Cape Cod League Pitchers(Part One)

No big intro today, let’s jump right into the pitchers.

RHP Griffin Roberts(Jr.-Wake Forest)-Wareham Gateman

Draft eligible sophomore Griffin Roberts was drafted in the 29th round by the Minnesota Twins, but he decided that he was going to return to Wake Forest for his junior season. Roberts has a fastball that sits at 92-95 and tops out at 97 as well as a slider in the low 80’s. Roberts last season had 80 strikeouts in 53.1 innings(13.5 K/9) but he also had 32 walks(5.40 BB/9). With those numbers he projects to be a reliever unless he can improve his control and add a third pitch. In the Cape this year, he has shown great command though with 4 walks in 28 innings while having over a strikeout per inning and a 1.93 ERA. It will be interesting to see where he goes in the draft next year. If his Cape numbers translate this year with Wake Forest, I think he might breakout and be a top 5 round pick.

LHP Kris Bubic(Jr.-Stanford)-Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox

Bubic is more of a conventional starter the Roberts is. This year at Stanford he has 3 pitch mix that includes a fastball that is ranges from 88-91 with some tail as well as a curve in the mid 70’s and a changeup in the high 70’s. But he’s increased his velocity this year in the Cape to sitting in the low 90’s as well as getting the changeup in the 80’s. His curveball has also gotten sharper, as reported by Frankie Piliere of D1 baseball. His changeup has always been his best pitch, but it seems that it has gotten better while in the Cape and apparently his curve has as well. I was not really sold on his curve, but if he can continue this development I think it has potential to be an above average pitch to go with his potentially plus changeup. Bubic had a great season with Stanford last year as their Friday starter after Beck went down, putting up a 9.56 K/9 against a 3.09 BB/9 and a 2.79 ERA. He’s continued his success with the Red Sox by having 32 strikeouts and 7 walks with a 1.95 ERA in 27.2 innings. Right now I say he is a 20-30 round pick, but look for him to go up the boards as next season progresses.

RHP Austin Bergner(So-North Carolina)-Chatham Anglers

For some reason I thought that Bergner wasn’t eligible until 2019, but turns out he is a draft eligible sophomore. Bergner has already been drafted, going in the 38th round by the Red Sox out of high school in 2016. He probably should have gone much higher as he was ranked 165 by Baseball America but he was firm in his commitment of playing college ball. Bergner already is throwing mid 90’s and has a changeup that sits in the low to high 80s. He also has a curve in the low 80’s. Bergner’s delivery is not the smoothest and he short arms it., and his velocity is iffy at times. At times he’s sitting at mid 90’s and other times it’s in the low 90’s, which is concerning to some. I think that shows that his conditioning is not there yet, but I can’t say that for certain. Also could be because of his short arm delivery.What I can say for certain is that he has amazing run and sink on his fastball. If he can consistently sit mid 90s and have that movement, it is a plus fastball for sure. He had a solid freshman year with the Tar Heels, posting a 3.00 ERA in 48 innings, but he only had a 8.44 K/9, which is slightly disappointing for a power pitcher. Also, he walked a lot of batters, recording a 4.69 BB/9. Bergner’s Cape season has gone a bit better as he has a 9.35 K/9 and 3.11 BB/9. Hopefully Austin puts together a great sophomore year for the Tar Heels and gets drafted in the first round, I think he has the potential to do it.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this. I think that this has been my favorite post to write so far for whatever reason. Also, check out the video Matt Antonelli did on the Cape Cod League, I think you might find it interesting. If you like what you read, please follow the blog on Twitter and WordPress so that you will be notified whenever I have a new post up. Thank you.

 

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Cape Cod League Hitters To Watch-Part One

Going to start up the Cape Cod League series today and come back and revisit the Northwoods League at some other point. Glad to see that Stevie Mangrum won the All Star Game MVP, I profiled him in the hitters post so it was cool to see him win the award. Today we will be looking at some hitters that you should be looking into for next season that are playing in the Cape Cod League.

