Coastal Plain League Top 10 Prospects
The Forest City Owls defeated the Edenton Steamers 2-1 in a best-of-three championship series, giving them their second consecutive Pettit Cup. With a 94-30 record over the past two seasons, Forest City became the fifth team in CPL history to win back-to-back titles. The Owls won 5-0 in the decisive game of the series. Brian Burton (Canisius) hit a two-run
homer in the second inning to put the Owls ahead for good, and Will
Skinner (Middle Tennessee State) added another two-run shot an inning
later to give Forest City's pitchers a comfortable cushion. Starter
Jeremy Fant (Rice) and reliever Andrew Brown (Akron) combined on a
five-hit shutout, allowing just one walk while striking out four.
1. Carter Capps, rhp, Fayetteville (So., Mount Olive, N.C.)
With a durable 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame and the best velocity in the league, Capps stood out as the CPL's top prospect. In his 45 innings with Fayetteville, he went 3-1, 1.60 with 35 hits allowed, 10 walks and 47 strikeouts as opponents batted just .216 against him. That performance earned him a trip to the league's all-star game, where he caught the attention of scouts after touching 96 mph and sitting 94-95 in his two-thirds of an inning. Capps gets good downward plane and sink on his fastball from a mid-three-quarters arm slot. His second pitch is a hard slider that registers between 84-86, a potential plus offering that features good tilt. He generates his velocity using a quick arm and an upright motion, prompting comparisons to Tommy Hanson. However, one American League scout speculated that Capps might profile best as a reliever due to his stiff finish, which produces a moderate amount of effort in his delivery. Now considered a high-level follow for talent evaluators heading into the spring, Capps will try to prove his mid-90s velocity is here to stay as a redshirt sophomore for the Trojans.
2. Buck Farmer, rhp, Peninsula (So., Georgia Tech)
Farmer, barrel-chested with a thick lower half, is a physical righthander who measures 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. In seven starts for the Pilots, he went 4-3, 3.89 and allowed 38 hits with 10 walks and 28 strikeouts in 39 innings. Farmer pounds the lower half of the zone with a heavy 90-92 mph fastball, and his low-80s slider gives him a potential plus pitch. He also exhibits feel for a sinking changeup that ranges between 78-80. There is some effort and cross-body action in his delivery, but he creates solid downward angle from his mid-three-quarters slot. After serving mostly in relief as a freshman, Farmer will compete for a spot in the weekend rotation now that Deck McGuire and Brandon Cumpton have moved on to the pro ranks.
3. Will Lamb, lhp/of, Peninsula (Jr., Clemson)
A legitimate prospect as both a pitcher and position player, Lamb combines athleticism with obvious physical projection at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds. The No. 1 prospect on this list last summer, Lamb played sparingly in his second tour with the Pilots, but he did enough in his 48 at-bats to impress observers across the league, hitting .396/.434/.500 and swiping eight bases in as many attempts. An above-average runner, Lamb also draws praise for his surprising strength. Although he didn't pitch this summer, area scouts know him well from the spring, where he showed a tailing 88-90 mph fastball that bumps 92 and an 11-to-5 curveball with solid depth. His closed-off motion adds deception, but he struggles to find a consistent release point, which negatively affects his command. Aggressive and competitive, Lamb is a true gamer whose mentality makes his stuff play up. Returning to a Clemson team that will be missing several cogs from last year's CWS squad, more will be expected of Lamb and his two-way talents as a junior.
4. Peter Mooney, ss, Florence (Jr., South Carolina)
At 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, Mooney is an undersized shortstop with a big game. He played just 14 games for Florence, but he did a lot with his 55 at-bats, compiling a .364/.446/.618 line with nine extra-base hits. Mooney spent his freshman and sophomore years at Palm Beach (Fla.) CC establishing himself as one of the best defensive shortstops in the state, prompting his selection in the 46th round by the Cardinals. He has the glove, arm strength and range to play short at the next level. At the plate, he controls the strike zone with exceptional pitch recognition. His quick hands produce a level-planed swing, and he understands how to transfer his weight while maintaining balance, generating surprising pop for a player of his stature. After shunning the opportunity to play pro ball, Mooney will instead transfer to South Carolina, where he'll be counted on to replace defensive stalwart Bobby Haney from last year's national championship club.
