2017 Cape Cod League Top Prospects 31-50
SEE ALSO: Summer College League Top Prospects
SEE ALSO: Cape Cod League Top 10
SEE ALSO: Cape Cod League 11-20
SEE ALSO: Cape Cod League 21-30
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.
31. Jason Bilous, rhp, Cotuit (Jr., Coastal Carolina)
Bilous had Tommy John surgery his senior year of high school, helping to push him toward Coastal Carolina. He has premium stuff and has been a mainstay of the Chanticleers rotation the last two years, helping them win the 2015 national championship, but has struggled with his control throughout his career. He struck out 37 batters and walked 30 in 33 innings this summer, averaging 10.09 strikeouts and 8.18 walks per nine innings, numbers that were in line with his spring performance.
Still, Bilous’ stuff makes him a tantalizing prospect. His fastball sits 95-97 mph and reaches 99 mph. His changeup and breaking ball both flash above-average potential. His struggles are most pronounced against lefthanded hitters, against whom he is still learning how to pitch inside. Elevated pitch counts often lead to shorter outings for Bilous, and he may fit better at the next level in the bullpen.
32. Hogan Harris, lhp, Yarmouth-Dennis (Jr., Louisiana-Lafayette)
Harris had a strong spring pitching in Louisiana’s rotation this spring and showed some impressive, though inconsistent, stuff during the summer, striking out 24 batters in 18 innings on the Cape.
Harris can run his fastball up to 94 mph and has a good feel for spin. His curveball is his best secondary pitch, and he also throws a changeup and slider. At his best, Harris had solid stuff, but too often pitched with below-average stuff and struggled with his control. He seemed to find another gear when he got in trouble and was able to escape jams more often than not, but he will have to find more consistency going forward. If he’s able to do so, his size (listed at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds) and stuff make him an intriguing prospect.
Ten First-Rounders Are Left Available For Rule 5 Draft
This was the worst year for protecting first-round picks since the new draft rules were adopted in 2012.
33. Adley Rutschman, c, Falmouth (So., Oregon State)
Rutschman earned plaudits as a freshman this spring for his defense as he helped Oregon State to the College World Series. His defense again stood out on the Cape, but, as he did during the spring, he struggled at the plate. He has above-average raw power and a disciplined offensive approach, but the switch hitter hasn’t made enough contact to reach his potential.
Rutschman has the tools to become an elite defender. He has a plus arm, blocks balls well and is a strong receiver. He can shut down opponents’ running games and works well with pitchers. Rutschman’s makeup and defense means his value won’t ever be heavily tied to his offense, and many observers believe his bat will eventually come around.
34. Daniel Lynch, lhp, Orleans (Jr., Virginia)
Lynch had an up-and-down spring for Virginia, but found much more consistent success during the summer with Orleans and earned all-star honors. He is not overpowering, but as a lefthander listed at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, with average stuff and above-average command, Lynch has an intriguing set of tools to develop as a starter. Lynch’s fastball sat 88-92 mph, touching 93 with life when he is able to keep it down in the zone. He can locate the pitch to both sides of the plate and filled up the strike zone. He throws both a curveball and a slider, with the slider being the better of his breaking balls. His changeup may be better than both, showing above-average potential. With a more consistent junior season, Lynch could become the latest Virginia pitcher to be drafted in the first few rounds.
35. Sam Bordner, rhp, Brewster (Jr., Louisville)
Bordner had a strong spring at Louisville, setting up All-American closer Lincoln Henzman. He started the summer well for Brewster, before appearing to tire down the stretch and scuffling in the playoffs. When he’s at his best, Bordner attacks hitters with a low 90s fastball that can touch 95 mph. He uses his 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame to his advantage to throw from a steep downhill plane and create groundball outs. Bordner gets into trouble when he leaves the ball up in the zone. His secondary stuff needs more work – his breaking ball is inconsistent and his changeup is still developing. Still, Bordner has several starter traits and offers plenty of upside.
36. Alfonso Rivas, 1b/of, Yarmouth-Dennis (Jr., Arizona)
Rivas finished third in the Pac-12 Conference in batting this spring and carried over that strong performance to the Cape. He stood out for his smooth swing and mature approach at the plate. He has solid power potential and a good feel for the barrel. After walking more than he struck out this spring at Arizona, he had more swing and miss this summer, but is not an indiscriminate swinger.
At Arizona, Rivas has primarily played outfield and has also pitched some. He was strictly a position player for Yarmouth-Dennis and split his time between the outfield and first base. He is a capable corner outfielder, but has the potential to be a plus defender at first base. Rivas has the offensive potential to profile in either position as a professional.
37. Johnny Aiello, 3b, Chatham (Jr., Wake Forest)
Aiello was a key part of Wake Forest’s powerful lineup this spring and hit 20 home runs for the Demon Deacons. He earned a spot on the Collegiate National Team that delayed his arrival on the Cape by a month. While abbreviated, his second summer in Chatham was much more successful than his first.
