08/02/2022 11:13 AM
Article By: Ethan Kagno
As the regular season comes to a close, we take a look at some of the most statistically impressive Cape League arms; the sabermetric stars, if you will, with some of their jaw-dropping numbers that left scouts enamored. Thank you to Jarred Kostas for putting this data together, all data courtesy of TrackMan!
Liam Simon (Notre Dame/Harwich ‘21/Brewster ‘22) appeared in three starts for the Brewster Whitecaps this season. He featured a sinker that nearly touched 99 mph which was the hardest pitch thrown this summer (minimum 10 pitches). His fastball averaged 95 and had a slider in the low-mid 80s. Simon left the Cape following his last start on July 13th to hear his name called in the fifth-round (166th overall) of the 2022 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants. The former Notre Dame flamethrower touched triple digits on occasion, with great arm-side run and figures to be a solid bullpen arm at the major league level.
Eriq Swan (Middle Tennessee State/Wareham ‘22) averaged the hardest heater at nearly 97 mph this season for the Wareham Gatemen. Swan generates tons of power from his large 6’6”, 240-lb frame and struck out 11 batters in eight innings of relief. He commands his slider well which has noticeable vertical break. The rising junior at MTSU didn’t allow a single run on the Cape and left Wareham with a 0.63 WHIP.
Mike Walsh (Yale/Brewster ‘21/Wareham ’22) was the only pitcher to have a fastball exceeding 2700 rotations per minute (RPM) with his four-seamer. He also showed off the highest average breaking ball horizontal break with his slider, coming in at 23.74 inches. The Yale hurler appeared in eight games for the Wareham Gatemen, collecting two saves and one win. Walsh owned a 2.38 ERA with a solid 23:5 K/BB ratio in 11.1 IP. Walsh became the first Ivy-leaguer drafted in the 2022 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth-round (260th overall). Walsh could certainly find success in a bullpen role at the next level due to the phenomenal movement on his pitches.
Drew Conover (Rutgers/Harwich ‘22) had perhaps the nastiest sinker on the Cape this season. His average horizontal break showed 21.1” of movement which topped the league (min. 10 pitches). His curveball stood out as well, as it ranked fourth at 2873.61 rpm. Conover was one of the best relievers on the Cape this season, supported by a 1.50 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, three saves, and 18 Ks in 18 IP for Harwich. The former Seton Hall slinger was taken in the 20th round (597th overall) by the Detroit Tigers but instead, will continue his collegiate career at Rutgers.
Hunter Hodges (UNC Wilmington/Harwich ‘22) had an average breaking ball spin rate of 3008.11 rpm on his curveball which was the league’s best. Good luck making contact with that. Hodges joined previously mentioned Drew Conover in the Mariners’ bullpen this summer and was a hitter's nightmare. The former had a 2.25 ERA, 21 Ks, and was tied for second-place on the Cape in saves with three.
ALL DATA COURTESY OF TRACKMAN