Cape Cod League Notes Week Six
As the closing days of the Cape Cod League regular season tick down, the playoff and division races have hit a boiling point. The West Division remains highly contested leading into the final five days, with just three points separating Cotuit, Hyannis and Bourne, with a head-to-head matchup remaining for each of the three West Division hopefuls. The East Division is more clear cut, with Yarmouth-Dennis up by four games on Brewster with five to play. The interest in the East lies within the race for the playoffs, as eight out of 10 teams make the postseason. Only four points separate Brewster, Harwich, Orleans and Chatham with a multitude of scenarios potentially playing out over this final stretch of games.
Below we have detailed standout position players from six out of 10 teams. These players were observed in person during week six and seven of league play from July 20-27. In week seven’s notes we will detail a dozen pitchers from the same period.
Tommy Troy, 2B, Stanford (Cotuit Kettleers—2023 Eligible)
Over the last two summers few players have been as consistently good as Troy. The Stanford infielder first stood out as a member of the Wareham Gatemen last summer, before making the jump across the canal to Cotuit this summer. Troy hit .299/.364/.479 last summer and has bested that line this year, hitting .333/.410/.591 entering play on the season’s final weekend. Troy has built on his performance as an underclassman with Wareham and is showing more power, while striking out less than he did the previous summer.
He’s handled shortstop duties for the Kettleers, a role he could fill with Stanford next spring. He’s not a standout defender at shortstop, but can handle the position with an average arm and enough range, athleticism and the clean actions to make plays. At the plate Troy has a short, quick swing that’s incredibly direct to the ball, allowing him to punish fastballs on the inner part of the plate. His load has some moving parts but he gets the barrel on plane and really does damage on fastballs. Due to the shortness of his swing he’s susceptible to soft stuff on the outer half and has struggled against sliders at times. Despite this he’s been able to fight off chasing breaking stuff away and has stayed inside his approach even as pitchers have attacked him differently as the season has progressed.
Troy’s ability to generate huge torque in his swing despite a smaller frame is on display in games as well as in batting practice, where Troy takes some of the loudest rounds you’ll see on the Cape. He showed this uncanny ability by reaching the finals of the Cape Cod League’s home run derby during the All-Star Game festivities and hit the day’s longest home run, a towering shot that cleared the bleachers in left-center field. If Troy can continue to rein in his aggressive tendencies at the plate, he has the bat speed, twitch and explosiveness to be an above-average hitter at the major league level.
Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland (Bourne Braves—2023 Eligible)
One of the standouts of the summer, Shaw is in contention for league MVP honors as well as a potential pick for best pro prospect. A local Massachusetts product who attended high school at Worcester Academy, Shaw has displayed a strong combination of power, plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills this summer with the ability to play multiple positions in the infield. He was a standout for Maryland over his first two seasons with the Terrapins hitting .308/.393/.578 with 29 home runs over 105 games.
He’s bested those numbers this summer, leading the league in all three slash line categories heading into the final five games. He’s shown a two-strike approach that strips down his swing from its earlier count form but he has the quick hands and bat speed to do damage. He’s done a lot of his damage on pitches middle in and in the lower half of the strike zone. While he’s shown some susceptibility to chasing sliders, it’s only a moderate concern. He has struggled with well-executed elevated fastballs, which is more a product of a steeper bat path which makes it hard to adjust to velocity up. Overall this is nitpicking as Shaw has handled a variety of pitching and pitch types and shown the ability to do damage on all of them. He’s more explosive than twitchy, allowing him to hit for power and run extremely well, particularly as a base stealer. Shaw gets excellent jumps and reads opposing pitchers well out of the stretch. He’s seen measurable success on the bases this summer, stealing 18 bases on 19 opportunities.
Defensively he’s been solid at shortstop and second base, made good plays and shown an accurate arm but he's a solid infielder with some range who would be best suited for second base as a professional. With rules changes regarding the shift coming to all levels of professional baseball, second basemen like Shaw might be in greater demand. Shaw is a strong all-around player whose greatest value will come from his well-balanced and exciting offensive game.
