Image credit: Yarmouth-Dennis shortstop Brooks Lee (Photo courtesy of the Cape Cod League/Kirsten Doherty, SportsPix LLC)
Baseball this summer returned to Cape Cod after the 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic—the first time the Cape Cod League had missed a season since the end of World War II.
The league’s return was a welcome site for many around the game and especially for the people on the Cape. The league drew large crowds all season long and the play on the diamond was at a typically high level, despite some unusual circumstances.
Like everyone else in amateur baseball, the Cape had to deal with an abnormally late draft date, which led to a midseason disruption of many rosters. USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team was also twice the size it normally is, which pulled more players away from the Cape. The flip side of that, however, was a shorter schedule for Team USA, which led to more of its players spending part of the summer on the Cape, including No. 1 prospect Brooks Lee.
The Cape’s season culminated with Brewster sweeping Bourne in the best-of-three championship series. It was the second title in four seasons for the Whitecaps and manager Jamie Shevchik.
While the 2022 draft rankings published earlier this month take a holistic view of a prospect, this list is informed primarily by a player’s performance this summer and conversations with coaches and evaluators who watched the Cape. As such, some discrepancies in the rankings exist. 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.
1. Brooks Lee, SS, Yarmouth-Dennis (Third-year sophomore, Cal Poly)
Lee in 2019 was the highest-rated position player to make it to college and he’s lived up to that billing. He this spring was named the Big West Conference’s co-player and freshman of the year and then continued his star turn with a standout summer with Y-D and USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team. He hit .405/.432/.667 with six home runs for the Red Sox. His time away from the Cape with the CNT meant he fell 16 at bats shy of qualifying for the batting title but hitting .400 in 21 games (84 at bats) on the Cape is nevertheless remarkable.
Lee is a switch-hitter with a short, compact swing from both sides of the plate. With Y-D, he showed more power hitting lefthanded, which was consistent with his spring season as well, but he’s an advanced hitter from either side. While there are some concerns about his athleticism and ability to stay at shortstop, he did his best on the Cape to answer those questions. He has good hands and his feel for the game and baseball IQ help make up for his more average athleticism. He’s a well-rounded player and his offensive ability would play anywhere on the infield if he did need to move.
2. Brock Wilken, 3B, Harwich (Sophomore, Wake Forest)
Wilken this spring started every game at third base for Wake Forest and hit 17 home runs to set the program’s freshman record. He carried that momentum into the summer, hitting .302/.430/.519 with six home runs. He was named MVP, becoming the first rising sophomore to win the award since Justin Smoak in 2006.
Wilken has a big, physical frame at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and his righthanded swing packs plenty of power. He has a balanced swing and is explosive, allowing him to consistently drive balls. He is a disciplined hitter who’s not afraid to work deep in counts and led the league in walks. Wilken was more of a catcher in high school and he’s still learning his new position. He has the physical tools and athleticism for it but needs more time at third base to learn the intricacies of the hot corner. He’s still very young—he turned 19 just before Opening Day—and he offers a lot of upside.
3. Chase DeLauter, OF, Orleans (Third-year sophomore, James Madison)
No position player on the Cape had a bigger breakout summer than DeLauter. His performance—he hit .298/.397/.589 with nine home runs, tied for the league lead—was the biggest reason for his rise, but JMU’s abbreviated spring schedule—the Monarchs played just 28 games, less than all but four teams that played conference schedules—also kept him more under the radar prior to the summer.
DeLauter first stands out for his size at a listed 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and he has a powerful lefthanded swing. He also is a disciplined hitter with good strike-zone awareness. He walked more than he struck out both this summer (21 walks, 18 strikeouts) and in the spring (25 walks, 14 strikeouts). He split his time with Orleans between right field and center field. His arm is good enough for either position, but whether his speed is enough for an everyday center fielder is the key question to his profile. He also pitches, but his future is clearly as a hitter. DeLauter’s all-around tools give him a chance to next year become the first first-round pick in program history.
4. Jace Bohrofen, OF, Falmouth (Sophomore, Arkansas)
Bohrofen was a highly ranked prospect coming out of high school in 2020 but never really got on track at Oklahoma. That wasn’t a problem this summer at Falmouth, where he hit .279/.375/.504 with five home runs and eight stolen bases.
