Compiled below is a list of the Top 50 professional prospects who spent meaningful time on the Cape in 2019, and does not include those who competed for Team USA. Led by top prospect Nick Gonzales, a 2019 Perfect Game 1st Team All-American out of New Mexico State, the list is followed by reports on the Top 30 players.
Top 50 Prospect Reports
1. Nick Gonzales, 2b, Cotuit (New Mexico State/JR in 2020)
Despite earning Perfect Game All-American honors after slashing a ridiculous .432/.532/.773 at New Mexico State during the spring, the jury on Nick Gonzales was still out, as those numbers were largely generated in the hit-happy Western Athletic Conference and at Presley-Askew Field in Las Cruces, a launching pad that sits at almost 4,000 feet above sea level. After this summer, the verdict is in, and the 5-foot-10, 190-pound Gonzales is a proven stud, surely one of the top bats in the college game. It starts with quick and strong hands, allowing him to track the ball deep, looking for pitches he can drive with authority. His at-bats are marked with professionalism and patience, displaying command of the strike zone and resulting in amazing consistency. He concluded the season reaching base safely in 24 straight games, pounded both right and left-handers, led the league in on-base percentage (.451) and slugging (.630) while posting a low 12 percent K-rate. Defensively, the second baseman showed he can make all the plays required at the next level. Now that he’s established a high floor, scouts and fans are left wondering just how high Gonzales’ ceiling really is?
2. Austin Wells, c/of, Yarmouth-Dennis (Arizona/SO in 2020)
Last summer MLB scouts voted Vanderbilt’s JJ Bleday as the Cape’s Top Pro Prospect, and he blew up in the spring, hitting 27 homers on his way to the fourth overall selection in the 2019 MLB draft. This year’s recipient is Austin Wells, the 2019 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after posting a 1.014 OPS for the Wildcats. While Wells pounded seven homers and was among the league leaders in OPS, at 6-foot-2, 205-pounds and room to grow, there appears to be much more power in his future. The highly athletic catcher/outfielder plays the game with poise and confidence, making things look easy, whether its catching a foul pop, taking the extra base or flat swiping them outright (8-for-8 in attempts). The hit tool is special, as the lefty stays within himself with good command of the zone, waiting to pounce on mistakes and rip them all over the field. While the draft-eligible rising sophomore suffered an elbow injury in high school, delaying his development as a catcher, Wells flashed a quick release and snappy arm this summer, indicating the potential to stick there at the next level.
3. Ian Bedell, rhp, Wareham (Missouri/JR in 2020)
Much has been expected of Ian Bedell since he played in the 2017 Perfect Game All-American Classic as a 17-year old, one month before he enrolled early at Missouri after skipping his senior year of high school. The Tigers’ top closer last spring, Bedell introduced a nasty 82-83 changeup this summer to complement a lively, 91-94 fastball and sharp 12-to-6 curve, rounding out an elite three-pitch mix. He consistently dominated opposing hitters all summer, yielding just two runs and three extra-base hits over six starts and 32 1/3 innings. In fact, those two runs and two doubles came in the same inning, otherwise the right-hander was nearly perfect over the regular season. In addition to high-level productivity, Bedell’s 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame seems capable of carrying more quality weight, offering the tantalizing possibility of fastball velocity ticking up to the mid- to upper-90s. With Missouri losing starters TJ Sikkema and Jacob Cantleberry, Bedell looks ready for a breakout year as a weekend starter for the Tigers and as a 20-year old MLB Draft prospect next June.
