Summer Collegiate : : Story
Monday, September 16, 2013

Great Lakes Lg. prospect reports

Allan Simpson        
Photo: S&F Photography

Official League Website:
2013 Summer Collegiate Top Prospect coverage
Great Lakes League Top Prospect list (free)

Home run production dropped precipitously in summer-college leagues across the country from 2013 to 2012, notably in those leagues that use the Diamond baseball, but the downturn was most widespread in the Great Lakes League.

From 276 homers a year ago, the 10 GLL teams combined to hit just 58 this summer. The Stark County Terriers, who did not operate this season, led the way among individual clubs in 2012 by going deep 53 times; the regular-season champion Southern Ohio Copperheads led the way this year with just 10 long balls. The Xenia Scouts managed just a single homer.

While a tightening of quality-control standards of the Diamond ball to pre-2012 levels was the biggest reason for the downturn, dominant pitching this summer in the Great Lakes League may have contributed to the overwhelming drop in the league, where batting averages also fell off significantly from .277 to just .242. One coach in the league even called this year’s ball “soft” in comparison to some of the missiles that flew out of parks a year ago.

Pitching, appropriately, dominates the accompanying list of the top prospects in the Great Lakes League, including eight of the top 11 spots. That includes No. 1 prospect Ashton Perritt, who despite winning the batting title and earning all-star honors as an outfielder actually is perceived as having a higher professional upside on the mound, even as he worked in just six innings for the league champion Licking County Settlers. A 94-mph fastball at the league All-Star Game was enough to convince scouts that Perritt’s future likely will be as a pitcher.

For the second year in a row, Licking County won the league title as a No. 3 seed, though they actually forged a three-way tie atop the standings in 2012, and a tie for second this year, just a game off the lead. Perritt had two hits in a clinching 5-4 win over Lima, while righthander Scott Effross (Indiana), who had just two saves during the regular season, nailed down his third save of the post-season in the victory.


Year League Established:
States Represented in League: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio
No. of Teams in League: 10 (11 in 2011)
Regular-Season Champion (best overall record): Southern Ohio Copperheads (25-15)
Post-Season Champion: Licking County Settlers
Teams, Perfect Game Summer 50/Final Ranking: No. 22 Licking County Settlers
No. 1 Prospect, 2012 (per PG CrossChecker): Max Murphy, of, Stark County Terriers (Bradley; played in Northwoods League in 2013)
First 2012 Player Selected, 2013 Draft: Mark Marksberry, lhp, Hamilton Joe’s (Campbell/15th round, Braves)

Player of the Year:
Jesse Puscheck, 3b, Southern Ohio Copperheads (Canisius)
Pitcher of the Year: Matt Jefferson, lhp, Cincinnati Steam (Northern Kentucky)
Top Position Prospect (as selected by league): Ashton Perritt, of/rhp, Licking County Settlers (Liberty)
Top Pitching Prospect: Anthony Misiewicz, lhp, Southern Ohio Copperheads (Michigan State)

BATTING LEADERS (League games only)

Batting Average:
Ashton Perritt, of/rhp, Licking County Settlers (.356)
Slugging Percentage: Taylor Burch, of, Southern Ohio Copperheads (.476)
On-Base Average: Tyler Grogg, of, Lima Locos (.466)
Home Runs: Taylor Burch, of, Southern Ohio Copperheads; Brandon Kregel, of, Licking County Settlers (4)
RBI: Jesse Puscheck, 3b, Southern Ohio Copperheads (44)
Stolen Bases: Tyler Grogg, of, Lima Locos (44)

PITCHING LEADERS (League games only)

Tommy Kister, rhp, Xenia Scouts (6)
ERA: Matt Jefferson, lhp, Cincinnati Steam (0.65)
Saves: Michael Hanzlik, rhp, Cincinnati Steam (14)
Strikeouts: Matt Jefferson, lhp, Cincinnati Steam (40)


Best Athlete:
Ashton Perritt, rhp/of, Licking County Settlers
Best Hitter: Austin Crutcher, of, Dayton Docs
Best Power: Taylor Burch, of, Southern Ohio Copperheads
Fastest Base Runner: Ashton Perritt, rhp/of, Licking County Settlers; Tyler Grogg, of, Lima Locos
Best Defensive Player: Will Drake, of, Cincinnati Steam
Best Velocity: Ashton Perritt, rhp/of, Licking County Settlers
Best Breaking Ball: Anthony Miskiewicz, lhp, Southern Ohio Copperheads
Best Command: Justin McCalvin, rhp, Lima Locos


1. ASHTON PERRITT, rhp/of, Licking County Settlers (Liberty/JR in 2014)
Despite winning a batting title, earning all-star honors as an outfielder and being acknowledged as the league’s best everyday prospect, Perritt’s true calling may be as a pitcher. He worked in just six innings on the summer, but a lively fastball that was clocked at 94-95 mph in the league’s showcase event that accompanied the All-Star Game convinced scouts that his future may be on the mound—though he also holds considerable appeal as an outfield prospect with his ability to hit, hit with power and run the 60 in 6.4-6.5 seconds. The Indiana high-school product batted .356 on the summer and stole 12 bases in 13 attempts, and though he didn’t go deep even once, his raw power potential was evident in batting practice, and should evolve as he fills out his athletic 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. On the mound, Perritt didn’t flash a mid-90s fastball only with scouts in observance at the all-star festivities; he reached that velocity in a couple of regular-seasons encounters with plenty of life on his fastball, with a slider as an effective second pitch when he displayed his superior arm speed. But Perritt wasn’t always at his best on the summer as he was also clocked in the low-90s, and even dipped to the high-80s when he went through a bit of a dead-arm phase that stemmed from a heavy workload in the spring as a two-way player at Liberty, where he led the Flames with a .340 average, with 18 steals as an everyday right fielder, and also went 3-2, 2.09 with 10 saves in 22 appearances as the team’s primary closer. In 39 innings, he walked 13 and struck out 37. In his limited workload on the mound for Licking County, spread over four appearances, he went 0-0, 1.58 with two saves but had just a single strikeout. It is anticipated that Perritt will continue to play a major two-way role for Liberty as a junior, but his performance on the mound will be of utmost importance to scouts with the 2014 draft lurking.

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