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Summer Collegiate : : Story
Summer Coll. All-America Team
Published: Monday, August 26, 2013

2013 Summer Collegiate Top Prospect coverage | Perfect Game Summer Collegiate page

Dramatic Change in Power Production
A Major Storyline Again in 2013

Just as a radical change in home-run output in a number of leagues was the overriding storyline of the 2012 summer college season, a similar script has been written again this summer.

A year ago, it was an unprecedented spike in home runs when numerous league, team and individual records fell as the volume of long balls increased exponentially from 2011; this year, it’s been a significant reversal, to levels below what was considered the norm prior to 2012 in many cases.

In the Cape Cod League, the granddaddy of all summer circuits, 165 long balls were hit this summer in 220 games. That compares to the aberration of 2012, when hitters went deep 384 times in the same number of games, and was more in line with 2011, when 159 home runs were struck.

The Harwich Mariners alone hit 64 homers a year ago, establishing a league record for a season that even topped anything from the Cape’s offensive-oriented, aluminum-bat era that ranged roughly from the mid-70s to mid-80s. This summer, the Mariners combined to hit just 11 homers. But that decrease doesn’t compare to the power outage experienced by the Wareham Gatemen, who homered 51 times (plus 15 more in seven playoff games) on their way to a 2012 Cape League championship, and slugged just six this summer for an encore—the same total the team achieved in 2011—while finishing with the league’s worst record.

Appropriately, the individual Cape League leader in homers this season, Falmouth first baseman Casey Gillaspie (Wichita State), went deep just eight times—half the total amassed a year ago by Wareham’s Tyler Horan, whose 16 homers were a record in the league’s wood-bat era.

A sampling of other established summer leagues saw a similar pattern.

A total of 215 home runs were hit in the New England Collegiate League this summer, compared to 451 in 2012 (when there were three less teams), and 291 in 2011. Two players shared the individual lead, with seven, which was a drop in the bucket compared to the record 19 slugged a year ago by Laconia’s Danny Collins (Troy).

The Florida Collegiate League went on a roller-coaster ride from 57 homers overall in 2011 to 158 in 2012, and back down to 56 this summer. The New York Collegiate League followed the same trend, moving from 117 homers in 2011, to 315 a year ago, and down to 153 this year.

Oddly, Sanford shortstop Tyler Palmer (Seminole State, Fla., JC) had a league-best nine homers this summer in the Florida League, which topped the total of the leader a year ago, while Wellsville first baseman Scott DeJong (Felician, N.J.) established a new NYCBL standard with 14—five more than the league-leading total in 2012.

No leagues may have seen a decrease in homers from a year ago quite as dramatic, though, as the Great Lakes and Valley Leagues.

In the Ohio-based Great Lakes circuit, 276 homers were hit in 2012, and just 58 this summer. The latter total even pales when compared to 2011, when 99 homers were struck. The Valley saw a dip in homers this summer from 469 to 148, with the Winchester Royals alone dropping from a league-record 84 in 2012 to just eight this season. In 2011, Valley League teams combined for 287 homers, with Winchester also setting the pace then with 38 long balls.

Typically, league-wide batting averages have not seen the same precipitous one-year decline, with the Cape Cod League hitting .255 overall this summer vs. .260 a year ago. But the overall decline in offense, as measured by batting average, was quite pronounced in the Great Lakes League, which went from a league-wide batting average of .277 in 2012 to just .242 this summer. The Valley League fell from .278 in 2012 to .250 this summer, while the collective league ERA of that league nosedived from 5.08 a year ago to 3.59.

A common theme with all these leagues is their use of the Diamond Baseball, which had a well-documented quality-control issue in 2012. Just as balls of that brand had a harder core than normal that led to balls flying out of parks at a record pace a year ago, a more-regulated Diamond ball in use this summer brought the level of offense back in line to more-accustomed levels.

All of the summer leagues in question are affiliated with the National Alliance of Summer College Baseball, an organization that is contractually committed to the use of Diamond Baseballs.

Most other leagues that use different makes of baseballs saw little of the same fluctuation in offense from 2012 to 2013. The Coastal Plain League and Northwoods Leagues, for instance, use a Rawlings baseball, and both saw a modest decrease in home-run production this summer. The CPL went from 263 homers in 2012 to 244, while the Northwoods dipped from 737 to 689.


