Cape Cod League Update (7/5/15)

There are at least three dozen players that have legitimate chances to be drafted highly next June currently playing on the Cape, so stay tuned to our weekly updates on who’s performing well, who’s doing poorly and who’s breaking out.

Hot List (Hitters)

Player College Team Cape Team Pos AVG R 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB
Kyle Lewis Mercer Orleans OF 0.344 12 4 1 4 11 5 11 0
Cavan Biggio Notre Dame Harwich 2B 0.320 6 3 1 0 8 17 10 3
Nick Senzel Tennessee Brewster 2B 0.319 15 7 1 1 9 6 20 8
Bobby Dalbec Arizona Orleans 3B 0.310 9 0 0 4 9 4 10 0

Two of the biggest bats in the 2016 draft class are off to great starts on the Cape. Biggio, son of Hall-of-Famer Craig Biggio, is challenging for the batting crown, while showing amazing plate discipline. His 17 walks lead the league, and while he hasn’t shown much pop, he’s still capable of driving in some runs. With a 1-for-4 performance on July 4th, he’s now reached base 13 consecutive games.

The other big bat belongs to Arizona’s Bobby Dalbec. He hit 15 homers this spring for the Wildcats, and has already added four more playing for Orleans. He’s been a bit of a one-trick pony, though, as those four homers have come among just nine hits, none of which have gone for extra bases aside from the longballs. Still, he’s managed to maintain a .310 average, despite striking out in 34% of his at-bats.

The other two names on this list are going a long way towards building a case for a high draft pick. Lewis is a relative unknown, who burst onto the scene in 2015 as one of the top power-hitters in the country. He slugged 17 longballs for Mercer, while maintaining a .367 batting average. He’s been the darling of the CCBL, and currently he leads the batting race by five points. He’s also shown good power, slugging four homers for a piece of the league-lead in that department.

And last but not least, Tennessee infielder Nick Senzel. His infield partner at UT, A.J. Simcox,  just signed an over-slot deal to join the Tigers and Senzel could soon be joining him in the pro ranks. He hit .325 for the Vols this past season, and showed good capability in just about every aspect of the game. He’s showing the same skills on the Cape, leading the circuit with seven doubles and eight steals. The strikeouts (20 in just 72 at-bats) have to be somewhat of a concern, however.

Hot List (Pitchers)

Player College Team Cape Team Pos G GS IP BB K W L SV ERA
Mitchell Jordan Stetson Orleans RHP 5 5 27.0 5 31 4 0 0 0.00
Zac Gallen North Carolina Chatham RHP 3 3 15.0 6 23 1 0 0 0.00
Luke Scherzer Virginia Tech Harwich RHP 6 0 6.0 2 9 0 0 5 0.00
Kit Scheetz Virginia Tech Orleans LHP 10 0 12.2 4 13 1 1 1 1.42

If the season ended today, Stetson right-hander Mitchell Jordan would be taking home the pitcher’s version of the Triple Crown. He currently leads the CCBL in wins (four) and strikeouts (31), and he is the only qualified pitcher that hasn’t given up an earned run. His 10.3 K/9 rate is drastically higher than the 7.3 K/9 mark he posted during his sophomore campaign, so it might make sense to see some regression, but it is possible he’s finally turned a corner.

North Carolina’s Zac Gallen has made just three starts for Chatham, but he’s been brilliant, allowing just eight hits in 15 innings of work. His 13.8 K/9 rate is also much higher than his 2015 mark, but he is more of a strikeout-pitcher than Jordan, racking up 74 for the Tar Heels this season. Gallen was an inning-eater this season, tossing two of UNC’s three complete-games, so expect to see him stretched past the five-inning mark as the season progresses.

Virginia Tech teammates Luke Scherzer and Kit Scheetz are playing for different squads on the Cape this summer, but both members of the Hokie bullpen have been at their best. Scherzer currently leads the league with five saves, while Scheetz has made more appearances than any other pitcher, holding down a 1.42 ERA in 12.2 innings. Both struggled to put up good numbers for a mediocre Virginia Tech squad in 2015, but both should play vital roles in 2016, so it’s nice to see them look so strong this summer.

