2019 Cape Cod League Top Prospects: 1-10
Led by MVP and No. 1 prospect Nick Gonzales, Cotuit ran off six straight wins in the Cape Cod League playoffs to win its 17th championship, the most in league history. The Kettleers beat Harwich in the finals.
Overall, the talent on the Cape was strong, but the league has undergone changes in recent years. It was a much more offensive league this season as more pitchers are limited in how many innings they throw during the summer.
To be eligible for this ranking, position players must have played 15 games or taken 50 plate appearances, and pitchers must have appeared in at least five games or thrown 15 innings.
To see prospects 11-30, click here.
To see prospects 31-50, click here.
1. Nick Gonzales, 2B, Cotuit (Junior, New Mexico State)
Gonzales this spring hit .432/.532/.773 to lead the nation in batting and earn All-America honors. He then continued his torrid play this summer on the Cape, proving himself against premium pitching and away from the altitude at which New Mexico State plays its home games. He hit .351/.451/.630 with seven home runs and six stolen bases and won MVP honors after finishing among the league leaders in a host of statistics.
Gonzales simply has a knack for putting the bat on the ball and making hard contact. He used a patient approach early in the summer, almost feeling out the league before getting more aggressive as the summer went on. He has excellent bat-to-ball skills and walked about as much as he struck out, a ratio that has been true throughout his college career. Listed at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, he isn’t a power hitter, but he has the ability to drive the ball to all fields. He’s an average runner but has good instincts on the bases. Gonzales has worked to improve his footwork and hands over the last year and is now a solid defender at second base.
Overall, Gonzales is not a prototypical first-round pick, but that’s where he’s positioning himself after such an impressive 2019. His plus hitting ability combined with his surprising power makes for an intriguing package that may remind some of Keston Hiura.
2. Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, Falmouth (Redshirt sophomore, South Carolina)
Mlodzinski was South Carolina’s Opening Day starter this spring but ultimately made just three starts before he broke a bone in his left foot, an injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the spring. He got back to full strength in time to report to Falmouth, where he established himself as the best pitcher on the Cape. He struck out 40 batters in just 29.1 innings, while allowing just 15 hits and four walks.
Mlodzinski spent the spring getting stronger and was listed at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, giving him a more powerful look on the mound. He has the power stuff to match with a fastball that gets up to 96 mph and a hard slider that’s a swing-and-miss offering. He also will mix in a cutter and a changeup. Mlodzinski attacks hitters with his whole arsenal and pitches with above-average control. He has the makings of a first-round pick after an impressive summer.
3. Austin Wells, C/OF, Yarmouth-Dennis (Sophomore, Arizona)
Wells was highly regarded coming out of high school and he lived up to that billing this spring for Arizona, where he earned Freshman All-America honors. He carried that momentum into the summer with Yarmouth-Dennis, where he hit .308/.389/.526 with seven home runs and eight stolen bases.
Wells showed off an impressive offensive toolset and was among the league leaders in several categories. The lefthanded hitter has plus raw power and got to it well, as 20 of his 48 hits went for extra bases. He knows how to take a walk, but his power also comes with a fair amount of swing-and-miss and he struck out in 25 percent of his plate appearances. Wells is a bigger catcher at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, but he’s capable behind the plate and has the versatility to play first base (where Arizona used him) or the outfield (he played all three outfield positions for Y-D). His bat is good enough to play anywhere, but he would have the most upside if he proves he can handle everyday catching duties.
4. Jordan Westburg, SS, Hyannis (Junior, Mississippi State)
Westburg began the summer in trials with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team but didn’t make the team for international competition and instead reported in early July to Hyannis. It was a brutal year for the Harbor Hawks, who won just nine games, but Westburg provided a bright spot.
Westburg made a smooth transition to the Cape and hit .326/.385/.516 in 25 games. He has a quick, easy swing and finds the barrel often. He is an aggressive hitter and produces solid power that has mostly translated into doubles so far in his career, but those line drives should start going over the wall in time. Westburg has a bigger frame for a shortstop at a listed at 6-foot-3, 206 pounds, and how he handles the position will be watched closely leading up to the draft. His hands are good enough for the infield, and his arm strength plays well on the left side of the diamond. He likely won’t be a shortstop in pro ball, but his offensive profile makes for an attractive overall package.
5. Daniel Cabrera, OF, Harwich (Junior, Louisiana State)
Cabrera battled a right hand/wrist injury early this spring at LSU but turned in a solid summer for Harwich. He hit .287/.369/.400 with 10 stolen bases and proved himself to be one of the better hitters on the Cape.