4. Zach DeLoach, of, Falmouth (Texas A&M/JR in 2020)
One look at the smooth and athletic 6-foot-2, 200-pound outfielder Zach DeLoach and you wonder how he only hit .200 last spring for Texas A&M. His confidence has been restored in a big way this summer as the lefty-swinging DeLoach won the batting title (.353) while finishing third in OPS (.969). While he roughed up right-handers (.375), DeLoach also proved he can handle premium lefties. In late July versus Vanderbilt’s 6-foot-5 southpaw Jake Eder, he went 3-for-3 with hits to all fields, including a smoked, pull-side double off a 91 heater. He’s also shown good wheels, stealing 8-of-10 bags and covering plenty of ground in the outfield, while flashing an above average arm with good carry. The Aggie offense struggled mightily last spring, finishing with the second lowest slugging percentage in SEC play. With a refreshed outlook, DeLoach seems poised for a big year in College Station, seeking to lift the Aggies fortunes while further boosting his 2020 draft stock.
5. Carmen Mlodzinski, rhp, Falmouth (South Carolina/JR in 2020)
After an uneven freshman campaign, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Carmen Mlodzinski was South Carolina’s Friday starter to begin the 2019 campaign. Unfortunately, a freak foot injury suffered against Clemson shelved him for the season, turning the Gamecocks season south at the same time. Now healthy, Mlodzinski showed some of the most electric stuff on the Cape, commanding an explosive 95-96 tailing fastball, a high-spin, late-breaking 11-to-5 curveball and, on occasion, an 88-89 cutter. That arsenal was delivered with aggression and purpose, as the athletic Mlodzinski attacks fearlessly with medium-low effort through a three-quarters slot. It all came together over 34 1/3 innings, as the physical right-hander held opponents to an anemic .180 slugging percentage while whiffing 43 and walking just five batters. He’ll be Mark Kingston’s Friday guy again in 2020, pitching before a bevy of MLB scouts as the Gamecocks look to get back on track in the rugged SEC.
6. Matt McLain, of/if, Wareham (UCLA/So. In 2020)
Few incoming 2019 freshman faced higher expectations than UCLA’s Matt McLain, the 25th overall selection in the 2018 draft. And while he had some moments in Westwood, McLain finished the season hitting just .203. That debut seems like a distant memory as McLain was one of the best overall players on the Cape, earning West All-Star honors for Wareham. McLain entered that game hitting .325 and put on a show, winning co-MVP honors on a 2-for-2 night, including a pull-side, two-run, moonshot homer off Stanford’s Jacob Palisch. Though he did scuffle towards summer’s end, McLain clearly showed why the Diamondbacks thought so highly of his hit tool. Listed at 5-foot-9, 175-pounds, McLain is deceptively strong in both the lower and upper halves. His body control, quickness in changing direction and solid arm enable him impact games defensively just about anywhere on the field. With UCLA suffering several position losses from last year’s outstanding team, it will be interesting to see how head coach John Savage deploys the uber-talented sophomore next spring.
7. Hayden Cantrelle, ss/2b, Falmouth (Louisiana/JR in 2020)
A big-time recruit for Louisiana-Lafayette in 2017, Hayden Cantrelle struggled last year on the Cape but really blossomed this past spring for the Ragin’ Cajuns, slugging .504 while stealing 28-of-32 bases. Back on the Cape with experience and maturity, the switch-hitting Cantrelle was a dynamic playmaker and ideal leadoff hitter. He can beat out bunts, drive the ball to gaps and muscle up for homers, especially from the left side. His consistency over the summer was impressive from both sides of the dish, finishing among league leaders in hitting, stolen bases (19-for-21) and runs scored while playing with flair and a love of the game. Cantrelle offers middle infield flexibility, showing poise, range and a good arm from either second base or shortstop, where he started for the Western Division in the All-Star game. He’ll be a welcome sight for Matt Deggs this fall, who takes over as head coach after the sudden passing of the legendary Tony Robichaux earlier this summer.
