Summer Collegiate : : Story
Thursday, September 26, 2013

PGCBL prospect reports

Hudson Belinsky        
Photo: Tom Maginelli

Contributing: Allan Simpson

Official League Website:
2013 Summer Collegiate Top Prospect coverage
Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League Top Prospect list (free)

Even as the Amsterdam Mohawks stumbled out of the gate this summer with a 3-7 record and brought up the rear much of the first half in the Perfect Game Collegiate League’s Eastern Division, it was premature to write off the team’s chances of capturing another league title.

Sure enough, the Mohawks gathered up a head of steam over the second half, losing only one of their final 16 regular-season games, and cruised into post-season play. From there, they won four of five playoff tilts, beating a stubborn Elmira team in the final, to capture their fourth championship in the last five years—including 2009 and 2010, in their final two years in the New York Collegiate League before joining the PGCBL as a charter member.

Under the astute direction of general manager Brian Spagnola and head coach Keith Griffin, who have been on board for all four titles, the Mohawks assembled another prospect-heavy squad this summer, with 12 players on the accompanying list of the league’s top 25 prospects. That’s in contrast to 2012, when Amsterdam had only seven players in the top 25, yet won the PGCBL title in more convincing fashion by going wire to wire with a club-record 39 wins.

The team never really got rolling until all hands were on deck after being burdened with early-season injuries and the late arrival of a number of key players from NCAA Division I teams involved in post-season play. Just three players returned from Amsterdam’s 2012 championship team.

In each of the last two seasons, the top league’s top two prospects were Mohawks pitchers. Last year, Southeastern Conference underclassmen Rocky McCord (Auburn) and Chandler Shepherd (Kentucky) occupied the top two spots; this summer, electric reliever Mike Urbanski (Binghamton) and lanky starter Trey Wingenter (Auburn) established themselves as the prospects for scouts to keep closest tabs on going forward.


Year League Established:
States Represented in League: New York
No. of Teams in League: 10 (9 in 2012)
Regular-Season Champion (best overall record): Amsterdam Mohawks (31-16-1; 45-18 overall)
Post-Season Champion: Amsterdam Mohawks
Teams, Perfect Game Summer 50/Final Ranking: No. 9 Amsterdam Mohawks
No. 1 Prospect, 2012 (per PG CrossChecker): Rocky McCord, rhp, Amsterdam Mohawks (Auburn; played in Cape Cod League in 2013)
First 2012 Player Selected, 2013 Draft: Nic Pivetta, rhp, Glens Falls Golden Eagles (New Mexico JC; Nationals/4th round)

Player of the Year:
John Nogowski, 1b, Amsterdam Mohawks (Florida State)
Pitcher of the Year: Eann Cox, rhp, Cooperstown Hawkeyes (Lewis, Ill.)
Top Prospect (as selected by league): None selected


Batting Average:
Michael Pierson, 2b, Utica Brewers (.404)
Slugging Percentage: Dylan Smith, dh/1b, Amsterdam Mohawks (.556)
On-Base Average: John Nogowski, 1b, Amsterdam Mohawks (.497)
Home Runs: Luke Emling, of, Adirondack Trail Blazers (10)
RBI: Landon Thibodeaux, of, Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs; Dylan Smith, dh/1b, Amsterdam Mohawks (34)
Stolen Bases: Dalton Herrington, of, Mohawks Valley Diamond Dawgs (34)


Three tied at 6
ERA: Dylan Collett, lhp, Elmira Pioneers (1.71)
Saves: Donald Frew, rhp, Newark Pilots (6)
Strikeouts: Eann Cox, rhp, Cooperstown Hawkeyes (64)


Best Athlete:
Josh Anderson, 3b, Glens Falls Golden Eagles
Best Hitter: Kyle Barrett, of, Amsterdam Mohawks
Best Power: Dylan Smith, dh/1b, Amsterdam Mohawks; Matt Dacey, 1b, Albany Dutchmen
Fastest Base Runner: Joe Moroney, of, Watertown Rams
Best Defensive Player: Mike Fischer, c, Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs; John Nogowski, 1b, Amsterdam Mohawks
Best Velocity: Mike Urbanski, rhp, Amsterdam Mohawks
Best Breaking Ball: Mike Urbanski, rhp, Amsterdam Mohawks
Best Command: Mike Urbanski, rhp, Amsterdam Mohawks


1. MIKE URBANSKI, rhp, Amsterdam Mohawks (Binghamton/JR in 2014)
Statistically speaking, Urbanski’s sophomore year at Binghamton didn't stand out; he posted a 2-1, 4.74 record over 19 innings out of the bullpen. But the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Urbanski came on strong towards the end of the season, and closed out his club’s America East Conference championship-clinching win against Maine with one of his two saves. Given a chance to work on a regular basis as a closer during the summer with the Mohawks, his game took off. His fastball quickly spiked to 92-94 mph, peaking at 95, and his slider became a dominant second pitch. Additionally, he learned to command both pitches with precision, the result of a subtle adjustment to his delivery and corresponding decision to work only from the stretch position. Over a sequence of six straight appearances, he retired 27 batters in a row. That streak ended when he gave up a hit that cost his team a game, though he inherited both runners that scored. He also allowed three ninth-inning runs (all unearned) in Amsterdam’s 7-3 win over Elmira in the third and deciding game of the league championship series, but fittingly was on the mound when the Mohawks clinched the title. In 30 regular-season innings on the summer, spread over 18 appearances, he went 5-2, 2.67 with four saves, while also walking just six and striking out 40. If he can repeat his performance, or even come close to duplicating it as a junior at Binghamton, Urbanski could be one of the first college closers drafted, possibly as early as the second or third round.

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