3B Alec Bohm(Jr.-Wichita St)-Falmouth Commodores

Bohm is a 6’5” third baseman who is currently leading the league in batting average. His slash line is very impressive at .372/.406/.535 with 4 homers. He also has a strong 18 K/7 BB ratio and has had 9 doubles this year. It was surprising to see that Bohm was not drafted this year, he hit .305/.385/.519 with 11 HR this year and .303/.346/.489 with 6 HR last year while starting for Wichita St. His ISO went up from .185 to .215 and his K/BB ratio improved to 1.07 from 2.78. His glove is somewhat questionable, but it improved tremendously this year, getting it up to .959 after recording a .859 the season before. Bohm is a top 200 prospect this year in my opinion and I am excited to see how his

RF Griffin Conine(So.-Duke)-Cotuit Kettleers

Conine has had an impressive season this year by leading the Cape Cod league in homeruns with 7. This is not surprising as Conine had 13 homers with Duke this season, putting up a .248 ISO. He was able to do this while keeping a respectable 45 K/41 BB ratio. He had 218 at bats so the 45 K’s is not a huge number but is a bit high. The only reason why I am giving this a pass is because of the 41 walks, which is very impressive. Conine is hitting .319/.405/.558 with the Kettleers and hit .286/.384/.592 with 16 home runs last year with the LaCrosse Loggers of the Northwoods League. Conine is an impressive player and one of my favorites coming into this year’s draft.

C/3B Willie MacIver(Jr.-Washington University)-Wareham Gatemen

It is very rare to see a catcher lead the league in stolen bases, especially since he only had 1 this year with Washington University. Yet MacIver has 15 stolen bases to go along with his .318/.414/.421 slash line. His .421 slugging percentage is a bit high considering he only has 7 extra base hits(5 HR/2 2B) but he only has 107 at bats so far. Last season with Washington, he has a .292/.372/.385 with a .094 ISO, so I would not consider him to be a power hitter. His 1.85 K/BB ratio is a bit high as well but it is not super concerning. MacIver should be drafted this year in the top 15 rounds as a third baseman.

That is all I have right now, thank you for reading. On a side note, it is interesting that the Northwoods League lists the players year that they just finished, but the Cape Cod League lists their year for next year. However, if the Cape Cod league really does it that way, then Griffin Conine should be listed as a junior. I could be reading it wrong and if so, please correct me.

Parker Sanburn (Lakeshore Chinooks/ Texas Rangers) Report

Sorry about the long wait in between posts, but I had my own baseball games to play and they got in the way. Anyways, not going to talk about any pitchers or hitters in the Northwoods League, but rather a bit more in depth look at Parker Sanburn, who was picked up by the Texas Rangers a couple days ago.

Here is what I had written up about him a few days ago:

Sanburn is an interesting prospect, he redshirted his first year at Arkansas and his redshirt freshman season went pretty terrible, having a 15.58 ERA in 8.2 innings. He transferred to Des Moines Area CC, where he had 72 K’s in 55 innings and a 3.44 ERA. However he did have 36 walks, which translates to 5.89 BB/9. The same theme runs with Sanburn this summer, as he leads the league in strikeouts(48) in 24.1 innings, but also has 12 walks. If he ever figures out the walk problem, he could be a dominant pitcher, but I am concerned that it will never happen.

Before we get into the scouting portion, one thing that I did not realize about him is that he did not have a commitment to play college after his last year at Des Moines Area CC. I am not sure what his plans were afterwards, I am assuming indy ball but I do not know. Just found that interesting, it obviously worked for him.

Parker Sanburn has a 2 pitch mix that he has been very effective in striking out hitters, as we can see with his impressive 11.78 K/9 this year with DMACC. He is 6’2” 195 lb right handed pitcher, and has broken his back and had shoulder surgery during his time with the Arkansas Razorbacks, before transferring to Des Moines Area CC where he started. Sanburn has a fastball that sits in the 90-93 MPH range and touches mid 90’s occasionally and a curve that is in the low 80’s. His curve is his out pitch, it has 11-5 break to it. I would rate both his curve and his fastball as above average pitches. However, his command is below average and something he will need to work on if he plans on making it even to AA ball. His ceiling in my opinion is a solid bullpen pitcher in the majors who is able to get a good amount of strikeouts. Given his walk numbers, I have concerns that he won’t be able to reach that level, but he has the potential to do it. I am surprised that no team drafted him this year, maybe it was the medical issues. His stuff though is draft worthy and the Rangers made a solid signing here.

