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Summer Collegiate  | Rankings  | 9/30/2022

Cal Ripken League Top Prospect List

Peter Harding     
Photo: Nicholas Del Prado (FAU Athletics)

Year Established: 2005
States Represented: Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C.
No. of Teams: 7
Regular Season Champion (best overall record): Alexandria Aces (26-10)
Postseason Champion: Alexandria Aces
No. 1 Prospect, 2021: Grayson Hitt, Bethesda Big Train
First 2021 Player Selected, 2022 Draft: Blake Burkhalter, RHP, (Auburn; Braves, 2nd Round)
Player of the Year: Eddie Hacopian, Alexandria Aces (Maryland)
Pitcher of the Year: Nicholas Del Prado, Bethesda Big Train (Florida Atlantic)

The Alexandria Aces took home their first Cal Ripken League championship in team history, dethroning the Bethesda Big Train. Ending the regular season on a seven-game winning streak, the Aces rolled through the playoffs taking two from the South Braves, outscoring them 16-6 before taking on the Big Train in a rematch of the 2021 league championship series. It truly was a banner year for skipper Chris Berset, as not only was this the Aces first CRCBL championship but the Aces earned their first regular season title with a 26-10 record. With nine all-league selections, the Aces also sent eight representatives to the CRCBL’s all-star game, another first in the organization’s history. Leading the league in average (.305), on-base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.437), home runs (24), doubles (65), RBI’s (254), and total bases (507), the Aces offense was a juggernaut throughout the summer with six guys hitter over .300.

Local product Eddie Hacopian anchored the Aces lineup, taking home the league's Offensive Player of the Year award as he would hit .372 in 121 at-bats with 3 homers, 13 doubles, 32 runs batted in, 12 stolen bases, and 45 total knocks. The incoming Maryland transfer should make an immediate impact for the Terps, sliding into a lineup that put up historical numbers and was one of the most dangerous in the Big Ten. Florida Atlantic’s Nicholas Del Prado took home the league’s Pitcher of the Year award, compiling a 3-0 record and a save in 8 appearances for the Big Train. Virtually unhittable, Del Prado boasted a 0.69 ERA, allowing only 8 hits and 2 earned runs during the regular season, racking up 37 punchouts in 26 innings of work.

Nine CRCBL albums were selected in the 2022 MLB Draft with the most recent alum being Blake Burkhalter, who was taken in the second round by the Atlanta Braves. Following his summer with the Alexandria Aces last year, Burkhalter would go on to have himself a fantastic year at Auburn. Earning Second Team All-American honors, Auburn’s first relief pitcher to earn All-American honors since 2005, Burkhalter would make 30 appearances with 16 saves in 46 1/3 innings with 71 strikeouts.

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