Cal Ripken Sr. League Top 10 Prospects
Compiled by Aaron Fitt
The Rockville Express beat Bethesda 4-3 in the finale of the Cal Ripken Sr. Collegiate League to win their first league championship. The Express trailed 3-1 heading into the sixth inning, when they exploded for three runs highlighted by a two-run homer by Beau Brooks (Troy).
Ripken League member Youse's Maryland Orioles won the AAABA Tournament in Johnstown, Pa., for the fifth straight year, with righthander Josh Squatrito (CC of Baltimore County-Catonsville) picking up the victory in the title game with a complete-game two-hitter.
1. L.J. Hoes, of, Youse's Orioles (Sr., St. John's College High, Washington, D.C.)
Before leaving for the summer high school showcase circuit, Hoes batted .333/.447/.429 with five stolen bases in seven attempts in 19 games for Youse's Maryland Orioles. A rising high school senior who plans to attend North Carolina, Hoes has already made a name for himself with USA Baseball's Youth and Junior national teams, for whom he's played for two years. The 6-foot, 185-pound Hoes has two tools that project as above-average: arm strength (he's 90-92 mph off the mound) and outfield defense. He's a solid-average runner. He shows gap power with a compact swing, and he has an advanced, patient approach for a high school player, as evidenced by his 12-8 walk-strikeout ratio against much older competition this summer.2. Chris Jackson, ss, Youse's Orioles (Jr., Virginia Commonwealth)
Jackson had a breakout spring for VCU, batting .341/.393/.504 in 60 games, and he followed it up with a solid summer, going .304/.395/.447 with nine stolen bases in 41 games. Jackson has some power to the gaps (he had 14 extra-base hits, including a league-best seven triples) and is a good baserunner, though not a burner. He's a solid-average defender at shortstop, but his arm is a tick below average and might relegate him to a utility role in professional ball. Jackson has a durable 6-foot, 185-pound frame and started 101 consecutive games between the spring and summer.3. Alex Buchholz, 3b, Youse's Orioles (Jr., Delaware)
After batting .378 with 18 home runs as a freshman in 2006, Buchholz hit .387/.433/.689 with 11 more homers as a sophomore this spring. He slumped a bit in the summer, batting just .270/.358/.383 with one homer in 115 at-bats, but he did show above-average bat speed an excellent baserunning instincts (nine steals in 10 attempts). Buccholz packs good power into his 6-foot-1, 190-pound frame, and he's a disciplined hitter with advanced pitch recognition (he drew 14 walks and struck out just 15 times this summer). With a slightly above-average arm, Buchholz can play second base, third base and could project as a corner outfielder as well.4. Justin Grimm, rhp, Youse's Orioles (Fr., Georgia)
Grimm was a 13th-round pick of the Red Sox in June after finishing up his prep career at Virginia High in Bristol, Va. He didn't have a great summer, going just 1-1, 5.12 with 13 walks and six strikeouts in 19 innings, but he worked in the 90-92 mph range with his fastball, touching 93 with occasional sink. Grimm's 74-76 mph sweeping curveball needs to be tightened up. Grimm has a projectable 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame and a smooth high three-quarters delivery. He has an intense mound presence that he'll need in the hitter haven of the Southeastern Conference.5. Connor Hoehn, rhp, Bethesda (Fr., Alabama)
Hoehn was a starter throughout his prep career for Washington-area powerhouse St. John's College High, and the Brewers drafted him in the 21st round this June after he finished his senior year. He had a strong summer against much older competition in the Ripken League, going 2-0, 3.69 with a 36-12 strikeout-walk ratio in 32 innings. Hoehn has a sturdy 6-foot-1, 200-pound build and above-average arm strength. His 88-92 mph fastball moves away from righthanded hitters, but he's not afraid to challenge righties on the inner half. He also throws a 75-78 mph curveball with inconsistent break, and he's learning a changeup. Hoehn has a tendency to overthrow at times, but once he refines his game he could become a front-line starter for Alabama.6. Brian Anderson, rhp, Bethesda (Sr., San Francisco)
Anderson posted a 4.91 ERA out of San Francisco's bullpen as a junior this spring and was not drafted, but he overcame erratic command this summer to go 3-1, 2.63 with a 31-16 K-BB ratio in 38 innings. Anderson has a professional body (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) and pitches from a good downward plane, and his 91-93 mph fastball has late movement. He flashes a plus slider in the 85-87 range with late downward action, but he needs to do a better job finishing his pitches, working the corners and commanding the strike zone. 7. Steve Domecus, c, Rockville (So., UC Santa Barbara)
Domecus started just five games and batted just .216 as a freshman this spring, but he flashed some raw power with three home runs in 25 at-bats. He tied for the Ripken League lead with six home runs in 103 at-bats this summer while hitting .252. His offensive approach remains raw, but his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame promises more strength to come; he just needs polish. Domecus also showed above-average catch-and-throw potential, though he remains raw behind the plate as well.8. Jon Karcich, 3b, Bethesda (So., Santa Clara)
Karcich started 54 games as a freshman for the Broncos this spring but hit just .228/.328/.368 with four home runs. He was better this summer, going .289/.379/.439 with three homers in 114 at-bats, and he showcased steady defense at the hot corner, committing just five errors in 153 chances. Karcich has an average arm at third base and occasional extra-base potential, but he projects as a utility infielder at the next level.9. Jarrett Parker, of, Herndon (Fr., Virginia)
Parker starred at Stafford (Va.) High but wasn't drafted because of his commitment to Virginia. Parker had a fine summer with the bat, going .311/.434/.462 with three homers, 22 RBIs and five stolen bases. Parker has a projectable 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame and a smooth lefthanded swing, and he projects as an average-to-plus hitter in professional ball if he can improve against offspeed pitches. Parker is an above-average runner with excellent defensive instincts.10. Evan Frederickson, lhp, Bethesda (Jr., San Francisco)
In two years at Virginia Tech, Frederickson was never able to harness his considerable talent. He went 2-1, 6.35 with a 47-45 K-BB ratio in 34 innings this spring, and opted to transfer to San Francisco. He continued to battle command problems this summer, when he went 1-3, 12.96 with a 16-16 K-BB ratio in eight innings, but he has a power left arm and a tantalizing 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame. Frederickson works in the 88-93 mph range with his lively fastball, but he struggles to locate the pitch. His 75-79 mph curveball needs tightening. At this point, he probably profiles better as a reliever than a starter, but he has plenty of work to do at San Francisco before a pro team will be ready to take a chance on him. If he can put it all together, his ceiling is high.