That is all I have on Sanburn, hope everyone has a good Monday. I’ll link below to some video of Sanburn.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he_4AOvPpDA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKTnV8ijJ8w

Blast Motion/Cape Cod Partnership Reaction

Looking over stats and scouting reports can be somewhat monotonous after awhile. Thought I would break it up by giving my thoughts on this recent Baseball America article about the Cape Cod League implementing sensors onto the bats of their players to get swing metrics. The sensor weighs 0.3 ounces and goes onto to the end of the bat. The nice thing about this is that the swing metrics are available in real time and scouts are able to access them while watching the game. These sensors are able to track more simple things like bat speed, but also more advanced metrics like swing plane data. Also, the article says that the Astros have been big proponents of this new data, which I did not realize.

Personally, I think this is just another step in the evolution of taking the human element out of evaluating baseball players, which I have mixed feelings about. While I think it is awesome that we are getting closer to objectivity in baseball, it also makes me wonder where the scouting element of baseball is going to go. The logical step obviously is that as this technology gets more refined and everyone is able to access it, scouting will go by the wayside. But I wonder if that as a response to this, there will be a group of people that hate all these analytics and go back to reading and writing up scouting reports. Think of the opposite of Fangraphs. I doubt that would happen, but it just makes me wonder. Another thought that is similar to this is that I wonder if we’ll ever have a team that bunts and steal bases just like they did 20-30 years ago. Who knows, but it would be cool to see if a team like that could do well today.

Anyways, thought this was a good article, and I’ll put the link to it under this. Thank you for reading.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/business/211559/#WZBmSPZHFmlcBXil.97

Northwoods League Pitchers Part One

If anyone is looking for some excellent hip hop to get them motivated, check out Brother Ali’s All The Beauty In This Whole Life. I flew through this article today, no doubt because of this album. I listen to a lot of angry music, so it is nice to change it up every once in awhile. But enough of that. Today we are switching it up to the pitchers of the Northwoods League. I enjoy looking at pitchers more than hitters, probably because I am a far better pitcher than a hitter. Tomorrow there will be another hitter list, so look out for that. Enough rambling, let’s go.

RHP Parker Sanburn(rSo.-Arkansas/Des Moines Area CC)-Lakeshore Chinooks

Sanburn is an interesting prospect, he redshirted his first year at Arkansas and his redshirt freshman season went pretty terrible, having a 15.58 ERA in 8.2 innings. He transferred to Des Moines Area CC, where he had 72 K’s in 55 innings and a 3.44 ERA. However he did have 36 walks, which translates to 5.89 BB/9. The same theme runs with Sanburn this summer, as he leads the league in strikeouts(48) in 24.1 innings, but also has 12 walks. If he ever figures out the walk problem, he could be a dominant pitcher, but I am concerned that it will never happen.

LHP Jack Eagan(Fr.-Madison College)-Wisconsin Rapids Rafters

Jack Eagan went to Indiana University in the fall, but he transferred to Madison College in the spring and had a great season. This season he had a 2.16 ERA with 12.59 K/9 and 3.91 BB/9. The walk rate is a bit concerning, but he is only a freshman. This season with the Rafters, he has a 2.74 ERA in 39.1 innings and 44 K’s. His walk rate is much higher than it was in college, close to 4.5 BB/9, but the majority of the earned runs and walks he gave up this season came in his last start, in which he gave up 5 earned runs and 5 walks in 4.2 innings. That was an outlier, for the most part he has been very dominant this season.

LHP Aaron Rozek(rJr.-Minnesota State)-St. Cloud Rox

Rozek is another lefty who has had a low ERA and has well over 1 strikeout per inning. Unlike Eagan though, Rozek has had far better control of the zone, only allowing 2.65 BB/9. His official line looks like this: 2.65 ERA/10.61 K9/2.65 BB/9 in 37.1 innings. Rozek has been used as a starter by St. Cloud, which is interesting because he was used out of the bullpen the entire season with Minnesota State. Rozek is one of the best pitchers in the league this year, it will be interesting to see if he gets drafted.

