This is the cool thing about the Cape Cod Baseball League. My then 7-year-old son shows up for his first day in the 2005 Falmouth Commodores kids’ clinic. It’s hot, and for kids of all ages it’s also early.
Like clockwork, the players show up 5 minutes late with gigantic jugs of liquid from Dunkin’ Donuts. The camp gets crackin’ 10 minutes after the start-time. A lanky 6’ 4” guy gathers his group of 1st graders in right field to practice some grounders. That’s Monday. My 7-year old doesn’t know this guy at all. By Friday a friendship has taken hold -- we're talking with this player about our families and posing for pictures together.
Two years later, I see the player's picture in Baseball America’s preview (1/15-28/07) of the National League East Top 10 Prospects.
Brett Sinkbeil, (Pictured) RHP in the Florida Marlins organization, is the Marlins’ #2 prospect. His strengths are many:
“Sinkbeil’s fastball sits at 89-93 mph and tops out at 95, showing late life that often overwhelmed New York-Penn League hitters. His tight slider is a legitimate out pitch and he feels confident throwing it in any count. He throws strikes with both pitches. Drive and focused, he tries to pattern himself after Roger Clemens in terms of work ethic and preparation.”
I don’t have enough good words to say about Brett. He was extremely good to my son and he was a gentleman to me. Brett and I are both from Oklahoma, and that's a big deal to me. I love to see Okies succeed on the Cape and in the Big Leagues. Brett, meet The Mick and Warren Spahn (both Oklahomans).
Also making Baseball America’s NL East Prospects list was Colton Willems, RHP in the Washington Nationals organization. Colton “surfaced as an elite arm in the summer of 2005, garnering most-valuable-pitcher honors at the Cape Cod Classic.