I went to Cotuit on Wednesday for the last day of the regular season and my last Cape League game of the summer.
You might be saying to yourself, "Wait, you're leaving? What will become of the Cape Cod League Blog?" Glad you asked. I will be unveiling my exciting blog plans for the next few weeks Thursday morning.
Cotuit and Brewster tied 1-1 after 10 innings, but Cotuit still backed into a home game in Friday's wild card playoff after Wareham lost to Bourne.It all would have been a lot more exciting if Cotuit and Wareham were fighting for the final playoff spot under the old format instead of just playing for homefield in a wild card game.
Cotuit right-handed starter Craig Fritsch from Baylor, the Tigers' 8th-round pick in June, looked good in five shutout innings against Brewster hitters swinging like they were ready to go home for the rest of the summer. Fritsch is tall with a thin, athletic build at 6'4" 180. He still didn't look as good to me as he did last summer when he pithed for Y-D. Fritsch stands tall on the mound and has a slightly awkward motion, but he throws fairly easily with loose arm action. Fritsch has a low-90's fastball but his secondary stuff is just average. His slider spins and doesn't have much too it, his curveball is also a spinner with a steeper trajectory and his changeup is just average with downward movement. Fritsch does have a projectable body and has a good mix of pitches, so where he went in the eighth round seems about right.
Cotuit right-handed reliever Seth Blair from Arizona State was very impressive. Usually a starter, Blair has a really good fastball/changeup combination and while his breaking pitches need some refining he definitely has a lot of potential. Blair is average height with a thin, athletic build at 6'2" 190. He throws with some effort but has good, loose arm action. Blair throws a low 90s fastball with late life that has really good tailing action in on right-handed hitters. The pitch appears to find a new gear in midair. His changeup also moves a lot and is a good, deceptive pitch. Blair throws a curveball with tight break that he tends to leave up in the zone, and a slider with two-plane break he has trouble commanding. Blair needs to throw his curveball with more consistency and develop a better feel for the slider to maximize his effectiveness, but he should be selected in the first few rounds of next June's draft.
Cotuit right-handed reliever Daniel Tillman from Florida Southern appeared to be back at top form after his velocity was down in his last appearance. Tillman finished the regular season without allowing a run in 22 innings pitched over 16 appearances. He entered a tie game in the bottom of the eighth Wednesday with the bases loaded and one out and got a strikeout and a flyout to get out of the jam. His low 90s sinking fastball/hard slider combination makes him one of the best relievers in the Cape League. He will be a high pick next year.
Brewster left-handed starter Matt Lujan from the University of San Francisco had a good start but his stuff wasn't that good. Lujan is average height with a solid build at 6'1" 200. His motion isn't very tight and he wastes movement, and he throws with some effort. Lujan's fastball is nothing special, and his secondary stuff is also just mediocre. He throws an average curveball with sweeping, 3/8 break and a slider with horizontal run that also doesn't have much to it. His changeup is just so-so as well.
Cotuit third baseman Kevin Patterson from Auburn had an interesting game. Patterson is mostly a one-dimensional power hitting DH/first baseman, but he has been playing third since stud Zack Cox decided to shut it down for the rest of the summer. Patterson has proven time and again that he only hits fastballs, but he hit two singles on curveballs Wednesday. He stayed back and drove one to center, then hit a single to left for Cotuit's only RBI of the game. He then booted a sure double-play ball in the top of the eighth that would have ended the inning but instead led to Brewster's only run. A disgruntled elderly man yelled "Why is he out there in the eighth inning? The kid can't field." Patterson's raw power might make him a high draft pick next year, but he has a lot of holes in his game.
I plan to be going home on Thursday. Again, check the blog Thursday morning for an explanation of what will be happening in this space over the next few weeks. Rankings will commence.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Orleans 3 Chatham 2: Left-handed starter Rob Rasmussen from UCLA pitched 6.2 solid innings for Orleans, allowing one run on six hits and striking out five. Rightfielder Whit Merrifield from the University of South Carolina and centerfielder Addison Johnson from Clemson each had two hits for
Chatham.Y-D 8 Harwich 6: Leftfielder Brian Hernandez from UC Irvine, Cleveland's 39th-round pick, went 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs for Y-D. Shortstop David Herbek from James Madison homered for Harwich and leftfielder Leon Landry from LSU went 3-for-4.
Hyannis 4 Falmouth 3: Designated hitter Jackie Bradley, Jr. from South Carolina went 3-for-4 for Hyannis. Designated hitter John Nester from Clemson went 2-for-3 for Falmouth.
Bourne 7 Wareham 5: First baseman Stefen Romero from Oregon State went 2-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs for Bourne. First baseman Jordan Swagerty from Arizona State went 3-for-4 for Wareham.
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