8. Kaden Polcovich, if/of, Chatham (Oklahoma State/JR in 2020)
The son of a big leaguer, Kaden Polcovich originally committed to Oklahoma, then enrolled at Kentucky before transferring to North Florida JC, where he played the last two years. Now bound for Oklahoma State, the fiercely competitive and versatile switch-hitter opened eyes all summer. Historically an infielder, Polcovish played mostly outfield for Chatham, showing good instincts and solid arm while making several highlight-reel plays. But it’s with the bat where Polcovich does his best work. Never giving an inch at the plate, the 5-foot-10, 195-pounder is strong as an ox, walks as much as he strikes out and has real power, particularly from the left side. His swing is a thing of beauty, keeping the barrel in the zone with ability to lift and backspin baseballs. He also showed a flair for the dramatic and became a fan favorite for his hustle and desire. Where he ultimately plays for the Cowboys and at the next level remains to be seen, but Polcovich will undoubtedly impact games at the plate and wherever he is on the field.
9. Kolby Kubichek, rhp, Chatham (Texas/SO in 2020)
In this day of cookie-cutter pitching prospects, it’s refreshing to see someone like rising sophomore Kolby Kubichek, Texas’s 6-foot, 165-pound highly athletic right-hander. This summer he commanded an impressive four-pitch mix, one that flummoxed Cape’s hitters to a .202 slugging percentage. Kubichek hides the ball well before delivering the rock through a high slot with really quick arm action. His fastball is a low-spin 89-91 bowling ball that sinks and tails, making it very difficult to barrel and lift with any authority. That pitch is offset by an 82-84 changeup presented with identical arm action, leading to many swings-and-misses. Add an effective curve and slider, and it’s no wonder Kubichek finished with a 0.90 ERA over 30 innings. A former shortstop who fields his position superbly, Kubichek should be a key piece for David Pierce as the fourth-year head coach looks to get Texas back on track after closing last season 4-13 and missing the Big 12 tournament.
10. Jordan Westburg, ss, Hyannis (Mississippi State/JR in 2020)
After a solid freshman season in Starkville, Jordan Westburg flourished under first-year head coach Chris Lemonis, providing consistency at the dish and reliable defense at shortstop as the Bulldogs won 52 games, including a trip to Omaha. In fact, the right-handed swinging Westburg led Hail State with 69 runs scored, posted a .402 on-base average and pounded 29 extra-base hits. After arriving late following the Omaha trip, the sturdy 6-foot-3, 206-pound Westburg displayed a plus hit tool over 95 at-bats for Hyannis, flashing all-fields power and an ability to catch up to high heat, ending the summer with an OPS of .900. Strangely, Westburg owned right-handed pitching, hitting .394 with an OPS of 1.044, while managing just a .172 average against left-handers. While Westburg performed well at shortstop, with his size and potential for more growth, it’s unclear where he projects best at the next level.
11. Daniel Cabrera, of, Harwich (LSU/JR in 2020)
Wearing the iconic No. 8 jersey for LSU is an honor bestowed upon a Tiger who “exemplifies the spirit of LSU baseball through leadership and dedication to the program.” Next spring that jersey will be worn by rising-junior Daniel Cabrera, an athletic and polished lefty-swinging outfielder who already has a big league presence about him. After a sensational freshman year (.930 OPS) and impressive 2018 stint with Team USA, Cabrera slipped a bit last spring, producing less power with more swing-and-miss. On the Cape this summer, the 6-foot, 190-pound Cabrera showed an ability to barrel tough pitches, covered plenty of ground in the outfield and proved himself to be a good base-stealer (10-for-11), an intriguing part of his game heretofore unseen in Baton Rouge. Many eyes will be glued to Cabrera next spring in advance of the 2020 draft and as LSU looks to make a title run.
12. Gage Workman, ss/3b, Brewster (Arizona State/JR in 2020)
Still growing into his already impressive 6-foot-4, 205-pound body is Gage Workman of Arizona State, a precocious 19-year old who’s already logged more than 650 at-bats as a collegian, including 262 with wood on the Cape. While he’s shown year-over-year improvement, including hitting .330 in Tempe last spring, his ceiling appears to be even higher. A fast-twitch switch-hitter, Workman flashed his tool-set in the All-Star Game, ripping extra-base hits from each side and showing electrifying baseball speed rounding the bases on an inside-the-park home run, earning him co-MVP honors. While forced over to third base at ASU due to the presence of Alika Williams, Workman was solid to spectacular at shortstop this summer, showing unparalleled range to the glove side and flashing a rifle from anywhere on the diamond. Last spring his ASU teammate Hunter Bishop blew up, putting everything together and earning the 10th overall selection. Workman’s upside isn’t dissimilar to Bishop’s, and if everything clicks next spring, he’ll likely hear his name called on day one of the MLB Draft.
