2017 Cape Cod League Top 10 Prospects
Brewster completed an improbable run through the playoffs to win the Cape Cod League championship for the second time in franchise history and the first time since 2000.
|Cape Cod League Top 10 Prospects|
|Greyson Jenista, of, Cotuit, Wichita State (Jr.)|
|Griffin Conine, of, Cotuit, Duke (Jr.)|
|Ryan Rolison, lhp, Orleans, Mississippi (So.)|
|Logan Gilbert, rhp, Orleans, Stetson (Jr.)|
|Tyler Baum, rhp, Harwich, North Carolina (So.)|
|Tristan Pompey, of, Wareham, Kentucky (Jr.)|
|Alec Bohm, 1b/3b, Falmouth, Wichita State (Jr.)|
|Tanner Dodson, RHP/OF, Wareham, California (Jr.)|
|Kris Bubic, lhp, Yarmouth-Dennis, Stanford (Jr.)|
|Zack Hess, rhp, Bourne, Louisiana State (So.)|
East Division rivals Orleans and Yarmouth-Dennis were again two of the most talented teams on the Cape and posted the league’s two best regular-season records. But the Whitecaps upended both in the playoffs before defeating Bourne, 2 games to 1, in the finals.
For a player to be eligible for the rankings, position players must have played 16 games or made 50 plate appearances, and pitchers must have appeared in at least five games or thrown 10 innings. We'll rank players Nos. 11-50 on the Cape the remainder of this week.
Like many players, Jenista struggled on the Cape after his freshman season, hitting .229/.301/.321 a year ago. In his return this summer to Cotuit, Jenista hit .310/.391/.401 and won the league’s MVP award.
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Jenista was raw coming out of high school in DeSoto, Kan., but adjusted quickly to college ball and has been Wichita State’s leading hitter in each of the last two years. He continued to show his hitting ability this summer. The lefthanded batter has a level swing and a contact-oriented approach that leads to him consistently barreling up balls. While he shows plus raw power in batting practice, he is still learning how to tap into it in games. He is a disciplined hitter with a good two-strike approach.
Jenista has played mostly first base at Wichita State but is an above-average runner and manned center field for Cotuit. He is still learning the outfield, but he improved at his new position over the course of the summer. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, earning body-type comparisons with the Indians’ Bradley Zimmer. He isn’t quite as quick as Zimmer, which may lead Jenista to settle in right field as a pro. His athleticism, feel for the barrel and emerging power give him the look of a top half of the first round pick.
Conine, the son of former all-star Jeff Conine, made a name for himself this summer. He tied for the league lead in home runs (nine) and ranked second in hits (54) and slugging percentage (.537). He helped Duke sweep the all-star game MVP honors. He was the West Division’s honoree and Duke outfielder Jimmy Herron claimed the East Division’s award.
Along with Greyson Jenista, his Cotuit teammate, Conine was one of the league’s most dangerous hitters thanks to his plus power and professional approach to the game. The lefthanded batter has lift in his swing, which helps him consistently get to his power in games. His power does come with its share of whiffs. Conine struck out in 23 percent of his plate appearances, up significantly from his spring strikeout rate of 17 percent.
Conine played right field at Duke and for Cotuit. He is an average runner and profiles best as a corner outfielder.
Ryan Rolison, lhp, Orleans Mississippi (So.)
Rolison was one of the headliners of Ole Miss’ top-ranked 2016 recruiting class, and he showed why this spring when he pitched his way into the rotation. He built on that with a strong summer as a part of Orleans’ loaded pitching staff and established himself as the league’s top pitching prospect.
Rolison combines good size—a listed 6-foot-3, 200 pounds—with premium stuff from the left side. His fastball sits 91-94 mph, and he pairs it with a wipeout curveball. Both pitches generate swings and misses, and he also mixes in a useful changeup and slider. He fills up the strike zone and had success pitching inside to righthanded batters. Rolison will be a draft-eligible sophomore in next year’s draft and is on track to be the first first-rounder from Ole Miss since Drew Pomeranz was picked fifth overall in 2010.
Logan Gilbert, rhp, Orleans Stetson (Jr.)
Stetson has a strong tradition of developing pitchers, including Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber. Gilbert looks to be next in the Hatters’ pipeline after winning the Atlantic Sun Conference pitcher of the year award this spring and turning in a spectacular Cape performance. He went 1-2, 1.72 with 31 strikeouts and four walks in 31.1 innings this summer.
