2017 Cape Cod League Top Prospects 11-20
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.
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 the remainder of the Top 50 players on the Cape the rest of this week.
11. Austin Bergner, rhp, Chatham (So., North Carolina)
A prominent player in high school, Bergner, like Tyler Baum (ranked fifth in the league), was a key piece of North Carolina’s No. 2 ranked 2016 recruiting class. He primarily pitched out of the bullpen as a freshman before moving to the rotation over the summer to great success.
Bergner, listed at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, has a solid arsenal and demonstrated solid control during the summer. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90s with late life. Both his changeup and curveball show the potential to become solid offerings, and he mixes in his offspeed pitches effectively. Bergner’s summer is the latest point in a long track record of success, and scouts will be closely watching him over the next year, as he will be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2018.
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12. Shea Langeliers, c, Chatham (So., Baylor) 📹
In a weak year for catching in the league, Langeliers stood out. He earned first-team All-Freshman honors this spring and continued his impressive year on the Cape. He got off to an outstanding start, hitting five home runs in his first 20 games and starting the all-star game before slowing down in the second half. Still, he finished fifth in the league in home runs (6) and more than half his 30 hits went for extra bases.
The righthanded hitter has above-average power and gets to it well in games. That pop comes with some swing and miss, but he is not an indiscriminate swinger. Behind the plate, Langeliers has an above-average arm and handled Chatham’s staff of hard throwers well. He still has room for improvement before the 2019 draft, but his power and arm strength give him a pair of standout tools.
13. Jimmy Herron, of, Orleans (Jr., Duke) 📹
Herron is a career .325 hitter in two years at Duke and led the team in batting this spring. A draft-eligible sophomore, he was selected in the 31st round by the Yankees, but chose not to sign and instead went to the Cape. He significantly raised his profile over the summer, as he ranked third in the league in hitting (.338) and, along with Griffin Conine, helped Duke become the first college to sweep the Cape’s all-star game MVP honors.
Herron has compiled a long track record of hitting thanks to his feel for the barrel and balanced approach at the plate. He has a compact swing and hits line drives to all fields. The righthanded hitter has enough bat speed for doubles power, but his swing isn’t geared for home runs. He is a plus runner and knows how to use it to his advantage on the base paths. Herron has below-average arm strength and primarily played left field for Duke, but showed he could handle center field this summer. He earns praise for his makeup and understanding of the game.
14. Jonathan India, 3b, Harwich (Jr., Florida)
Florida’s run to the national championship delayed India’s arrival on the Cape until July. He quickly became one of Harwich’s most consistent hitters, displaying the same all-around ability that has made him a key cog in the Gators’ lineup for two years.
India is a steady hitter with good bat-to-ball skills. The righthanded hitter stands out more for his feel for hitting than his power, and his approach lends itself more to shooting doubles into the gaps than home runs. India has played exclusively third base for Florida, but split time between the hot corner and shortstop this summer. He fits better at third, where he is an above-average defender with average arm strength and fringy speed. His tools all play up due to his high baseball IQ and work ethic.
15. Matt Mercer, rhp, Falmouth (Jr., Oregon)
Mercer had a strong summer on the Cape, but made a name for himself during a mid-July start against Logan Gilbert, the fourth-ranked prospect in the league. On that night, Mercer touched 97 mph, struck out seven batters and held Orleans to one hit and one walk in seven innings.
Mercer’s fastball typically sat 92-95 mph and he held his velocity deep in his outings. He throws both a curveball and a slider, as well as a changeup. His slider and changeup both have the potential to be at least average offerings, and he has average command. Listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Mercer isn’t as physically imposing, but the improvements he made this summer will give him a chance to develop as a starter.
16. Hunter Bishop, of, Brewster (So., Arizona State)
Bishop was the third-highest ranked prep position player on the 2016 BA 500 not to sign with a pro team, and had a solid freshman season at Arizona State. He struggled early in the summer with Brewster, but came on late in the season and was named co-playoff MVP after homering twice in the championship series to help the Whitecaps win their first title since 2000.
Bishop, listed at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, was originally committed to play football in college and was one of the toolsiest players in the league. He has plus speed and raw power. His size and swing are reminiscent of Cody Bellinger, but Bishop remains raw as a hitter. In addition to splitting time between two sports in high school, he is also young for his class and will improve as he gets more experience on the diamond. Bishop’s speed, athleticism and arm strength all profile well in center field, giving him tremendous upside.
17. Nico Hoerner, 2b/ss, Yarmouth-Dennis (Jr., Stanford) 📹
Hoerner quickly became a regular in Stanford’s lineup and has started all but one game in his college career. He earned all-star honors this summer as a key part of Yarmouth-Dennis’ potent offense. He was one of the most consistent players in the league, putting together professional at bats and barreling up balls. The righthanded hitter has a line drive-oriented approach, but there is strength in his swing and he showed more power over the summer than he has in the past.
Hoerner split time between second base and shortstop during the summer. He runs well and has a solid arm, tools which play up thanks to his feel for the game. Some scouts believe he will be able to stay at shortstop as a pro, while others see him as an offensive second baseman. Regardless of where he settles defensively, Hoerner’s approach to the game and feel for hitting drew many supporters this summer.
18. Adam Hill, rhp, Chatham (Jr., South Carolina) Hill has proven himself as a weekend starter in the Southeastern Conference over the last two years. He made a brief Cape appearance this summer, making three starts for Chatham. Hill attacks hitters with a heavy fastball that sits 90-94 mph at its best, but more commonly sat 87-91 this summer. He generates a lot of groundball outs thanks to his fastball’s sinking action and the downhill plane he throws from, using his 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame to his advantage.
Hill’s fastball is good enough that he has some starts where he rarely throws any secondary offerings. His curveball is his best offspeed pitch and he also throws an adequate changeup. He struggles at times with fastball command, but has the look of a workhorse starter.
19. Alex McKenna, of, Yarmouth-Dennis (Jr., Cal Poly) 📹
McKenna was Cal Poly’s leading hitter this spring and continued to hit for Yarmouth-Dennis on the Cape, earning a starting spot in the all-star game. He has a short, quick swing and makes consistent contact. An unconventional setup at the plate with his hands close to his chest helps his contact-based approach, but may limit his power. Listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, the righthanded hitter has raw power to unlock, but more typically hits doubles to the gap.
McKenna has played center field throughout his college career and is a solid runner with an average arm. He covers ground well in the outfield, but may end up in a corner as a professional. McKenna earns praise for his approach to the game.
20. Jake Mangum, of, Hyannis (Jr., Mississippi State) 📹
Mangum won the Southeastern Conference batting title as a freshman in 2016 and ranked No. 13 on this list a year ago. He was a draft-eligible sophomore this spring, but was a difficult sign and chose to return to school after being drafted in the 30th round by the Yankees. He earned all-star honors for the second year in a row on the Cape and was Hyannis’ leading hitter.
Mangum’s game is based around his contact ability and plus speed. The switch hitter has exceptional bat-to-ball skills and takes full advantage of his speed in his approach at the plate, though to the detriment of his power. He is an aggressive hitter and rarely walks as a result. Mangum’s speed also plays well in center field, where he is an above-average defender with a solid arm. His game is something of a throwback, but his feel for hitting and defensive ability give him two sought-after tools.