RHP Simon Rosenblum-Larson(Jr-Harvard)-Madison Mallards

Well I think we have found the smartest player in the league. As well as having an Ivy League education, this righty has also been a dominant pitcher for the Mallards this year. Rosenblum-Larson has a 1.20 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 8 walks in 37.1 innings pitched. His control is very impressive and it shows in the stat book. It is interesting that he has been able limit the walks, he had just over a half a walk per inning this year with Harvard. This happened in 2016 with the Mallards, he had a 2.25 BB/9 but then ended up with a 4.75 BB/9 with Harvard this past season. Maybe the second time’s the charm.

RHP Layne Henderson-(Jr.-Azusa Pacific)-Wisconsin Rapids Rafters

Henderson has the second most amount of saves in the league with 10 so far this season. That’s not what makes him so interesting though. Henderson already has 30 strikeouts in only 15.1 innings and has a 2.34 ERA. There’s one problem with him, and I bet you already know what it is. Control. In those 15 innings he has 7 walks, which is not very good. Hopefully he can figure it out and gets drafted, but I would be shocked if he does get drafted. I am sure he is worthy of consideration for an indy ball team though.

Tomorrow we are going to go back to hitters to look at some of the players that have had good seasons so far.

Northwoods League Best Hitters Part One

Since doing team reviews will take up too much time and will end up being irrelevant, I decided that I would just do a “Top Prospect” list for both batters and pitchers. In this post we will look at the best batters in the Northwest League. These posts are not rankings, just a big list of players you should be following. I might do a couple of these posts per position, we’ll see. Also, the year that I listed(ex.So,Jr) are from the prior season and not the upcoming season.

3B Alex Howard(Jr.-Arkansas St)-Battle Creek Bombers

Howard caught my eye for the first time when I saw that he attended the New Mexico Military Institute, which sounds like a bootcamp rather than a school with a baseball team. He transferred to Arkansas St where he started 53 games and hit .273. This season with the Bombers, he has hit .379 with 4 homers and 8 stolen bases. He does have 7 errors this season which is concerning, but his bat has made up for it. Howard wasn’t drafted this year, but look for him to be a quality senior sign in the 2018 draft.

1B/3B Ryan Stekl(Jr.-Canisius College)-Wisconsin Rapids Rafters

Stekl has had an excellent season so far with the Rafters, batting .340/.376/.451 with 3 homers. He has had experience with collegiate summer ball, when he played for the Winnipesaukee Muskrats of the New England Collegiate League(not to be confused with the Cape Cod League). With the Muskrats he slashed .298/.356/.447 with 6 homers and a 25 K/13 BB ratio. Stekl is a 3 year starter at Canisius where he’s slashed .294/.375/.396. Here is another solid senior sign for next years draft, make sure to put him on your follow list.

3B/OF Stevie Mangrum(So.-Virginia Tech)-Wisconsin Woodchucks

Stevie Mangrum is an outfielder/third baseman who has already hit 11 homeruns this season while batting .329/.411/.609. Mangrum also has had 6 stolen bases which is a bit surprising since he has average speed and did not have a stolen base last season for the Hokies. This is Mangrum’s second season with the Woodchucks; in his first season he batted .308 with 7 homers. It will be interesting to see if Mangrum gets drafted this season, he only started in 8 games last year for the Hokies but he had a solid season batting .284/.376/.527 3HR 32 K/10BB

OF Marcus Still(Jr.-New Mexico St)-Willmar Stingers

Still is leading the league in stolen bases by a considerable margin with 27 stolen bases in 37 games. Speed is Still’s best attribute, but he does have some pop in his bat. His K/BB rate is very impressive at 20/15 with 139 at bats. Still is slashing .266/.364/.374 and is a player to watch for this upcoming year. He did get drafted in the 31st round by the Blue Jays in 2016, but got passed over this year.

