Cape Cod League Observations – Week 2
Written By Al Skorupa on 25th July, 2012
Week 1 Observations can be found here. – AS
- Jay Gonzalez (OF; Orleans Firebirds; Auburn; Soph/2013) – Gonzalez isn’t a big guy at 5′10″ but he can hit the ball hard. He uncorks a violent swing with plenty of bat speed. Definitely doesnât get cheated on his swings. Those huge cuts combined with a drift towards the pitcher and a big knee lift had me scared about the contact ability but he showed well in the game. Waited for his pitch and worked the count.
- Michael Montville (OF; Orleans Firebirds; Maryland; Soph/2013) - Didnât see him as a prep (New Hampshire). Wish I had! Montville has already hit 3 HRs on the Cape and destroyed the ball in bp. Athletic with a well proportion build. Drops his back shoulder and loads his hands far back sometimes leading to a stiff lead arm. LOUD contact. Crushed some balls to his pull side but was willing to hit outside pitches the other way with authority. Ball carried well off his bat. Really turned my head. I was curious to see him because I liked his batting practice when I saw Maryland this Spring. I liked him even better with wood, believe it or not.
- Kevin Brown (OF; Orleans Firebirds; Bryant; Junior/2013) – Local guy I wanted to mention. Hit the crap out of the ball this Spring and hit the ball hard with wood. Strong showing in bp.
- Trevor Williams (RHP; Orleans Firebirds; Arizona State; Soph/2013) – Williams lacked a wow factor, but he sure looked like a major league arm. 90-93 with a FB that feature late run in the zone that made it difficult to square up. He generally commanded it well with downward plane, but worked up in the zone a little sometimes. Its not a plus heater, but its a major league pitch. The rest of Williams’ repertoire was delightful. The CB (slower, high 70âs to low 80s) and SL (11-5, power) were very similar and both featured tight spin and late break. Williams was able to locate his breaking balls both as a chase and for strikes. The CU was just as impressive to me. The CUs flashed really good fade and dip at times, but most importantly Williams had a mature feel for the pitch and was very confident throwing it in different counts. Even the bad CUs were quality pitches. Good separation in velocity from his FB. One negative is that he looks more or less like a finished product. Williams is filled out with very little projection left. Not sure where he can get more velocity… mechanics relatively clean. Could finish on line better and improve back foot release and follow through. He repeated his mechanics well but sometimes showed a soft glove side, even on FBs. Deceptive and hides the ball well but there is some effort in his delivery. Worked fast even in the scorching heat. Shook off his catcher a lot – which was odd, as the catcher was his college teammate. Profile here is a 3-4 pitch mix mid rotation starter. Could be a nice middle of the 1st round pick. Some potential for more next spring but I don’t think there’s all that much more velo hiding in there.
- Tony Kemp (2B/OF; Cotuit Ketleers; Vanderbilt; Soph/2013) – While he has a tiny frame, Kemp carried a surprisingly big bat. Kemp generates lots of bat speed and has a nice, simple swing. Commands the strike zone well and uses all fields. Fast twitch athlete.
- Tim Kiene (1B; Cotuit Ketleers; Maryland; Soph/2013) -Kiene is a large framed kid with lots of leverage and raw power in his swing. When I saw him against Boston College a couple months back Kiene looked lost at the plate and his bat looked slow. He looked better for Cotuit, but was still tentative at the plate and was hitting the ball deep and not extending his arms fully. Kiene also loaded his hands more than when Iâve seen him in the past (saw him play for the Newport Gulls last summer). There’s premium power here but a lot of swing and miss.
- Kyle Finnegan (RHP; Cotuit Ketleers; Texas State; Soph/2013) – Finnegan was 88-92 with a FB that had 3-4 inches of arm side run. His CU showed some promise… more drop than fade. It was a very hot day and nearly every pitcher I saw seemed to be having trouble with their breaking stuff and Finnegan was no exception. He throws a CB and a tighter 11-5 SL but had very little consistency in either and seemd to be shying away from using them (again, the heat and humidity may have been a big factor here). The biggest issue was Finneganâs FB command was poor. He kept leaving pitches fat over the plate. Release point drifted a bit and he finished up a lot, too.
- Sean Manaea (LHP; Hyannis Harbor Hawks; Indiana State; Soph/2013) – I ran by this game for a few innings mainly to get a look at Manaea. 6′5″ LHPs tend to catch my attention. Manaea has a slow, deliberate delivery and a big leg kick… loses some of his forward momentum with a pause over the rubber, but generally clean mechanics and solidly athletic for a big kid… repeats delivery well. Heâs tough to pick up the ball from. Hides it well but his delivery is a little crossfire/slingy with his finish. He was 91-92 with a FB that had some nice run. His breaking ball was a slurvy offering that lacked real bite at times. It was still an effective pitch that got its share of swings and misses. Again, hard to say how much the heat and humidity messed with his breaking ball. I didnât get a good look at his change. It was too hard in warmups and I only dropped in on this game for a few innings.
- Phil Ervin (OF; Harwich Mariners; Samford: Soph/2013) – Saw more hard contact from Ervin but he had some trouble with soft stuff. Definitely one of the more exciting players on the Cape for me.
- Daniel Palka (1B; Wareham Gatemen; Georgia Tech; Soph/2013) – I’ve long been a Daniel Palka fan. He had lost a lot of weight from last yearâs Cape to this Spring… looks like he may be a little softer than he looked in March but still a long way from last year. He didnât have a good day at the plate. Got out on his front foot quite a bit and flailed at offspeed & breaking stuff. Seemed to be guessing a lot and was late on a fastball in on his hands. Still one of my favorite bats in the 2013 class.
- Austin Wilson (OF; Harwich Mariners; Stanford; Soph/2013) – Wilson looked dynamite. Big kid with a pro body. Athletic and powerful. He does have the Stanford swing/flat swing plane but when he hits line drives on the screws they still go a long way. Runs well (despite getting thrown out at 3B in the video!). He’s toolsy across the board but at his size and with his arm I think RF is the most likely landing spot. Very impressive prospect. Looks like a top 5/10 pick type, loathe as I am to endorse a Stanford swing that high. Been fooled too many times before by big kids I thought would hit for power despite that…
Most impressed by through Week 2:
- Austin Wilson, OF, Harwich
- Phil Ervin, OF, Harwich
- Trevor Williams, RHP, Orleans
- Jared King, OF, Falmouth
- Sean Manaea, LHP, Hyannis
- Daniel Palka, 1B, Wareham
- Kevin Jordan, OF, Bourne
- Coty Blanchard, OF, Yarmouth-Dennis
- Mike Ahmed, 3B, Bourne
- Michael Montville, OF, Orleans
- Sam Travis, 3B, Yarmouth-Dennis
- Josh Dezse, 1B, Bourne
- Jay Gonzalez, OF, Orleans
- Kaiana Eldredge, C, Falmouth
- Brian Ragira, 1B, Harwich