Like an annual rite of spring, the amateur draft in June stocks major league teams and is always filled with top performers from the Cape Cod Baseball League.
This year is no different.
Baseball America, the bible of amateur and professional baseball, has come out with its annual list of top draft prospects and the CCBL boasts an impressive 12 of the top 30 front-line players.
The No. 1 prospect is 6-5, 190-pound fireballing right-hander Mark Appel (Stanford), who went 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox last summer, striking out 15 batters in just 12 innings and clocked at 97 MPH. Ranked No. 5 is hard-hitting shortstop Deven Marrero (Arizona State) of Cotuit, who hit .326 with two doubles and five RBI in 12 games for the Kettleers.
The remaining prospects in the top 10 are No. 5 Mike Zunino (Florida), a catcher who hit .303 for the Y-D Red Sox; No. 6 Kevin Gausman (LSU), a right-hander who was 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA for the CCBL champion Harwich Mariners; No. 7 Chris Beck (Georgia Southern), another righty who was 2-3 with a 4.00 ERA for Cotuit; No. 8 Brian Johnson (Florida), a first baseman/southpaw hurler who hit .280 with two home runs and 14 RBIs and was 2-0 with a 4.30 ERA for the Y-D Red Sox, and No. 9 outfielder Victor Roache (Georgia Southern), who batted .316 with six homers and 28 RBIs for the Kettleers.
Other Cape Leaguers among the top 30 draft prospects include No. 18 third baseman Stephen Piscotty (Stanford), second leading hitter in the CCBL (349, 3 home runs, 21 RBIs) for the Y-D Red Sox; No. 22 Marcus Stroman (Duke), a right-hander who pitched six scoreless innings for the Orleans Firebirds; No. 24 outfielder Travis Jankowski (Stony Brook), who hit .329 for the Bourne Braves; No. 25 Josh Elander (Texas Christian), a catcher who hit .250 for the Bourne Braves, and No. 26 Richie Shaffer (Clemson), a slugging corner infielder who hit .263 with 6 homers and 22 RBIs for the Chatham Anglers.
Jankowski won the CCBL’s Pat Sorenti Most Valuable Player award in 2011, while Roache was the league’s Robert A. McNeece Award winner as Outstanding Pro Prospect.
CCBL Hall of Fame Nominations Due
Cape League Preseason Rosters Available
CCBL Team Internships Available
March of Dimes Telerama Raises $50,000
Cape Cod Day at Fenway Park
Next CCBL EXCOM Meeting
The next Cape League Executive Committee meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, March 7, at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center beginning at 6 p.m.
Did You Know?
Seven Cape League alumni have gone on to capture MVP awards in the big leagues, including Ryan Braun (Brewster ’04) of the Milwaukee Brewers last season. Others include catcher Thurman Munson (Chatham ’67) of the New York Yankees in 1976, Frank Thomas (Orleans ’88) of the Chicago White Sox in ’93 and ’94, Jeff Bagwell (Chatham ’87-’88) of the Houston Astros in 1994, Mo Vaughn (Wareham ’87-’88) of the Red Sox in 1995 and Jeff Kent (Cotuit ’88) of the San Francisco Giants in 2000.
John Garner, Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting