Summer Collegiate : : Story
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

N.Y. League prospect reports

Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Kris J. Murante - Democrat and Chronicle

Official League Website

League Strength: **

New York Collegiate League top 15 prospects (list)

The New York Collegiate Baseball League saw significant change from 2010 to 2011. Only seven of the 14 teams that played in the league last year remained: the Allegany County Nitros, Alfred Thunder, Geneva Redwings, Hornell Dodgers, Niagara Power, Oneonta Outlaws and Webster Yankees.

Most of the change was dictated when the other seven teams (Albany, Amsterdam, Cooperstown, Elmira, Glens Falls, Mohawk Valley and Watertown) broke away to form their own league in up-state New York, the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. In the past, most of the best talent in the NYCBL was found on those clubs.

Most of the league’s potential professional talent this summer was concentrated on four teams: Geneva, Oneonta, Utica and Webster. The Oneonta Outlaws, who joined the league in 2010, were particularly loaded, and their talent was evident as they defeated the Webster Yankees in the league championship after knocking out a similarly-loaded Utica Brewers team (new to the league in 2011) in the Eastern Division finals.

Oneonta, which hosted the league's all-star game, not only had the best team on the field, but also blew every other organization away at the turnstiles, drawing more than 1,500 fans per game, while no other team averaged much more than 300.

Local high school star Chris Bostick (Aquinas Institute, Rochester) of the Webster Yankees was the near-unanimous favorite for the league's top prospect. A 44th-round pick of the Oakland A's in this year’s draft, Bostick signed in late July, in the process spurning an opportunity to play for St. John's University, where he likely would have been counted on to replace some of the productivity of first-round draft pick Joe Panik, who signed with the San Francisco Giants.

With long, wiry-strong limbs, good bat speed and game-changing speed, Bostick has exciting offensive tools across the board. He was leading the league in hitting prior to signing, and finished second at season's end. He was the league leader in on-base and slugging percentage.

FAST FACTS

Year League Established:
1978.
States Represented in League: New York.
Level of Competition (1-to-4 Scale, 1 being highest): 2.
No. of Teams in League: 12 (14 in 2010).
Regular-Season Champion / best overall record: Utica Brewers (32-12).
Post-Season Champion: Oneonta Outlaws.
Teams, PG CrossChecker Summer 30/Final Ranking: No. 27 Oneonta Outlaws.
No. 1 Prospect, 2010 (per PG CrossChecker): Mel Rojas Jr., of, Amsterdam Mohawks (Pittsburgh Pirates/West Virginia Power in 2011).
First 2010 Player Selected, 2011 Draft: Taylor Lewis, of, Amsterdam Mohawks (Maine/Pirates, 10th round).

Player of the Year: Chris Bostick, 2b, Webster Yankees.
Pitcher of the Year: Jacob Petitt, rhp, Utica Brewers.
Top Prospect (as selected by league): Unavailable.

BATTING LEADERS (League games only)

Batting Average:
Brenden Costantino, ss, Sherrill Silversmiths (.417).
Slugging Percentage: Chris Bostick, 2b, Webster Yankees (.652).
On-Base Average: Chris Bostick, 2b, Webster Yankees (.503).
Home Runs: Scott Krutel, 3b, Utica Brewers (7).
RBIs: Chase Presley, 2b, Hornell Dodgers (47).
Stolen Bases: Brenden Costantino, ss, Sherrill Silversmiths (63).

PITCHING LEADERS (League games only)
Wins: Jacob Petitt, rhp, Utica Brewers (7).
ERA: Jacob Petitt, rhp, Utica Brewers (0.71).
Saves: D.J. Schwartz, rhp, Hornell Dodgers (8).
Strikeouts: Justin James, rhp, Niagara Power (57).

BEST TOOLS

Best Athlete:
Chris Bostick, 2b, Webster Yankees.
Best Hitter: Chris Bostick, 2b, Webster Yankees.
Best Power: Matt Chavez, c/rhp, Oneonta Outlaws.
Fastest Base Runner: Aaron Barbosa, of, Oneonta Outlaws.
Best Defensive Player: Carlos Asuaje, 2b/3b, Oneonta Outlaws.
Best Velocity: Matt Chavez, c/rhp, Oneonta Outlaws.
Best Breaking Ball: Mike Johnson, lhp, Utica Brewers.
Best Command: Mike Johnson, lhp, Utica Brewers.

