Around 3:30 this afternoon, the Cape Cod Baseball League's public relations and broadcast director, John Garner, emailed me to say that the league was cleaning up in the 2008 professional baseball draft. Six of the top 11 picks this year played in the Cape Cod Baseball League, Garner pointed out. The good news for the CCBL had only started. #12 turned out to be Justin Smoak and #13 was Brett Wallace. The list of Cape All-Stars and Greats continued throughout Round 1.
The Cape League clearly dominates, but Luke Winn over at Sports Illustrated was assigned to feature the Alaska Baseball League in this week's edition. The nice five-page spread on the Alaska League is followed by a summer road trip fantasy that includes a stop at the Cape Cod Baseball League (see Stop #11).
Here's a roundup of Round 1 from today's draft.
1 Pittsburgh Pirates Justin Wilson LHP Fresno State Calif.
2 Tampa Bay Rays Tim Beckham SS Griffin (Ga.) HS Ga.
3 Pittsburgh Pirates Pedro Alvarez 3B Vanderbilt Tenn. -- See my post below
4 Kansas City Royals Eric Hosmer 1B American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. Fla.
5 Baltimore Orioles Brian Matusz LHP San Diego Calif. 6 San Francisco Giants Buster Posey C Florida State Fla. -- Posey tore up the Cape league for two seasons 7 Florida Marlins Kyle Skipworth C Patriot HS, Rubidoux, Calif.
8 Cincinnati Reds Yonder Alonso 1B Miami Fla. -- Alonso was a CCBL All-star last season
9 Chicago White Sox Gordon Beckham SS Georgia Ga. -- Cape League home run king 10 Washington Nationals Aaron Crow RHP Missouri Mo. -- who can forget his stunning performance for Falmouth at the All-Star game last season? 11 Houston Astros Jason Castro C Stanford Calif. -- Baseball America named him one of the best from the Cape League last year
12 Texas Rangers Justin Smoak 1B South Carolina S.C. -- check out our CodBall Conversation with Justin Smoak
13 Oakland Athletics Jemile Weeks 2B Miami Fla.
14 St. Louis Cardinals Brett Wallace 1B Arizona State Ariz. -- best hitter I've ever seen. I got to see him up close in Falmouth, where he also was great with kids at the day camp 15 Minnesota Twins Aaron Hicks OF/RHP Wilson HS, Long Beach Calif.
16 Los Angeles Dodgers Ethan Martin RHP/3B Stephens County HS, Toccoa, Ga. Ga.
17 Milwaukee Brewers Brett Lawrie OF/IF Brookswood SS, Langley, B.C.
18 Toronto Blue Jays David Cooper 1B California Calif.
19 New York Mets Ike Davis 1B Arizona State Ariz.
20 Chicago Cubs Andrew Cashner RHP Texas Christian Texas
21 Seattle Mariners Joshua Fields RHP Georgia Ga.
22 Detroit Tigers Ryan Perry RHP Arizona Ariz. 23 New York Mets Reese Havens SS South Carolina S.C. -- another Cape League all-star 24 San Diego Padres Allan Dykstra 1B Wake Forest N.C. -- Shouldn't he have scored in the last all-star game? 25 Philadelphia Phillies Anthony Hewitt SS/OF Salisbury (Conn.) School Conn. 26 Colorado Rockies Christian Friedrich LHP Eastern Kentucky Ky. -- started the final game of the Cape League championship game last season for Falmouth.
27 Arizona Diamondbacks Daniel Schlereth LHP Arizona Ariz. 28 Minnesota Twins Carlos Gutierrez RHP Miami Fla.
29 New York Yankees Gerrit Cole RHP Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS Calif. 30 Cleveland Indians Lonnie Chisenhall 3B Pitt (N.C.) CC North Carolina -- Chisenhall was scheduled to play in Cotuit last season but ran into a little trouble back in South Carolina.
31 Boston Red Sox Casey Kelly RHP/SS Sarasota (Fla.) HS Fla.