Mike Sirota, OF, Northeastern (Hyannis Harbor Hawks—2024 Eligible)
Drafted in the 16th round by the Dodgers in the 2021 draft, Sirota honored his commitment to Northeastern and has a shot to be one of the highest drafted Huskies in history. After a brief stint with Brewster to start the season, Sirota was released by the Whitecaps and added by the Harbor Hawks. Since his addition to the Hyannis lineup, Sirota has formed a formidable one-two punch atop the lineup card for manager Eric Beattie. Sirota is a long-limbed, twitchy righthanded hitter and outfielder who can handle all three outfield spots. He’s long limbed and projectable with a compact, linear swing that does a good job of getting on plane with elevated fastballs. He displays plus bat speed with the ability to punish mistakes and drive well-struck balls to all fields.
He’s an above-average or better athlete, as he moves well on the bases and in the field. He’s played on the corners here on the Cape but is most natural in center field where he tracks fairly well off the bat. His arm is average but there have been some tough moments throwing, particularly during his early season stint with Brewster. Overall Sirota is a well-rounded player with the ability to contribute on both sides of the ball. His carrying tools will likely be his contact and power combination, but his higher level of athleticism and supporting skills will boost the overall profile. Since his move to Hyannis Sirota has been among the most lethal hitters on the circuit.
Marcus Brown, SS, Oklahoma State (Chatham Anglers—2023 Eligible)
Few players have been as consistently good on both sides of the ball as Brown has been. He’s been impressive in the infield for the Anglers, starting primarily at shortstop for Chatham this summer. He’s been perfect in the field, as he’s yet to make an error heading into the closing handful of games. He has smooth actions, with range to both sides. He’s an above-average athlete with a high baseball IQ, which allows all of his strong tools to work together. His arm is only average but his throws are accurate and on time due to his excellent internal clock. At the plate Brown is primarily hit over power but he shows bat speed and the ability to shoot the gaps with a quick line-drive stroke. It’s a fairly hands-driven swing but he shows the ability to adjust the barrel depending on pitch location to square up. He’s an above-average runner whose speed plays up on the basepaths. Brown is a strong overall talent who has drawn rave reviews from area scouts and crosscheckers this summer.
Enrique Bradfield Jr., OF, Vanderbilt (Cotuit Kettleers—2023 Eligible)
One of the highest rated players in the 2023 draft class playing on the Cape this summer, Bradfield joined Cotuit at the beginning of week six and has played in six games for the Kettleers. While his standout offensive ability hasn’t fully materialized yet, his presence on base has forced teams into errors that Bradfield has capitalized on.
A top-of-the-scale athlete, Bradfield is every bit the 80 runner he’s been lauded as and has a a wiry strong frame that should add strength in the coming years. His swing is heavily focused on making line-drive contact and shooting the ball up the middle, but he's shown an aggressiveness to turn on fastballs and drive them to his pull side. He’s taken more aggressive hacks than expected leading to some obvious power projection as he ages. This is the biggest question with Bradfield: do you believe he can unlock average game power long term? He showed marked improvement in that area this spring as his home run total jumped from one in 2021 to eight in 2022. He’s yet to show much slugging ability in-game for Cotuit, but with a playoff berth locked up, Bradfield will get another week's worth of games to show he can do damage.
In the outfield Bradfield has shown well, making a stunning diving catch early in his first game with Cotuit. He’s allowed the Kettleers to settle into a consistent outfield down the stretch. At the moment there are few players, if any, on the Cape that offer the excitement combined with long-term projection that Bradfield does.
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Peyton Stovall, 2B, Arkansas (Falmouth Commodores—2024 Eligible)
A top name in the 2021 high school class, Stovall ended up on campus at Arkansas and appeared in 52 games for the Razorbacks, mostly at first base, hitting .295/.373/.425 with six home runs. He’s appeared in 19 games for Falmouth and has started primarily at second base. Stovall has shown solid plate discipline and has limited his swing and miss but he’s shown limited impact at the plate. A majority of his best contact are singles to the gaps, though he has the bat speed and barrel control to develop into an above-average power hitter with time. He’s sturdy at second base and could handle the position long term, though he’s unlikely to ever be a standout defender at any position.
