2017 Cape Cod League Top Prospects 21-30

Griffin Roberts (Photo by Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

SEE ALSO: Summer College League Top Prospects

SEE ALSO: Cape Cod League Top 10

SEE ALSO: Cape Cod League 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.

21. Griffin Roberts, rhp, Wareham (Jr., Wake Forest)

Roberts made a leap forward this spring at Wake Forest, and was selected in the 29th round by the Twins as a draft-eligible sophomore. He chose not to sign and went to the Cape to work as a starter after serving as the Demon Deacons closer this spring.

Roberts has a power arm, and his stuff translated well while he stretched out to longer outings. His fastball still sat around 93 mph, touching 96 mph at the all-star game, and his slider flashes above-average potential. The most pleasant surprise, however, was that he threw strikes more consistently during the summer. After averaging 5.39 walks per nine innings this spring, he walked just six batters in 32 innings for Wareham.

Roberts is listed at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and will likely get the chance to start next spring for Wake. If he is able to carry his summer improvements over to the spring, he will position himself for a significant improvement in his draft position next June.

22. Drew Mendoza, 1b/3b, Yarmouth-Dennis (So., Florida State)

The highest ranked position player in the 2016 draft class not to sign, Mendoza bounced back after missing the start of the spring due to a broken thumb to help Florida State reach the College World Series and earn All-Freshman honors. Like many freshmen, however, he struggled on the Cape, hitting .171/.218/.220.

Despite his struggles at the plate, Mendoza’s tools remain enticing. The lefthanded hitter has easy power and gets to it well in games. He had his most trouble on the Cape with plate discipline and struck out in more than a third of his plate appearances. After playing first base this spring, he split his time between first and third base this summer. He will likely settle at third base, where his above-average arm and athleticism fit well. At his best, Mendoza has the tools to be one of the top picks in the 2019 draft, but he will have to learn from a tough summer.

23. Graeme Stinson, lhp, Orleans (So., Duke)

Stinson came to Duke as a raw, but well-regarded prospect and he had a tough freshman season. He found more success on the Cape, where he ranked ninth in the league in strikeouts (32) despite throwing just 18.1 innings. Stinson uses his fastball-slider combination to pile up strikeouts and is especially tough on lefthanded hitters. His fastball sits 93-94 mph and his slider is a swing-and-miss pitch. He is still learning to command his fastball, which will be critical to determining his future role. Stinson still has some rough edges to his game and will need to work on a pitch with which to attack righthanded hitters, but the big lefthander (he’s listed at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds) offers significant upside.

24. Cameron Bishop, lhp, Chatham (SIGNED: Orioles)

Bishop was expected to be UC Irvine’s ace this spring, but missed the whole season due to an oblique strain. He was drafted in the 26th round by the Orioles anyway and went to the Cape as a complicated negotiation played out. He made three strong appearances for Chatham, going 1-1, 0.81 with 15 strikeouts and two walks in 11 innings. He reached an agreement with the Orioles for a $607,000 bonus, just under the value assigned to the 90th overall pick, but MLB initially disallowed the deal because it was submitted after the signing deadline. That decision was overturned a week later and the deal was finalized.

On the mound, Bishop stands out for his size (listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds) and stuff from the left side. His fastball sits in the low 90s and touches 95 mph. He mixes in a hard slider and a changeup. Bishop is still learning to harness his solid arsenal, but his three-pitch mix and size gives him a chance to start.

25. Carlos Cortes, of, Yarmouth-Dennis (So., South Carolina) ??

Cortes earned All-Freshman honors this spring at South Carolina and followed that up with an all-star summer on the Cape. The lefthanded hitter has a short, compact swing and makes a lot of hard contact. He has solid power, mostly producing line drives, and can drive the ball with authority to his pull side.

Dating back to Cortes’ days as a Florida prep star, scouts have wondered where he profiles defensively. While some still believe he might be able to handle second base, he settled this year in left field, where he is an adequate defender. At a listed 5-foot-7, 197 pounds, he would be one of the shortest corner outfielders in the big leagues, but he has enough offensive potential to profile anyway.

26. Antoine Duplantis, of, Harwich (Jr., Louisiana State)

Duplantis has been a regular at the top of LSU’s lineup the last two seasons, quickly establishing himself as one of the Tigers’ table setters. He did the same for Harwich, hitting .265/.309/.441 with 10 doubles, third most in the league.

Duplantis’ game is based around his contact-oriented approach and speed. He has a balanced swing and excellent bat-to-ball skills. The lefthanded hitter has below-average power and his approach is geared toward lining the ball into the gaps rather than driving the ball. He is an aggressive hitter and doesn’t walk much. Duplantis has plus speed that he uses well on the base paths. He has been more of a corner outfielder at LSU, but played center field this summer and should be able to stay there in the long run.

27. Josh Stowers, of, Chatham (Jr., Louisville)

Stowers arrived in Chatham at the start of July after helping Louisville reach the College World Series. As he did in the spring, he showed on the Cape an intriguing combination of power and speed. The righthanded hitter can flash above-average raw power, particularly when he turns on the ball, but he is still learning to get to it consistently. He is an above-average runner and uses his speed well on the base paths. He ranked sixth in the league with 12 steals in just 24 games.

Stowers played left field for Louisville this spring, but will likely take over center field in 2018. He played all three outfield positions for Chatham and covers ground well. If he can convince scouts of his ability to stick in center field, he could follow in the path of several of his former teammates and rise precipitously on draft boards next spring as a player in a premium position with average or better tools across the board.

28. Kyle Bradish, rhp, Falmouth (Jr., New Mexico State)

Bradish was one of the breakout stars of the summer, starting on a temporary contract and finishing as an all-star. He primarily attacks hitters with a fastball-curveball combination. His fastball sits 91-94 mph and touches the mid 90s. He pairs it with a deep curveball, which can generate swings and misses. He seldom threw his changeup.

Bradish is listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds and throws from a straight over the top arm slot. He has a long, exaggerated delivery, but when he keeps the ball down in the zone he is difficult for hitters to handle. After averaging more than five walks per nine innings this spring, he pitched with average control on the Cape. If he can continue to do so and develop a viable third pitch, he has the tools to be a starter.

29. Cole Sands, rhp, Falmouth (Jr., Florida State)

Sands came to Florida State as a well-regarded prospect and has spent the last two seasons in the Seminoles’ rotation, helping them reach the College World Series this spring. After that Omaha run, he headed for the Cape, where he turned in a solid performance in his second summer with Falmouth.

Sands throws his fastball in the low 90s, reaching 95 mph with sinking action. His sharp slider is his best secondary pitch, but he has worked to develop his changeup, giving him a third viable offering. Sands came right after hitters and located his fastball well. Sands made some key strides over the summer, and if he can carry them over to the spring consistently, his stuff and size—listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds—make for an attractive package.

30. Josiah Gray, rhp, Chatham (Jr., Le Moyne, N.Y.)

A two-way player at Division II Le Moyne, Gray exclusively worked as a pitcher for Chatham and was one of the breakout stars of the summer. He struck out 23 batters and walked three in 14.2 innings (including the playoffs), while also showing premium velocity.

Gray increased his velocity this summer, reaching 97 mph. He also mixes in a slider and a changeup, with the slider being the better of his two secondary offerings. He is athletic and repeats his delivery well, allowing him to fill up the strike zone. Gray earns comparisons to Marcus Stroman both for his size (6-foot, 190 pounds) and two-way ability. Gray had never focused solely on pitching before this summer and when he does so as a professional, he has the potential to make another leap forward.

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