Though Orleans' prospect-laden roster captured scouts' attention all summer, it was East Division rival Yarmouth-Dennis that finished the season as champions. Yarmouth-Dennis knocked off Orleans in the second round before defeating Hyannis in the championship series. It was the Red Sox's second straight title and their fifth in 12 years under the direction of manager Scott Pickler.
While the league featured good depth, scouts believed it lacked some of the high-end talent that often summers on the Cape. Many elite pitchers played for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team (A.J. Puk, Tanner Houck) or sat out the summer (righthanders Alec Hansen, Connor Jones). As a result, for the first time since 2011, a pitcher does not top BA's rankings.
The league also saw history made on the field this summer, as Wareham outfielder Andrew Calica (UC Santa Barbara) hit .425/.480/.469, recording the highest batting average since the league switched back to wood bats in 1985. On the mound, Orleans righthander Mitchell Jordan (Stetson) posted a 0.21 ERA, matching Eric Milton's modern-day record set in 1996.
For a player to be eligible for the rankings, position players must have played in at least 22 games or made 88 plate appearances, and pitchers must have appeared in at least 5 games or thrown 15 innings. Several talented prospects came up short of those requirements, either due to playing for Team USA (Daulton Jefferies, Anthony Kay, Robert Tyler) or injury (Kel Johnson, Will Toffey, Eli White).
1. Nick Senzel, 3b/2b (Jr., Tennessee)
A career .320 hitter at Tennessee, Senzel continued to build his track record for hitting this summer with Brewster. He won MVP honors after hitting .364/.418/.558 to lead the league in hits (56), OPS (.976), RBIs (33) and runs (34) while finishing second in batting. He also scored the winning run for the East Division in the all-star game.
Senzel has quick hands and a smooth, easy righthanded swing. He has good raw power, but it plays more as doubles power in games now. Still, he drives the ball to all fields and should produce more home runs in the future. He has an excellent approach at the plate and makes a lot of contact. He is an average runner, with good instincts on the basepaths and the ability to steal bases. Defensively, Senzel offers versatility—he played third base, second base and first base this summer. Scouts aren't settled on where he fits best, with some seeing him as a capable third baseman, others liking him as an offensive second baseman and others believing he will wind up in left.
No matter where Senzel settles on the diamond, he should hit enough to profile well. He also earns praise for his understanding of the game and his all-around fundamentally sound play.