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Summer Collegiate Team Rankings

Allan Simpson
8/20/2012

Newport Gulls Finish Season At No. 1,
First NECBL Team to Claim Top Spot

The Newport Gulls clinched the New England Collegiate League championship on Aug. 11. Some 10 days later, that title has resulted in an unofficial national championship.

One of the most successful clubs in summer baseball over the last decade, the Gulls capitalized on the best season in team history to finish atop Perfect Game’s final weekly ranking of the nation’s top 50 summer-league teams. It was the first such championship for a team from the NECBL.

The Gulls (37-11 overall) moved into the No. 1 spot immediately after winning their fifth NECBL title in 12 years, which coincided with the playoff demise of the two Cape Cod League teams, Cotuit and Harwich, which had occupied the top position most of the 2012 summer season. The Gulls then sealed the No. 1 spot with the conclusion of the summer-league season on Saturday.

It is an achievement to win the NECBL championship, but an honor to be selected at the top of summer-college baseball,” said Chuck Paiva, the Gulls general manager and person most responsible for recruiting this year’s team. “I’m perhaps biased, but I think you got it right and could not imagine getting knocked off the top by any team (once we became ranked No. 1).”

The Gulls fate was not officially sealed until Friday night when their only real remaining competition for the top spot, Yarmouth-Dennis of the Cape Cod League and La Crosse of the Northwoods League, concluded their seasons.

Y-D, Perfect Game’s No. 1-ranked team in both 2006 and 2007, fell in the third and deciding game of the Cape Cod League championship series, coughing up a 5-2 lead with two outs in the ninth inning to Wareham, before eventually losing 8-6 in 10 innings. Wareham had entered the Cape playoffs with a sub-.500 record.

La Crosse, No. 4 in the final in-season ranking, swept undefeated through the Northwoods League playoffs after posting a national-best 49 wins in the regular season, but the Loggers fell just short in their bid to unseat Newport from the top spot, finishing at No. 2. Amsterdam, champions of the Perfect Game Collegiate League, finished at No. 3 while Santa Barbara (California Collegiate), winners of its second straight National Baseball Congress World Series title, came in at No. 4.

The Cape Cod League, universally acknowledged as the nation’s dominant summer league, ended up with three teams in the top 10, but none higher than No. 5 Cotuit, which went 30-14 in the regular season only to fall in the first round of the Cape League playoffs.

Newport posted the best regular-season record in the NECBL at 31-10, and advanced through three rounds of playoffs with relative ease, going 6-1. Expected to be a team dominated at the outset by pitching, the Gulls instead became an offensive juggernaut and broke numerous team and league records at the plate, including for runs scored in a season. Including regular season and post-season games, the Gulls outscored their opponents 411-220. Overall, they hit .316 as a team, and produced the NECBL batting champion in catcher Jeff Melillo (Rutgers), who hit .404.

In Perfect Game’s ranking of the league’s Top 40 Prospects (to be released soon), the Gulls will be represented by 13 players, led by outfielder Yale Rosen (Washington State) at No. 2. Rosen broke the team record for home runs (12), even through his season was ended prematurely by a shoulder injury.

This is the best balanced team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Mike Coombs, who won his third league championship in his eight years as head coach of the Gulls. “We were solid in all areas—defense, pitching, hitting, in the back end of the bullpen and also in middle relief.

Even when we lost our 3-4 hitters at mid-season (Rosen and Kansas catcher Alex DeLeon to summer school), we had someone else just step in and do the job for us. Even when some of our younger pitching prospects struggled in the beginning, some of our older, more experienced arms stepped in and solidified the staff. From start to finish, it was a team effort.”



Teams in Perfect Game’s Top 30 (expanded to Top 50 in final ranking) are ranked on the following criteria: won-loss record, league dominance, depth and quality of professional-level talent and the overall strength of the league. To receive consideration, teams must have at least a .500 record overall.

PREVIOUS NO. 1-RANKED TEAMS

2006 
— Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (Cape Cod)
2007 — Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (Cape Cod)
2008 — Santa Barbara Foresters (California)
2009 — Forest City Owls (Coastal Plain)
2010 — Eau Claire Express (Northwoods)
2011  Bethesda Big Train (Cal Ripken)



Perfect Game plans extensive summer-league coverage over the next several weeks as it puts a cap on the 2012 season. This week we’ll unveil our summer league player of the year, our summer league All-America team and our breakdown of the top prospects on USA Baseball’s college national team.

