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Photo: Radford

Summer Collegiate : : Story
Cal Ripken Lg. prospect reports
Allan Simpson        
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013

Official League Website:
2013 Summer Collegiate Top Prospect coverage
Cal Ripken League Top Prospect list (free)

The Bethesda Big Train’s multi-faceted Hunter Renfroe was a hand’s down selection as the Cal Ripken League’s top prospect in both 2011 and 2012—in his first go-around as a combination catcher capable of hitting tape-measure home runs and strong-armed reliever who lit up radar guns at 98-99 mph; a year ago, as an athletic center fielder who re-wrote the league record book for his long-ball exploits.

Renfroe moved on to pro ball this summer after being drafted in the first round in June by the San Diego Padres, and it’s safe to say there were no players of his stature in the league this season.

If anything, pitching highlighted the 12-team circuit, and scouts said there was more quality arms spread amongst teams than in the past, though Renfroe’s former team, the Big Train, boasted the two best prospects overall in lefthander Michael Boyle (Radford) and righthander Bubba Derby (San Diego State), both rising college sophomores.

Some things never change, though, as the Big Train and Baltimore Redbirds met in the league championship game for the fifth straight year, with the Redbirds staging a late rally to win for the second time in a row. The Big Train still managed to finish first in regular season play, largely on the strength of dominant pitching by the twosome of Boyle and Derby.

Youse’s Maryland Orioles, one of the league’s flagship franchises also maintained the status quo by winning the All-American Amateur Baseball Association World Series in Johnstown, Pa., following the season for the 29
th time in the club’s celebrated history with first baseman Ryan Ripken, Cal’s son and the third-ranked prospect on the accompanying list, earning tournament MVP honors.


Year League Established:
States Represented in League: Maryland, Virginia
No. of Teams in League: 12 (10 in 2012)
Regular-Season Champion: Bethesda Big Train (30-14; 32-16 overall)
Post-Season Champion: Baltimore Redbirds
Teams, Perfect Game Summer 50/Final Ranking: No. 25 Bethesda Big Train; No. 33 Baltimore Redbirds; No. 47 Youse’s Maryland Orioles
No. 1 Prospect, 2012 (per PG CrossChecker): Hunter Renfroe, of/c, Bethesda Big Train (Mississippi State; Padres/1st round, 2013 draft)
First 2012 Player Selected, 2013 Draft: Hunter Renfroe, of/c, Bethesda Big Train (Mississippi State/Padres, 1st round)

Most Valuable Player:
Ian Rice, c, Baltimore Redbirds (Chipola, Fla., JC)
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Bubba Derby, rhp, Bethesda Big Train (San Diego State)

BATTING LEADERS (League games only)

Batting Average:
K.J. Hockaday, 3b/ss, Youse’s Maryland Orioles (.362)
Slugging Percentage: Ian Rice, c, Baltimore Redbirds (.559)
On-Base Average: Will Kengor, ss, Rockville Express (.489)
Home Runs: Ian Rice, c, Baltimore Redbirds (7)
RBI: Ian Rice, c, Baltimore Redbirds (34)
Stolen Bases: Chris Kashangaki, of, Gaithersburg Giants (27)

PITCHING LEADERS (League games only)

Bubba Derby, rhp, Bethesda Big Train; Mitchell Leeds, rhp, DC Grays (6)
ERA: Bubba Derby, rhp, Bethesda Big Train (0.76)
Saves: John-Austin Shepard, rhp, Southern Maryland Nationals (10)
Strikeouts: Bubba Derby, rhp, Bethesda Big Train (56)


Best Athlete:
Collin Shaw, of, Gaithersburg Giants
Best Hitter: K.J. Hockaday, 3b/ss, Youse’s Maryland Orioles
Best Power: Ian Rice, c, Baltimore Redbirds
Fastest Base Runner: Jordan Glover, of, Presstman Cardinals
Best Defensive Player: Cody Walker, c, DC Grays
Best Velocity: Bubba Derby, rhp, Bethesda Big Train
Best Breaking Ball: Bubba Derby, rhp, Bethesda Big Train
Best Command: Henry Sisson, lhp, DC Grays


1. MICHAEL BOYLE, lhp, Bethesda Big Train (Radford/SO in 2014)
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Boyle didn’t begin the 2013 Cal Ripken League season with a lot of notoriety after going undrafted out of a Virginia high school in 2012 and assembling a solid freshman season at Radford, where he went 5-3, 3.77 in 15 appearances (all starts). His game clearly went to another level on the summer with a fastball that sat at 90-93 mph, that he threw in concert with a power changeup, enabling him to fashion a tidy 5-1, 0.77 record in six starts; in 35 innings, he gave up 11 walks and 19 hits while striking out 31. He also worked in a slider with more regularity as a third pitch. But it was his ability to locate all his pitches with greater precision, while getting sinking action on his fastball against wood bats that enabled him to dominate. With a slight herky-jerky motion coming from a three-quarters angle, he also created deception in his delivery and hitters often had difficulty picking up the ball out of his hand.

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