Bohrofen has a smooth lefthanded swing and creates a lot of bat speed. He consistently makes hard contact and has the strength in his 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame to drive the ball, especially to the pull side. He’s hit over power right now and has the potential to be at least average at both. He’s an above-average runner with average arm strength. That makes him fringy for center field and he’s likely to settle into an outfield corner in the long run. Bohrofen is transferring this year to Arkansas, where he’ll look to take the next step in his development.
5. Bryce Hubbart, LHP, Brewster (Third-year sophomore, Florida State)
Following a strong season as Florida State’s No. 2 starter as a second-year freshman, Hubbart carried that momentum into the summer with Brewster. He was one of the best pitchers on the Cape and went 3-1, 0.87 with 45 strikeouts in 31 innings, tied for the league high. He held opponents to four runs on 14 hits and eight walks and allowed just one run after his first start for the Whitecaps.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Hubbart throws from an over-the-top arm slot and has an up-tempo delivery. His fastball sits in the low 90s and it plays up thanks to its high spin rate and his ability to spot it up in the zone. He has a good feel for his curveball, which is a swing-and-miss offering, and he mixes in a changeup effectively. He this summer worked to add a slider, which quickly showed promise as another above-average offering. While Hubbart isn’t overpowering, he has at least average grades pretty much across the board and has established himself as one of the top lefthanders in the country.
6. Zach Neto, SS, Brewster (Third-year sophomore, Campbell)
Neto had an outstanding spring at Campbell, where he was named Big South Conference player of the year after hitting .405/.488/.746 with 12 home runs and going 4-0, 3.43 in 11 appearances on the mound. He was an early standout on the Cape as well before an ankle injury sidelined him for the final three weeks of the regular season. He was able to return in time for the playoffs—a rarity on the Cape, where few players return from significant injuries—and helped the Whitecaps to the championship.
Neto has a short, quick righthanded swing and makes a lot of loud contact. Half of his 18 hits on the summer went for extra bases, including four home runs, thanks in large part to the bat speed he generates. He’s a disciplined hitter who doesn’t strike out much but does get hit a lot because he sets up so close to the plate. Neto is an above-average runner and showed good range on the infield. He split time between shortstop and second base and while second base seems more likely to be his ultimate position, his athleticism gives him a shot to stay at shortstop.
7. Tommy Troy, 2B, Wareham (Sophomore, Stanford)
Troy was well-regarded last year coming out of high school and played well as a freshman, helping Stanford to the College World Series. He carried that performance into the summer, hitting .299/.364/.479 with four home runs and nine stolen bases for the Gatemen.
Troy has a well-rounded tool set. He has a short righthanded swing and quick hands at the plate. He can use the whole field to hit, and his bat speed creates solid power, especially when he’s turning on the ball. He’s a plus runner and uses his speed well on the bases. Troy this spring primarily served as DH for Stanford and played second base this summer. He played solid defense this summer, showing quick infield actions and good hands.
8. Paul Skenes, C/RHP, Wareham (Sophomore, Air Force)
Skenes had a sensational first season of college baseball, hitting 11 home runs and picking up 11 saves for Air Force. That earned him an invitation to the Collegiate National Team, which he sandwiched between his time in Wareham.
While Skenes this spring was the everyday catcher at Air Force, he pitched more on the Cape—making five appearances—and only served as DH when he did hit. On the mound, Skenes has a powerful fastball that can get up to 96 mph in short stints. On his return to the Cape, Skenes was extended with multi-inning appearances and his fastball sat more in the low 90s. He has advanced feel for his changeup and also mixes in a slider. Skenes has a powerful righthanded swing, but it comes with some swing and miss and he never got much of an opportunity this summer to settle in at the plate.
Skenes is listed at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds and plays two ways as a catcher and pitcher. That immediately brings to mind Matt Wieters. Skenes has a long way to go to reach that level and questions to answer about where he fits best on the diamond. But he only turned 19 at the end of May and his raw tools are as exciting as anyone in the league.