We’ll then begin unveiling our lists of the top professional prospects in the various summer leagues (upwards of 25 leagues overall and more than 800 prospects). From there, we’ll break down each league in greater detail over the next several weeks, featuring exclusive scouting profiles and reports on all the top prospects.


RankTeamStLeagueRecord
1Newport GullsRINew England Collegiate League37-11
SUMMARY: Balanced Gulls dominate regular season in NECBL, post 6-1 record in playoffs, win league title for fifth time in 12 years. TOP PROSPECT: OF Yale Rosen (Washington State) left team early with shoulder injury, but displayed big raw power stroke, solid speed/RF arm strength.
2La Crosse LoggersWINorthwoods League53-21
SUMMARY: Loggers win 49 games (most in summer ball), claim best record in NWL second half, roll to 4-0 record in playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: SS Matt Chapman (Cal State Fullerton) has size (6-1, 195), elite-level tools; anchored Loggers in middle of field.
3Amsterdam MohawksNYPerfect Game Collegiate Baseball League39-13
SUMMARY: Pitching-dominant Mohawks complete magical 2012 season by sweeping Glens Falls in second-year league's championship series. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Rocky McCord (Auburn) went 4-0, 1.71 with fastball that peaked at 95 mph, slider at 85, also has plus change.
4Santa Barbara ForestersCACalifornia Collegiate League41-15
SUMMARY: Foresters boast dominant crop of arms, continue mastery of NBC World Series by winning 32-team event for second straight year. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Jason Hursh (Oklahoma State) missed spring with TJ surgery, good as new by end of summer with dominant FB up to 98.
5Cotuit KettleersMACape Cod League31-16
SUMMARY: Kettleers go on late-season tear, boast best record on Cape (30-14), but bounced in 3 games in first round of playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Dan Slania (Notre Dame) has huge 6-5 frame, dominated in a closer role with 94-95 FB, pounds zone with solid 2-pitch mix.
6Wenatchee ApplesoxWAWest Coast League41-19
SUMMARY: Apple Sox continue mastery of WCL, win fifth title in league's nine-year history, take down arch rival Corvallis in final. TOP PROSPECT: RHP James Kaprelian (UCLA) was dominant as prep talent in WCL; had excellent command of solid FB/curve mix, plus presence.
7West Virginia MinersWVProspect League43-18
SUMMARY: Miners get dominant pitching, post best season record in Prospect League, sweep to league title with three straight playoff wins. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Jake Johansen (Dallas Baptist) has size (6-6, 230), big fastball (sits at 93-94, peaks at 97), still working on becoming a complete pitcher.
8Yarmouth-Dennis Red SoxMACape Cod League30-21
SUMMARY: Second in Eastern Division, Y-D watches playoff title hopes evaporate vs. Wareham in dramatic last-ditch power onslaught. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Aaron Blair (Marshall) topped Cape in wins, ERA (6-0, 1.17); has solid command of 3-pitch mix with fastball at 91-92.
9Baltimore RedbirdsMDCal Ripken Sr League31-13
SUMMARY: Redbirds end 3-year reign of Bethesda Big Train as Ripken champs; win league title with three straight convincing playoff wins. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Chris Ellis (Mississippi) has significant upside in 6-5 frame; fastball ranges from 92-96, has tight spin on curve.
10Harwich MarinersMACape Cod League27-18
SUMMARY: Nation's No. 1 summer league for most of 2012/defending Cape League champion eliminated by Orleans in first round of playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: OF Austin Wilson (Stanford) has rare combination of superior athletic ability, huge raw power, imposing RF arm strength.
11East Texas PumpjacksTXTexas Collegiate League41-22
SUMMARY: Pump Jacks in first all but five days of TCL season, overcome late-season slump to capture first league championship. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Jason Jester (Texas A&M) has explosive arm in small frame with 94-97 FB; saved league record 20 games on summer.
