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Major League Baseball knows where to look for talent

07/18/2011 9:28 AM

Article By: Micaela Fouhy

     Considered an integral feeder system to Major League Baseball, The Cape Cod Baseball League has more than a thousand alumni who have played Major League Baseball.
 
      In 2010, 251 Cape League alumni were selected in that MLB draft.  Six of those 251 players were drafted in the first round.
 
     Fast forward to 2011 and you will see that eight players were drafted in the first round and four in the supplemental first round including two players selected by both the Boston Red Sox and their AL East Division rivals Tampa Bay Rays.
 
     "The Cape League is a great learning experience for those who want to play professionally," said Brewster Whitecaps General Manager Tom Myers. "You need to go out every day with a clear mind and enjoy your work. Every day is an all-star game."
 
     The first Cape Leaguer selected in this spring’s draft was George Springer, who toiled for two seasons with the Wareham Gatemen, batting .288 in 16 games in 2010, after being named to the CCBL All Star Team in 2009.
 
     The University of Connecticut product, who was ranked second in Baseball America’s Top-30 Cape League Prospects, was selected 11th in the draft by the Houston Astros. He had a record-breaking season for UConn in 2010, notching a.337 batting average in 243 at-bats. He followed that up this year with a .350 average, 12 home runs, and 77 RBIs.
 
     Springer was joined in by another Wareham product in the first round, left-handed hurler Jed Bradley, who was picked 15th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers. The product of Georgia Tech played for the Gatemen in 2010, was named a Cape League All-Star and recorded 44 strikeouts and a 1.98 ERA in six appearances.
 
     The Boston Red Sox chose two Cape Leaguers - one in the opening round and one in the supplemental round. Matt Barnes (Wareham, 2009, 2010) was the No. 13 pick overall and was ranked third in Baseball America’s 2010 Cape League Top 30 Prospects after posting a 1-2 record with a 2.18 ERA and 20 strikeouts last year. Barnes attended the University of Connecticut.
In the supplemental round, The Red Sox grabbed Jackie Bradley (Hyannis, 2009), who was instrumental in the University of South Carolina winning the last two NCAA Division 1 championships, was grabbed in the 49th position.
     Other players selected in the opening round with Cape League credentials included CJ Cron (Cotuit, 2010), who was picked 17th by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Kolten Wong (Orleans 2010), the 2010 CCBL MVP, was tabbed in the 22nd spot by the St. Louis Cardinals.
     The San Francisco Giants selected Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox all-star Joe Panik (Y-D, 2010) in the 29th spot followed by Minnesota selecting Levi Michael (Harwich, 2009-2010) in the 30th spot. The final Cape Leaguer chosen in the first round of the draft was Mike Mahtook (Harwich, 2010) by the Rays as the 31st pick of the draft.
     Also selected by the Rays, with the 59th overall pick, was the B.F.C.Whitehouse Award winner as the Cape League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher in 2010, Grayson Garvin (Falmouth, 2009, Bourne, 2010). Last year in the CCBL, he logged a 5-0 record and a 0.74 ERA with 37 strikeouts.