5. Brian Billigen, of, Edenton (Jr., Cornell)
Billigen is a fast-twitch athlete who offers intriguing power-speed potential. A switch-hitter whose hands work well from both sides, the 6-foot, 175-pounder batted .325/.417/.515 for the Steamers with five triples, six home runs and 19 stolen bases in 20 attempts. His compact stroke is suited for line drives, but he shows more lift in his swing from the left side, and he has the requisite bat speed to generate average power as he matures physically. Billigen shows a discerning batter's eye as well, walking 31 times compared to 38 strikeouts over his 231 plate appearances. A plus runner who registers 60-yard dash times in the 6.6-second range, he also has above-average arm strength, giving him a true center fielder's profile. Billigen, regarded as an instinctual defender, didn't commit a single error in 52 games this summer.
6. Jordan Jankowski, rhp, Thomasville (Jr., Miami, Ohio)
Jankowski, a two-way player at Miami (Ohio) who compiled eight home runs and 10 saves as a sophomore, established himself as a pitching prospect this summer. In 19 appearances that included five starts, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound righthander posted a 2-2, 3.21 mark with three saves, striking out 76 and walking 23 over 48 innings. Jankowski has deception in his delivery, producing a 91-92 mph sinking fastball from an abbreviated stride and high three-quarters release point. His slider has above-average potential, an 80-81 offering with short, late action, and his curveball shows similar promise. Originally drafted as a catcher in the 34th round of the 2008 draft by the Astros, Jankowski will pique the interest of area scouts this spring for what he can do on the mound with his three-pitch repertoire.
7. Chas Crane, 3b, Peninsula (Jr., Winthrop)
After anchoring the heart of Winthrop's order with his .337/.434/.635 line as a sophomore, Crane brought his bat to Peninsula and earned the league's offensive player of the year award. He hit .344/.462/.600 with a 41-56 walk-strikeout ratio, leading the league in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs (nine) and RBIs (48). Crane, a 6-foot, 190-pound switch-hitter, exhibits patience and power from both sides with the hand-eye coordination to barrel up pitches consistently. Although he played mostly third base for the Pilots, Crane isn't considered to have enough range for the position at the next level. However, he's an average runner with average arm strength, suggesting he might be able to handle either corner outfield spot, depending upon how much the organization likes his bat.
8. Mark Montgomery, rhp, Edenton (Jr., Longwood)
Montgomery was prolific as Edenton's closer, saving 12 games with a 54-12 strikeout-walk ratio and limiting opponents to a .125 batting average over 28 innings. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound righthander also earned the save at the league's all-star game, running his fastball up to 94 mph and sitting 91-92. In his power slider that registers in the low to mid-80s, Montgomery owns a true out pitch with tight rotation and good tilt. He attacks hitters with his two-pitch combination, and having demonstrated the stuff and ability to miss bats, he could prove effective as a late-innings reliever in pro ball. For now, though, Montgomery returns to Longwood as the team's closer after collecting six saves in 22 appearances as a sophomore last season.
9. Chase Boruff, rhp, Forest City (SIGNED: Royals)
Boruff struggled as a junior at Division II Carson-Newman (N.C.) last spring, scattering 21 hits over his 15 innings as opponents batted .323 against him and ran his ERA up to 6.60. But the 6-foot-2, 195-pound righthander turned a corner this summer as Forest City's closer. In his 18 innings, he was simply dominant, notching seven saves after allowing just seven hits and one earned run all season (0.49 ERA) with a 33-7 strikeout-walk ratio. Raw and athletic, Boruff is an intriguing prospect for his arm strength alone. He registered 95 mph on radar guns at the all-star game, and he'll comfortably sit in the 91-93 range with riding life. At this stage of his development, however, Boruff is strictly a thrower who mostly operates without a breaking pitch, causing one scout to classify him as a "fun project." Boruff went undrafted and signed with the Royals as a free agent.
10. Kramer Sneed, lhp, Wilson (SIGNED: Yankees)
A lanky, loose-armed lefthander, Sneed came to the CPL after shouldering a heavy workload as a senior at D-II Barton (N.C.). Before leaving the Tobs to sign with the Yankees as a 32nd-rounder, he tossed 34 innings on his way to a 3-2, 0.79 mark with an exceptional 39-5 strikeout-walk ratio. With room in his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame to add strength, Sneed shows athleticism in his delivery. His 88-90 mph fastball has registered as high as 92 in the spring and features occasional sink. He throws a 76-77 slurve that produces "cement-mixer" spin, but it lacks consistent depth due to his tendency to get underneath the ball. Intelligent and competitive, his makeup is considered a strength. Sneed finished the season with Staten Island of the short-season New York-Penn League, where he posted a 42-7 strikeout-walk mark in 33 innings.