Drew Brutcher, OF, South Florida (Falmouth Commodores—2023 Eligible)
A tall, long-limbed outfielder from South Florida who hit .299/.447/.610 with 13 home runs this spring, Brutcher made a majority of his starts for the Bulls in center field but has been locked in as the Commodores' right fielder for much of the summer. Brutcher is a good athlete for his size with unusual coordination for a 6-foot-5 hitter. His swing is short as he keeps his hands in and generates above-average bat speed that drives his power. While he’s naturally strong and his frame portends more strength he hasn’t hunted home runs and has stayed within his approach. He works deep into counts and takes a lot of pitches which can lead to more looking strikes than you’d like due to a high level of passivity. This, coupled with longer limbs, has led to some whiff issues for Brutcher, but by and large he takes good at-bats and has shown the ability to do damage on mistakes left in the zone.
Max Anderson, 3B, Nebraska (Wareham Gatemen—2023 Eligible)
A righthanded-hitting bat-first prospect with a corner infield defensive profile, Anderson is spending his second summer on the Cape. He played for Bourne last summer and followed manager Harvey Shapiro across the canal to Wareham this summer. Anderson has above-average raw power and above-average bat-to-ball skills. He looks to get on plane with fastballs and barrel up, as Anderson’s approach is heavily reliant on being aggressive on strikes and putting the ball in play. He looks to do damage on middle-in fastballs to his pull side but doesn’t do this exclusively. He has a fairly linear bat path which limits the loft on his best-struck balls in play, but allows him to do damage when pitchers look to attack him in the upper quadrants of the strike zone with fastballs. He’s hit for less power this summer than he did last year with Bourne but has limited strikeouts and hit .301 with seven doubles. Defensively he’s a bit of a tweener, seeing time at first base, second base and third base this summer. He’s likely to end up at first base long term but was solid at second.
Carter Trice, OF, North Carolina State (Cotuit Kettleers—2023 Eligible)
A performer over two seasons at Old Dominion, Trice is transferring to NC State for his third collegiate season. He spent time with the Kettleers last summer and returned this year, cementing himself as a staple of the Cotuit lineup. Trice is an aggressive swinger on strikes, as he’s not prone to chasing and minds the strike zone well, but looks to do damage with a swing that engages his entire frame when he does swing. He does an excellent job of engaging his lower half but it leads to a steep bat path as Trice looks to elevate to his pull side. He’s susceptible to spin and well-placed fastballs, but does a good job of owning the inner half of the plate and staying inside his approach. His swing and bat path will lead to swing and miss, but it’s a matter of balancing that with the damage he’s proven he can do when hunting fastballs to drive to left field.
Trice has the bat speed and discerning eye at the plate to make it work, as he will work deep into counts and take his walks, but it’s a matter of how he deals with more advanced pitchers in professional ball that will attack him in the zone with well-placed spin. There are the makings of a good dead-pull hitter here with impact in the bat, it’s just a matter of if he will make enough contact at the next level. Defensively he’s spent most of his time as a corner outfielder after spending some time at third last summer for Cotuit. Trice has transitioned to the outfield over the last few seasons and is fringe-average in right field. He has the raw tools to make a majority of plays, but is still learning the ins and outs of being an outfielder.
Dominic Pitelli, SS, Miami (Hyannis Harbor Hawks—2023 Eligible)
While Pitelli has been a fairly well-rounded player for Hyannis this summer his defensive tools are standout. Pitelli has an easy plus arm that could play at any spot on the diamond. He’s seen most of his time at shortstop for the Harbor Hawks but has filled in at third base and saw some time in center field for the West Division all-stars in this summer’s all-star game. His arm showed up in the outfield as well, uncorking a throw where he hit third base on a one hop throw from deep in the outfield. His infield play is excellent as he comes in on the ball well, anticipates and shows loose infield actions allowing him to adjust to tricky hops and bounces. It’s fair to argue that Pitelli has been the best infield defender on the circuit this summer.
At the plate he has a quick, simple swing that looks to put the ball in play with hard-struck line drives. He’s not overly physical and he doesn’t track particularly well, leading to some inconsistencies at the plate. He’s a good enough athlete with a projectable enough build to potentially add strength and make some adjustments to his swing, but he’s primarily a defensive-first player who can handle a variety of positions and provide above-average to plus defense.