyannis again on Wednesday to see Hyannis play Brewster mainly because it was the most convenient place to go as I get my stuff together for the All-Star Game on Thursday.
I had already seen both starters, and with Brewster winning 1-0 there weren't many hitters to talk about either. But a few of the relievers who came in are worth discussing.
Righthander Kendal Volz from Baylor made his 2009 Cape League debut for Brewster, and it was a pleasant surprise to get to watch him pitch up here. Volz has been a highly-touted prospect and made a big name for himself last summer as Team USA's closer, but he fell to the ninth round of this year's draft when the Red Sox selected him after an up-and-down college season. Volz has reportedly thrown 97 mph in the past but his fastball sat in the 87-89 mph range Wednesday. His 76-80 mph slider was a very good pitch with late movement, and he didn't throw his changeup in his inning of work Wednesday. Volz is big with a solid build at 6'4" 220, but he throws with effort. He clearly wasn't at top form.
Brewster right-handed reliever Tyler Thornburg from Charleston Southern was also interesting to watch. I caught Thornburg throw during the first week of the season, but hadn't seen him since then before Wednesday night. Thornburg is undersized at 5'11" 176, and he throws with big-time effort. He gets good extension and has a hitch in his motion before he throws straight over the top. I hesitate to make this comparison, as his mechanics are not as exaggerated and his stuff is not as good, but Thornburg evokes a faint comparison to Tim Lincecum. But Thornburg's command is not as good, he doesn't throw as hard and his curveball doesn't break as much. Still, Thornburg's fastball sat in the 93-94 mph range, and his 77 mph curveball had very good overhand break. He also showed a decent changeup with some tailing action in on right-handed hitters. Thornburg impressed me more than he did the last time I saw him when his curveball wasn't working for him, but with his command he is kind of an adventure every time out.
Brewster right-handed reliever Stayton Thomas from the University of Texas was decent too. He is also undersized at 5'11" 175, and he throws with some effort. Thomas' fastball sat in the 87-89 mph range and had some glove-side run and sinking action. He threw a very good 72-74 mph curveball with big break. With his size his velocity might be maxed out, and his current two-pitch combination likely wouldn't be good enough to consistently fool professional hitters.
Hyannis right-handed reliever Dallas Gallant from Sam Houston State showed good stuff again but struggled with his control. One of the more successful relievers in the league this summer, Gallant's fastball sat in the 91-92 mph range, his hard 84-85 mph slider had really tight break, and it complemented his sweeping 77-79 mph curveball well. Gallant has good size and a thin, athletic build at 6'3" 185. Scouts are talking about him as one of the better relievers on the Cape.
Finally, Hyannis left-handed reliever Mark Gormley arkfrom Brown, who pitched for Brewster earlier in the summer, looked better than I remembered him in previous outings. Gormley is average height for a pitcher with an athletic build at 6'2" 200. He has good arm action but he throws with effort and falls off the mound when he throws. Gormley's fastball sits in the 87-88 mph range. He has a decent changeup that tails back in toward left-handed hitters, and an average slider.
Both catchers looked good behind the plate Wednesday, and each threw out two runners trying to steal second base. Brewster's Dan Butler from the University of Arizona moves very well back there and has a really accurate arm. His bat isn't as good as his defense, and Butler is already three months away from his 23rd birthday which limits his status as a prospect. He is also a little undersized for a catcher at 5'10" 190. Hyannis' Kenny Swab from Young Harris has struggled terribly at the plate this summer, but he is also a good defensive backstop.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Falmouth 7 Chatham 6, Falmouth 5 Chatham 2: In the first game of the doubleheader, rightfielde Ryan Jones from Wichita State went 3-for-3 and second baseman Connor Mach homered for Falmouth. Centerfielder Whit Merrifield from the University of South Carolina went 2-for-3 with three RBI. In the second game, shortstop B.A. Vollmuth from Southern Mississippi homered for Falmouth and first baseman Dean Green from Oklahoma State homered for Chatham.
Bourne 4 Wareham 0: Bourne right-handed starter Alex Wimmers from Ohio State pitched six shutout innings, allowing four hits and four walks and striking out 10. Second baseman Pierre LePage from UConn and shortstop Zack MacPhee from Arizona State each had two hits for Bourne.
My All-Star Game recap will appear Friday afternoon, highlighting the best performances of the league's signature event.
QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to be alerted every time I update this blog? Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Greg_Schimmel