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Summer Collegiate | Story | 9/12/2011

PG League prospect reports

Patrick Ebert     
Photo: Watertown Wizards

Official League Website

League Strength: **

Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League top 30 prospects (list)

Seven of the eight teams that played during the inaugural season of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League this summer broke away from the New York Collegiate Baseball League. The eighth team, the expansion Newark Pilots, won the first-ever PGCBL championship.

The Amsterdam Mohawks, who won NYCBL championships in 2009 and 2010 and lost out to Newark in the league final, boasted most of the league's best talent, with 11 players listed among the league's top 30 prospects. That talent enabled Amsterdam to post the second-best regular-season record (30-17) and advance to the championship series before falling to a surging Newark team, two games to one.

Glens Falls (31-17) had the best regular-season record, but fell to Amsterdam in the first round of the playoffs. The Golden Eagles had three prospects among the top 10, and five overall in the top 30, led by Yavapai (Ariz.) JC third baseman Josh Anderson, who led the league in slugging percentage (.676) and was a solid choice as the league's second-best prospect.

The top prospect was Campbell senior outfielder Erick Gaylord, who made the most of his expanded playing time this summer by being named the league's Player of the Year.

Gaylord played sparingly in the spring at Campbell, but finished first in the PGCBL in home runs (10), RBIs (42) and total bases (100); was second in hits (58) runs (42) and stolen bases (21); and fourth in batting (.360). Much of his power production came in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, when he slammed four home runs in one game, six homers over the course of two days and added another in the all-star contest.

Newark claimed the championship on the strength of one of the better starting staffs in the league, with three pitchers listed on the league's top prospect list. Righthander Dominick Ruscitti, who was named the PGCBL's pitcher of the year, led the circuit in wins (6) and ERA (1.82). Fellow righthander Carson Beauchaine finished second in strikeouts (60) and third in ERA (2.00), while lefthander Justin D'Amato finished fourth in strikeouts (52). All three pitched well, despite coming from NCAA Division II or III programs.

As good as that trio was for the Pilots, the overall the pitching in the PGCBL’s inaugural season was considered down across the league, at least relative to what coaches and scouts had seen while still a part of the New York Collegiate Baseball League in 2010.


Year League Established:
States Represented in League: New York.
No. of Teams in League: 8.
Regular-Season Champion / best overall record: Glens Falls Golden Eagles (31-17).
Post-Season Champion: Newark Pilots.
Teams, PG CrossChecker Summer 50/Final Ranking: No. 29 Newark Pilots, No. 37 Amsterdam Mohawks, No. 49 Glens Falls Golden Eagles.

Player of the Year:
Erick Gaylord, of, Watertown Wizards.
Pitcher of the Year: Dominick Ruscitti, rhp, Newark Pilots.

BATTING LEADERS (League games only)

Batting Average:
Bryan Aanderud, 3b, Cooperstown Hawkeyes (.379).
Slugging Percentage: Josh Anderson, 3b, Glens Falls Golden Eagles (.676).
On-Base Average: Danny Nelson, of, Cooperstown Hawkeyes (.455).
Home Runs: Erick Gaylord, of, Watertown Wizards (10).
RBIs: Erick Gaylord, of, Watertown Wizards (42).
Stolen Bases: Michael Bolling, of, Newark Pilots (22).

PITCHING LEADERS (League games only)

Dominick Ruscitti, rhp, Newark Pilots (6).
ERA: Dominick Ruscitti, rhp, Newark Pilots (1.82).
Saves: Mark Scott, rhp, Newark Pilots (11).
Strikeouts: Mark Leiter, rhp, Amsterdam Mohawks (74).


Best Athlete:
Erick Gaylord, of, Watertown Wizards.
Best Hitter: Josh Anderson, 3b, Glens Falls Golden Eagles.
Best Power: Josh Anderson, 3b, Glens Falls Golden Eagles.
Fastest Base Runner: Erick Gaylord, of, Watertown Wizards.
Best Defensive Player: DeMarcus Henderson, 2b, Amsterdam Mohawks.
Best Velocity: Jimmy Dykstra, rhp, Amsterdam Mohawks.
Best Breaking Ball: Parker Ray, rhp, Cooperstown Hawkeyes.
Best Command: Dominick Ruscitti, rhp, Newark Pilots.


1. ERICK GAYLORD, of, Watertown Wizards (Campbell/SR in 2012)
SCOUTING PROFILE: Gaylord was a near-unanimous choice among coaches as the league’s No. 1 prospect after hitting a resounding .360-10-42 for the Wizards. His fourth-place finish in the batting race kept him from winning a league triple crown. Gaylord hit just .177 in 62 at-bats as a junior at Campbell, and obviously made the most of his opportunity to play every day this summer. Not only did he sting the ball at a steady clip, but he was somewhat of a revelation in center field. He had played third base more than the outfield prior to this summer, and yet displayed plus range, solid instincts and a very strong arm in center. While Gaylord is somewhat small in stature at 5-foot-10 and 175-pounds, he is unusually strong and his tools play much bigger than his size. With quick hands and a compact swing, he had very good bat speed that enabled him to lead the league in home runs. He also showed the ability to make adjustments at the plate from one at-bat to the next, and improved dramatically over the course of the summer in his overall plate approach, though still struggles to recognize off-speed stuff. His superior speed also enabled him to steal 21 bases, one off the league lead. Gaylord’s status as a legit prospect remains somewhat up in the air as he begins his senior year at Campbell. He doesn’t have a track record of success at the college level or the prototypical big-league body type, but he should go a long way to improving his draft standing for 2012 if he can carry over his success from this summer into next spring.

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