Saluting the Top Summer-League Performers

As has been our custom at the conclusion of each summer-league season, Perfect Game will undertake an up-close look at the top prospects in some 25 leagues around the country in the coming days and weeks. We’ll roll out our first leagues on Wednesday.

The players we’ll highlight will be evaluated on the basis of their upside potential, or their projected worth as professional-level prospects. Our focus will be on those position players with the best combination of raw tools and pitchers with the best raw stuff.

With the level of offense in summer baseball—especially home runs—fluctuating wildly in a number of leagues over the last three seasons, talent evaluators have been challenged accordingly in gauging the true degree and depth of talent, but we’ll do our best, through our own personal observation, along with contact with scouts and league managers, to highlight the top prospects in each league.

But before we start highlighting players based on their potential, we’ll first focus on many of the same players based primarily on how they actually performed this summer. It’s Perfect Game’s version of a Summer League All-America Team.

We’ve highlighted those players that simply played the best this summer in summer competition, with only passing consideration given to their projected future worth. In other words, our focus here is mainly on those players who compiled the best stats, although we’ve given priority to those players who assembled them in the most-competitive summer leagues.

We’ve selected a three-tier All-America team, and appropriately the Cape Cod League has the most selections (9), though is followed closely by the Northwoods (6), Coastal Plain (5) and California Collegiate (5) Leagues.

Led by our summer player of the year Max Pentecost (Bourne/Cape Cod), here’s our take on the top performers of the 2013 summer season (player’s college, draft year noted in parentheses):


CATCHERS

1. MAX PENTECOST, Bourne/Cape Cod (Kennesaw State/2014)
Former seventh-round draft pick (Rangers, 2011) had breakout summer on Cape; hit .346-6-29, was solid all-around talent

2. MITCHELL NAU, Acadiana/Texas Collegiate (Texas A&M/2014)
TCL 2012 all-star was even better in encore; hit .350-6-39, led league in batting, doubles (18), named league player of year

3. JACKSON SLAID, Wisconsin Rapids/Northwoods (Montevallo, Ala./2013)
Ex-Louisiana State receiver resurrected fading career with one of best offensive seasons in NWL (.326-13-59, 17 2B)


FIRST BASEMEN

1. CASEY GILLASPIE, Falmouth/Cape Cod (Wichita State/2014)
Big power from both sides in projectable 6-4/235 frame; hit .321, topped Cape with 8 homers, has sound plate discipline

2. MARC FLORES, Willmar/Northwoods (Hawaii/2013)
Had modest spring (.280, 2 HRs) as junior at Hawaii, but monster summer season (.352-13-64, league-high 26 doubles)

3. CONNOR SPENCER, Wenatchee/West Coast (UC Irvine/2014)
Quality lefthanded bat; narrowly missed winning WCL batting title (.375), emerged as one of league’s top power threats


SECOND BASEMEN

1. JOHN LaPRISE, Madison/Northwoods (Virginia/2015)
Played sparingly as a college freshman, but won NWL batting title (.407-0-29), went 12-for-24 in playoffs for league champs

2. ROSS KIVETT, Orleans/Cape Cod (Kansas State/2013)
White Sox 10th-rounder in June; was summer AA in 2012 (.401-3-29, 37 SB), hit .336-3-17 in encore; sparkplug in all phases

3. JOSH GARDINER, Amsterdam/Perfect Game (Radford/2014)
Played key role for Mohawks as team came on strong to win second straight PGCBL title; hit .327-4-33 with 15 2B, 15 SB


THIRD BASEMEN

1. ALEX CALBICK, Bellingham/West Coast (Maine/2013)
Rebounded from disappointing college season (.280, 2 HR) to win WCL batting title (.384), earn player-of-year honors

2. TYLER MAUTNER, Top Speed Baseball/Far West (Buffalo/2014)
Triple-crown winner (.389-8-33) and player of year in Far West League; hit .390-13-57 overall, also smacked 26 doubles

3. JORDAN NEGRINI, Peninsula/Coastal Plain (Old Domimnion/2013)
Overlooked in 2013 draft, but found comfort zone at plate with wood on summer; hit .345-3-40 overall, led team to CPL title


SHORTSTOPS

1. TYLER PALMER, Sanford/Florida Collegiate (Seminole State, Fla., CC/2013)
Still on mend from serious 2011 hand injury, but led Florida loop in HRs (9), RBIs (32), steals (24), second in batting (.350)

2. A.J. SIMCOX, Mat-Su/Alaska (Tennessee/2015)
League bat champ (.356-1-20); has all tools to be 2015 first-rounder, just needs power to develop, become consistent in field