Cabrera, listed at 6-foot, 190 pounds, has a good combination of power and speed. He’s an above-average runner and has plus raw power. The lefthanded hitter does a good job of using the other field to hit and knowing when to turn on a ball to get the most out of his power. He is an aggressive hitter and rarely walks but does a pretty good job of putting the bat on the ball and not striking out too much. His speed is probably a little short for center field, but he covers ground well in the outfield and has enough arm strength for right field.
6. Gage Workman, SS/3B, Brewster (Junior, Arizona State)
Workman last summer was one of the youngest players on the Cape and struggled offensively, hitting .163/.241/.306. In his return this summer to Brewster, he fared much better, hitting .266/.321/.370 and earned MVP honors at the all-star game.
Workman again was one of the younger players in the league and will not turn 20 until late October. He had perhaps the most exciting toolset of any player on the Cape and has plenty of potential as a 6-foot-4, 205-pound, switch-hitter with strong defensive skills. He has a big swing and he struck out in about a quarter of his plate appearances, a number not out of line with his strikeout rate this spring. Workman is a plus runner and while he hasn’t fully tapped into his power yet, he should have a solid combination of power and speed in time. He has a well above-average arm and smooth hands and infield actions. Even though he plays third base for Arizona State in deference to Alika Williams, he played a solid shortstop this summer. It’s more likely he ends up at third base at the next level, but shortstop is not out of the question. Workman is still a bit raw overall but has as much upside as nearly anyone in the league.
Blaze Alexander Helps Redeem D-backs' Draft
While the D-backs failed to sign their first-round pick this year, they secured a talented high school shortstop anyway in the 11th round.
7. Matt McLain, UTL, Wareham (Sophomore, UCLA)
McLain last year was drafted 25th overall by the D-backs but decided not to sign and upheld his commitment to UCLA. He was an everyday player for the Bruins this spring but had a tough season at the plate. He turned that around on the Cape, hitting .274/.394/.425 in a league that is often tough on rising sophomores.
McLain does a lot of things well on the diamond. The righthanded hitter has good feel at the plate and does a good job of putting the barrel on the ball. He has more power than his 5-foot-9, 175-pound frame suggests, and he gets to it well in games. McLain played all over the field for Wareham after playing center field this spring for UCLA but spent much of the summer on the left side of the infield. He’s an average runner with good hands. He’s not the toolsiest player and its unclear where he fits best defensively, but his bat plays, and he figures to settle in to a position in the next two years.
8. Logan Allen, LHP, Harwich (Junior, Florida International)
Allen began his summer in Harwich before leaving in late June to play for Team USA. He made three starts on the Cape and made the most of them, striking out 24 batters in 15 innings and holding opponents to two runs (both unearned) on seven hits and three walks.
Allen has had advanced pitchability since he was in high school, and it continues to be a key to his success. He has above-average control and attacks hitters with a fastball that sits around 90 mph, moving it effectively around the strike zone. He has a tight curveball and good feel for his changeup, both of which are solid offerings. At a listed 6-foot, 170 pounds, Allen isn’t physically imposing but has a good understanding of what he needs to do to get outs.
9. Ian Seymour, LHP, Yarmouth-Dennis (Junior, Virginia Tech)
After a solid spring at Virginia Tech, Seymour returned to his native Massachusetts and dominated hitters during his stint on the Cape. He went 2-2, 2.48 with 39 strikeouts and six walks in 25.1 innings before reaching his innings limit in mid-July.
Seymour is reminiscent of TJ Sikkema, who starred for Falmouth last summer before going on to be drafted 38th overall by the Yankees. Seymour’s fastball sits in the low 90s and he pairs it with a mid-80s cutter, giving him weapons against both righthanded and lefthanded hitters. He also throws a slider and a changeup, giving him four average pitches. His stuff plays up thanks to solid control and his advanced pitchability. There’s some effort in his delivery and next spring he’ll likely face questions about his ability to stay in the rotation, but he’s building a strong track record of success, which, along with his solid pitchability as a lefthander, will intrigue scouts.
10. Noah Campbell, 2B/OF, Yarmouth-Dennis (Junior, South Carolina)
Campbell ranked sixth on this list a year ago after a standout summer that saw him finish second in the league in batting. He had a tough sophomore season at South Carolina, but rebounded when he returned to Yarmouth-Dennis, hitting .324/.442/.431 to finish sixth in the league in hitting.
Campbell has exciting all-around tools and athleticism, though he’s still learning how to make the most of it on the diamond. He has quick hands, which are the key to making his unconventional swing work. A switch-hitter, he makes hard contact and produces solid power. He’s also a plus runner, though he’s still learning how to make the most of his speed on the base paths. Campbell split his time defensively this summer between second base and left field. His speed would play in center, if a team committed to him there, and his athleticism gives him a chance at second base. He’ll need a better spring than he had this year to go in the first round next year, but his performance in back-to-back summers on the Cape shows his potential.