The Brewster Whitecaps have the best record in the Cape Cod League (19-8) thanks to a roster loaded with talent—and character.
"Every team out here's an all-star team, but the chemistry and camaraderie these guys created real fast led to our success at this point," said Brewster coach Tom Myers, the associate head coach and pitching coach at UC Santa Barbara. "These guys are taking it seriously, and that's why I'm enjoying it so much. They're playing to win. Some guys come up here and just want to showcase their talents for scouts. These guys know there are scouts there, but they want to win."
I asked Myers to break down a number of players on his team that are having big summers or emerging as sleeper prospects. Here are his thoughts:
On Long Beach State righthander Andrew Gagnon (4-0, 1.69, 35-10 K-BB in 27 IP): "Andrew Gagnon is one to watch for next year: loose arm, 89-92, pretty good feel for a changeup, his slider's in development. He pitches to both sides of the plate and he comes at guys. I think he was the Friday night guy this past year at Long Beach, and I foresee him being really good this year."
On Louisiana State righty Anthony Ranaudo (3-0, 0.00, 31-8 K-BB in 30 IP): "He's been outstanding. The big thing about him is everybody gets worried sometimes about ego or whatever, but he's an ego-less kid. He works his tail off, and he's a great teammate. He's topped at 94, sitting 92-93, with an 82 mph curveball that had some great depth, and he's throwing a changeup pretty well. His mental makeup's off the charts, and the way he goes about his business, you know why he was selected so high."
On Cal State Fullerton righty Jake Floethe (2-1, 0.84, 17-9 K-BB in 21 IP): "He may have the best stuff. He's 90-93 with heavy sink and a good changeup. The slider's something he needs to refine a little bit, but he looks like he's playing catch. It's an effortless delivery."
On Georgia righty Michael Palazzone (1-1, 1.40, 25-3 K-BB in 26 IP): "It's crazy how an aluminum bat can really destroy guys' seasons. He can really pitch, he's got command to both sides of the plate, an average to maybe a tick above-average changeup, a breaking ball he can throw for strikes. He repeats his delivery, he's got very good command, and he keeps them off balance. He's been drafted twice before, I can see why. He's 91-92 with a good body and a loose arm. And he's a great kid."
On Texas outfielder Cohl Walla (.259/.313/.310, 4 RBI in 58 AB): "He's only a freshman; he's going to be a special player. Long and lanky, needs to put a little weight on his body, he can really patrol center field. He's got a 90-93 arm that he's going to use next year. He'll toe the rubber for us at some point this summer and get a few innings. UT's intention is to pitch him at some point next spring. He has a good approach to all fields, got some power, runs well. He's an 18-year-old kid with a lot of tools. He's got the same body as Jarrett Parker. He makes better contact than Jarrett did up here—Jarrett swung and missed a lot. Cohl will swing and miss, but he can hit the ball the other way, doesn't try to pull eveyrthing."
On Memphis outfielder Drew Martinez (.344/.410/.355, 11 RBI, 17 SB in 93 AB): "He was drafted this year (in the 23rd round by the Mets), may return to memphis. Prototpyical leadoff hitter, can really run, aggressive on the basepaths. He's leading the league in hitting and stolen bases. He knows who he is—he hits the ball the other way, and he even takes pitches in BP, which not a lot of guys do. Very advanced approach to hitting."
On former Kentucky third baseman Andy Burns (.245/.321/.306, 12 RBI in 98 AB): "He's in transition right now, leaving Kentucky, may redshirt, may not—he's a quality player. He's played short and third, but will probably end up being a third baseman wherever he lands. He's a 6.8(-second) runner (in the 60-yard dash), he has good hands, an average, accurate arm in the infield, and he's heady. He's a communicator. He'll strike out a little bit like a lot of guys out here, but he's kind of a catalyst for our club."
On first baseman Taylor Ard (.260/.317/.370, 1 HR, 9 RBI in 73 AB), who is transferring from a junior college to Washington State: "Physical kid, has a fairly advanced approach to hitting, and put an aluminum bat in his hands next spring he'll be lethal. He's athletic around the bag, he came out here and really held himself well. Advanced appraoch to hitting, can hit to all fields, and he's got raw power.
On Miami outfielder Nathan Melendres (.277/.320/.447, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 8 SB in 47 AB): "Melendres is a nice player, a 6.6 to 6.7 runner, average to above-average arm strength, can spray the ball around the field. Team player too."
On Bowling Green infielder Jon Berti (.215/.271/.266, 6 RBI in 79 AB): "He ran a 6.56. He stole 30 bags at BGSU. Undersized middle infielder/second baseman, but he plays with a fast motor—I'd take 10 of those kids. He's a gamer. He can play second base, he's got good range, his arm's plenty fine. He runs everything out hard, there's no letup in his step. He just needs to refine his swing a little bit. Right now he's learning with the wood, chases pitches above his hands. He's a good low-ball hitter, but he can get beat above his hands with velocity."
On catchers Mike Dowd (.143/.172/.143) of Franklin Pierce (N.H.) and Jeremy Schaffer (.175/.238/.211) of Tulane: "Dowd might have the best arm strength in the league for a catcher. That's his tool, his arm strength. For a Division II kid, he's come out here and handled himself just fine. Offensively is a little different story, but we brought him in for his defense, and he's done very well. Schaffer hasn't been hitting yet, but he does a good job handling pitchers, he's an intelligent receiver. both those guys complement each other. Schaffer is Ranaudo's caddy, calls a really good game. When we play a team with speed, we can put Dowd back there—his growth with signal calling has come along nicely, but he can shut down other teams running games very well."
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog