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Late Season MLB Promotions Invoke Memories Of Summers Past For Cape Cod League Fans



On June 12, 2018, the Chatham Anglers opened their summer campaign at home against the Wareham Gatemen. In what would turn out to be an opening night preview of the Cape Cod League championship series later that summer, the Gatemen put the game out of reach in the top of the ninth inning, scoring seven runs en route to a 12-4 victory.

The catalyst of that seven-run outburst was reigning Golden Spikes award winner and California first baseman Andrew Vaughn, who hit a grand slam with no outs and one run already home. Vaughn would go on to join USA's Collegiate National Team later that summer before being selected by the White Sox in the first round of the 2019 draft the following June and ascending to the major leagues in 2021 with less than 250 minor league plate appearances.

Vaughn, however, was not the only future major leaguer to star at Veteran's Field on that crisp Cape Cod evening. Fellow 2019 first-round picks Alek Manoah of West Virginia and Bryson Stott of UNLV also featured in that game, as well as the 2020 first overall pick Spencer Torkelson of Arizona State.

Considered to be the most prestigious summer collegiate wood bat league in the country, the Cape Cod League is a breeding ground for future big leaguers. In fact, one in every six big league players spent some time with a Cape Cod League club. There are more than 1,200 Cape Cod League alumni that have graced a major league field over the circuit’s history, and 10 of this summer’s thirty first-round picks played on the Cape.

With a rash of recent prospect promotions following the expansion of active major league rosters to 28 players, numerous alumni of the Cape Cod League were promoted to big league rosters. Below are some notable Cape Cod League players who were called up to the majors in recent weeks.

Michael Toglia, 1B, Rockies 

The Rockies first baseman spent the summers of 2017 and 2018 playing for Mike Roberts and the Cotuit Kettleers. Toglia hit 13 home runs over his two summers at Lowell Park, starting 71 games for the Kettleers at first base, right field and left field.

Hunter Brown, RHP, Astros 

Another former Cotuit Kettleer, Brown made one appearance in the summer of 2018, allowing two runs on a walk and two hit by pitches. Things have certainly progressed for Brown since his lone CCBL appearance as he’s now one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.

Cade Cavalli, RHP, Nationals  

Now on the injured list with shoulder inflammation, Cavalli made his major league debut Aug. 26. Before Cavalli developed into one of the game's best pitching prospects he was a member of the same Wareham Gatemen squad as Andrew Vaughn and Bryson Stott. Cavalli made four appearances for the Gatemen that summer, pitching 13 innings.

Spencer Steer, 2B, Reds 

Acquired by the Reds in the Tyler Mahle trade with the Twins, Steer spent a summer with the Orleans Firebirds. Before developing into one of the best hitting prospects in the minor leagues, Steer hit .304/.351/.482 with five home runs for the Firebirds over the summer of 2018, splitting time between second and third base for manager Kelly Nicholson.

Ken Waldichuk, LHP, Athletics 

The lefthander has had an eventful 2022. Waldichuk first turned heads early in the season with his strong performance, then was traded to Oakland at the deadline. Another member of the 2018 Wareham Gatemen squad, Waldichuk made his major league debut on Sept. 1, allowing one run over 4.2 innings against the Nationals.

Ryan Kreidler, SS, Tigers  

Before the Tigers selected Kreidler in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, the former UCLA standout spent the 2018 summer on the Cape. Yet another member of the vaunted 2018 Wareham Gatemen team, Kreidler hit .229/.300/.339 with three home runs over 32 games for Wareham. Kreidler came up big for the Gatemen in the final game of the CCBL championship series that summer going 1-for-3 with two runs scored.

Cade Cavalli Photo By G Fiume Getty Images

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Brendon Little, LHP, Cubs 

The former first-round pick out of State JC of Florida, Little made his major league debut for the Cubs on Aug. 30 in relief of another former Cape pitcher Marcus Stroman. Little spent the summer of 2016 pitching out of the Bourne Braves bullpen following his freshman season at North Carolina. He later transferred to State JC of Florida. Little performed well for the Braves, making 13 appearances and striking out 29 batters over 22 innings of work.

Ben DeLuzio, OF, Cardinals

A third-round pick by the Marlins out of high school, DeLuzio honored his commitment to Florida State but never blossomed over three seasons with the Seminoles before going undrafted in 2016. DeLuzio signed as a nondrafted free agent with the D-backs following the 2016 draft and played parts of six minor league seasons with the D-backs and Cardinals before earning a promotion to St. Louis’ major league roster. DeLuzio spent two summers on the Cape with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, starting 65 games between 2014 and 2015.

Zack Weiss, RHP, Angels  

While Weiss technically made his major league debut with the Reds back in 2018, he never recorded an out. Weiss has spent parts of 10 seasons split between the minor leagues and independent ball, earning a callup to the Angels major league roster on Sept. 1. Weiss pitched on the Cape 11 years ago, making eight appearances for Yarmouth-Dennis.

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