TOP 15 PROSPECTS

1. CHRIS BOSTICK, 2b, Webster Yankees (SIGNED/A's)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Fresh out of Aquinas Institute in neighboring Rochester, Bostick was easily the most talented hitter and overall player in the league playing for Webster, drawing rave reviews for his bat speed and overall athleticism prior to signing with the Athletics in late July as a 44th round pick. He joined his older brother Ben on the Yankees, who has a similar athletic profile, although he is not quite as dynamic as Chris. The younger of the two brothers was leading the league in hitting at the time of his departure (.413) and also led the league in on-base percentage (.503) and slugging (.652), thanks to 17 extra-base hits. He also showed good foot speed, swiping 18 bases in 23 attempts, giving him a well-rounded offensive game. Bostick also excelled in the league's all-star game in Oneonta, one of the league's biggest parks, going 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and three runs driven in. While he shows fluid actions on the infield, his future position is in question, as he may be a better fit in the outfield than up the middle of the infield as he continues to mature and add strength to his wiry-strong build. A few coaches expressed surprise that he signed with the A's as a late-round pick given his commitment to play for St. John's, but it was indicative of his desire to play professionally.

2. MATT CHAVEZ, 1b/rhp, Oneonta Outlaws (San Francisco/SR in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Chavez is all about power, possessing two of the best tools in the league in his live arm on the mound and tremendous power at the plate. Opinions were split as to where he would be a better fit at the next level, but Chavez prefers to take the field every day. However, he may be better served on the mound given his special arm, as he touched 94 and sat easily in the low-90s, although his secondary stuff and command need work. Defensively, he also is somewhat without a home, as first base would likely be his eventual position should he stick as a positional prospect, but even there he would best be suited with an American League ball club as a DH. He hit .333 this summer, after leading the New England Collegiate League in hitting last summer with a .355 average, but needs to continue to improve his plate discipline.

3. MIKE JOHNSON, 2b, Utica Brewers (SIGNED/Angels)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Johnson went 5-1, 2.41 this summer prior to signing for $140,000 with the Angels as a 46th round pick out of Hillsborough (Fla.) CC right at the Aug. 15 signing deadline. He doesn't throw particularly hard, but shows very good command and movement on all of his pitches. He works righthanded hitters inside well with an 87-88 mph cutter before going away with a fading changeup, ranked by many as the best off-speed pitch in the league.

4. ARTIE LEWICKI, rhp, Oneonta Outlaws (Virginia/SO in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Lewicki didn't spend much time in the league, arriving late due to Virginia's appearance in the College World Series. He went 3-0, 1.33 ERA in four appearances, showing good command of a fastball that touched the low-90s, and enjoyed one masterful performance against Utica in which he struck out nine in six innings of work. He is expected to land an expanded role next spring for the Cavaliers, serving either as the mid-week starter or closer.

5. CARLOS ASUAJE, 2b, Oneonta Outlaws (Nova Southeastern, Fla./SO in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Asuaje finished second to Bostick as the league's best hitter, according to coaches who were surveyed in compiling this list, and finished fifth in the league in batting (.369). He has very good bat speed and some pop, with 15 extra-base hits leading to a .537 slugging percentage which was good for third in the league. Asuaje also shows good foot speed (19 stolen bases), and received praise for his toughness, work ethic and defense versatility, with the ability to play both second and third base.

6. JUSTIN MAUDLIN, rhp, Utica Brewers (Southeastern, Fla./SR in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Maudlin had the second-best pure arm strength after Chavez, throwing 90-93 mph heat this summer, while pitching predominantly out of the bullpen. While he needs to continue to work on his secondary stuff, a promising slider and changeup, he showed good control attacking the strike zone as exhibited by his 21-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 28 innings.

