Widgets Magazine

2012 Cape Cod Baseball League Recap: First Team

Written By on 28th September, 2012

The Cape Cod Baseball League is widely regarded as the top collegiate summer league. Comprised of rising sophomores and juniors, the league provides a valuable look into the upcoming draft season, serving as a starting point for early draft boards and preference lists. To prove a point – of the 25 collegiate players selected in the 1st and Supplemental Rounds of the 2012 MLB Draft, 20 played on the Cape, including 12 of 14 tabbed in Round 1.

This summer, Al Skorupa, Peter Wardell and newly added writer E. Tyler Bullock covered the CCBL. On Monday, we provided our individual takes on Best Tools. Today, we unveil our First Team, Second Team and All-Sleeper Team with brief scouting reports and video.

First Team | Second Team | All-Sleeper Team

2012 CCBL First Team

Catcher: Andrew Knapp, Jr., Chatham (California)

For me, Knapp was an easy choice for most impressive catcher on the Cape. He displayed very good bat control and an advanced feel for hitting. Knapp was comfortable hitting the ball with authority to all fields and there are very few holes in his swing. There’s some power here now and more to come once he learns how to use his hips more effectively. Knapp isn’t polished behind the plate but is an athletic
blocker and receiver and has all the tools and solid arm strength to become a solid average catch and throw guy in the pros. -Al Skorupa

1st Baseman: Daniel Palka, Jr., Wareham (Georgia Tech)

I saw a lot of Palka last summer with Wareham and also saw him with Georgia Tech this spring. He has quick hands and a lot of thunder in his bat but pitch recognition and swing and miss issues continue to dog him some. Keeping on top of his weight is an issue as he was a bit slimmer in the spring and it resulted in better plate coverage and increased ability to handle heat in on his hands. Even at his slimmest Palka
still only fits as a pro 1B and will be a bat first player. I still rate Palka as one of the safest bats in the 2013 draft class and think there’s a chance he can be an impact bat. -Al Skorupa

2nd Baseman: Robert Pehl, Soph., Yarmouth-Dennis (Washington)

Pehl was one of the top hitters on the Cape this summer, batting .329 with 12 doubles and 6 home runs (+ 4 more in the playoffs).He displays solid pitch recognition, tremendous bat control and the ability to jump on mistakes in any count. I remeber BB colleague Don Olsen once said, “Extra base hits are not due to strength, but pitch recognition and the ability to turn on mistakes” – watching Pehl makes me think of that quote. Where his glove fits on the field is the biggest question however. He’s a well below-average runner and struggled at 1B, 2B and LF this summer prompting an everyday DH role. His bat ability makes him work watching but the profile is certainly concerning. -Peter Wardell

Shortstop: Brandon Trinkwon, Jr., Hyannis (UC Santa Barbara)

Trinkwon was one of the slickest fielding shortstops on the Cape and displayed impressive hands, range and arm strength. He has good bat speed and natural feel for squaring the ball up but still needs to get physically stronger despite his power showing this summer. I don’t think he’ll have any trouble filling in and adding 10+ pounds of muscle without losing flexibility and athleticism. -Al Skorupa

3rd Baseman: Colin Moran, Jr., Bourne (North Carolina)

Moran has an unbelievable hit tool and flashes promise in the field. He possesses outstanding zone discipline, plate coverage and can hit plus velocity with ease. He was as complete and polished a hitter as any on the Cape in 2012. Defensively, he displays soft hands and a quick release. -E. Tyler Bullock

Outfielder: Phil Ervin, Jr., Harwich (Samford)

Ervin made a name for himself early in the summer, crushing eight home runs over his first 14 games, eclipsing both the 2010 and 2011 leading home run totals. Unlike most amateur power hitters, Ervin’s power totals stem from his advanced hit ability rather than size (he’s just 5-10/195). Currently, Ervin is a mistake-fastball hitter with a patient approach, quick hands and tremendous bat control however showed improvements against offspeed offerings over the course of the summer. Defensively, Ervin runs decent routes and shows off slightly above-average arm strength. I’m not convinced that he has the range for CF nor the arm for RF but he certainly won’t be a defensively liability wherever he ends up. Ervin very likely played his way into late Round 1 consideration this summer. -Peter Wardell

Outfielder: Jacoby Jones, Jr., Harwich (LSU)

Jones is an uber-athletic, five-tool talent and certainly impressed the BB crew this summer, sweeping the Most Exciting Player nod in Monday’s Best Tools piece. A 2B at LSU, Jones shined as a centerfielder this summer displaying tremendous range with plus-plus makeup speed, solid instincts and an above-average arm. He is one of those rare prospects that glides defensively. Offensively, Jones displays plus bat speed from the right side with impressive power potential. While the ball can certainly jump off his bat – as evidenced in CCBL Home Run Derby, which he won – his approach can be a bit iffy. He struggles with breaking balls and his swing can get long at times, leading to high strikeout totals (55 K’s in 139 ABs, 2nd in the CCBL). Overall, Jones is still very raw which makes the gap between his ceiling and floor vast.

