Picked up pieces of information while waiting for Chatham and Harwich to post their rosters... Yasmani Grandal (Miami; Brewster '08, '09) is one of many players with Cape League ties to be picked in the initial list of 17 players invited to the 2009 USA Baseball National Team Trials. Other recent or possible future Cape Leaguers on the list include Derek Dietrich (Georgia Tech; Wareham '09), Hunter Morris (Auburn; Falmouth '09), Anthony Renaudo (LSU; Y-D '08, '09), Micah Gibbs (LSU; Y-D '09), Christian Colon (Cal State Fullerton; Y-D '09), Rick Hague (Rice; Cotuit '09), Gerrit Cole (UCLA; Cotuit '09), Blake Forsythe (Tennessee; Bourne '09), Drew Pomeranz (Mississippi; Bourne '09), Anthony Rendon (Rice; Bourne '09) and Deck McGuire (Georgia Tech; Orleans '09). The National Team Trials will be held in Cary, NC. from June 15-24. The final roster is expected to be announced on June 24, almost two weeks into the Cape League season.
Eric Erickson (Miami; Orleans '08) has missed the whole season for the Hurricanes after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery. The lefthander, who's season in Orleans was cut short due to injury, was coming off a season in which he was second on the Miami staff with 9 wins and was a Second Team All-ACC pick.
Injuries have cut short the season of former Chatham stars Sammy Solis and Victor Sanchez. Both play at the University of San Diego. Solis only pitched in two games before being shut down with shoulder/back problems. Despite playing in only 28 games this spring, Sanchez is still tied for the team lead with 5 homeruns.
On a more positive note, James Meador (Brewster '08) is leading the Toreros with a .385 batting average.
The next time pitch counts are mentioned, here is something to add to the discussion. On April 11, Chad Bettis (Texas Tech; Falmouth '08 and '09) threw 154 pitches in a complete game, 5-1 win over Oklahoma. The Sooners were ranked #11 in the nation at the time. Making Bettis' feat even more remarkable is the fact that he has spent much of the season as the Red Raiders closer. After that game, Tech's record in the Big 12 was 7-8 and Bettis had a part in all seven victories with four wins and three saves.
College baseball fans in New England don't have many opportunities to get excited about local teams. I don't think we'll be seeing any teams from this region in Omaha anytime soon, but Boston College is having an impressive season. With their move to the ACC a few years ago, most people expected the Eagles would have a difficult time competing. There are many obstacles in the Eagles way, not the least of which is travel and the difficulty of recruiting talented players to a place where there may be a foot of snow on the ground on the day of the scheduled home opener. So far this year, B.C. is 10-9 in the ACC and 25-15 overall. Much of their success has been fueled by former and future Y-D Red Sox. Tony Sanchez ('08) is becoming known as one of the better catchers in the nation. Sanchez is second on the team with a .366 batting average. He is followed closely by Mickey Wiswall ('09) at .331 and Mike Belfiore ('08, temp in '09) at .315. Belfiore also has a 4-0 record as a pitcher with 7 saves and an ERA of 2.81.
2008 CCBL All League thirdbaseman Chris Dominguez (Louisville; Hyannis) has continued to put up impressive offensive numbers for the Cardinals. After leading the Cape League in homeruns last year with 10, Dominguez is batting .340 with 10 HR and 50 RBI through 37 games this spring. He also has 15 stolen bases. Those numbers have Dominguez leading the team in all four categories.
I was very impressed with the season Nick Hernandez had with Cotuit last summer. A CCBL All Star, Hernandez has struggled this year posting a record of 2-4 with a 5.53 ERA. Hernandez isn't the only Volunteer who has put up less than impressive numbers as the team has floundered to a record of 19-23.
At times last year, Falmouth's Ben Tootle (Jacksonville State) was dominant. In 22 appearances, Tootle had 5 saves and a 1.97 ERA. Baseball America picked Tootle as the fourth best prospect in the CCBL and he entered this season on almost everyone's "watch list." Tootle has pitched only 37.2 innings in 8 starts at Jacksonville St. and has a 3-1 record with a 3.58 ERA.
The University of Texas has a very impressive pitching staff. Contributing to their success are Cape Leaguers Brandon Workman (Wareham '08, '09), Taylor Jungmann (Wareham '09), Cole Green (Wareham '09) and Chance Ruffin (Cotuit '09). Workman is 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA, Jungmann checks in at 4-2; 1.10 ERA, Green carries a record of 3-1; 2.63 ERA and Ruffin sports a record of 6-2 with a 2.65 ERA. If they all come to the Cape, these Longhorns pitchers should be fun to watch.
Robert Stock (USC; Cotuit '07, '08) is hitting a disappointing .237 with 22 strikeouts in 114 at-bats. As a pitcher he is holding opposing batters to a .193 avg. while compiling a record of 3-1 with a 2.14 ERA.
48 days to go to the MLB draft and 50 days to go until the CCBL opener!