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2019 East Division Preview

05/14/2019 8:36 AM

Article By: Ryan Moralejo

    The 2018 season saw the Brewster Whitecaps finish 13-27-4 and snag the final playoff spot in the East Division, ultimately succumbing to Chatham in the Divsion final. The Whitecaps welcome back eight players from last year’s’ roster, including Reid Detmers (Louisville) and Jesse Franklin (Michigan). As a freshman in the CCBL last season, Detmers tallied 27 and ⅔ innings, allowing just seven walks. He’s become a sensation with the Cardinals in his second year, leading the ACC with 113 strikeouts and making a serious case for ACC Pitcher of the Year. Franklin was one of the top hitters for the Whitecaps a season ago, slashing .302 and finishing second on the team with 17 runs batted in. Franklin's teammate Jeff Criswell (Michigan) is a strong bullpen arm, and Gage Workman (ASU) comes back to regain his position at shortstop.


    Coach Jamie Shevchik begins his fourth season as the manager of the Whitecaps, and he will have a plenty of young talent to mix and match in the field. Among the new faces is closer Cody Greenhill (Auburn) and outfielder Ryan Ward (Bryant).

    Coach Tom Holliday enters his second season at the helm of the Chatham Anglers, looking to lead his team to their first CCBL title since 1998. The Anglers made it all the way to the Championship last season en route to a 22-19-3 season before ultimately falling to the Wareham Gatemen. This year’s squad brings back some core pieces in addition to some talented newcomers.


  Spencer Torkelson (ASU) finished tied atop the 2018 CCBL leaderboard with seven home runs, and the sophomore has continued his offensive onslaught with the Sun Devils in the 2019 collegiate season, tallying 15 long balls and 50 RBIs. Jimmy Titus (Bryant) missed last season with a torn ACL, but the shortstop has bounced back nicely in his junior campaign with an impressive .352 batting average to go along with ten homers and 53 RBIs. Along with Jorge Arenas (Stetson) and Ben Ramirez (USC), the Anglers will have plenty of talented infielders back for the 2019 season.


    The addition of Alejandro Toral (Miami) highlights yet another power bat for a team that led the CCBL a season ago with 42 home runs. Toral currently sits atop the ACC with 17 bombs, and his teammate Freddy Zamora (Miami) provides the Anglers’ with a solid-hitting infielder with some pop. On the pitching side, the Anglers welcome some promising young arms; RJ Dabovich (ASU) has been impressive in his lone season with the Sun Devils. Asa Lacy (Texas A&M) is having a tremendous season with the Aggies.

    Coach Steve Englert enters his 23rd year involved with the Harwich Mariners. They’ll have to rely on a heavy dose of new bodies as only one player returns from their 18-24-2 season. Austin Wood (Stetson) struggled with his control for a majority of the summer but showed signs of life, including an outing against Chatham where the righty threw four no-hit innings and struck out five.
    

    
    The Mariners have some very potent rookies ready to lace em’ up this season. Garrett Crochet (Tennessee) could be one of the best arms in the league when it’s all said and done, as the sophomore was rated the 16th best MLB draft prospect entering the 2019 collegiate season. Logan Allen (FIU) and Jared Wetherbee (Elon) will assume starting roles for a pitching staff that finished 4th in the CCBL in ERA a season ago.

    On the offensive side, Coach Englert has to be excited about the potential of Chris Lanzilli (Wake Forest) and Dylan Neuse (Texas Tech). Lanzilli sits in the top five of the ACC in home runs and RBIs, while Neuse is among the Red Raiders’ best hitters. Other newcomers include Hal Hughes (LSU) and the duo of Pat Winkel and Kyler Fedko (Connecticut).  

    The Orleans Firebirds missed out on the postseason a year ago by a mere point in the standings, and Coach Nicholson is hoping his 15th season as manager will provide better fortune. Orleans brings back four returners from last year’s 14-29-1 squad, including hard throwing southpaw Andrew Abbott (Virginia). Abbott dominated hitters en route to a 1.73 ERA in 20.2 innings, and he’ll be pegged as the ace of the Orleans staff. The Vanderbilt duo of Philip Clarke and Pat DeMarco should provide more offensive production at the plate in addition to a defensive presence at catcher and in center field, respectively. Infielder Eddie McCabe (Georgetown) was only with the Firebirds for the last game of the regular season, but went 2 for 4 with a triple and two RBIs.


    Despite last year’s record, the Firebirds are more than capable of making some noise in
the CCBL this season. They have a plethora of young talent arriving in the summer; Shane McGuire (San Diego), Tanner Murray (UC Davis), Joshua Zamora (Nevada-Reno), and Garrett Mitchell (UCLA) are all West Coast kids that can really swing the bat. Flamethrowers Kumar Rocker (Vanderbilt) and JT Ginn (Mississippi State) should inject some life into the Firebirds’ pitching staff. Coach Nicholson really likes the potential of Nick Frasso (Loyola Marymount), another hard-throwing righty who can rack up strikeouts in a hurry.  

    Yarmouth-Dennis Coach Scott Pickler was recently inducted to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame. Pickler embarks on his 22nd year as manager of YD, and hopes to secure his seventh CCBL Championship.

    The 2018 Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox cruised to a 27-12-5 record, tops amongst all teams in the CCBL. However, they were shockingly bounced out of the playoffs after two straight defeats, and will look to avenge last season’s playoff woes with the help of six returning players. Infielder Noah Campbell (South Carolina) led the East Division with a .364 batting average a season ago, and is back to tear up the CCBL once more. Utility man Jonny DeLuca (Oregon), outfielder Reese Albert (Florida State), and catcher Adam Kerner (San Diego) round out the list of experienced hitters the Red Sox welcome back. On top of this, the Red Sox return two valuable arms to their rotation. Lefty pitcher Brant Hurter (Georgia Tech) led the team in innings pitched in 2018 with a 3.09 ERA, and Trenton Denholm (U.C. Irvine) was the best reliever in the CCBL last season, allowing zero runs in 21.2 innings.
    

    The jewel of YD’s newcomers is Austin Martin (Vanderbilt), who General Manager Steve Faucher described as a “can’t miss player”. Martin is among the league leaders in the SEC in batting average, and will be a tough out for even the best arms in the Cape Cod League. J.T. Arruda (Fresno State) and R.J. Yeager (Mercer) will provide some power to an already potent Red Sox offense, and Sam Hall (Clemson) has the potential to be a nightmare for opposing catchers to corral on the base paths. Ian Seymour (Virginia Tech) is a local kid from Westborough, Massachusetts and seems primed to contribute to the Red Sox’ pitching staff.