08/26/2020 1:23 PM
2013/2014 Battting Champ Kevin Newman - SportsPix Photo
Article By: Riley Demanche
With the 2020 season being cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, it is a great opportunity to look back at some of the most prolific players that the Cape Cod Baseball League has seen over the past decade. After the completion of each season, there is a selection that takes place for an All-League team, generating a complete roster for those that performed at the highest level. This team is determined by a collection of coaches and administration for the league, and is one of the highest honors a player can receive at the end of the summer.
Since there will be no All-League team for 2020, instead there will be an All-Decade team that compares each position group from the years of 2010-2019 and formulates a roster based on each player’s performance from the CCBL. By using a unique point ranking formula, this team is filled with 8 infielders, 6 outfielders, 5 starting pitchers, 3 relief pitchers, 2 catchers, 2 utility players, and 2 designated hitters. The purpose of creating a point-based formula will allow us to compare players from different years based on their accomplishments, performance, and draft status. By including all of these variables it creates an objective list, and it is meant to bring back some exciting memories from when these players took the field in the CCBL.
Here is the full breakdown for the Point Ranking Formula:
⦁ 10 Points for CCBL MVP - Pat Sorenti Award
⦁ 7 Points for Batting Champion - Thurman Munson Award
⦁ 7 Points for Outstanding Pro Prospect - Robert A. McNeece Award
⦁ 7 Points for Outstanding Pitcher - B.F.C. Whitehouse Award
⦁ 7 Points for Outstanding Relief Pitcher - Russ Ford Award
⦁ 5 Points for MLB 1st Round Pick (Including Compensation Picks)
⦁ 1 bonus point for Top 10 pick, additional bonus point if selected #1 Overall
⦁ 4 Points for Top New England Prospect - John J. Claffey Award
⦁ 3 Points for MLB 2nd/3rd Round Pick
⦁ 1 Point for MLB 4th-10th Round Pick
⦁ 1 additional Point for League Leader in HR, RBI
⦁ 1 additional Point for League Leader in SO, Wins, ERA, Saves
You can click here to see the selections and the full point distributions for the team:
2010-2019 All Decade Team:
The Infield position is filled with 4 previous Pat Sorenti Award winners, including 2019 recipient Nick Gonzales. The other 3 MVPs are Kolten Wong of 2010, Kevin Newman of 2014, and Nick Senzel of 2015. There are also 3 Thurman Munson Batting Champions highlighted by Kevin Newman who accomplished this in back-to-back years in 2013 and 2014, but also Stephen Piscotty in 2011 and Cole Freeman in 2016. 7 of these 8 players were selected in the first round of their respective drafts, including the #1 overall selection for the 2020 Draft, Spencer Torkelson. The final spot is filled by Tyler Horan who was named the 2012 John J. Claffey Award winner, and currently sits at 2nd in All Time Home-Runs for the league with 16.
Moving to the Outfield position, 5 of these 6 spots are taken by former CCBL MVPs including: Travis Jankowski in 2011, Phil Ervin in 2012, Ernie Clement in 2016, Greyson Jenista in 2017, and Matthew Barefoot in 2018. The sixth and final spot for the OF is taken by JJ Bleday, who captured the Robert A. McNeece Award in 2018 as he was on his way to being selected #4 overall in the 2019 MLB Draft.
The starting five rotation for the decade begins with 2012 Outstanding Pro Prospect and Outstanding Pitcher Award winner Sean Manaea. The other three Outstanding Pitchers included are Grayson Garvin of 2010, Kris Bubic of 2017, and Mitchell Jordan of 2015, who also holds the record for lowest ERA in the league’s history at 0.21. The fifth starter was the only one of the group to not win Outstanding Pitcher, but was selected as the Outstanding Pro Prospect in 2013. Jeff Hoffman solidified his success in the CCBL after being taken #9 overall in the 2014 Draft.
Moving to the three relief pitchers, two of them were selected as both the Outstanding Pro Prospect and also the Outstanding Relief Pitcher. Tony Zych accomplished this in 2010, and Phil Bickford followed this trend in 2014. The final bullpen spot goes to Trevor Gott who was responsible for 12 regular season Saves, which is the most we have seen this decade.
While there were only 2 selections for behind the plate, both of these guys were award winners and eventual 1st Round Picks. The only catcher of the decade to win MVP is Max Pentecost in 2013, and he is accompanied by the 2019 Robert A. McNeece Award winner, Austin Wells.
Every roster needs one or two guys that can really do it all. While they may not have fit into their individual position, these two from 2017 each received a League Award, and were selected in the 2nd Round of the 2018 Draft. Tanner Dodson collected the Thurman Munson Award after finishing the year with a .365 average, while Griffin Conine was selected as the Outstanding Pro Prospect, and led the league in Home-Runs with 11 that summer.
The final two roster spots go to guys that dominated the plate every time they stepped into the box. Andrew Calica was the Batting Champion in 2015 after finishing the year with an astonishing .425 average, placing him 5th All-Time for the league, and by far the highest average for the decade. Victor Roache is the other DH in the lineup after finishing the 2011 season with a .316 average, and then selected in the 1st Round of the 2012 Draft.
We would be remiss to say that there were several players that could be interchangeable to this roster such as Ryan Eades, Jared Shuster, Zach DeLoach, and Chris Shaw (just to name a few) who all stapled their names on the league and were high draft picks. Each year we continue to see former CCBL players begin their professional careers, and continue to build on the success they had during their time on the Cape. These selections that were made tried to include all of the various factors that make the Cape Cod Baseball League the premier summer collegiate league. Winning various awards such as MVP, Top Prospect, and Batting Champion can often propel these players to the top of their draft class and begin their professional career. As we miss out on the experience of a traditional season due to COVID-19, it can be fun to reminisce on some of the elite players this league has to offer.