3B Ryan Mantle(So.-Jefferson CC/Creighton)-La Crosse Loggers

Mantle has had a crazy journey in college ball, going from Missouri State to Jefferson CC and is committed to playing at Creighton next year. Mantle leads the league in walks(39) and has had more walks than strikeouts(37). He has only hit .200 this year, but his OBP is .400 and his SLG is .336 and has hit 3 home runs. Look for him to have a better second half, he hit .370 with 11 homers at Jefferson CC. Definitely keep tabs on him for the draft next year, it will be interesting to see what happens with him.

Hopefully everyone enjoyed this, and make sure to add all of these players to your watch lists for the 2018 draft. I’ll make another part to this and then I’ll do a couple parts for pitchers too. For all the Cape Cod League fans, expect something like this for the Cape Cod League next week.

Looking Back on the 2017 JUCO Review Players

Here is my follow up of sorts to the three players that I highlighted in my JUCO review series. For that segment, I did writeups for Brendon Little, Nate Pearson, and Andrew Bechtold.

We will start off with Andrew Bechtold, the Maryland commit who played one season before transferring to Chipola CC. He was taken in the 5th round by the Minnesota Twins, who had an interesting draft strategy to say the least. Yes they were able to save money by taking Lewis, but it’s hard justifying not selecting Greene there. Anyway, Bechtold signed for 600 grand, which was over slot value of 378,700. SB Nation compared Andrew Bechtold to Travis Blankenhorn, who ranks seventh on the top prospect lists for the Twins. I am not a Twins expert so someone will have to tell me if this makes sense. By looking at Blankenhorn stats, I would say this is a good comparison. Blankenhorn has struggled at 3rd with 12 errors already, so they have worked him out at second too. I wonder if this will end up happening with Bechtold.

Nate Pearson is the second player I want to look at. He was drafted by the Blue Jays 28th overall and signed with a 2,452,900 bonus, slightly above the 2.3 million dollar slot value. He slipped a bit, BA had him going 18th and 20th by MLB.com. The Blue Jays went into a different direction by selecting a majority of college players this time around. Pearson is probably going to start out as a starter, but it is not a guarantee that he will stay a starter.

Last off is Brendon Little from the State College of Florida. He was drafted 27th overall by the Chicago Cubs and signed for 2.2 million, which is a 100 grand under slot. The Cubs are looking to add some more pitching in their farm system, and they did it with Little. In the write up, I said that Little has a strong character and teams were valuing that more, and I had the Cubs in mind when writing that. Pretty cool that he ended up getting drafted there. Interesting that he signed for under slot value, he must have been set on not going back to college.

Hopefully everyone enjoyed this update, and if you have not read my original posts on these players, please check them out.

Green Bay Bullfrogs (Northwoods League) Team Review

So I got so excited to do this Northwoods League series that I decided to write up a quick review of the Green Bay Bullfrogs. Normally I would do this alphabetically, but the Bullfrogs have a special place in my heart. Ok, that’s not entirely true, but they are the only team that I have a connection to. The Bullfrogs are the only team that I have seen live in the Northwoods League, and I got a foul ball there. I was like 10 at the time, and that was the first ball that I ever caught from a baseball game. I still have that program, and the team roster included Scott Schebler, who is having a nice season for the Reds. But enough reminiscing, let’s talk about how they are doing.

The Bullfrogs currently sit last in the South division with a 1-6 record in the second half. They were not much better in the first half, going 12-23. The only place they are leading in is that infielder Ben Hart leads the league in errors, which is something that he probably is not too proud of. Obviously that is not very good, but they still have some talent on this roster.Scottsdale CC turned Mississippi State recruit Alex Pener is hitting well, going .288/.432/.432 with 3 home runs, and has been their best player. Aaron Pleschner(So.-San Jose St.), Brad Hamilton(Jr.-Kent State), and Troy Johnson(Fr.-Gonzaga), have all been good too and are players I will be watching. Look out for Alonzo Jones from Vanderbilt to get some more playing time, he’s hitting .323 with a couple homers, 4 doubles and 2 triples. He had a disappointing season last year which was capped with him getting suspended indefinitely from the program. But he is a former Freshman All-American who is one of the fastest players in the country(he ran a 6.1 60 yard dash at a 2014 PG event).

