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Summer Collegiate : : Story
Futures League Prospect Reports
Allan Simpson        
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012

Official League Website
Futures League top 20 prospects (list)
Perfect Game Summer Collegiate top prospect coverage

The Futures League took a leap of faith in 2011, when it began operating with four clubs in the backyard of the Cape Cod and New England Collegiate Leagues, two of the more established summer-college leagues in the country.

If there were doubts then about the future of the Futures League, those concerns all but dissipated in 2012 when the league expanded its ranks to nine clubs and the talent throughout the league improved exponentially. In fact, there wasn’t a summer league anywhere that showed as much improvement from one year to the next in all phases, with the possible exception of the New York-based Perfect Game Collegiate League, also in its second year.

The Futures League took root essentially because of the reluctance of the NECBL to bring on Nashua, N.H., and Martha’s Vineyard, located off the southern coast of Cape Cod, as expansion franchises, and the league boldly enticed two existing NECBL franchises, Old Orchard Beach and North Shore, to join the ranks in 2012. In addition, Pittsfield and Brockton switched allegiances from the independent Can-Am League.

Though the new league mandates that at least half of each teams’ rosters be filled with players with New England connections, that was not an apparent hindrance in the strides that were made this summer in attracting viable talent, and two of the league’s best talents were Massachusetts high-school stars Chris Shaw and Rhett Wiseman, rated the state’s two best prep prospects for the 2012 draft. In all, 11 of the 20 players on the accompanying list attended high school or college in New England.

Nashua won the league’s initial title in 2011, and its dominance this season was even more pronounced as the Silver Knights posted a 39-13 record in league play and swept convincingly through the league’s expanded four-team playoffs. Though the Knights made a conscious effort to expand their recruiting reach, almost every key member of this year’s championship team had New England roots.

FAST FACTS

Year League Established:
2011.
States Represented in League: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire.
No. of Teams in League: 9 (4 in 2011).
Regular-Season Champion: Nashua Silver Knights (39-13).
Post-Season Champion: Nashua Silver Knights.
Teams, PG CrossChecker Summer 50/Final Ranking: No. 26 Nashua Silver Knights.
First 2011 Player Selected, 2012 Draft: None selected.

Most Valuable Player:
Kevin Stenhouse, 1b/of, Seacoast Mavericks.
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Tyler Dierke, rhp, Torrington Titans.
Top Prospect (as selected by league): Chris Shaw, 1b, Nashua Silver Knights.

BATTING LEADERS

Batting Average:
Kevin Stenhouse, 1b/of, Seacoast Mavericks (.393).
Slugging Percentage: Conor Bierfeldt, of, Torrington Titans (.618).
On-Base Average: Kevin Stenhouse, 1b/of, Seacoast Mavericks (.495).
Home Runs: Jon Minucci, of, Nashua Silver Knights (13).
RBIs: Chris Shaw, 1b, Nashua Silver Knights (44).
Stolen Bases: Tad Gold, of, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks; Jordan Serena, if, Torrington Titans (27).

PITCHING LEADERS

Wins:
Tyler Dierke, rhp, Torrington Titans; Mike Bradstreet, rhp, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (7).
ERA: Tyler Dierke, rhp, Torrington Titans (0.61).
Saves: Cody Rocha, lhp, Nashua Silver Knights (9).
Strikeouts: Mike Bradstreet, rhp, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (59).

BEST TOOLS

Best Athlete:
Rhett Wiseman, of, Brockton Rocs
Best Hitter: Kevin Stenhouse, 1b/of, Seacoast Mavericks
Best Power: Chris Shaw, 1b, Nashua Silver Knights
Fastest Base Runner: Saige Jenco, of, Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide
Best Defensive Player: Rhett Wiseman, of, Brockton Rox
Best Velocity: Tyler Bashlor, rhp, Torrington Titans
Best Breaking Ball: Crayton Bare, lhp, North Shore Navigators
Best Command: Alex Palioca, rhp, Torrington Titans

TOP 20 PROSPECTS

1. COREY STUMP, lhp, North Shore Navigators (Florida/SO in 2013)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Though North Shore was technically an expansion franchise in the Futures League in 2012, the Navigators were an established team in the New England Collegiate League for years and simply tapped into their recruiting network to land a player of Stump’s stature. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound lefthander pitched sparingly as a freshman on a talent-laden Florida team, working just four innings in six relief appearances, and was obviously rusty when he debuted for the Navigators. His arm angle was inconsistent and his control wandered initially, but by the end of the season Stump had established a better release point and better mechanics generally, and went an acceptable 3-0, 2.20, while walking six and striking out 26 in 33 innings. He split time equally between the rotation and bullpen, while working mostly with just two pitches, a two-seam fastball at 88-91 mph with good movement, and a slider that had effective sweeping action against lefthanded hitters and cutting action on righthanders. Stump still needs to learn how to pitch and not be just a thrower, but that transition should come with experience. With his size and raw arm strength, he should also throw harder down the road, especially with physical maturity and continued tweaking of his mechanics. His opportunity to settle into a starting role at Florida, possibly as early as 2013, will hinge on his ability to develop his changeup, giving him an effective third pitch.


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