Late last month the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League held their annual All-Star game, undoubtedly my favorite scouting event each summer. Unfortunately for the third consecutive year I was unable to make the trek to Massachusetts, but luckily Fox College Sports televised the game, allowing me the chance to evaluate the top prospects on Cape Cod. This year’s contest was a surprising 8-0 bludgeoning by the West over the East – these are my scouting notes on several prospects that stood out during the game.
Kevin Smith SS University of Maryland Yarmouth-Dennis
Perhaps my favorite prospect in next summer’s draft, Smith has rebounded from a disappointing sophomore campaign (.259/.308/.409) to make the All-Star team representing Yarmouth-Dennis. Smith was impressive in this game, making several nice plays defensively and flashing above-average arm strength.
Offensively he showed good speed in his first at-bat, going home-to-first in 4.22 seconds in nearly beating out a grounder to shortstop. Later in the contest he pounded a 90mph fastball opposite field for a long line drive out, easily one of the hardest hit balls in the game. In his final two at-bats he struck out both times, showing the biggest present weakness in his game. Nevertheless, Smith shows 4 easy average or better tools, and if a team believes in the hit tool, he projects as a potential Day 1 selection in the 2017 draft.
Gunner Leger LHP University of Louisiana-Lafayette Wareham
Entering the game in the Bottom of the 2nd, Leger immediately caught my attention for his “80” name and prototypical 6-3 200lbs pitcher’s frame. Leger retired the side 1-2-3, needing only 10 pitches to get those 3 outs. In this brief outing, Leger showed his entire 3-pitch arsenal, featuring a 90-93mph fastball with arm-side movement, a 79mph changeup with excellent arm speed and a sweeping 77mph slider with some tilt. With excellent size and the potential for 3 average or better offerings, Leger profiles as an easy top-100 selection next summer.
Garrett Cave RHP Florida International Hyannis
Cave entered the game in the 7th and quickly caught my attention with his simple delivery, impressive 6-3 200lbs projectable body and how easy the ball left his hand. Cave pitches exclusively from the stretch, portending a future as a reliever. Cave needed 17 pitches to strike out all three batters he faced, showing off a 94-98mph fastball with movement and a hammer 81-82mph curveball with plus potential. The fact that he profiles purely in relief is the only knock I see, as he has a simple motion and the potential for two plus or better offerings. Cave is another intriguing collegiate pitcher in the 2017 draft class.
Old Dominion rising junior SS Zach Rutherford (Hyannis) stood out during the game, making several highlight-worthy plays. Defensively he showed a solid arm and quality range, making several nice plays deep in the hole. Also, in the 2nd inning, Rutherford took a low-and-away fastball deep to right field for an opposite field home run. Later in the 4th inning Rutherford showed above-average speed in beating out an infield single. A middle infielder with obvious tools, Rutherford has a chance to be a top-5 round pick next year.
It was a pleasant surprise to see two George Washington Colonials playing in the event, their first CCBL All-Stars since 2005. Senior RHP Eddie Muhl (Cotuit) entered the game in the 4th inning and looks ominous on the hill with a thick 6-4 225lbs frame. Muhl was clearly struggling with his command, but showed an 89-91mph fastball with excellent arm-side movement and one 81mph changeup with heavy sink. He is a pure reliever, but with the way seniors are presently valued in the draft, Muhl could be a top-10 round pick next year. Later junior 2B/P Robbie Metz (Wareham) entered the game but was unfortunately hit by a pitch in his only at-bat, though he did come around to score for the West.