Hyannis Harbor Hawks 2022 Cape Cod League Preview
After consecutive fifth-place finishes in the Cape Cod League’s West Division, the Hyannis front office and coaching staff underwent a shakeup before this season. The Harbor Hawks feature first-year general manager Nicholas Johnson and a new coaching staff led by field manager Eric Beattie, a Tampa-area high school coach. The front office has shown some savvy early, making several notable signings over the winter and early portion of the spring. As has become a common trend over the last few seasons, Hyannis employs an analytics department led by Mazdak Darvari, a 2022 UMass-Amherst graduate. The Harbor Hawks boast a deeper roster than they’ve had in years, led by a pitching staff with notable arms like Florida State’s Jackson Baumeister, Louisville’s Ryan Hawks, Harvard's Jay Driver, and Kentucky's Magdiel Cotto.
The position player corps is led by power-hitting first baseman Nolan Schanuel of Florida Atlantic, a standout the last two seasons for the Owls. The infield is strong overall with Tennessee freshman Christian Moore and speedy Oregon commit Rikuu Nishida leading the way. Experienced players like Illinois' Justin Janas and Stanford’s Adam Crampton provide the Harbor Hawks with some experience. The catching group is highlighted by San Diego State’s Poncho Ruiz, a sophomore who hit .309/.413/.459 for the Aztecs this spring while showing improved catch-and-throw skills.
The outfield is led by Washington’s A.J. Guerrero, Oklahoma State’s Zach Ehrhard and Louisiana Tech’s Cole McConnell. The roster is a noticeable upgrade from the squad that finished 8-28 last summer.
Home Park: McKeon Park (Built: 1979): Few parks capture the Cape Cod beach experience like McKeon Park. Built in 1979, the park fell into disrepair but was renovated after a large donation to the Cape Cod League by the Yawkey Foundation in 2006. The injection of cash allowed the Harbor Hawks to fit McKeon with new lights starting in 2008, once again allowing Hyannis to play night games. One notable feature added during the renovations was an osprey nest. The bird species had long taken up residence in McKeon’s original light fixtures. On any given night, ospreys will swoop and swirl, sometimes getting dangerously close to a fly ball hit out to right field. Crushed white shells highlight the walkways off the park, giving McKeon a unique seaside charm. Tucked away behind Saint John Paul II High School, McKeon is a gem of a park just outside downtown Hyannis.
Manager: Eric Beattie
Last Cape Cod League Championship: 1991
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Hitters To Know
Nolan Schanuel, 1B, Florida Atlantic: Schanuel has hit .357/.462/.619 with 27 home runs and 112 RBIs for the Owls over the last two seasons. He balances plus in-game power with above-average swing decisions and bat-to-ball skills. Schanuel made contact at a 83.3% rate in 2022 while chasing outside the zone just 18.7% of the time. He did that while showing loud exit velocities.
Christian Moore, SS Tennessee: Moore would be an everyday player on most college teams, but on a vaunted Tennessee team as deep as any in recent memory, he served as a platoon player and DH during his freshman campaign. Moore still showcased strong skills at the plate, hitting .295/.433/.625 with 10 home runs. He’ll likely see time at multiple positions in the infield and outfield during his summer in Hyannis.
Zach Ehrhard, OF, Oklahoma State: A standout for Oklahoma State, Ehrhard is a dynamic player with speed and hitting ability. The combination of Ehrhard and Rikuu Nishida could prove to be a nightmare for opposing catchers. Ehrhard hurt his hamstring during the conference tournament, which could be something to monitor heading into the summer.
Pitchers To Know
Jackson Baumeister, RHP, Florida State: A case can be made Baumiester has the highest upside of any pitcher on the Cape this summer. His three-pitch mix is led by a mid-90s fastball with ride and a flat vertical approach angle. He pairs his heater with a mid-to-high-70s curveball with depth and two-plane break and a mid-80s changeup with 8-10 miles of separation from his fastball. Baumeister should work in a traditional starter’s role for Hyannis, giving the Harbor Hawks a potential ace at the front of their rotation.
Ryan Hawks, RHP, Louisville: The top high school player in Kentucky in the 2019 draft class, Hawks made only five appearances as a freshman before the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic and then missed all of 2021 due to injury. He returned this spring and pitched well out of the bullpen for the Cardinals, striking out 57 hitters in 42.2 innings. He features a four-pitch mix led by a low-90s fastball with one of the flattest vertical approach angles of any pitcher in the Cape Cod League. He gets swings and misses with both his curveball and slider and does a good job of changing speeds and eye levels.
Magdiel Cotto, LHP Kentucky: Despite ugly baseball card numbers this season with Kentucky, Cotto boasts some of the best stuff on the Harbor Hawks staff. He was up 99 mph on his fastball this year sitting 94-95 mph over his 15 appearances this spring. He mixes a tighter slider in the mid-80s and a mid-80s changeup that features parachuting drop and late run. If Cotto can more consistently find the strike zone, he could be a breakout this summer with Hyannis. Some of the best pure stuff in the Cape League this summer.
Rikuu Nishida, 2B Oregon: A recent Oregon commit out of Mt. Hood (Ore.) JC, Nishida was a standout in the West Coast Collegiate League last summer. He hit .370/.510/.437 and stole 28 bases on 30 attempts. He’s a speedy, contact-first player who had a few Power Five schools vying for his services after he hit .415 and stole 43 bases for Mt. Hood this spring.