13. Hunter Goodman, c, Hyannis (Memphis/SO in 2020)
Athletic and projectable catchers were not in abundance on the Cape, but Hunter Goodman of Memphis was almost certainly at the top of the list. Earning Perfect Game Freshman All-American honors last spring after pounding 31 extra-base hits for Memphis, Goodman continued that productivity on the Cape, launching eight homers, leading the circuit with 37 RBI and slugging .494. At 6-foot, 205-pounds, Goodman is a physical specimen with a powerful lower half. That strength translates to the barrel, and Goodman wowed scouts at the Fenway workout, sending several towering bombs onto Lansdown Street. Behind the dish Goodman flashed some good pop times while his receiving and blocking skill remain a work in progress. Still young at just 19-years of age, Goodman has time to polish his defense, improve plate discipline and further tap into his massive power well in advance of the 2021 draft.
14. Jud Fabian, of, Bourne (Florida/SO in 2020)
A Perfect Game All-American as a junior in high school, Jud Fabian skipped his senior season and enrolled at Florida in January, 2019. Fabian had mixed results for Kevin O’Sullivan last spring, hitting .232 on the year and just .170 in SEC play. This summer Fabian figured it out, showing why he’s so highly regarded. Possessing physicality and athleticism in a 6-foot-2, 185-pound body, Fabian attacks the zone with an almost purely rotational turn, generating above average bat speed, resulting in a distinct crack on contact and sending rockets all over the yard. He finished the summer slugging .500 over 124 at-bats, an impressive performance for a freshman and one suggestive of much more power to come. Defensively Fabian patrols center field with speed and grace, easily tracking balls in all directions while showing a solid arm. With a year of SEC and Cape experience under his belt before turning 19-years of age, look for Fabian to break out next spring and help the Gators back to prominence.
15. Jacob Palisch, lhp, Harwich (Stanford/JR in 2020)
After a Perfect Game Freshman All-American season in 2018, Jacob Palisch began last spring as a starter for Stanford. However, he took some lumps early and finished the season out of the ‘pen for the Cardinal, concluding with a 4.79 ERA over 56 1/3 innings. This summer Palisch displayed advanced pitchability in missing barrels, ending the summer as one of the most impressive starters on the Cape. In fact, Palisch spun a seven-inning no-hitter in middle of a 25-inning span during which he allowed just one earned run. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound lefty attacks through a high slot, creating good downhill plane on an 89-91 fastball he commands low in the zone to both sides. That offering is complemented by a plus changeup, one he throws confidently to both right and left-handed hitters. After getting touched for 15 extra-base hits in the spring, Cape hitters managed just one off Palisch, a harmless double. With Cardinal lefty Erik Miller now in pro ball, look for Palisch to assume a weekend role on the Farm in 2020.
16. Jesse Franklin, of, Brewster (Michigan/JR in 2020)
The foundation of Erik Bakich’s 2019 CWS runner-up Michigan team was built by solid recruiting classes in 2016 (Karl Kauffmann, Tommy Henry, Jordan Brewer) and 2017, a class Perfect Game ranked 22nd nationally. The plumb that year was Jesse Franklin, Washington’s Gatorade Player of the Year, who immediately impacted the program by belting 10 homers and slugging .588 as a 2018 freshman. Last spring Franklin’s plate discipline ticked upwards, walking 51 times while homering 13 times. Then, after being named to the CWS All-Tournament team, the 6-foot-2, 207-pound lefty came back to Brewster for a second summer. Over 20 games Franklin displayed that gorgeous lefty swing featuring quick hands, natural lift and legit power. Healthy after being relegated to first base last summer with a hamstring issue, Franklin showed superb outfield defense, making several difficult running catches thanks to good instincts and efficient speed. Next spring Franklin will be counted on heavily to lead Michigan back to glory while scouts salivate over his high upside heading into the 2020 draft.