12Wareham GatemanMACape Cod League27-24
SUMMARY: Two games under .500 in regular season, Gatemen cap 6-1 playoff run with dramatic late-inning power surge in clinching win. TOP PROSPECT: OF Tyler Horan (Virginia Tech) has explosive power to all fields, hit 16 homers (plus 2 in playoffs) to tie Cape wood-bat season record.
13Harrisonburg TurksVAValley League34-18
SUMMARY: Winchester, Waynesboro dominate Valley League during regular season, but pitching-rich Turks upend both in playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Dillon Ortman (Auburn) went 7-2, 2.26 for league champs, had solid command of 3-pitch mix, including plus 12-6 curve.
14Licking County SettlersOHGreat Lakes League29-16
SUMMARY: Settlers get hot at right time, share GLL regular-season title with Cincinnati and Lima, beat out both in league playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: OF Ryan Cordell (Liberty) was late arrival, but quickly showcased impressive athleticism, projectable frame, power, 6.5 speed.
15Edenton SteamersNCCoastal Plain League39-19
SUMMARY: Steamers post best record in CPL for second straight season, but again fall short in playoffs; bounced by Columbia in semis. TOP PROSPECT: OF Michael Camporeale (Washington) had a breakout summer; flashed surprising power/speed package, top offensive performer in CPL.
16Keene Swamp BatsNHNew England Collegiate League31-15
SUMMARY: Bats win West title but fail to repeat as NECBL champs, lose two straight in semi-finals to division rival Danbury. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Artie Lewicki (Virginia) flashed huge raw stuff (FB at 93-94, top at 96; plus breaking ball) before hurting elbow, leaving league.
17Winchester RoyalsVAValley League36-16
SUMMARY: Most explosive offensive team in league history surprisingly held in check by Harrisonburg in Valley playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: 3B Jimmy Yezzo (Delaware) hit .362-16-62, flashed big raw power to all fields, made strides defensively on hot corner.
18Anchorage Glacier PilotsAKAlaska League27-19
SUMMARY: Pilots (26-14 in league play) surge easily to Alaska League title, overcome slow start vs non-league teams that pales overall record. TOP PROSPECT: OF Tyler Spoon (Arkansas) was red-shirted in spring, led Alaska League in homers on summer; has legit power to all fields.
19Columbia BlowfishSelCoastal Plain League39-24
SUMMARY: Blowfish take down Edenton, CPL's best team, in semi-finals, move on to beat 2-seed Fayetteville in Petitt Cup final. TOP PROSPECT: LHP J.D. Osborne (Wofford) intriguing with 6-7 frame, gets plenty of run on FB from unconventional three-quarters slot.
20Mankato MoonDogsMNNorthwoods League44-30
SUMMARY: MoonDogs burst out to big first half, struggle in second half, no match for surging La Crosse in NWL playoff final. TOP PROSPECT: OF J.M. Twitchell (Texas-Arlington) had one of the best bats in NWL; has good approach at plate, solid line-drive swing.
21Corvallis KnightsORWest Coast League35-24
SUMMARY: Knights continue mastery of WCL's Western Division, but fall in Game 3 of final playoff series to defending champ Wenatchee. TOP PROSPECT: C Austin Barr (Stanford) contributed marginally as HS talent to team's success (.294-2-18), has intriguing upside at bat, work to do defensively.
22Orleans FirebirdsMACape Cod League24-24
SUMMARY: Just 22-22 in Cape regular season, Firebirds dismantle East champ Harwich in two straight playoff wins, fall to Y-D in semis. TOP PROSPECT: 1B Conrad Gregor (Vanderbilt) a top prospect with big lefthanded power, sound hitting tools, excellent plate discipline.
23Palm Springs PowerCASouthern California Collegiate League42-7
SUMMARY: Power (41-4 in 2011) again achieves fewer losses than any summer team while sweeping to second straight SCCBL title. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Matt Anderson (Long Beach State) went 4-1, 1.50 (42 IP, 7 BB/56 SO) with FB that peaked at 95; signed as free agent with Mariners.
24San Luis Obispo BluesCACalifornia Collegiate League36-18