7. LEON STIMPSON, of, Geneva Redwings (Alvernia, Pa./JR in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Arguably the second-best overall athlete after Bostick, Stimpson is an impressive physical specimen. His speed tool was rated a tick below Aaron Barbosa's, and he finished with 23 stolen bases while also hitting .378, third best in the league. Although he didn't hit a home run this summer, he shows good power potential, given his bat speed and strength, and was able to drive the ball to the gaps to use his speed effectively, hitting five doubles and six triples.

8. JOE GREENFIELD, rhp, Webster Yankees (Eastern Illinois/SO in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: After being used sparingly as a freshman at Eastern Illinois, Greenfield finished fifth in the league with a 1.80 ERA, exhibiting very good command of a three-pitch arsenal including an 86-88 fastball. One of the better pure pitchers in the league, he offers a projectable frame, poise on the mound and the ability to add movement to his pitches while changing speeds and hitting his spots.

9. BRADY WAGER, rhp, Oneonta Outlaws (Grand Canyon, Ariz./JR in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Wager served as the closer for the league-champion Outlaws, recording five saves in 12 appearances while posting a sterling 12-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 11 innings of work. When he was on his game, his stuff was among the best in the league, and it included a nearly-unhittable slider. He topped out in the low-90s, and finished second in the Pacific West Conference last spring with 56 strikeouts while serving as a starter for Grand Canyon.

10. SCOTT WEATHERSBY, rhp, Oneonta Outlaws (Mississippi/SO in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Extremely projectable at 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds, Weathersby red-shirted last spring for Ole Miss and yet made the most of his opportunity pitching for the league champion Outlaws. His 2.01 ERA was 10th best among those pitchers that qualified, and he showed very good command of the strike zone with a 56-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 49 innings. He had two double-digit strike performances on the summer, and saved his best for last, striking out eight in seven innings to beat Rome in the playoffs.

11. SCOTT KRUTEL, 1b, Utica Brewers (Missouri Baptist/SR in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Krutel is a dead-red hitter who can crush fastballs, and led the circuit in home runs with seven. He also finished second in RBIs (40) and fourth in slugging (.534), although he is prone to striking out at a high rate as he struggles to recognize breaking balls thrown low and away. While he has a strong arm, he is likely better suited at first base or a corner outfield spot at the next level.

12. AARON BARBOSA, 2b/of, Oneonta Outlaws (San Francisco/SO in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Barbosa was the fastest player in the league and the best, most instinctive base runner. He hit .415 and stole 11 bases in 15 games during his abbreviated summer stint, after coming off of a successful freshman campaign for Northeastern in which he was named both the Colonial Athletic Association Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American. There isn't much power in his slap-and-dash style of play, but he caused opposing teams to defend him differently than any other player in the league.

13. LUIS DIAZ, of, Webster Yankees (North Carolina Central/JR in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Diaz was one of the most-exciting overall athletes in the league this summer, hitting .281 with six triples and 18 stolen bases, and he elevated his game during the playoffs, hitting .353 in five games. Undersized at 5-foot-9, Diaz has good strength, surprising power to the alleys and good speed and overall quickness that play bigger than his 60-times indicate.

14. PATRICK JOHNSON, ss, Utica Brewers (Missouri Baptist/JR in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: The 2010 Bay Valley Conference player of the year, Johnson was very impressive despite seeing his summer cut short due to injury. He will follow in the footsteps of his former teammate at Solano (Calif.) CC, Scott Krutel, by transferring to Missouri Baptist for the 2012 season. Johnson provides steady defense in the middle infield, and a line-drive bat with a patient eye and power to the gaps as a switch-hitter.

15. D.J. SCHWARTZ, rhp, Hornell Dodgers (Rochester, N.Y./SR in 2012)
?SCOUTING PROFILE: Schwartz showed promising stuff, including a fastball that peaks in the low-90s, on his way to leading the league in saves with eight, although he slowed down considerably after a fast start. Control was an ongoing problem for Schwartz, as he walked more batters than he struck out (14 to 13) in 22 innings of work, a trend that carried over from his spring season at the nearby University of Rochester.

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