Aiello has a good feel for hitting and packs above-average raw power in his righthanded swing. While he shows his pop during batting practice, he has not unlocked it in games with a wood bat in the same way he did this spring. He showed patience at the plate this summer, but also struck out in 32 percent of his plate appearances with Chatham, up slightly from his strikeout rate in the spring. Aiello is a capable defender at third base with an above-average arm.
38. Jake Wong, rhp, Orleans (Jr., Grand Canyon)
Wong, who took over as Grand Canyon’s Friday starter this spring, made a strong impression pitching out of Orleans’ bullpen this summer. He has a heavy fastball that reached 97 mph and consistently sat 94-96 mph. His sharp slider is his primary offspeed pitch. He has a changeup, but seldom used it this summer in short stints. Wong has a repeatable delivery and pounded the zone with his fastball. Listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he has good size and has a chance to start if he is able to develop his changeup into a reliable third pitch. His stuff will also play in the bullpen, and he may end up in the setup role he held this summer for the Firebirds.
39. Justin Hooper, lhp, Cotuit (Jr., UCLA)
Hooper, listed at 6-foot-7, 235 pounds, returned to Cotuit this summer and earned all-star numbers. Hooper’s velocity was down this summer, but his control was better and he statistically improved as well. Hooper threw his fastball more in the upper 80s to low 90s, rather than the mid-90s velocity he has shown in the past. But he was able to throw strikes to both sides of the plate with the pitch and posted the best walk rate of his college career – 1.54 walks per nine innings, down from 5.05 this spring and 5.3 last summer. His changeup has also made strides and he throws the pitch to both right and lefthanded hitters. He mixes in a slider as well, though it is the less consistent of his two offspeed offerings. Hooper has made significant progress to becoming more of a pitcher than a thrower and, even with the tradeoff in velocity, remains intriguing as a prospect.
40. John Rooney, lhp, Yarmouth-Dennis (Jr., Hofstra)
Rooney had a solid spring in Hofstra’s rotation before opening eyes with his performance on the Cape. The upstate New York native is still raw, but his size – he’s listed at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds – and ability to hold his stuff deep into outings presents an intriguing package for scouts.
Rooney’s fastball velocity fluctuated during his starts. It typically sat 88-90 mph, but he also showed the ability to get up to 93 mph, even late in outings. His changeup is ahead of his breaking ball, and both have average potential. He repeats his delivery fairly well and has a strong pickoff move. Rooney got more comfortable as the summer went on and has room for more improvement as he gets more experience.
41. Josh Smith, ss, Harwich (So., Louisiana State)
Smith had a strong freshman season at LSU and carried that momentum into the summer. Once he arrived in Harwich after LSU’s runner-up finish at the College World Series, he made an easy transition to the wood bats and premium pitching on the Cape and quickly carved out a spot in the middle of the order. Smith has a solid approach at the plate and understands the strike zone well. Listed at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, the lefthanded hitter has some deceptive power, but it isn’t a primary part of his game. Smith played third base this spring in deference to Kramer Robertson, and split time between third and shortstop with Jonathan India this summer. Smith is a smooth defender with an above-average arm, and will likely take over shortstop at LSU next season.
42. Tony Locey, rhp, Brewster (So., Georgia)
Locey was a well-regarded prospect coming out of high school, but struggled this spring for Georgia. The big righthander (listed at 6-foot-3, 237 pounds) found more success on the Cape, where he went 4-2, 3.00 (including playoffs) and helped Brewster win the championship.
Locey can run his fastball up to 96 mph, and typically throws the pitch in the low to mid 90s. He mixes in a curveball and a changeup, with the curveball being the better of his secondary offerings. His struggles this spring mostly stemmed from his inability to consistently throw strikes, but he did a much better job of locating his fastball over the summer. Locey has the makings of a starter, and could emerge as a high-level prospect in the 2019 draft if he continues to make strides.
43. Ryan Feltner, rhp, Bourne (Jr., Ohio State)
Feltner was hit hard as a starter on the Cape last summer and struggled again back at Ohio State this spring, going 1-5, 6.32. He had no such problems this summer pitching out of Bourne’s bullpen, however. He led the league with eight saves and allowed only one run (unearned) in 15.1 innings to be named the Cape’s reliever of the year.
Feltner threw his fastball 93-97 mph and showed the ability to locate it to both sides of the plate, something that has eluded him in the past. He mixes in a split changeup and a slider, giving him a solid three-pitch arsenal. Feltner, who is listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, has the stuff to get a chance to start. But after finding success at the back of the bullpen, he may be better suited to short stints.
