Cape Cod League Hot Sheet Week Seven

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Image credit: Tristan Smith (Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Welcome to the Cape Cod League Hot Sheet! Like our college and pro hot sheets, the Cape Cod League Hot Sheet recognizes some of the top performers around the Cape after each week of play. Geoff Pontes and Peter Flaherty contributed to the Cape Cod League Hot Sheet this week.

1. Travis Bazzana, 2B, Oregon State 
Team: Falmouth Commodores 
Age: 20 

Why He’s Here: .500/.548/.893 (14-for-28), 11 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs, 2 BB, 7 SO, 2-for-3 SB

The Scoop: With the batting title within his sights, Bazzana put up one of the best weeks of the summer, going 14-for-28 and producing 21 total runs between his 11 runs and 10 RBIs. Bazzana passed Bourne’s Derek Bender on the final day to capture the batting title by one point with an average of .375. Bazzana was helped by arguably the best single-game performance in a decade last Friday when he went 6-for-7 with two doubles, two home runs, six runs scored and eight RBIs. The potential No. 1 overall pick for 2024 led Falmouth into the playoffs with one of its better teams in recent memory. (GP) 

2. Tyler MacGregor, 1B, Northeastern
Team: Falmouth Commodores 
Age: 23 

Why He’s Here: .519/.581/.667 (14-for-27), 6 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 11 RBIs, 3 BB, 3 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: The veteran first baseman last week led all Cape hitters with 11 RBIs, headlined by a 5-for-6, four-RBI performance against Cotuit in which he doubled and tripled. MacGregor notched a hit in each of his six games played, including four multi-hit efforts. After a cold stretch at the end of July lowered his average to .250, MacGregor concluded the regular season hitting an impressive .318 along with four doubles, a triple, two home runs and 23 RBIs. He will look to keep his hot hitting going as the Commodores enter the postseason with a win in eight of their last 10 games. (PF)

3. Matt Halbach, 3B, UC San Diego 
Team: Orleans Firebirds 
Age: 20 

Why He’s Here: .522/.556/.826 (12-for-23), 9 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Halbach has quietly put together one of the most impressive seasons of any hitter on the Cape. After a 3-for-5 game in which he homered twice and drove in five, Halbach finished the regular season going 7-for-9 across his last two games. He recorded at least three hits in half of his games played last week and finished the season with the fourth-best average in the league at .364. Halbach has shown off his advanced bat-to-ball skills all summer with an in-zone miss rate of just 11%. Halbach next spring projects to headline UC San Diego’s lineup and will be an intriguing 2024 draft follow. (PF)

4. Tristan Smith, LHP, Clemson 
Team: Bourne Braves 
Age: 20 

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Facing off against Wareham for the second consecutive start on Monday, Smith nearly repeated his performance from July 24 by going five scoreless innings and striking out seven. Smith opened the game unable to locate his fastball, missing the zone with nine of his first 10 pitches and walking the first two batters. After that Smith settled in, sitting 91-92 mph on his fastball with heavy arm-side run and wiggle. He also uses a changeup and slider and showed the ability to play each off of his unique fastball movement and angle. Smith finished the regular season as one of the top pitching prospects on the Cape this summer. He’s likely to slot into Clemson’s weekend rotation next spring. (GP) 

5. Bryce Eblin, 2B, Alabama
Team: Bourne Braves 
Age: 21 

Why He’s Here: .480/.500/.560 (12-for-25), 5 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: The Cape all-star capped off his second summer in Bourne with a strong showing over the final week of the regular season. He collected a dozen hits over six games, including a hit in all six games and four multi-hit efforts. Eblin has below-average power but an extremely advanced hit tool with the ability to get the bat on anything in or around the zone. He finished the summer with a .367 batting average, good for third in the CCBL. He finished in the top 10 in the league in hits and struck out just 17 times in 120 at-bats this summer. (GP) 

