New York Collegiate League Top 10 Prospects
The Amsterdam Mohawks and Hornell Dodgers posted identical 30-12 records to win their respective divisions in NYCBL regular season play, and the two teams marched unbeaten through the first two rounds of the playoffs to face off in the championship series. Amsterdam swept the best-of-three finals, winning the first game 8-1 and the second game 11-10 behind six RBIs from top prospect Braden Kapteyn.
1. Braden Kapteyn, rhp/1b, Amsterdam (So., Kentucky)
The younger brother of former Evansville righthander Wade Kapteyn (who signed with the Tigers as a 24th-round pick this year), Kapteyn was recruited to Kentucky as a true two-way player, and he filled both roles right away, batting .319/.377/.482 in 141-at-bats while going 5-0, 6.06 in 32 innings of relief as a freshman this spring. He overpowered the NYCBL this summer, going 4-1, 2.47 with 72 strikeouts and 25 walks in 42 innings, almost exclusively in a starting role. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Kapteyn has good sink on his 90-94 mph fastball and has made great strides with his slider, which projects as an average or slightly better pitch. Kapteyn was drafted as a position player in the 39th round in 2008, and he does have legitimate raw power. He hit .319/.387/.458 with four homers this summer, but his pro future is likely on the mound.
2. Tillman Pugh, of, Amsterdam (Jr., Sonoma State, Calif.)
Pugh appeared in eight games as a freshman for Arizona State in 2008, then transferred to Gateway (Ariz.) CC for his sophomore year, batting .333/.409/.442 with 21 stolen bases. He was drafted by the Mariners in the 16th round in June but did not sign and will head to Division II Sonoma State for his junior season. Pugh showed some pop in the NYCBL, hitting .276/.360/.469 with four homers in 98 at-bats. His best tool, though, is his plus speed, which allows him to cover plenty of ground in the outfield and plays well on the basepaths. He also has a strong arm and the ability to hit for average, though he needs to cut down on his strikeouts and make more consistent contact.
3. Rodarrick Jones, of, Glens Falls (So., New Orleans)
Jones stepped into UNO's lineup right away as a freshman, batting .299/.371/.481 with seven homers and 12 stolen bases in 50 games this spring. He followed it up with a solid summer, batting .273/.389/.413 with three homers, 25 RBIs and 13 steals in 41 games. The 6-foot, 190-pound Jones is a standout athlete who drew some interest from Division I football teams out of high school and was drafted in the 21st round by the Astros in 2008. He is an above-average runner with a chance to be a plus defender in the outfield. Jones has some holes in his swing but shows outstanding bat speed. He has a strong work ethic and could develop quickly at the plate.
4. Greg Holle, rhp, Saratoga (Jr., Texas Christian)
Holle ranked as the No. 2 prep prospect in the state of New York for the 2007 draft, but he slipped to the 35th round because of his strong commitment to TCU. He showed signs of brilliance as a freshman, posting a 4.50 ERA in 14 starts, but his sophomore season was derailed before it ever began as he fell behind in his throwing program in the cold weather of New York during winter break. He wound up going 5-2, 3.89 in 42 innings, and his 26-15 K-BB ratio was indicative of his spotty control and failure to dominate as someone with his stuff should. A former basketball with a hulking 6-foot-8, 225-pound frame, Holle has tons of upside, though there is some effort in his delivery. At his best, Holle can run his fastball into the mid-90s and complement it with a good breaking ball. Holle showed good control this summer, going 1-2, 3.92 with 16 strikeouts and six walks in 21 innings, but he was still surprisingly hittable (.274 opponents' batting average).
5. Mel Rojas Jr., of, Amsterdam (Fr., Wabash Valley CC, Ill.)
Rojas, the son of the former big league reliever of the same name, hails from the Dominican Republic and took a redshirt this spring while getting his eligibility in order. He played all three outfield spots this summer for Amsterdam and hit .314/.352/.438 with three homers and eight stolen bases. His best tool is his blazing speed—he has been clocked at 6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash—and he worked hard this summer to make better use of it by improving his bunting and hitting the ball on the ground. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound switch-hitter also did a better job handling inside pitches as the summer progressed, and he could develop some pop as he fills out, though he doesn't profile as a power hitter.
6. Corey Pappel, rhp, Elmira (Jr., Cornell)
After going 2-3, 5.36 with 43 strikeouts in 40 innings this spring, Pappel carved up the NYCBL, going 4-3, 1.55 with a 59-35 K-BB ratio in 52 innings. He held hitters to a .155 average. Pappel has a projectable, durable 6-foot-6, 205-pound frame. He relies heavily upon a low-90s fastball with good life down in the strike zone.
7. Justin Fradejas, of, Amsterdam (Jr., Auburn)
Fradejas started 18 games in Amsterdam's crowded outfield but missed a few weeks with a badly sprained ankle. He was impressive when healthy, batting .313/.387/.388 with six stolen bases. The 6-foot, 190-pound Fradejas stands out most for his plus-plus speed; he has been clocked at 6.4 seconds in the 60-yard dash, and his legs allow him to cover plenty of ground in the outfield. He also hit with some authority this spring at Northwest Florida CC, swatting eight homers. Fradejas transferred to Auburn for his junior year.
8. Tony Dischler, rhp, Glens Falls (So., Louisiana-Monroe)
Dischler got off to a rough start to his collegiate career this spring, posting a 9.64 ERA and a gruesome 15-7 K-BB ratio in 19 innings, but he rebounded nicely in the NYCBL, going 4-1, 3.05 with a 34-13 K-BB ratio in 38 innings. Dischler has a projectable 6-foot-4, 175-pound frame, and he already works in the 88-92 mph range. He also mixes in a developing breaking ball, but he must develop a third pitch to stick as a starter.
9. Nate Koontz, of, Webster (So., Ball State)
Koontz started just 11 games as a freshman this spring, batting .273/.322/.436 in 55 at-bats, but he thrived in an everyday role this summer, hitting .281/.342/.452 in 135 at-bats. Koontz hit just two homers this summer, but he has terrific hand speed and has plenty of potential in his righthanded swing. He must refine his offensive approach—he posted a 10-45 walk-strikeout ratio this summer—but he is a hard worker who is very receptive to coaching. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Koontz is a good athlete who runs a 6.9-second 60-yard dash.
10. Chase Boruff, rhp, Hornell (Sr., Carson-Newman, Tenn.)
After working 17 innings of relief for Carson-Newman this spring, Boruff was nearly unhittable in Hornell's bullpen this summer, going 1-0, 0.00 with seven saves, 27 strikeouts, five walks and seven hits allowed in 16 innings. Boruff has limited pitching experience, having arrived at Carson-Newman as an outfielder and converting to the mound in 2008, when he appeared in three games. He is still raw as a pitcher, but he has good size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) and a live arm that generates low-90s heat easily.