17. Adrian Del Castillo, c/of, Wareham (Miami/SO in 2020)
Last fall new Miami head coach Gino DeMare welcomed a talented freshman class to Coral Gables, led by one of the top prep catchers in America in Adrian Del Castillo. The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder wasted no time contributing, leading the Miami offense with an outstanding .331/.418/.576 slash line that included more walks than strikeouts. Defensively, Del Castillo spent more time in the outfield than behind the dish, delaying his growth as a top-tier backstop. For that reason, the Canes sent Del Castillo to Wareham this summer, where he worked with top catching guru Jerry Weinstein. With good athleticism, quickness and a solid arm, his catch-and-throw potential is real. Presently, it’s the polished and powerful bat that sings loudest. Relaxed and under control in the box, Del Castillo patiently waits for pitches to punish, mostly to the pull side. The ball jumps off the bat and carries farther than you expect, resulting in eight doubles and five homers this summer. Many consider Miami a legitimate Omaha contender next spring. For that to become reality, expect a big spring from Del Castillo, who won’t be draft eligible until 2021.
18. Franco Aleman, rhp, Falmouth (St. Johns River State College/SO in 2020)
One of the youngest players on the Cape, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound right-hander Franco Aleman looks several years older on the hill, with a long, powerful and well-proportioned body. Last spring for FIU, Aleman made 12 starts, posting a 3.97 ERA and figured to give the Panthers an outstanding 1-2 combination next spring with star left-hander Logan Allen. However, things didn’t work out, and in June Aleman announced plans to transfer to St. John’s River CC for 2020 and join Florida in 2021. Aleman was in total control this summer, tossing 23 consecutive scoreless innings in June before finishing with a 1.16 ERA over 31 innings, striking out 27 versus just two free passes. He commands a three-pitch mix, featuring a tailing 89-92 fastball with arm-side run that he bores in on righties. He also showed advance feel for his secondary offerings, namely a high-spin 10-to-4 curveball and an 81-82 changeup, both of which generated swings-and-misses. If the youngster continues to develop, Aleman seems on track to be a high 2021 draft selection as a 20-year old.
19. Sean Sulllivan, rhp, Cotuit (California/SO in 2020)
If you value pitchability and moxie, Sullivan may be your guy. At 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, the lean and loose Sean Sullivan doesn’t strike fear in many opposing hitters until he unleashes his wicked three-pitch arsenal. As a freshman at Cal, Sullivan had his moments, including a high-pressure save versus LSU at Alex Box Stadium, but he got by with a limited fastball/slider mix. This summer he’s added an 83-84 changeup with real fading action, helping play up a lively 89-92 fastball with arm-side run and life up in the zone. The slider is legit, a sharp 81-83 piece with 10-to-4 action he threw with confidence and command, intentionally spiking a few, inducing hitters to chase. Sullivan ended his summer with a 6 1/3-inning championship game start, one he left to a rousing ovation, sporting a wide grin as he strutted off the mound and into a swarm of teammates spilling out of the dugout. As an 18-year old striking out 48 versus just seven walks over 43 1/3 innings, one wonders just how good he can become under the watchful eye of Cal head coach Mike Neu, a noted pitching guru.