6. Braden Montgomery, OF/RHP, Transfer Portal
Team: Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox 
Age: 20 

Why He’s Here: .393/.419/.607 (11-for-28), 8 R, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 11 RBIs, 2 BB, 8 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: Montgomery’s time on the Cape has been brief, but the two-way sensation has more than made his mark for Yarmouth-Dennis. His 11 RBIs last week were tied for the league lead, and he recorded multiple hits in four of six games. Most notably, Montgomery went 3-for-6 with a pair of doubles, a home run and five RBIs against Bourne. While his future long term is likely in the batter’s box, Montgomery has a thunderous, upper-90s fastball on the mound. He has a borderline 80-grade arm from right field and plus raw power at the plate. Although his next destination is unknown, Montgomery has top-10 overall upside in the 2024 draft. (PF)

7. Hunter Hines, 1B, Mississippi State 
Team: Yarmouth Dennis Red Sox 
Age: 20 

Why He’s Here: .409/.481/.864 (9-for-22), 7 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 3 BB, 4 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Hines finished off an historic Cape summer with 13 home runs, the most in a single summer since Tyler Horan hit 16 in 2012. In fact, the last player prior to Hines and Cotuit’s Cole Mathis to hit double-digit home runs was Bobby Dalbec in 2015. Last week Hines hit three home runs and drove in eight to lock up the home run and RBI title. A three true outcomes slugger with easy plus power and strong on-base ability, Hines has had a summer to remember for the Red Sox. (GP) 

8. Jonathan Gazdar, SS, Austin Peay 
Team: Hyannis Harbor Hawks 
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: .526/.591/.579 (10-for-19), 3 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 BB, 0 SO, 1-for-1 SB

The Scoop: While Gazdar didn’t provide a lot of fireworks in the way of extra-base hits or stolen bases, he did have a hit in all five games and multi-hit efforts in four out of the five. Gazdar didn’t see enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title but his .361 average would have ranked fourth in the league. He’s an advanced contact hitter who rarely misses, particularly in-zone, and has shown at least above-average swing decisions, hardly chasing pitches out of the zone. It’s below-average power, but his advanced hit tool plays up in the CCBL style of baseball. (GP) 

9. Jake Neuman, LHP, Central Connecticut State
Team: Harwich Mariners 
Age: 20 

Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.96 ERA, 9.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Neuman was a workhorse last week, firing 9.1 innings across two appearances. Against Brewster, he spun 4.1 shutout relief innings and allowed just one hit and struck out two. Just three days later, he allowed one run and struck out seven in five innings against a relentless Falmouth lineup. Neuman located each of his three offerings well and got plenty of swing and miss with both his fastball and changeup. The pitchability lefty gives Harwich a valuable innings eater as it enters the postseason, and for the season he has pitched his way to a 2.45 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched. (PF)

10. Trace Willhoite, 3B, Lipscomb 
Team: Chatham Anglers 
Age: 22 

Why He’s Here: .400/.444/1.000 (6-for-15), 6 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBIs, 2 BB, 6 SO, 0-for-0 SB

The Scoop: Hines wasn’t the only slugger in the CCBL with a three-home run week, as he was joined by Bazzana and two Chatham Anglers in Deric Fabian and Willhoite. The slugger from Lipscomb only started four games last week but collected a hit in each. He had a two-home run game at Yarmouth-Dennis on Monday after going 2-for-4 with a home run against Harwich on Sunday. While Willhoite’s summer is over, he showed well on the Cape over his final week with the Anglers. (GP) 

11. Brayden Kurtz, RHP, George Washington
Team: Chatham Anglers 
Age: 20 

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: Kurtz made the most of his lone start on the Cape, spinning four shutout innings with seven strikeouts against a talented Harwich lineup. The 6-foot-4 righthander generated 14 whiffs, with 12 coming against his fastball and slider. After a rocky sophomore season at George Washington, Kurtz heads into the fall with positive momentum as he looks to be a key contributor for the Revolutionaries. (PF)

12. Will Jones, LHP, Northeastern
Team: Harwich Mariners 
Age: 21

Why He’s Here: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR

The Scoop: After an excellent season with the North Shore Navigators of the NECBL in which he had a 2.51 ERA with 37 strikeouts across 28.2 innings, the Arlington, Mass. native made the short drive down to the Cape to finish out his summer in Harwich. Jones made his first appearance on Wednesday and provided 3.1 key shutout innings in relief with seven strikeouts. The long-levered lefty does not have premium velocity, but he hides the ball well and has above-average control of his arsenal, which makes for a difficult at-bat. Jones in 2024 has a chance to be a breakout arm for Northeastern. (PF)

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