I went to Harwich on Friday night, mainly to finally get a good look at three late-arriving hitters from College World Series teams--Virginia's Dan Grovatt and Phil Gosselin and North Carolina's Levi Michael. All three were impressive, and all three played a role in Harwich's 6-0 win over Chatham.
The Mariners have now won four games in a row, and quite possibly have the best lineup in the Cape League now that it is complete.
Grovatt, a rightfielder, was the best hitter of the group, and will almost certainly end up among the league leaders in hitting at the end of the season. He swings hard and doesn't allow himself to get cheated, yet he shows really good bat control and has good plate coverage. He is not afraid to go with pitches and use the whole field. Grovatt also has a strong arm in the outfield. He doesn't have great size at 6'1" 187, but he still has some room to fill out. He's a player that's going to hit for a high average and spray doubles into the gaps, but he isn't a big-time power guy.
Michael started at shortstop for Harwich, and really impressed me as a hard-nosed, scrappy athlete who is going to do what it takes to help his team win. Michael is undersized at 5'10" 175, but he's a switch-hitter who can drive the ball when he connects. He hits the ball hard, puts the ball on the ground, and is able to use his very good speed to make things happen. I clocked him rounding first base in 4.3 seconds from the left side of the plate. In the field Michael showed tremendous range up the middle and a strong arm for somebody his size. Michael is more naturally suited to play second base, but that is Gosselin's position too, and because Michael is the better athlete of the two and has a better arm he is playing short.
Gosselin is just a solid all-around player. He doesn't have any spectular tools, but he's pretty good everywhere. He has really good hands that do work for him both at the plate and in the field. They are quick enough for him to get around on good fastballs with the wood bat, and strong enough to allow him to fight off an inside pitch and get it into the outfield for a hit. Gosselin also plays a really good second base, as he has good footwork and really soft hands that make him excellent at turning the double play. He's pretty much exactly what you want in a second baseman.
Another Harwich hitter who stood out was centerfielder Trent Mummey from Auburn. He has really good speed and tries to make things happen at the top of the Mariners' batting order. He also has decent pop for a guy who is 5'11" 185, as he has very quick hands which generate good bat speed. Mummey is probably the Mariners' best hitter after Grovatt.
On the mound, Harwich right-handed starter Brett Bruening from Grayson Community College, the Yankees' 35th round pick, had a live arm but poor mechanics and he really struggled with his command and control. Breuning is tall with a big, projectable frame at 6'6" 210, and his fastball already sits in the 90-93 mph range, but he needs to learn how to harness his stuff. Bruening throws with slightly stiff arm action, throws across his body and falls off the mound toward first base. There were times his fastball dipped to the 87-88 mph range as he needed to take something off it to be able to throw strikes. He showed a 76-78 mph curveball with slurvy movement, and that was pretty much it for his secondary stuff.
Right-handed reliever Brian Dupra from Notre Dame showed he is one of the better relievers in the league again this summer, pitching for Harwich for the second consecutive season. Dupra has good size and a solid, athletic build at 6'3" 205, and he has a smooth motion until the end and throws with good arm action. He does buck his head upon release. Dupra throws a 91-93 mph fastball with good tail in on right-handed hitters, and also throws an 88-91 mph cutter that runs nicely the other way. He also has a good 79-81 mph slider with tight break. His repertoire is well-suited for the bullpen, and he thrives in that role in the summer.
Right-handed reliever Garrett Davis from North Carolina made his first appearance of the summer Friday night. Davis is big with a solid build at 6'4" 215, but he too has effort in his delivery as he also bucks his head upon release. He throws with good arm action, though, and has good command and is able to throw a lot of strikes. Davis showed an 86-88 mph fastball with glove-side run, and a 74 mph slider.
Right-handed reliever Glen Troyanowski from Florida Atlantic finished things up for Harwich, showing a 90-92 mph fastball and a 73-74 mph curveball with big, sweeping break. Troyanowski has a good arm, but at 6'1" 165, and already throwing with effort, Troyanowski is probably already just about maxed out.
Chatham trotted out to the mound a generally random assortment of mediocrity Friday night, as usually good right-handed starter Kaleb Fleck from Pittsburgh-Johnstown didn't have his best stuff and got pulled in the fourth inning. Right-handed reliever Parker Bangs from South Carolina, Pittsburgh's 46th round pick last month, was the best of Chatham's relievers, showing an 87-88 mph fastball with good late life and arm-side run. He also showed a decent slider with frisbee-like movement that he could throw for strikes. Bangs has good size and a big frame at 6'4" 210, but he tends to throw with all arm and doesn't get all he can out of his body.
AROUND THE LEAGUE:
Hyannis 3 Cotuit 3: Second baseman Chris Bisson from the University of Kentucky went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two stolen bases for Cotuit. First baseman Ryan Cuneo from the University of Delaware went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Hyannis.
Orleans 8 Bewster 7: Orleans blew an early 7-0 lead then scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to beat Brewster. First baseman Jaren Matthews from Rutgers went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, and leftfielder Jeremy Gould from Duke also homered for Orleans. Third baseman Harold Martinez from the University of Miami went 2-for-4 with two RBI for Brewster.
Wareham 6 Falmouth 4: Shortstop Derek Dietrich from Georgia Tech homered for Wareham. Rightfielder Ryan Jones from Wichita State went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for Falmouth.
Bourne 1 Y-D 0: Leftfielder Stefen Romero from Oregon State hit his league-leading fourth home run for the only run of the game against Y-D left-handed starter Chris Sale from Florida Gulf Coast. Bourne right-handed starter Turner Phelps from James Madison pitched 5.1 shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out four, and the Bourne bullpen threw 3.2 innings without allowing a hit.
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