Summer Collegiate : : Story
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Far West League prospect reports

Allan Simpson        
Photo: Michael Emery

Official League Website:
2013 Summer Collegiate Top Prospect coverage
Far West League Top Prospect list (free)

Just when it appeared the Far West League was about to bring order to the vast collection of summer-college teams in northern California, and become the elite league in the region, the eight-team alliance was suddenly torn apart at the seams by the defection of two one-and-done teams that helped to significantly raise the league’s profile in 2013.

Petaluma-based Top Speed Baseball, which has an enviable track record of success in its brief, but nomadic existence and narrowly missed out on a Far West League title in its first and only year in the league, and the California Warriors, who fielded a competitive team with a number of elite-level high-school prospects, both defected to the year-old Golden State Collegiate League at the conclusion of the season, pulling up stakes after just a single season.

Even as Top Speed and the Warriors injected new blood in the league, and otherwise factored prominently into the accompanying list of the league’s top prospects, it was one of the old guard, the Arcata-based Humboldt Crabs, who were left standing again at league’s end. The Crabs rallied with three straight wins in the league’s post-season tournament, subduing Top Speed twice on the final day, to capture their third championship in the league’s brief three-year existence.

The Crabs have been the standard bearer for summer baseball in northern California—if not the entire West Coast—for years, and recently completed their 69
th season of operation They’ll remain the flagship franchise in the Far West League going forward, with the likelihood that the league will be re-tooled with six clubs.


Year League Established:
States Represented in League: California
No. of Teams in League: 8
Regular-Season Champion (best overall record): Humboldt Crabs (25-8; 42-14 overall)
Post-Season Champion: Humboldt Crabs
Teams, Perfect Game Summer 50/Final Ranking: No. 26 Humboldt Crabs, No. 36 Top Speed Baseball
No. 1 Prospect, 2012 (per PG CrossChecker): Brad Zimmer, of, Humboldt Crabs (San Francisco; played for Team USA college-national team, Cotuit/Cape Cod League in 2013)
First 2012 Player Selected, 2013 Draft: Grant Nelson, c, Menlo Park Legends (Saint Louis; Diamondbacks/9th round)

Most Valuable Player:
Tyler Mautner, 3b, Top Speed Baseball (Buffalo)
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Chad Hodges, rhp, Humboldt Crabs (North Dakota State)

BATTING LEADERS (league games only)

Batting Average:
Tyler Mautner, 3b, Top Speed Baseball (.389)
Slugging Percentage: Tyler Mautner, 3b, Top Speed Baseball (.690)
On-Base Average: Sergio Sanchez, 3b/c, Humboldt Crabs (.465)
Home Runs: Tyler Mautner, 3b, Top Speed Baseball (8)
RBIs: Tyler Mautner, 3b, Top Speed Baseball (33)
Stolen Bases: Aaron Knapp, of, California Warriors (13)

PITCHING LEADERS (league games only)

Adam Cline, rhp, Top Speed Baseball; Chad Hodges, rhp, Humboldt Crabs (6)
ERA: Thomas Peterson, rhp, California Warriors (1.55)
Saves: Matt Davis, rhp, Top Speed Baseball (5)
Strikeouts: Adam Cline, rhp, Top Speed Baseball (48)


Best Athlete:
Michael Peterson, rhp, California Warriors
Best Hitter: Francis Christy, c, California Warriors
Best Power: Tyler Mautner, 3b, Top Speed Baseball
Fastest Base Runner: Aaron Knapp, of, California Warriors
Best Defensive Player: Jonathan Hovis, 3b/ss, Redding Colt 45s
Best Velocity: Tyler Cyr, rhp, Top Speed Baseball
Best Breaking Ball: Matt Krook, lhp, California Warriors
Best Command: David Hearne, rhp, Reddimng Colt 45s


1. MATT KROOK, lhp, California Warriors (Oregon/FR in 2014)
Krook's stock soared as a lefthanded pitching prospect at a California high school through the spring like almost no player in the 2013 draft, but unfortunately he failed his physical in late June and went unsigned by the Miami Marlins, who had selected him with a supplemental first-round pick. Krook had initially agreed to terms on a contract that was to provide a $1.6 million bonus. Rather than agree to a reduced bonus offer of $600,000 from the team, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound lefthander elected to not sign, and turn his attention to playing in college at Oregon. In the interim, he agreed to pitch for the Warriors, a team with several other recent high school graduates. The Warriors were overly cautious in their use of Krook, never allowing him to throw more than 30 pitches in any outing, and though he ended up working in only four innings overall on the summer, he was everything as advertised to those who saw him. He flashed a solid three-pitch mix, and his stuff was electric when his delivery was in sync, though he struggled to throw consistent strikes. Krook’s fastball routinely touched 95 mph in the weeks leading up to the draft, though he typically worked in the 91-93 range for the Warriors, while combining it with a dominant 12-to-6 curve in the low-80s. His changeup is still a relatively new pitch, and will be a key in his development as a starting pitcher, though he clearly has the size, athleticism and raw stuff to emerge as a front-of-the-rotation starter.

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