Gilbert, listed at 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, generates easy velocity with his loose, simple delivery. His fastball sits in the low to mid-90s and touches 97 mph. He has a sharp breaking ball and is working to develop his changeup. He repeats his delivery well and fills up the strike zone, pitching with solid control. Gilbert is still relatively new to pitching after playing mostly third base in high school and presents significant upside.
Tyler Baum, rhp, Harwich North Carolina (So.)
Baum had a solid freshman season at North Carolina, primarily serving as the Tar Heels’ midweek starter. He had an even better summer for Harwich and won the pitching triple crown. He went 5-1, 2.72 with 41 strikeouts and 10 walks in 43 innings.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Baum is not overly physical but has a polished approach and impressive stuff. His fastball sits in the low 90s and touches 95 mph. His curveball has plus potential, and he also mixes in a developing changeup. He repeats his delivery easily and fills up the strike zone. With his impressive all-around skill set, he looks like one of the top college pitchers in the 2019 draft class.
Tristan Pompey, of, Wareham Kentucky (Jr.)
Pompey, the younger brother of Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey, was a third-team All-American this spring at Kentucky, establishing himself as a player to watch in the 2018 draft class. He did not match his statistical success on the Cape but did stand out as one of the toolsiest players in the league.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Pompey is bigger than his older brother and hits for more power. The switch-hitter produces pop from both sides of the plate but has more as a righthanded batter. He has a patient approach at the plate, which also comes with some swing and miss. Pompey played right field for Wareham, as he has done at Kentucky. He is a solid defender and a plus runner who could move to center field in the future.
The No. 1 prospect in the Coastal Plains League last summer, Bohm moved to the Cape this summer and stood out again. He earned all-star honors, along with his Wichita State teammate Greyson Jenista, and ranked second in the league in hitting (.351) and hits (54).
Listed at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Bohm looks the part of a power-hitting corner infielder. The righthanded batter generates plus raw power. He doesn’t have to sell out for power for it to play in games, though he is still learning that. He has above-average strike-zone awareness, keeps the bat in the hitting zone a long time and makes good two-strike adjustments, all of which keeps his strikeout rate low for a power hitter. Bohm has exclusively played third base for Wichita State, but he split time between first and third this summer. He has made strides defensively at third base but still has work to do, particularly to improve his range. He has the offensive potential to profile at either position.
Two-way players are rare on the Cape, but Dodson pulled double duty for Wareham with aplomb. He earned accolades for his hitting by batting .365/.461/.500 to lead the league in average, on-base percentage and OPS (.961). He earned an all-star nod as an outfielder, but his work on the mound also stood out to scouts. Dodson is an exceptional athlete and made the most of his tools this summer. His fastball reaches 96 mph and sits 92-94 with late life. He mixes in a sharp curveball. He has never exclusively focused on pitching and is listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, giving him a projectable look. At the plate, Dodson has an unorthodox swing with an uppercut to it. But the switch-hitter consistently barreled up balls for Wareham and showed above-average speed. Dodson has a higher ceiling on the mound, but his skill set could play at either position at the next level.
Kris Bubic, lhp, Yarmouth-Dennis Stanford (Jr.)
Bubic took over as Stanford’s ace this spring and carried his momentum into the summer. He started the all-star game and was named the league’s pitcher of the year after going 4-1, 1.65 with 41 strikeouts and seven walks in 32.2 innings.
Bubic doesn’t overpower but has advanced pitchability and understanding of his craft. His fastball typically sits in the upper 80s and ran up to 93 mph during his all-star game appearance. His plus changeup is his best offering, and he also throws a solid curveball. His stuff all plays up thanks to his above-average control, and he throws all three of his offerings for strikes. Listed at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Bubic has the size and feel for pitching to give him a chance to develop into a solid starter.
Zack Hess, rhp, Bourne Louisiana State (So.)
Hess was one of the stars of LSU’s fourth-ranked 2016 recruiting class and had a strong freshman season. He became a sensation during the College World Series, when he served as the Tigers’ bullpen ace. Following LSU’s runner-up finish in Omaha, Hess made a brief, but memorable, appearance on the Cape. He totaled 10.1 innings in three starts, striking out 10 batters and exciting scouts in the process.
Hess has an electric fastball/slider combination and an assertive mentality on the mound. His fastball sits in the low to mid-90s and touches 96 mph, and his sharp slider can be an out pitch. Hess has worked to quiet his delivery since arriving at LSU but still faces questions about his chances to be a starter because he needs to work on a third pitch, hold his stuff over longer outings and improve his control. His exciting stuff and 6-foot-6, 216-pound frame will draw plenty of interest in the spring, when he is a draft-eligible sophomore.