Not List (Hitters)

Player College Team Cape Team Pos AVG R 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB
Jeremy Martinez USC Orleans C 0.157 5 3 0 0 7 9 7 0
Michael Tinsley Kansas Falmouth C/OF 0.212 2 1 0 0 0 1 2 1
J.B. Woodman Mississippi Falmouth OF 0.219 4 3 0 0 6 4 27 2
Sheldon Neuse Oklahoma Harwich SS 0.212 8 3 1 1 5 7 21 3

This Cape Cod League season has not been kind to catchers. The top two on the circuit are USC’s Jeremy Martinez and Kansas’s Michael Tinsley. Both have underachieved in a major way. Martinez has scuffled to a .157 average, the lowest among all qualified hitters in the league. He has managed to drive in seven runs and his 9-to-7 BB-to-K mark is respectable. He’s just having a hard time finding holes. Tinsley has had similar problems. He has only struck out twice in 66 at-bats, but is hitting .212 with just one extra-base hit.

Also struggling is Mississippi outfielder J.B. Woodman. He actually leads the league with 27 strikeouts and his .219 average is one of the lowest marks in the league. It’s hard to fathom, but he’s struck out in 42% of his at-bats, a drastic increase from the dismal 28% during his sophomore campaign. Oklahoma shortstop/pitcher Sheldon Neuse joins Woodman near the top of the strikeout table with 21 of his own. He only struck out 46 times this season, so he should surpass that number in short order.

Not List (Pitchers)

Player College Team Cape Team Pos G GS IP BB K W L SV ERA
Cameron Vieaux Michigan State Harwich LHP 4 4 19.0 3 15 0 4 0 6.15
Brett Adcock Michigan Yarmouth LHP 5 4 19.2 15 14 2 2 0 4.11
Brandon Bailey Gonzaga Yarmouth RHP 3 3 15.2 3 15 0 3 0 5.17
Zach Plesac Ball State Wareham RHP 3 1 8.1 3 6 0 2 0 11.88

Plesac is the most recognizable name here, so let’s start with him. The nephew of Major League veteran Dan Plesac, the Ball State right-hander had a strong follow-up campaign to arguably the finest debut by a freshman in school history. A year after setting a school-record with 12 victories, while also saving a team-high six games, Plesac made 16 starts for the Cardinals. He tossed five complete-games and finished the year as the team leader in wins, ERA, innings, strikeouts and batting average against.

Michigan lefty Brett Adcock has long been considered one of the top southpaws in the 2016 draft class, but after a strong season in which he won ten games and posted a 3.10 ERA for the Wolverines, he’s been hit hard and had some struggles with his command. Through five appearances, he has more walks than strikeouts, which actually shouldn’t come as much of a shock considering his 5.2 BB/9 mark in 2015. Adcock has the stuff to be a top-five rounds talent in 2016, assuming he can get his mechanics straightened out.

Fellow lefty Cameron Vieaux, of rival Michigan State, was drafted in the 19th-round of this year’s draft by Detroit, but he’ll likely return to MSU if he can’t negotiate a deal with the Tigers. He certainly hasn’t put his best foot forward this summer, picking up losses in each of his four starts. Hitters are clearly seeing the ball well out of his hand and they’re hitting him hard, to the tune of nine doubles and a triple in just 19 innings.

Bailey has been a workhorse for Gonzaga, making 29 starts, spanning nearly 200 innings, during his first two seasons, and the results have been impressive. He tossed four complete-games as a freshman and another this past season, but he’s been lucky to get through the fourth-inning on the Cape this summer. His 5.17 ERA is one of the highest marks in the league, and as a result he’s 0-3 through his first three starts. He hasn’t been on the receiving end of much run support, however, with just four runs of offense.

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