Five Returning Hitters to Watch This Summer
05/09/2023 6:33 AM
Article By: Brian Butler
With the Cape League season just over a month away, anticipation is beginning to build for Opening Day. Many of the league’s outstanding players from last summer have carried on their Cape performances to their schools. The following five players have all posted standout collegiate springs and are expected to return to the Cape League this summer.
Cam Fisher, OF, University of North Carolina Charlotte
Following a successful summer with Brewster last year, Cam Fisher returned to Charlotte and simply tore the cover off the ball. Through 47 games for the 49ers, Fisher is slashing .331/.495/.761, good for an other-worldly 1.256 OPS. The Charlotte outfielder is currently tied for fifth in the country in home runs (21), and his .761 SLG% ranks in the top 30. He has also demonstrated incredible plate discipline, posting more walks than strikeouts, with an elite 18% chase rate. Fisher has also shown some good baserunning acumen, stealing seven bases without being caught. Whitecap fans can certainly look forward to the return of Cam Fisher this summer.
Mike Sirota, OF, Northeastern
Mike Sirota turned a lot of heads in Hyannis last summer, posting a .339/.442/.974 line following his freshman season with the Huskies. When he got back to Boston, he kept up the torrid pace. 41 games into the season, Sirota is hitting .354/.493/.690 with 18 steals in 20 attempts. Sirota has shown an improved power stroke from his freshman year, hitting 13 home runs, up from four last season, as part of his 23 extra-base hits. The sophomore outfielder is also one of the most selective hitters in the nation, chasing just 12% of pitches outside the strike zone. Sirota has performed at an elite level for Northeastern, and Hyannis fans should be greatly anticipating his return.
Nick Lorusso, 3B, Maryland
Nick Lorusso played just seven regular season games for the Whitecaps last summer, but the Brewster faithful should be ecstatic to see more from him this summer. Following a successful stint at Stony Brook Field, Lorusso went back to College Park and has continued to be one of the best hitters in the nation. The Terrapins infielder currently leads the country in RBI with 84, a number that has broken the previous Maryland record, which had stood for 30 years. In breaking the record, Lorusso showed a flair for the dramatic, hitting a grand slam to put his name into the history books. He is also currently tied for 11th in the country in home runs (20), and his .766 slugging percentage ranks in the top 25. Lorusso’s return to Brewster should be something to look forward to.
Ryan Campos, C, Arizona State
Ryan Campos was incredible for Wareham last summer, being named to the West Division team for the All-Star Game. Following his great summer, Campos took his talents back to Tempe where he has continued to hit. Through 36 games played, the Sun Devil backstop has a .414/.518/.639 slashline, with both the batting average and on-base percentage ranking top 20 in the nation. Campos also has elite plate discipline, walking nearly twice as many times as he has struck out, while posting an incredible 15% chase rate. The return of Ryan Campos should give Gatemen fans something to look forward to at Clem Spillane Field this summer.
Rikuu Nishida, 2B, University of Oregon
College baseball fans around the nation have learned what Cape League fans learned last summer: Rikuu Nishida is electric. Following his move to Oregon, the reigning Cape League 10th Man of the Year has been one of the most entertaining players in the country, continuing his right-handed practice swings and incredible hustle up in Eugene. Rikuu has been outstanding for the Ducks, hitting .322 with an .864 OPS through 45 games played. Nishida is one of the toughest hitters to face in the nation, striking out just once every 13.1 at-bats. Rikuu also set the new Oregon single-season record for stolen bases, with 19 so far on the year. Nishida has also made headlines by carrying on his wood bat use into college baseball, using it to hit four home runs. As excited as everyone should be to watch Rikuu play, the Harbor Hawks social feed summed it up the best: He’s back.
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