44. Logan Davidson, ss, Falmouth (So., Clemson)
Davidson had a strong freshman season at Clemson, earning all-freshman honors and showing a strong offensive skillset. While he struggled at times on the Cape, like many freshmen do after a long season, he showed flashes of his ability and improved over the course of the summer.
Davidson has exciting offensive tools, combining power and speed with a patient approach. Despite hitting .210/.317/.266, the switch hitter maintained his patience at the plate and ranked ninth in the league in walks (20). He has some raw power, but didn’t get to it as much this summer as he did in the spring when he hit 12 home runs for Clemson. Davidson made 22 errors this spring and continued to scuffle defensively on the Cape, making 10 errors in 37 games. He’ll have to smooth out the rough edges of his game to stay at shortstop, but offers significant upside.
45. Ford Proctor, 2b/ss, Hyannis (Jr., Rice)
Proctor earned All-Freshman honors in 2016 and had another solid summer this year, showing a mature, disciplined approach at the plate. His swing is more geared to line the ball the other way than it is to tap into his raw power and rive the ball. He controls the strike zone well and has walked about as much as he’s struck out throughout his college career.
Much of Proctor’s ultimate draft value is tied up in the question of on which side of second base he fits better. He has played exclusively shortstop for Rice, while splitting time between shortstop and second base during the summers. He has the hands and arm for shortstop, but he is an average runner and questions about his lateral range and actions lead many to believe he will move to second base at the next level.
46. Tyler Frank, 2b/ss, Hyannis (Jr., Florida Atlantic)
Frank began the summer with Hyannis before leaving for a month to play for the Collegiate National Team. He returned to the Cape at the end of Team USA’s tour, completing a summer that elevated his profile.
Frank is a steady hitter with a mature approach at the plate. He makes consistent contact and some raw power that presently plays as doubles pop, but should turn into more homers in time. He has played all over the field during his college career, appearing at second base, shortstop and third base for Hyannis. He played the outfield some for Team USA and caught as a freshman for FAU out of necessity. He profiles best as an offensive second baseman, where he is a capable defender, but also could end up as a super-utility player.
47. Connor Kaiser, ss, Yarmouth-Dennis (Jr., Vanderbilt)
Kaiser has long been known as a glove-first shortstop and went to the Cape with the goal of improving his offense. His work paid off with the best showing at the plate of his college career, hitting .300/.403/.470 for Yarmouth-Dennis.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, Kaiser is a good athlete and earned all-state honors as a basketball player in high school. He has strength in his swing and did a better job of getting to his power this summer. He still has a fair amount of swing and miss in his game, but he did a better job of barreling up balls over the summer. Kaiser is an above-average defender with the range, hands and arm strength to give him a chance to stay at the position as a professional.
48. Justin Montgomery, rhp, Wareham (Jr., California Baptist)
Cal Baptist has a strong track record of developing pitching under coach Gary Adcock, and Montgomery is the latest in the Lancers’ pipeline. He went 3-2, 3.14 for Wareham this summer and started the all-star game in his home park.
Montgomery’s fastball sits 90-92 mph and reaches 94 mph. He mixes in a tight, but inconsistent slider and a changeup. He has a simple delivery, though he is still learning to repeat it consistently. Listed at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, Montgomery throws from a downhill angle, making it difficult for hitters to elevate the ball against him. Montgomery still has some rawness to his game, but he has the stuff and build to be a starter.
49. Nick Dunn, 2b, Brewster (Jr., Maryland)
Dunn, a Cape all-star in 2015, started this summer slowly and was hitting .214/.298/.262 on July 2. But he rebounded over the next month to finish the regular season hitting .333/.424/.431. He continued to hit in the playoffs and was named co-playoff MVP after helping Brewster to its first league title since 2000.
Dunn stands out most for his pure hitting ability. The lefthanded hitter has fast hands and a mature approach at the plate, enabling him to spray line drives to all fields. He has above-average command of the strike zone and has walked more than he has struck out in two years on the Cape. Listed at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, he can flash power, but his approach means it plays more as doubles pop. Dunn has improved defensively, but is still fringy as a second baseman. He will have to improve his lateral quickness to stay in the middle of the infield, though his bat may be good enough to force teams to find a spot for him.
50. Jack DeGroat, rhp, Chatham (Jr., Liberty)
DeGroat had one of the best summers of any player on the Cape. He did not allow a run in 12 appearances (including the playoffs), struck out 30 batters in 15 innings and held opponents to five hits and seven walks. In addition to his eye-popping statistics, DeGroat also impressed scouts with his power stuff. His fastball sat 92-94 mph, touching 95 mph in the all-star game. He pairs his fastball with a biting slider. DeGroat worked as a starter as a freshman at Liberty before taking over as closer this spring. His delivery is effortful and choppy. DeGroat’s future is likely in the bullpen, where his power arsenal fits well.