20. Jake Eder, lhp, Orleans (Vanderbilt/JR in 2020)
A 2017 blue-chip recruit out of Ocean Ridge, Fla., Jake Eder worked exclusively out of the bullpen for Vanderbilt last spring, throwing the last pitch of the season as the Commodores beat Michigan to win the 2019 National Championship. Over 19 appearances, Eder allowed a meager .200 OBA while striking out one-per-inning. A late arrival, the left-hander served as a starter and showed why many are excited about his future. It starts with an ideal 6-foot-5, 220-pound body that oozes athleticism. The delivery is low effort with loose arm action through a high three-quarters slot. He offers a three-pitch mix, including a 90-93 fastball with some life, a 77-80 breaking ball and a changeup in the 80-82 range. While he made it look easy over 15 innings, posting a 1.20 ERA, it’s possible Eder has even more electricity in the arm, perhaps in shorter bursts out of the ‘pen. The 2020 Commodore staff looks loaded again, so it’s unclear what role Eder will serve in his draft year. Regardless, MLB teams will remain very interested in Eder’s significant upside.
21. Mason Black, rhp, Brewster (Lehigh/SO in 2020)
Last summer Lehigh sent right-hander Levi Stoudt to the Cape to see how he stacked up in the nation’s best summer league. That exposure undoubtedly helped Stoudt become the 97th overall selection in June’s MLB Draft, the highest for any pitcher in Lehigh history. This summer it was another Mountain Hawk who made the most of his opportunity. A 6-foot-3, 210-pound rising sophomore, Mason Black was a workhorse, firing 36 1/3 innings and earning the All-Star starting role for the Eastern Division. In that one-inning showcase, Black amped up his fastball to 93-94, touching 95. With a wide circle and whip-like arm action, Black sat 90-92 most of the summer, a heater with life up in the zone and one he loved throwing to the outside black on lefties. He also offers an effective 80-81 slurve, one with 10-to-4 break that he could through for first-pitch strikes. The 19-year old Black made quite a splash this summer yet still has another two years of development ahead before becoming eligible for the 2021 draft.
22. Jared Shuster, lhp, Orleans (Wake Forest/JR in 2020)
Back in 2017, and hailing from New Bedford, Mass., Jared Shuster was one of the top prep pitchers in New England and on his way to Wake Forest. After scuffling with the Demon Deacons last spring, posting a 6.49 ERA over 68 innings, Shuster found his form with Orleans this summer, silencing wood bats to a sickly .130/.193/.208 slash line. The difference? A wipeout 78-79 changeup Shuster developed with the help of former MLB star Al Leiter, an annual summer visitor to Orleans. He showed comfort throwing that pitch to both right and left-handers, getting hitters to chase in the dirt with futility. Complementing that pitch is a 91-93 fastball that Shuster was comfortable jamming to the glove side, preventing right-handed hitters from getting much extension. Add a serviceable curve and Shuster commanded a three-pitch mix, ending the summer with an ERA of 1.41. Tom Walter and the Demon Deacons can expect a vastly improved 2020 season from the 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-hander.
23. Jack Leftwich, rhp, Yarmouth-Dennis (Florida/JR in 2020)
In 2017, Perfect Game ranked Jack Leftwich the top high school right-hander in the state of Florida and 45th-best incoming freshman nationally. After a solid 2018 for the Gators last spring the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder struggled along with the entire pitching staff, battling a recurring blister issue and rolled ankle much of the season. However, during the last SEC weekend at Missouri, and in a must-win situation for the Gators, Leftwich found his old stuff, firing a two-hit complete game shutout to beat the Tigers. On the Cape Leftwich showed more signs that big things are in store, holding opponents to a .191 OBA over 29 2/3 innings, whiffing 28 versus just seven walks. Working quickly and attacking the entire zone with an 89-92 fastball, Leftwich also showed good feel for an 80-83 changeup, one he threw in any count to keep hitters off balance. Now fully healthy, look for Leftwich and the Gators to get back on track in 2020.
