Five New Players to Watch This Summer
05/04/2023 6:57 AM
Article By: Daniel Curren
Another summer is around the corner in Cape Cod, which means the return of one of the area’s greatest traditions, the Cape Cod Baseball League. Many of the premiere players in college baseball will make their way to the Cape with hopes to impress Major League scouts, create new friendships, and make lifelong memories. Fans who attend a Cape League game in 2023 could be watching MLB’s next MVP, Cy Young, or World Series MVP. Listed below are five new players you don’t want to miss this summer.
Jac Caglianone - Falmouth Commodores
The two-way sensation at the University of Florida has made national headlines in 2023. In just his sophomore season, Caglianone has slugged an NCAA-leading 26 home runs, tying the single-season program record. He touts a slash line of .364/.418/.677 for a 1.284 OPS through the Gators first 46 games of the season. He also leads the NCAA in total bases (162), and ranks 6th in RBI (67). On the mound, he has struck out 52 batters in 44 innings. The lefty features a fastball that touches 97 mph, as well as a devastating slider and curveball. Caglianone will join the Falmouth Commodores this summer and will look to lead Falmouth to their 15th Cape League championship.
Vance Honeycutt - Bourne Braves
The UNC center fielder has been ranked by many as one of the top college prospects for the 2024 MLB draft. In his first two seasons with the Tar Heels, Honeycutt is slashing .279/.418/.599 for a 1.017 OPS, as well as 36 home runs, 94 RBI, and 47 stolen bases in just 109 games. His 49 walks in 2023 are tied for second most in the NCAA. He has also shown excellent defensive skills and tremendous athleticism, making him a very complete player. He and the Bourne Braves will look to capture their second consecutive Cape League championship in 2023.
Brody Brecht - Chatham Anglers
The former two-sport athlete at the University of Iowa will be bringing his high heat to the Cape this summer. He also played football for Iowa as a wide receiver, but recently announced he will be stepping away from the gridiron to focus on baseball full time. Brecht has a fastball that hit 104 mph during his sophomore season with the Hawkeyes. He also has a slider that has proven to be a strong put-away pitch. This has made him one of the most unhittable pitchers in college baseball. With 77 strikeouts in 50.2 innings, Brecht’s 13.70 strikeouts per nine innings ranks in the top 10 in the NCAA. Opponents have hit just .157 against Brecht throughout the 2023 season. He will be pitching for the Chatham Anglers this summer as they look to win their first Cape League championship since 1998.
Nick Kurtz - Harwich Mariners
The Wake Forest first baseman and outfielder has led the Demon Deacons to a 37-6 record, putting them at the number two spot in NCAA’s rankings. Kurtz has dominated this year with a slash line of .354/.525/.779. His .525 on base percentage and .779 slugging percentage both rank in the top 25 in the NCAA. In just 88 games at the collegiate level, Kurtz has hit 29 home runs, driven in 103, and walked 87 times, with only 69 strikeouts. He is one of most dynamic bats at the division one level, with an incredible ability to get on base and drive the ball. Kurtz will be playing for the Harwich Mariners this summer as they seek their first Cape League championship since 2011.
D’Angelo Ortiz - Brewster Whitecaps
In case you are wondering, this is indeed the son of Red Sox legend and Baseball Hall of Famer David Ortiz. In his first year at Miami Dade College, Ortiz wrapped up the regular season slashing .327/.438/.365. He showed excellent plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills with 30 walks and 21 strikeouts in 159 plate appearances. Ortiz played in the Futures League for the Brockton Rox last summer, where he hit .329 and got on base at a .435 clip. The third baseman and outfielder will bring his talents to Brewster this summer, where the Whitecaps will be seeking their first Cape League championship since 2021.