Photo: Boston College

Atlantic Coll. Lg. prospect reports

Summer Collegiate : : Story
Allan Simpson        
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013


Official League Website: 
www.acbl-online.com
2013 Summer Collegiate Top Prospect coverage
Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League Top Prospect list (free)


A sprawling, three-division, 17-team alignment in recent years, the Atlantic Collegiate League returned to its roots in 2013, downsizing to just seven teams, most with traditional ties to one of the nation’s longest-operating summer leagues. In the process, the former Hamptons Division of the ACBL, with teams on New York’s Long Island, was spun off into its own league.

Through all the upheaval, one thing remained constant this summer: the North Jersey Eagles, who had never participated in post-season play prior to 2012, got hot at the right time again after barely qualifying for the playoffs and captured their second straight league title. A year ago, the Eagles rebounded from a 19-20 regular-season mark to sweep to a title; this year, they went a modest 21-18, good for fourth-place, but ended up winning four straight elimination games and beating regular-season co-champion Allentown twice on the final day.

The Hamptons Division typically had the more superior talent while it was a part of the ACBL, but the revamped, more tightly-configured league had a more representative group of prospects than normal this summer, led by two players who signed pro contracts after appearing in the league, one being ex-Boston College righthander Matt Alvarez, ranked the league’s No. 1 prospect. In addition, the ACBL made a rare splash into the area high-school ranks, securing two of the best prospects in New York City.


FAST FACTS

Year League Established:
1967
States Represented in League: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
No. of Teams in League: 7 (17 in 2012)
Regular-Season Co Champions: Allentown Railers / Trenton Generals (27-13)
Post-Season Champion: North Jersey Eagles
Teams, Perfect Game Summer 50/Final Ranking: None
No. 1 Prospect, 2012 (per Perfect Game): Paul Paez, lhp, Southampton Breakers (Rio Hondo, Calif., CC; Mets/38th round, 2013 draft)
First 2012 Player Selected, 2013 Draft: Kyle McGowin, rhp, Sag Harbor Whalers (Savannah State; Angels/5th round)

Most Valuable Player:
Joe Forcellini, 1b/3b, Allentown Railers (Centenary, N.J.)
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Adam Davis, rhp, Allentown Railers (Delaware)
Top Prospect (as selected by league): Matt Alvarez, rhp, Staten Island Tide (SIGNED / Royals)

BATTING LEADERS

Batting Average:
Rich Ricciardi, ss, Trenton Generals (.395)
Slugging Percentage: Michael Bradshaw, of, Staten Island (.573)
On-Base Average: Rich Ricciardi, ss, Trenton Generals (.481)
Home Runs: Michael Bradshaw, of, Staten Island Tide; Joe Ravert, 1b, Trenton Generals (6)
RBIs: Joe Forcellini, 1b/3b, Allentown Railers (31)
Stolen Bases: Mike Constantini, inf, Quakertown Blazers (24)

PITCHING LEADERS

Wins:
Adam Davis, rhp, Allentown Railers (6)
ERA: Brandon Shimo, rhp, Allentown Railers (1.23)
Saves: Vincenzo Aiello, rhp, Trenton Generals (6)
Strikeouts: Mike Weinhold, lhp, Quakertown Blazers (59)

BEST TOOLS

Best Athlete:
Narciso Crook, of, Trenton Generals
Best Hitter: P.J. Higgins, 2b/3b, Lehigh Valley Catz
Best Power: Michael Bradshaw, of, State Island Tide
Fastest Base Runner: Narciso Crook, of, Trenton Generals
Best Defensive Player: P.J. Higgins, 2b/3b, Lehigh Valley Catz
Best Velocity: Matt Alvarez, rhp, Staten Island Tide
Best Breaking Ball: Vincenzo Aiello, rhp, Trenton Generals
Best Command: Vincenzo Aiello, rhp, Trenton Generals


TOP 10 PROSPECTS

1. MATT ALVAREZ, rhp, Staten Island Tide (SIGNED/Royals)
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Alvarez entered Boston College with hopes of a breakout college career, but things didn't click as well as initially hoped as he went 3-7, 5.83 overall with 72 walks and 83 strikeouts in 83 innings. In 46 appearances for the Eagles, he made 11 starts, but recorded no saves while working a majority of his outings in relief. This caused Alvarez to go undrafted the last two years, but all it took was six outings in a closer role this summer in the ACBL for scouts to take a renewed interest in him, especially after his arm worked free and easy, and he pumped out fastballs at a steady 93-96 mph, topping at 98 in one outing, while complementing it with a hard, late, tight slider. He ended up agreeing to terms with the Kansas City Royals as a non-drafted free agent in late July—though the contract was not formally ratified for another couple of weeks while Alvarez spent time with his family to attend to a medical matter. It remains unclear whether the issues that adversely impacted his college career might be arrested with pro-level coaching, but the Royals believe his mid-90s arm makes it worth it. Prior to signing, Alvarez still had a year of college eligibility remaining, and with a degree already in hand from Boston College he would have been free to transfer to another college. He had chosen Division II Southern New Hampshire had he elected to return to school.


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