Record-Setting 2012 Season, Offensive
Numbers Take Big Hit
sample size is admittedly small—roughly the first week of the 2013
season—but it has become evident already that offense is back to
normal in those summer-college leagues around the country that
experienced a significant surge in home-run production a year ago.
fact, it may be even less than experienced in 2011, if numbers to
date are any indication.
Cape Cod League, the nation’s highest-profile summer league,
witnessed a significant uptick in offense a year ago, stemming
ostensibly from a lack of quality control in the league’s Diamond
Baseball. A total of 384 home runs were hit in 220 regular-season
games a year ago by Cape League batters—more than double (159) the
number of long balls from the same number of games in 2011.
Predictably, earned run averages league-wide jumped from 3.31 to
the first 22 games on the Cape this summer, just eight home runs had
been hit. Moreover, the league ERA stood at 2.66.
same kind of offensive re-trenching has taken place in other summer
leagues that use the Diamond ball.
the Florida Collegiate League, which saw a surge in home-run
production from 34 in 118 games in 2011 to 158 in 120 games in 2012,
the number hit through 26 games this season was just 12. The
league-wide ERA in that league swelled from 3.86 two years ago to
5.00 last season, and has reverted to an overall 3.55 mark to date.
New England Collegiate League has witnessed the same roller-coaster
ride in offensive production. After spiking to 451 homers in 206
games in 2012, with a corresponding 5.23 ERA, the NECBL has seen a
mere 19 homers in 41 games this season, along with a collective 3.16
ERA—numbers that were more in line with 2011.
10 summer leagues use the Diamond ball, and the across-the-board
aberration in offensive numbers a year ago was blamed on a harder
inner core, which caused balls to jump off bats and travel greater
distances. Diamond officials went to great measures after the 2012
season to assure that the texture of the ball would be the same this
summer as in past years, and it appears that goal has been
accomplished—at least, if the early returns are any indication.
Begins 2013 Season at No. 1
Chatham Anglers have appeared in more championship series (14) that
any Cape Cod League team in the last 50 years, but haven’t posted a
winning record in the league since 2007. Could this year’s team end
Anglers opened the 2013 season with five straight wins, and not only
moved to the top of the Cape standings after the first week of play
but have been installed as the No. 1 team in Perfect Game’s first
ranking of the nation’s top 30 summer-league clubs.
not only has the best hitting team in the Cape to date, with a .281
team average (vs. .227 by its closest competitor), but the three
pitchers who have secured their first five wins haven’t given up a
run between them. Boston College lefthander Andrew Chin and Monmouth
lefthander Andrew McGee were both 2-0, while USC-Upstate righthander
Chad Sobotka was 1-0. Between them, they had tossed 16 scoreless
their hot start, the Anglers hope to avoid the same fate as a year
ago, when they started out 4-1 and were ranked No. 4 in PG’s
initial ranking of the 2012 season, only to go into a tailspin and
finish the season at 21-21-2.
the very unpredictable nature of summer baseball, it often takes time
for the nation’s top teams to establish themselves and move to the
forefront of Perfect Game’s weekly ranking of the top clubs. Teams
in the Cape Cod League, in particular, can be at an early-season
disadvantage as they wait for all their players to arrive—mainly
off the top college clubs that are appearing in the College World
Series, This year’s series isn’t scheduled to conclude until June
committed to Cape Cod League teams are always prime targets, as well,
for USA Baseball’s college-national team, and Cape teams are often
forced to scramble at the last minute to find replacements. Two of
the top college prospects for the 2014 draft, Vanderbilt righthander
Tyler Beede and Louisville righthander Nick Burdi, were earmarked for
Cotuit and Chatham, respectively, this summer before Team USA came
total of five teams from the Cape Cod League, easily the nation’s
oldest and most-prestigious summer-college league, occupy spots in
Perfect Game’s first Top 30 Ranking, and conceivably more teams
from that league could be ranked, except that a team must have at
least a .500 record overall to receive consideration. As it is,
Chatham at No. 1, Cotuit (4-1) at No. 3 and Hyannis (3-0) at No. 6
have cracked the top 10.
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.