SUMMARY: Blues edge No. 4 Santa Barbara for CCL title, but injury-riddled club stubs toe badly in NBC World Series, winning just one game. TOP PROSPECT: RHP/C Daniel Mengden (Texas A&M) was dominant on mound (94-95), behind the plate (plus power) before shut down with injury.
25Fayetteville SwampdogsNCCoastal Plain League39-23
SUMMARY: Swampdogs convincingly win first two CPL playoff series, but fall in three games to Columbia with league title on line. TOP PROSPECT: SS Reed Harper (Austin Peay State) went undrafted in June, but flashed solid power, speed, fielding tools all summer.
26Nashua Silver KnightsNHFutures League43-13
SUMMARY: Knights handily win regular-season title, go unbeaten in four playoff games to convincingly capture second-year league crown. TOP PROSPECT: 1B Chris Shaw (Boston College), a rising college freshman, has impressive raw power, hitting skills in 6-4/235 frame.
27Wisconsin WoodchucksSelNorthwoods League43-29
SUMMARY: Woodchucks open NWL's South Division second half with 25-3 record, but promptly lose 8 of 9, exit quickly from playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: RHP/3B J.D. Davis (Cal State Fullerton) is an exceptional two-way talent with light-tower power, 94-mph fastball.
28Terre Haute RexINProspect League37-23
SUMMARY: Rex take charge of Prospect League in second half of season, but promptly lose to Dubois County in sudden-death playoff encounter. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Nick Blount (transferring from Tennessee to NAIA school) was dominant in closer role (12 SV) with 91-92 fastball that peaked at 96.
29Humboldt CrabsCAFar West League37-9
SUMMARY: Long-time northern California summer power sweeps convincingly to second straight Far West regular-season title, playoff crown. TOP PROSPECT: OF Bradley Zimmer (San Francisco) has huge arm, superior athletic ability; better prospect than brother Kyle (fifth pick in 2012 draft) at same stage.
30Rockville ExpressSelCal Ripken Sr League30-13
SUMMARY: Express were surprise winners of Cal Ripken regular season race, but fail to win a game in league playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Dominic Vattuone (UNC Wilmington) not viewed as premium arm, but FB will touch low-90s, gets outs with splitter/change.
31Brazos Valley BombersTXTexas Collegiate League39-22
SUMMARY: Bombers win tight 3-way race with East Texas, Victoria for TCL regular-season title, lose in sudden-death semis to Victoria. TOP PROSPECT: C Braden Mattson (transferring from TCU to San Jacinto JC) has plus raw strength behind plate, topped TCL in RBIs.
32Hays LarksKSJayhawk League34-13
SUMMARY: Jayhawk champ loses NBC World Series opener, bounces back to win five straight, hand champ Santa Barbara its only loss. TOP PROSPECT: OF Austin Darby (Nebraska) has significant lefthanded power, commands the strike zone; solid right fielder with average speed.
33Willmar StingersMNNorthwoods League42-30
SUMMARY: Stingers win NWL North second-half title, drop playoff series in three games to first-half champ Mankato. TOP PROSPECT: 3B/SS Hunter Dozier (Stephen F. Austin) has impressive size (6-4, 210), impressive arm strength, raw power potential at plate.
34St. Joseph MustangsMOMINK League36-20
SUMMARY: Mustangs win MINK season, playoff titles, jump out to four straight wins at NBC World Series. TOP PROSPECT: 3B Seth Segovia (Missouri), a Texas JC transfer, demonstrated excellent skills in field, made significant strides at plate.
35Cincinnati SteamOHGreat Lakes League26-18
SUMMARY: Steam ended regular season in 3-way share of league lead, lose to Licking County in playoff final. TOP PROSPECT: 1B Jake Madsen (Ohio) was best overall hitter in GLL; has excellent approach at plate, sweet swing, developing power.
36Waynesboro GeneralsVAValley League34-15
SUMMARY: Generals easily win Valley South title, but pull up short in semis vs. surprising champ Harrisonburg. TOP PROSPECT: OF Julian Ridings (Western Carolina) hit .419-7-39, flashed all five tools, was catalyst at top of lineup with plus raw speed.
37DeLand SunsSelFlorida Collegiate League26-18
SUMMARY: Leesburg, Winter Park jockey for top spot in FCSL, but upstart DeLand the last team standing in league playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Mike Compton (Florida State) has arm strength, command of FB, plus breaking ball, advanced feel for pitching.