3. KEVIN NEWMAN, Falmouth/Cape Cod (Arizona/2015)
Surprise Cape League batting champ; hit .375, only 3 extra-base hits, just needs to grow into frame; makes all plays in field


OUTFIELDERS

First Team

RHYS HOSKINS, Falmouth/Cape Cod (Cal State Sacramento/2014)
Offensive force in middle of power-packed Commodores lineup; flashed big raw power, hit 7 HRs, topped Cape in RBIs (37)

CHRISTIN STEWART, Mat-Su/Alaska (Tennessee/2015)
Offensive-oriented player had breakout summer; led Alaska League in homers (5), RBIs (31), was second in batting (.336)

LUKE TENDLER, Asheboro/Coastal Plain (North Carolina A&T/2013)
CPL player of year/batting champ was undrafted in June, but had breakout summer (.351-8-40, 13 SB), flashed 5-tool ability

Second Team

DYLAN DAVIS, Falmouth/Cape Cod (Oregon State/2014)
More a factor at plate/in field in spring, summer (.317-6-34), but upside is on mound; was 95-97, plus curve in limited looks

BLAKE DRAKE, Corvallis/West Coast (Concordia, Calif./2014)
Sparkplug in CF, on bases (20 SB), at plate (.288-3-29, 14 2B, 40 R) for Corvallis, winners of 34 of last 39 games, WCL title

MICHAEL PRITCHARD, San Luis Obispo/California Collegiate (Nebraska/2014)
Well-rounder player who can hit, run; led league in batting (.387-1-34), steals (18), has good plate approach (28 BB/19 SO)

Third Team

MICHAEL SUCHY, Willmar/Northwoods (Florida Gulf Coast/2014)
Built off strong 2012 season in NWL by hitting .329-11-33 with league-best 17 2B; has intriguing power/speed package

NICK HEATH, North Fork/Hamptons (Northwestern State/2015)
Red-shirted during spring, but had breakout summer with best tools in league; hit .326-2-18 with 34 steals, was tops in runs

BEN ROBERTS, Newport/New England (Washington State/2014)
Former 7th-rounder (D’backs, 2011) finally began tapping into his 5-tool potential; hit .312-5-35, topped NECBL with 18 2B


DESIGNATED HITTER

1. KEVIN CRON, Falmouth/Cape Cod (Texas Christian/2014)
Ex-third-rounder has huge power in 6-5/260 frame; with better pitch selection, rebounded from poor spring to hit .350-4-32

2. ROB FONSECA, Los Angeles Brewers/California Collegiate (Northeastern/2014)
Finished second in Cal League in all triple-crown categories (.383-8-35); led Brewers to surprise league title

3. IAN RICE, Baltimore Redbirds/Cal Ripken (Chipola, Fla., JC/2013)
Still growing into his role as a catcher, but has explosive power at plate, hit .317, led Ripken League in HRs (7), RBIs (34)


UTILITY

1. LOUIE LECHICH, Santa Barbara/California Collegiate (San Diego/2013)
Undrafted as JR; debate if upside at plate (.317-4-35) or on mound (2-0, 2.06); excellent CF, big arm, flashes raw power

2. NICK MILLER, Edenton/Coastal Plain (Northern Colorado/2013)
Played key 2-way starting role for 43-14 Steamers, leading team in ERA while going 5-1, 1.02 on mound, .287-5-19 at 1B

3. LaMONTE WADE, JR., Baltimore Redbirds/Cal Ripken (Maryland/2015)
Versatile player, hit leadoff/cleanup, saw duty at 1B/OF/LHP for CRCBL champs; hit .289-5-25, went 1-1, 3.00 in 5 starts


STARTING PITCHERS

First Team

BUBBA DERBY, Bethesda Big Train/Cal Ripken (San Diego State/2015)
5-10 RHP with quick/live arm, closer mentality in starter role; topped Ripken league in wins (6), ERA (0.76), SO (56, 47 IP)

KYLE FREELAND, Hyannis/Cape Cod (Evansville/2014)
Positioned himself as possible first-rounder by going 4-0, 1.91 with 4 BB/58 SO in 47 IP; dominated with 90-93 FB, plus SL

NATHAN KIRBY, Keene/New England (Virginia/2015)
Went 4-0 with 83 K’s in 60 IP for league champs; fits first-round profile with athletic frame, lively 91-92 FB/secondary stuff

