Summer Collegiate : : Story
Thursday, September 01, 2011

Southern Lg. prospect reports

Allan Simpson        
Photo: Bethune-Cookman

Official League Website

League Strength: **

Southern Collegiate League top 10 prospects (list)

With an easy first-place finish in the Eastern Division in the bag, along with easily the most-talented team in the Southern Collegiate League, the Lake Norman Copperheads appeared primed to walk away with a second straight league title in 2011. But those hopes were dashed when the Copperheads lost a sudden-death divisional playoff to the expansion Pineville Pioneers.

The Pioneers then went on to win the league title by beating the Western Division champion Morganton Aggies in a best-of-3 final.

Lake Norman (29-14) not only dominated the regular season in the SCL, but dominates the accompanying list of the league’s 10 best prospects, which includes easily the two best talents in the eight-team circuit in outfielders Nolan Gaige, who hit .459 and topped the league by a wide margin in batting, and David Lee, who hit .363 and was the league’s top run producer. Long-time observers say that both players rank among the best prospects ever to play in the 13-year-old league.


Year League Established:
States Represented in League: North Carolina, South Carolina.
No. of Teams in League: 8.
Regular-Season Champions: East—Lake Norman Copperheads; West—Morganton Aggies.
Post-Season Champion: Pineville Pioneers.
Teams, PG CrossChecker Summer 50/Final Ranking: None.
No. 1 Prospect, 2010: Tyler Horan, of, Lake Norman Copperheads (Virginia Tech; played in New England Collegiate League in 2011).
First 2010 Player Selected, 2011 Draft: Andrew Rash, of, Statesville Owls (Virginia Tech; Padres/36th round).

Most Valuable Player:
None selected.
Most Outstanding Pitcher: None selected.
Top Prospect (as selected by league): None selected.


Batting Average:
Nolan Gaige, of, Lake Norman Copperheads (.459).
Slugging Percentage: Luke Clements, of, Carolina Chaos (.663).
On-Base Average: Nolan Gaige, of, Lake Norman Copperheads (.557).
Home Runs: Garrett Furr, rhp, Morganton Aggies (5).
RBIs: David Lee, of, Lake Norman Copperheads (38).
Stolen Bases: Preston Troutman, of, Pineville Pioneers (18).


Vince Voorhees, lhp, Carolina Chaos (5).
ERA: Scott Elitzky, lhp, Morganton Aggies (1.53).
Saves: Braxton Lewis, rhp, Morganton Aggies (7).
Strikeouts: Derek Fulmer, lhp, Carolina Chaos (45).


Best Athlete:
David Lee, of, Lake Norman Copperheads.
Best Hitter: Nolan Gaige, of, Lake Norman Copperheads.
Best Power: David Lee, of, Lake Norman Copperheads.
Fastest Base Runner: Nolan Gaige, of, Lake Norman Copperheads.
Best Defensive Player: Tyler Tewell, c, Pineville Pioneers.
Best Velocity: Brock Hudgens, rhp, Statesville Owls.
Best Breaking Ball: Tyler Herb, rhp, Lake Norman Copperheads.
Best Command: Tyler Herb, rhp, Lake Norman Copperheads.


1. DAVID LEE, of, Lake Norman Copperheads (Bethune-Cookman/JR in 2012)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Lee is possibly the closest thing to a five-tool talent that the SCL has seen in its 13-year history. He has a chiseled 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame that is ready-made for the pro game, and all his tools play to varying degrees, though he has a long way to go in his overall development after playing sparingly for Bethune-Cookman as a sophomore. In 49 at-bats, he hit just .163-0-2 with 20 strikeouts. Given a chance to play every day this summer, Lee responded by topping the league with 38 RBIs, while hitting .363 with four homers. He has impressive raw power, and routinely took a big hack at anything thrown his way until there were two strikes on him. He then consciously shortened his swing and made a concerted effort to use the whole field. He also made good adjustments from at-bat to at-bat. While Lee significantly curbed his strikeouts pace from the spring, he’ll still need better pitch selection going forward. He spent most of the summer in right field for the Copperheads while the faster Gaige patrolled center, but Lee has the speed (6.68 in the 60) and defensive skills to play center down the road. He also has the superior arm of the two.

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