38San Diego ForceSelWest Coast League39-10
SUMMARY: Force wins fourth WBA title in five years, falls short of expectations in NBC World Series with 2-2 showing. TOP PROSPECT: 3B/OF Colby Everett (Northwestern) topped team in batting (.451-1-29), has intriguing offensive skills.
39Bellingham BellsSelWest Coast League33-24
SUMMARY: Bells finish close second to league champ Wenatchee in East, narrowly lose to Apple Sox in league playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: C Nate Causey (Arizona State) had best bat on team (.298-3-25), solid behind plate in all areas despite inexperience.
40Victoria GeneralsSelTexas Collegiate League38-24
SUMMARY: Generals lose three-team race for TCL regular-season title, drop deciding game of championship series to East Texas. TOP PROSPECT: 1B/3B Rudy Flores (Florida International) made big early impression with sweet LH swing before signing with D'backs.
41Madison MallardsWINorthwoods League39-31
SUMMARY: Mallards fail to qualify for NWL four-team playoff, make big push with 23-12 record in second half. TOP PROSPECT: OF Derek Fisher (Virginia) is a powerfully-built lefthanded hitter with big raw power; came on strong (.315-8-36) after slow start.
42Bethesda Big TrainMDCal Ripken Sr League27-18
SUMMARY: Last year's nationally No. 1-ranked team struggles to get untracked at start, fails to make up difference in league, playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: OF Hunter Renfroe (Mississippi State) has exceptional power, arm strength, may be pursued by scouts as catcher or pitcher.
43Anchorage BucsAKAlaska League25-22
SUMMARY: ABL's other Anchorage team finished only three games over .500, but tied for second in one of nation's most competitive leagues. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Braden Shipley (Nevada) was all-WAC as starter in spring, dominant in short role on summer with FB that peaked at 97.
44Danbury WesternersCTNew England Collegiate League27-21
SUMMARY: Westerners ouduel Keene in NECBL semi-final round, but no match for No. 1-ranked Newport in league final. TOP PROSPECT: SS Zach Shank (Marist) stood out with his huge arm, sound SS skills, ability to hit for both average and power.
45Glens Falls Golden EaglesNYPerfect Game Collegiate Baseball League29-22
SUMMARY: Eagles finish distant second to No. 3 Amsterdam in regular season, fall in two straight to Mohawks in final playoff round. TOP PROSPECT: IF Ross Kivett (Kansas State) hit .401, set league SB record (37) with 6.6 speed, thrives with superior intangibles.
46Leesburg LightningFLFlorida Collegiate League28-17
SUMMARY: Lightning wins hard-fought battle for regular-season supremacy, can't sustain pace in losing out to DeLand in playoff. TOP PROSPECT: C Erik Hindmon (Polk State, Fla., JC) contributed marginally at plate (.325-4-16), but excels in all aspects of catching.
47DuBois County BombersSelProspect League36-26
SUMMARY: Bombers qualify for playoffs on solid first-half showing, rally to reach league final against West Virginia. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Alex Britt (Carson-Newman, Tenn.) went 5-1, 1.85; has average stuff but threw four pitches for strikes.
48Dodge City A'sSelJayhawk League30-18
SUMMARY: Best team in club history finishes close second in Jayhawk League, makes solid run in NBC World Series. TOP PROSPECT: SS/OF Tim Anderson (East Central, Miss., JC) had little trouble adapting to faster competition; speed is best tools, flashed power.
49Regina Red SoxSKWestern Major League43-13
SUMMARY: Red Sox again easily compile best record in 11-team WMBL, repeat successful run in league championship series. TOP PROSPECT: RHP Daniel Jones (Brewton-Parker, Ga.) went 9-1, 1.34, pounded strike zone with three average pitches (FB, slider, change).
50Syracuse Jr. ChiefsSelNew York Collegiate League34-12
SUMMARY: Chiefs post best record in NYCBL, validate mark by sweeping impressively through league playoffs. TOP PROSPECT: SS Alex Sanchez (Ave Maria, Fla.) displayed solid skills in the field, especially soft hands; bat is a work in progress, modest speed.