9. Adam Maier, RHP, Yarmouth-Dennis (Third-year sophomore, British Columbia)
Maier pitched for the Canadian Junior National Team growing up and was a part of Canada’s 2019 18U World Cup team. He’s been under the radar over the last two years in no small part due to the pandemic—UBC was unable to play in 2021 due to restrictions. Maier significantly elevated his profile with a breakout summer, however.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Maier throws from a three-quarters arm slot. His fastball sits in the low 90s, touching 94-95 mph with running life that makes it hard to square up. His slider is an above-average offering with a high spin rate, and he also mixes in a changeup to both righthanders and lefthanders. He throws a lot of strikes and isn’t afraid to attack hitters. While Maier hasn’t pitched much over the last two years, he this summer quickly got back up to speed and could make more waves next spring.
10. Clark Elliott, OF, Hyannis (Third-year sophomore, Michigan)
Elliott started the summer with a 1-for-13 skid in his first week with Hyannis. Once he got his feet under him, however, he was one of the Cape’s most consistent hitters and won the batting title with a .344 average.
Elliott has a quick lefthanded swing, makes a lot of contact and is especially good at hunting fastballs—he hit .409/.536/.591 against them this summer. His swing is geared toward making line-drive contact and making the most of his plus speed, but he’s not just a singles hitter. He creates good bat speed and has the strength to drive the ball, though power is never going to be a big part of his game. He covers ground well in the outfield and should be able to stay in center field. Michigan has produced a trio of outfielders who were drafted in the top three rounds in the last three years and Elliott in 2021 could make it four in four years.
11. Spencer Jones, OF, Brewster (Third-year sophomore, Vanderbilt)
Jones was a top-100 player in the 2019 draft class coming out of high school as a lefthander/first baseman. Injuries have limited him over the last two years, however, and he hasn’t gotten on the mound for the Commodores. He continued as a hitter only with Brewster—but with the added wrinkle of primarily playing in the outfield.
Jones, a lefthander, has a long, big frame at 6-foot-7, 225 pounds. He made some adjustments to shorten his swing and create more angle, which helped him take a step forward. Still, with hitters his size there is a concern about swing and miss and Jones struck out in 28% of his plate appearances. He backspins the ball well, has power to all fields and has a good feel for baserunning. Defensively, Jones showed solid ability in the outfield, though his arm is not yet back to full strength. There’s a lot to dream on with Jones, but there’s still a lot of rawness to his game.
12. Ryan Ritter, SS, Cotuit (Third-year sophomore, Kentucky)
Ritter was one of the top junior college prospects in 2020 and transferred to Kentucky for his second year of college. After a solid spring for the Wildcats, he this summer impressed with Cotuit, hitting .330/.431/.429.
Listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Ritter has a loose, athletic frame and stands out for his defensive ability. He’s got a strong arm, shows good range and easy hands, giving him the tools to stay on the position in pro ball. The question is more about Ritter’s bat. While he ranked fourth in the league in batting, there’s a lot of swing and miss in his game for a player that doesn’t produce much power. He struck out in a quarter of his plate appearances and will need to refine his approach. He does offer some power projection, however, and may grow into more impact in time.
13. Cayden Wallace, OF, Bourne (Sophomore, Arkansas)
Wallace this spring hit .279/.369/.500 with 14 home runs as a freshman at Arkansas and carried that line almost exactly into the summer with Bourne, where he hit .290/.352/.468 with two home runs in 18 games. With an early August birthday, Wallace is likely to fall near the age cutoff for the 2022 draft.
Wallace has a strong, powerful frame and packs a lot of punch in his righthanded swing. He has a lot of raw power and gets to it well in games. He this summer struck out in 30% of his plate appearances, a rate much higher than what he did in the spring (21%). Some of that may be a smaller sample size, but he often looks to elevate, so there will always be some swing and miss in his game. Wallace fits the corner outfield profile and that’s where he played for Bourne, but he has previously seen action at third base. No matter where he ends up, his bat is going to be the main attraction.
14. Teddy McGraw, RHP, Brewster (Sophomore, Wake Forest)
McGraw this spring pitched out of the Wake Forest bullpen as a true freshman. He this summer got stretched out as a starter with Brewster and went 1-2, 3.18 with 35 strikeouts in 24 innings (including the playoffs).
McGraw, listed at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, has a powerful right arm. His fastball sat in the low-to-mid 90s and has a lot of sinking and running action, making it especially difficult on righthanded hitters. He came out of the bullpen to throw the final inning of Brewster’s title-clinching win and touched 99 mph, showing what kind of velocity he can have when he’s airing everything out. He pairs his turbo sinker with a slider that has plus potential and mixes in a hard changeup. He has average control. McGraw has solid starter traits and looks to be ready to join the burgeoning Wake Forest pitching pipeline.