The pitching staff is nothing special, but there is a few gems in the rough. Connor Wollersheim(So.-Kent State) has put up a 2.42 ERA with 42 K/16 BB in 42.2 innings so far, making him one of the best pitchers in the league. Definitely keep an eye on him for the 2018 draft, I certainly will. Jonathan Pendergast(So.-Pepperdine) and Nick Parr(So.-Oakland) have over a strikeout per inning which is always encouraging, although Parr has over half a walk per inning and Pendergast is just under. These three plus Brett Fulk(So.-Lenior Rhyne) are pitchers to look out for.

Hopefully you all enjoyed this and learned a little more about the team. I am not sure if I will be able to do all of this for every team because I want to do the Cape Cod league as well and want to keep these stats relevant, but we’ll see. Thanks for reading.

Update

Well it has almost been a month since my last post, which is depressing. I started this site as something to do with my free time, but this past month has been a whirlwind. I’ve had a hectic baseball schedule along with some band practices and its been a lot. Plus I was recently on vacation to DC, and I got to see a bunch of baseball on the way. Sadly, my Mets got slaughtered by the Nats on the 4th, which seems to be usual every time I see them play in person. Also got to see an Altoona Curve game, a Columbus Clippers game, and an Akron Rubberducks game. Altoona has one of the nicest minor league stadiums I have ever seen, really impressive.

Enough about me though, I wanted to talk about what I have planned for the rest of the year. I want to do updates on the collegiate leagues such as the Cape Cod and the Northwoods leagues. These leagues always interest me, and nobody seems to do much reporting on them so hopefully I can fill a hole. Also, I want to do some follow up to the guys that I already wrote about. Besides that, I can’t really think of anything else that is original for me to write about. I’ll figure it out though, don’t worry.

I am also thinking about starting up a Twitter account so I can try to publicize this some more, but I am going to hold off until I prove to myself that I can stick to a schedule. This comes from someone that does not even have a personal Twitter, so we’ll see how that goes. Also need to figure out Google Analytics so I can see how everything is being viewed. This is more of a personal interest thing obviously because I know full well that I am getting about 2 views a post. Still, it’s pretty awesome that 2 people even read, because none of my friends know anything about college baseball.

Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your night.

 

Thoughts Before the MLB Draft

Sorry for the long time between the last posts and this one, just been really busy. I did get a chance to watch some of the Super Regionals, and this year’s Super Regionals has been nuts so far. With the rain delays and the extra inning games, and the rain delayed extra inning games, there has been a lot going on. Unfortunately, my upset pick was wrong, even though Davidson and Texas A&M gave us two of the most exciting games this season. The rest of my picks have seemed to go well so far, and I am excited who wins the Florida Wake Forest game.

Anyways, we have a big night tonight! The draft starts at 7 EST on MLB network for those who are able to watch. I am just going to give my short thoughts on just some of the stories I find interesting.

Obviously, the big question is whether or not Luke Heimlich will be drafted tonight. With the trend going on right now about teams valuing character just as much as talent, I doubt that he will be taken. This leaves an opportunity for any team looking to get a bargain, but will that team be willing to accept the harsh criticism that understandably be thrown at that team? This is just an awful situation, but if Joe Mixon can get drafted, I think Heimlich will be able to as well.

The player that I thought was going to be the biggest “character issues” player before the Heimlich dilemma was Houston lefty Seth Romero. Unlike Heimlich, I do believe Romero will be taken tonight, but he will definitely not be a first rounder or even a compensatory pick in my opinion. Two suspensions in fourteen months is not a good look. Houston did not announce what the second suspension was for, the first was a drug suspension so it might have been another drug suspension we do not know. The team that picks him will get a steal; he is a top 20 prospect who apparently can’t stay out of trouble. Hopefully they will figure it out.

As far as who I think the Twins will pick, I am guessing they will take Vanderbilt pitcher Kyle Wright. Baseball America says that they will be taking McKay, my guess it that they are running out of headlines and want something fresh. However, if they do take McKay, props to them.Hunter Greene is the best player in this draft, but I do not think that the Twins will offer him the signing bonus that he wants. That is not to say Wright is a bad pick though, he has lots of upside even as a college player. Since there is no generational talent, it will be fun to see who they end up picking.

That will wrap up my thoughts, have fun watching the draft everyone.