LUKAS SCHIRALDI, Chatham/Cape Cod (Texas/2013)
Texas JC standout passed over in draft because of 4-year commitment; went 5-1, 1.00 with mid-90s FB, led Cape in ERA

Second Team

EMILIO OGANDO, Winter Park/Florida Collegiate (St. Thomas, Fla./2014)
Rising junior lefty went 9-1, 0.49 (55 IP/25 H/11 BB/55 SO) on summer, led league in wins, ERA, pitched D-Dawgs to title

PARKER RAY, Brazos Valley/Texas Collegiate (Texas A&M/2013)
Solid during regular season (4-0, 1.69 in 6 starts), spectacular in playoffs (1-0, 0.00, 10 IP/17 SO) for nation’s No. 1 club

JOHN TUTTLE, Asheboro/Coastal Plain (Catawba, N.C./2013)
Overcame disappointment of not being drafted in June by going 9-0, 0.78; led CPL in wins, ERA, earned top pitcher award

DREW VAN ORDEN, Santa Barbara/California (Duke/2013)
Undrafted after inconsistent JR season; excelled on summer (6-2, 1.12, 56 IP/72 SO) with better command of 91-94 mph FB

Third Team

MICHAEL BURKE, Holyoke/New England (Buffalo/2013)
Ex-3B continued smooth transition to mound; went 4-1, 0.48 (74 IP/9 BB/65 SO), NECBL ERA leader, pitcher of year

TROY CONYERS, Danville/Prospect (San Diego/2015)
Big, physical (6-5/230) lefty was dominant in starting role for Prospect League’s best club; went 5-1, 1.53 (41 IP/60 SO)

EANN COX, Cooperstown/Perfect Game (Lewis, Ill./2013)
Stood out on last-place team; went 6-0, 2.11, led PGCBL in wins, strikeouts (64, 55 IP), opponent BA (.204), second in ERA

GARRETT MUNDELL, Anchorage Bucs/Alaska (Fresno State/2014)
6-6/230 righthander has big, projectable frame, throws 3 pitches for strikes; league pitcher of year, ERA leader (4-1, 0.63)

COLIN POCHE, Willmar/Northwoods (Arkansas/2015)
Former fifth-rounder has athleticism, projectable frame, command of four pitches, went 6-2, 2.26 with 16 BB/59 SO in 52 IP


RELIEF PITCHERS/Closers

First Team

DRAKE OWENBY, San Luis Obispo/California Collegiate (Tennessee/2015)
Dominant in closer role for Blues with 90-95 mph FB, hammer curve; went 1-1, 1.01 with league-best 8 SV, 50 K’s in 26 IP

MATT TROUPE, Orleans/Cape Cod (Arizona/2014)
Dominant closer on Cape with 11 SV, 1.35 ERA, 32 SO/20 IP; not overpowering, but 3 pitches for strikes, tough to square up

Second Team

ADAM DIAN, Waterloo/Northwoods (Temple/2014)
Major force at back end of bullpen for winningest team in summer ball; went 2-0, 0.34 with 8 SV, had 9 BB/42 SO in 23 IP

ADAM ZIPKO, New Market/Valley (Millersville, Pa./2013)
Perfect on 2013 season with 0.00 ERA, 18 SV in 26 outings, 42 SO in 32 IP; lights out with side-arm 84-86 FB, sweeping SL

Third Team

JACOB BODNER, Sag Harbor/Hamptons (Xavier/2014)
Two-way player in spring, but dominant summer (0.00 ERA, league-record 14 SV, 20 IP/35 SO) suggests future is on mound

JORGE PEREZ, rhp, Corvallis/West Coast (Grand Canyon, Ariz./2014)
Short role during season for Knights (1-1, 1.30, 6 SV) after busy spring, turned loose as starter in WCL playoffs (2-0, 1.17)


SUMMER LEAGUE PLAYER OF YEAR
Max Pentecost, c, Bourne/Cape Cod (Kennesaw State)

TOP RISING FRESHMAN
David Fletcher, ss, Alaska Goldpanners/Alaska (Loyola Marymount)

TOP RISING SOPHOMORE
Nathan Kirby, lhp, Keene/New England (Virginia)

TOP RISING JUNIOR
Max Pentecost, c, Bourne/Cape Cod (Kennesaw State)

TOP RISING SENIOR
Luke Tendler, of, Asheboro/Coastal Plain (North Carolina A&T)



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