15. Peyton Graham, 3B, Yarmouth-Dennis (Third-year sophomore, Oklahoma)
Graham has started every game for Oklahoma since arriving in Norman and has been one of its best players over the last two seasons. He spent this summer with Y-D, hitting .247/.367/.370 in 24 games before a broken hand ended his season in mid July.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, Graham has a lean, athletic build. The righthanded hitter can drive balls thanks to the loft in his swing and his bat speed. As he physically matures, he figures to add more power, but he didn’t get to it as often this summer as he has for Oklahoma. He’s a patient hitter and gets in deep counts as a result but did this summer work to cut down on his strikeouts. Graham played all over the diamond for the Red Sox but has mostly been a third baseman in college and his hands and arm work well at the hot corner.
16. Jordan Beck, OF, Harwich (Third-year sophomore, Tennessee)
Beck this spring hit 15 home runs and helped Tennessee reach the College World Series. Following the Volunteers’ postseason run, he spent the summer with Harwich. He hit .267/.377/.400 for the Mariners.
Beck has a strong build at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. The righthanded hitter has plus raw power and can make it look easy, putting on an impressive show in batting practice. He often gets to that power in games, but he is still raw at the plate and will need to develop a better approach to cut down on his strikeouts (he whiffed in 34% of his plate appearances) and get to his power more consistently. Beck is a good athlete and has above-average arm strength, giving him a solid right field profile.
17. Victor Mederos, RHP, Chatham (Sophomore, Oklahoma State)
Mederos ranked as a top-two round draft pick coming out of high school in 2020 but upheld his commitment to Miami and started the season in the rotation. He had an up-and-down freshman season but was better on the Cape, going 1-1, 4.64 with 19 strikeouts and 12 walks in 21.2 innings. He will transfer to Oklahoma State for his sophomore year.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Mederos has a strong pitcher’s frame. His fastball sat around 93 mph and got up to 96. He has a big curveball, a hard slider and a developing changeup, giving him a full four-pitch arsenal, though he is still learning how best to attack hitters. He can miss bats and at times pitch with good control but needs to improve his overall consistency. Mederos, who this year will be a draft-eligible sophomore, still offers significant upside.
18. Trey Dombroski, LHP, Harwich (Third-year sophomore, Monmouth)
Dombroski was one of the Cape’s best breakout stories on the mound. After a couple impressive relief outings to start the summer, he moved into Harwich’s rotation and was one of the Cape’s top performers on the mound. He went 3-0, 0.85 with 45 strikeouts in 31.2 innings during the regular season, edging Bryce Hubbart (0.87) for the ERA title and matching him for the most strikeouts.
Dombroski is not overpowering, and his fastball typically sits in the upper 80s, touching 91 mph. He has a big frame at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and should be able to add more velocity in time. His changeup is his best secondary offering, and he also throws a pair of breaking balls. His stuff plays up thanks to his command, sequencing and his feel for his craft. He works well down in the zone and rarely gets hit hard—he has not given up a home run in college. Dombroski has a bit of an unconventional profile, but he has firmly put himself on the radar.
19. Kody Huff, C, Yarmouth-Dennis (Third-year sophomore, Stanford)
Huff this spring was Stanford’s everyday catcher as a second-year freshman, helping the Cardinal to the College World Series. Following that run, he joined Y-D, where he again served as his team’s primary catcher and hit .241/.288/.380.
Huff, listed at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, has a compact righthanded swing. He’s an aggressive hitter with solid power potential and often creates hard contact. Huff is a good defender, who especially stands out for his ability to handle a staff. He has a strong arm and controls baserunners well. He stood out as one of the best defensive catchers in the league.
20. Chris Newell, OF, Harwich (Third-year sophomore, Virginia)
After helping Virginia advance to the College World Series, Newell spent his summer with Harwich. He hit .250/.288/.500 with five home runs in 19 regular-season games, ranking second on the team in home runs to Cape MVP Brock Wilken.