Outfielder: Aaron Judge, Jr., Brewster (Fresno State)

Judge is an incredible physical specimen and a shockingly athletic 6’7”. In batting practice his raw power is on full display but pitch recognition, bat control and barrell awareness hold back his hit tool and in-game power. Judge throws well and runs well but probably fits best in right field. FULL SCOUTING REPORT -Al Skorupa

Designated Hitter: Tyler Horan, Jr., Wareham (Virginia Tech)

Very athletic and strong. Horan possesses a nice, smooth left-handed swing and shows pop to all fields. The power tool is there. He should have a good swing and continue to crush mistake pitches. I mostly saw him DH so I don’t know how/where he projects defensively. -E. Tyler Bullock

Starting Pitcher (LHP): Sean Manaea, Jr., Hyannis (Indiana State)

The guy who improved his stock most on the Cape, Manaea put himself in the national spotlight by absolutely dominating the league. Manaea featured a low to mid 90’s swing and miss FB, a devestating split CU and a developing two plane SL. He paced the league with 85 strikeouts – 29 more than the next closest player! The big, athletic southpaw has made sure that Terre Haute will be buzzing with scouts on Fridays this Spring. FULL SCOUTING REPORT BY DON OLSEN -Al Skorupa

Starting Pitcher (RHP): Aaron Blair, Jr., Yarmouth-Dennis (Marshall)

Blair had an impressive summer of his own, leading CCBL starters in wins (6) and ERA (1.17) thanks to a quality three-pitch mix and terrific command. Blair features a low 90’s fastball with good run, a consistent 11-5 curveball that he throws for a strikes and a deceptive changeup that showed plus-potential at times. He mixes all three very well and shows a willingness to throw any offering in any count. Much of Blair’s success comes from his present polish however there are improvements he should continue to make in order to reach his middle-to-back of the rotation potential.

Starting Pitcher (LHP): Kevin Ziomek, Jr., Cotuit (Vanderbilt)

Saw him one outing. Did not blow me away on the gun but missed a ton of bats (9 strikeouts over 6.1 innings). Featured a 90-92 mph fastball, 78-82 mph slider and an 83-86 mph changeup. Mixed all of his pitches nicely and was very effective location his fastball. Got ahead and worked ahead with a quick arm action and biting slider. -E. Tyler Bullock

Starting Pitcher (LHP): Tom Windle, Jr., Brewster (Minnesota)

Windle has some funk in his mechanics but shows a tough three pitch mix from the left side. Windle looked like he may have been running out of gas later on in the season, but at his best his FB was low 90’s with great sink. He also throws a tight cut slider that misses bats and flashes a solid change. -Al Skorupa

Starting Pitcher (RHP): Jeff Hoffman, Soph., Hyannis (East Carolina)

I only saw one inning of Hoffman this summer (All-Star Game appearance) but it was enough to see that the 6-foot-4 right-hander was something special. A rising sophomore, Hoffman is still learning to pitch (and just starting to fill out at 175 pounds) but his live arm and athleticism make him an early, high-profile 2014 draft prospect. In my brief look, Hoffman showed three pitches that all project above-average. His fastball gets up to 95 regularly (in starts too) with late run and both offspeed offerings – an 11-5 breaker with good depth and a deceptive changeup – show promise. -Peter Wardell // (Video Cred: College Baseball Daily)

Relief Pitcher (RHP): Colby Suggs, Jr., Wareham (Arkansas)

I saw a lot of games this summer (40-50) and Colby Suggs’ two appearances in the CCBL Championship Series might have been the two most impressive pitching displays of the summer. In Game 1, Suggs overpowered opposing batters striking out the side for the save, bumping 97 mph regularly, his highest readings of the summer. Two days later in Game 3, Suggs tossed a season-high three innings (afterwards, he said he could have gone longer), rescuing a depleted bullpen while ensuring a Wareham championship victory. A bulldog at 6-0/225, Suggs has the look, mentality and stuff of a future big league closer. He shows pinpoint command of a mid-to-upper 90’s fastball while mixing in a power curve with sharp break that already rates as a plus offering. -Peter Wardell

Peter Wardell
Peter Wardell
About Peter Wardell

Peter Wardell is a recent graduate from UCLA and writes about amateur and minor league baseball for Bullpen Banter. Peter covered the Cape Cod Baseball League this summer and will be covering the Fall Instructional League and Arizona Fall League. In addition, Peter is an intern at Baseball America. He can reached on twitter @peter_wardell or by email at pwardell@ucla.edu

Articles, Cape Cod League Observations, Features, Prospect Video, Scouting

3 Comments on "2012 Cape Cod Baseball League Recap: First Team"