24. Joey Wiemer Jr., OF, Harwich (Cincinnati/JR in 2020)
Last spring for Cincinnati, Joey Wiemer Jr. stole 21 bases and added 21 extra-base hits, helping the Bearcats reach a Regional for the first time in 45 years. On the Cape, the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder with a flowing blonde mullet really stood out, literally and figuratively, for his striking athleticism, joy of the game and high potential. At the plate Wiemer stands straight up, waving his bat high, like a cobra ready to strike. His load features a backward leg-kick and hands that drop into the zone, with his left elbow almost touching his left knee before uncoiling. Then comes a vicious hack, one that produced great bat speed and exit velocity when the barrel was found. For his size, Wiemer can really run, blazing up the line or taking an extra-base when outfielders lapse even briefly. He also covers significant ground in the outfield and has plenty of juice and carry on his throws. While his style is rather unorthodox, it is reminiscent of 13-year MLB veteran Hunter Pence, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound live wire in his own right.
25. Joe Boyle, rhp, Harwich (Notre Dame/JR in 2020)
After just a few pitches, even the casual fan notices the elite velocity of Joe Boyle’s fastball, which makes a distinct pop in the catcher’s glove. Indeed, when the 6-foot-7, 225-pound Boyle reaches back and fires, the heater regularly hits upper-90s, reaching triple digits on occasion. Given his extension, the effective velocity is even higher, further aided by an elite spin-rate in the 2500 range. With a low-effort delivery through a high three-quarters slot, that fastball has downhill plane and explosiveness all over the zone. Boyle also offers a sharp 12-to-6 breaking ball, one he throws at different speeds, inducing more swing-and-miss and contributing to a two strikeout-per-inning figure. Not unusual for a pitcher his size, Boyle struggles with consistently repeating his delivery and finding his release point, averaging about a walk-per-inning as a collegian. Fine tuning his two-pitch mix while adding a changeup would make Boyle even more attractive at the next level, either as a potential starter or slam-the-door closer.
26. Connor McCullough, rhp, Harwich (Kansas State/R-FR in 2020)
It’s hard to imagine a Cape League pitcher arriving without ever having faced a single college hitter in his career, but that was the case for Kansas State’s Connor McCullough, who transferred from Arkansas last fall and sat out the 2019 season in Manhattan, Kansas. Impressively, McCullough gave up only four earned runs all summer, silencing some of the nation’s best hitters to the tune of a .215 slugging percentage. The highly competitive, 6-foot, 185-pound right-hander has a short arm circle with electric quickness to the plate, resulting in high-spin offerings difficult to barrel. He features a lively 89-91 fastball with arm-side run, which he commands all over the zone. However, his primary weapon is a 12-to-6 curveball, an absolute hammer with late, sharp break and striking depth. It’s a pitch he can spike, inducing awkward swings-and-misses at junk in the dirt. Lastly, McCullough has a presence on the mound belying his age, offering second-year Wildcat skipper Pete Hughes a real weapon in Big 12 play.
27. Braiden Ward, of, Wareham (Washington, JR in 2020)
Picture a 5-foot-10, 155-pound whippet who just chugged a quad-espresso and you may see Washington outfielder Braiden Ward. No one created more havoc on the bases than the lefty swinging, twitched-out Ward, who led the league with 27 stolen bases while hitting .303. The speedster consistently registered times in the 3.85 range up the line, even faster on a few drag-bunt hits he laid down as the league’s best table-setter. With solid bat-to-ball skills, Ward even punished a few mistakes for pull-side homers, though he’s best served spraying line drives and turning on the jets. As you might imagine, the center fielder covers gap-to-gap with ease while showing an average, but effective, arm. Ward has led the Pac-12 in stolen bases in his first two years in Seattle, and seems poised for a third straight crown. The next step is reducing some swing-and-miss and drawing more walks, allowing his game-changing speed even more opportunities to impact games.
28. Niko Kavadas, 3b/2b, Harwich (Notre Dame/JR in 2020)
One look at the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Niko Kavadas and raw power is clearly evident. Watch him take a few swings of batting practice, and any doubt is quickly removed. After he smacked 12 homers for Notre Dame while reaching base at a .390 clip, Kavadas started his Cape summer just 4-for-24 before adjusting his timing and finding more barrels, ultimately leading the league in homers while raising his average to .252. Employing a classic uppercut swing, Kavadas sends balls soaring to all fields, even when he doesn’t find 100 percent barrel. He’s particularly brutal on right-handers, against whom he hit all his homers in just 80 at-bats for an OPS of 1.040. The trade-off is a higher than ideal, but not unreasonable, strikeout rate of 30 percent. Defensively, Kavadas is a corner infielder with a shot to stick at third base, where he went errorless for Harwich while flashing a real hose across the diamond. With light-tower power so highly coveted in professional baseball, Kavadas will be given every opportunity to succeed at the next level.
