I went to Yarmouth-Dennis on Friday, but the scheduled pitching matchup had changed and once again I ended up seeing only pitchers I have already seen and written about. With less than two weeks left in the season, and still between 20 and 30 pitchers left unseen, I am making it a point to avoid situations like these from now on.
The postponements and inconsistent accuracy of the Cape League's "Pitchers: Next 3 Days" page are making things difficult, but I am going to try to overcome these obstacles.
As for Friday, Y-D won 6-3 and is starting to distance itself from the pack in the Eastern Division.
Righthander Michael Goodnight from the University of Houston started for Y-D and put together an average performance. Goodnight's main issue is his front side flies open too early and it leads to struggles with his command. Goodnight has good size and a projectable frame at 6'4" 215. His fastball sat in the 91-93 mph range, and he showed an inconsistent 75 mph curveball. When he threw the pitch well it had sharp downward break, but he sometimes didn't finish it and it would hang up in the zone. Goodnight also threw an average changeup with some tail down and in.
Chatham's starter was Patrick Johnson from the University of North Carolina, who is really just held back by his size. Johnson is 5'10" 170 and he throws with big effort. Johnson's fastball sits in the 87-89 mph range and he will occasionally touch 90. His best pitch is a hard 78-82 mph slider with tight break that he can throw for a strike. He also has a pretty deceptive 80 mph changeup with downward movement and an average 72-75 mph curveball. The problem with Johnson is he is pretty much showing you all that he will be, and that is not going to be good enough against professional hitters.
A reliever of interest was Y-D righthander Tyler Burgoon from the University of Michigan, who has put up tremendous numbers as Y-D's closer since I last saw him during the first week of the season. Burgoon hasn't allowed an earned run all season, and he entered Friday's game having given up just four hits in 17.1 innings pitched and striking out 27. He's doing it with only two pitches and a fastball that tops out at 91 mph. Burgoon is undersized at 5'10" 165 and he throws with big effort. His fastball sat in the 89-91 mph range and had good tailing action in on right-handed hitters. He threw a very good 81-82 mph slider with sharp two-plane break. It is pretty clear it is that slider that gets him a lot of his strikeouts. You can't argue with his results, but he is still not a top-level prospect because of his size and average velocity that is clearly maxed out.
Among hitters, three of Y-D's better players put good swings on balls during the game Friday. First baseman Mickey Wiswall turned on a high and inside fastball and hit a line drive home run that left the park in a hurry. He showed really quick hands and a compact swing. Rightfielder Austin Wates from Virginia Tech drove an outside fastball off the top of the rightfield fence, and catcher Ben McMahan from the University of Florida also did nicely taking a outside fastball the opposite way for a double.
I am taking my second non-rain-related day off of the summer on Saturday to attend a function back home in Connecticut. I will return to the Cape on Sunday intent on seeing as many of the elusive unseen pitchers as I can over the last week-and-a-half of the regular season.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Harwich 3 Cotuit 2: Both second baseman Phil Gosselin and rightfielder Dan Grovatt, each from the University of Virginia, went 2-for-4 for Harwich.
Falmouth 3 Hyannis 2: Shortstop B.A. Vollmuth from Southern Mississippi hit a home run for Falmouth. Second baseman Nick Crawford from UAB and centerfielder Trent Whitehead from East Carolina each had three hits for Hyannis.
Wareham 2 Orleans 1: Rightfielder George Springer from UConn, first baseman Jordan Swaggerty from Arizona State and catcher Chris Hannick from Cal State Northridge each had two hits for Wareham.
The Brewster at Bourne doubleheader was rained out.
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