Newell has a strong, athletic build at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. He has a quick lefthanded swing and can drive the ball, especially when he turns on it. His power on the Cape was somewhat surprising—he hit five home runs all spring—but his strength and bat speed portend solid power potential. He’s a very aggressive hitter and, as a result, rarely walks and strikes out at a high rate (28% on the summer). Newell has above-average speed, has good instincts in the outfield and has good arm strength. He’s played center field throughout his college career and should be able to handle the position in pro ball.
21. Max Rajcic, RHP, Orleans (Sophomore, UCLA)
Rajcic was a high-profile prospect in high school and this spring as a freshman worked out of UCLA’s bullpen, going 2-1, 1.65 with seven saves. On the Cape, he got stretched out as a starter and went 0-3, 4.32 with 28 strikeouts and eight walks in 25 innings.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Rajcic did a good job of adjusting to a starter’s workload. His fastball sat in the low 90s with some late life. He pairs it with a big curveball that he can throw for strikes and is a swing-and-miss offering. He also mixes in a developing changeup. He throws a lot of strikes and has an advanced understanding of pitching. Rajcic projects to develop into a solid draft pick in 2023.
22. Eric Reyzelman, RHP, Harwich (Third-year sophomore, Louisiana State)
Reyzelman threw 35 innings this spring for San Francisco while working his way back from Tommy John surgery. He transferred to LSU after the season and then headed to Harwich, where he impressed. He went 2-0, 2.93 with 38 strikeouts and eight walks in 27.2 innings (including the playoffs).
Reyzelman has an electric fastball that touched 97 mph with a lot of life. His fastball early in the season sat 93-94 mph and later in the summer was a tick lower. Finding more consistency with his velocity will be important for Reyzelman, but that should come as he further recovers from his injury. His slider is a sharp offering that can be a swing-and-miss pitch. He throws a lot of strikes and isn’t afraid to challenge hitters with his fastball. Reyzelman has a lot of upside and he could take another jump next spring.
23. Trey Faltine, SS, Brewster (Third-year sophomore, Texas)
Faltine has started every game for Texas over the last two seasons at shortstop, showing an exciting array of tools. He spent this summer with Brewster and helped the Whitecaps win the championship, but struggled offensively, hitting .154/.291/.262.
Faltine is an excellent athlete and offers a lot to dream on. There’s power projection in his 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame and he has above-average speed. But he’ll need to make some adjustments at the plate to make the most of his tools. He this summer struck out in 38% of his plate appearances and too often is beaten on the inner half of the plate. Faltine can make everything look easy defensively, has good hands and can make highlight-reel plays. His promise and ability to play a premium defensive position give Faltine a chance to wipe the slate clean with a good spring, but his struggles at the plate this summer do raise some concerns.
24. Eric Brown, 2B/SS, Cotuit (Third-year sophomore, Coastal Carolina)
Brown had a solid spring at Coastal Carolina before joining Cotuit for the summer. He and Ryan Ritter formed one of the league’s best middle infields, and Brown hit .282/.375/.436 with five home runs and 13 stolen bases.
Brown is quick and athletic at 5-foot-11, 190 pounds. He has an unusual stance at the plate, somewhat reminiscent of Craig Counsell. With his hands high above his head to start with, there are a lot of moving parts to his load. He’s athletic enough to make it all work and he generates good bat speed, giving him above-average power. There’s some swing and miss, but he does a good job of putting the bat on the ball. He’s a plus runner and uses his speed well on the bases. Defensively, Brown uses his range and athleticism well and showed solid infield actions. Where he fits best defensively and how well his setup at the plate translates against high-level pitching are the two biggest questions with Brown.
25. Christian Knapczyk, SS, Bourne (Sophomore, Louisville)
Knapczyk this summer battled for the Cape batting title and hit .321/.400/.413 with six stolen bases. He was even more impressive in the postseason, as he went 10-for-21 to help Bourne to a runner-up finish.
Knapczyk combines a good feel for the strike zone with impressive bat control. He barrels balls often and he this year walked about as much as he struck out. Listed at 5-foot-9, 155 pounds, Knapczyk has below-average power now, but he creates good bat speed and could grow into more power in time. He’s a plus runner and uses his speed well on the bases. Defensively, Knapczyk is sure-handed and has good infield actions. Questions about how much offensive impact he’ll make figure to linger, but the 19-year-old this summer acquitted himself impressively.