29. Trei Cruz, ss/3b, Falmouth (Rice/JR in 2020)
When you’re a member of the Cruz family in the Houston area, you’re expected to hit. So it should come as no surprise that Trei Cruz of Rice rakes with the best of them. After hitting .305 with 26 extra-base knocks for the Owls last spring, Cruz hit .307 this summer while flashing some power. A switch-hitter, Cruz shows different styles from each side. As a righty, there are more moving parts, with a big leg kick and a real handsy load. From the left, it’s more textbook, with simpler, efficient actions. Perhaps not surprisingly, Cruz was much more successful from the left side, hitting .350 with a .915 OPS. Well-built and country-strong at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, Cruz has good baseball speed, running the bases aggressively and stealing 11-of-14 bags for Falmouth. While he played shortstop all spring for Rice, Cruz split time between that position and third base, where he went errorless and likely projects best at the next level.
30. Cody Morissette, 2b, Bourne (Boston College/SO in 2020)
Last spring Boston College featured one of the best freshman classes in the ACC, ultimately landing three players on Perfect Game’s 2019 Freshman All-America team, including Cody Morissette. The lefty swinging second baseman hit .320 with 20 doubles while flashing hints of future power with two prodigious pull-side homers in the ACC tournament. After a slow start on the Cape, Morissette’s bat warmed, earning him a spot on the Western Division All-Star team while showing that same gap power with a wood bat. Well-rounded and athletic, Morissette was nearly flawless defensively, making just one error while splitting time between second-base and shortstop. At 6-foot, 175-pounds, Morissette has room to fill out, strength to add and more speed to gain, making him one to watch for Mike Gambino’s Eagles as the program looks to take another step forward in 2020.
31. Zavier Warren, INF, Bourne (Central Michigan/JR in 2020)
32. Connor Pellerin, RHP, Orleans (Tulane/JR in 2020)
33. Noah Campbell, 2B/OF, Yarmouth-Dennis (South Carolina/JR in 2020)
34. Ryan Cusick, RHP, Bourne (Wake Forest/SO in 2020)
35. Taylor Dollard, RHP, Yarmouth-Dennis (Cal Poly SLO/JR in 2020)
36. Jacob Teter, 1B, Wareham (Florida Southern/JR in 2020)
37. Allbry Major, OF, Cotuit (Xavier/JR in 2020)
38. Shay Whitcomb, INF, Orleans (UC San Diego/JR in 2020)
39. Zach McCambley, RHP, Cotuit (Coastal Carolina/JR in 2020)
40. Zarion Sharpe, LHP, Chatham (UNC Wilmington/SR in 2020)
41. Zach Britton, C/OF, Orleans (Louisville/JR in 2020)
42. Parker Chavers, OF, Cotuit (Coastal Carolina/JR in 2020)
43. Riley King, 3B, Yarmouth-Dennis (Georgia/r-JR in 2020)
44. Ben Ramirez, SS, Chatham (USC/JR in 2020)
45. Chris Galland, OF, Harwich (Boston College/JR in 2020)
46. Matt Mervis, 1B/RHP, Cotuit (Duke/SR in 2020)
47. Wyatt Young, SS, Yarmouth-Dennis (Pepperdine/SO in 2020)
48. Nick Nastrini, RHP, Falmouth (UCLA/SO in 2020)
49. Dylan Neuse, SS/OF, Harwich (Texas Tech/JR in 2020)
50. Baron Radcliff, OF, Falmouth (Georgia Tech/2020)