Feature photo courtesy of Nick J. Faleris
Each summer the Cape Cod Baseball League hosts a contingent of the top collegiate talent in the country, offering evaluators an opportunity to see high-level competition with wood over a summer-long season. Veteran pro scout and 2080 Baseball senior advisor Ted Lekas offers his thoughts on some of the top talent he observed in this four-part series. All players are 2018 draft-eligible unless otherwise indicated.
For purposes of these writeups, and summer evaluations at 2080 Baseball, “early designations” fall into three categories: Top Follow (Potential Day One — Top 2 Rounds), High Follow (Potential Top 5 Rounds), and Follow (Potential Draftee/More Information Needed). Players are shifted from early designation to a more specific “suggested slot/suggested investment” during the spring, leading up to draft day.
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Background: Bohm finished the Cape Cod regular season second overall in hitting (.365), and slashed .351/.399/.513 over 39 games and 166 plate appearances. Though Falmouth exited quickly from the playoffs (losing two straight games to Wareham), Bohm made the most of opportunities at the dish, going 4-for-7 with a double and three walks. The Wichita State product’s impressive run on the Cape follows a solid Spring in which he slashed .305/.385/.519 over 58 games and 265 plate appearances and drew 29 walks while striking out just 31 times.
Notes: Strong with a quick bat; gets the barrel moving; has a somewhat unorthodox swing, stiff with a bat wrap, but can manipulate the barrel and the ball jumps off the bat; knows how to work counts and fights off pitches he can’t drive; elite raw power; swing can lack finish at times but displays strength, loft and leverage; projects to double-plus in-game power (30-plus home run production); above-average hit projection; average fielding actions with quick hands; needs to work on footwork and agility at third base; average arm with good carry; below-average runner but runs well for a big man; projects best at first base, defensively, where offensive profile should fit.
Early Designation: Top Follow (Potential Day 1)
Background: Lynch made six starts for the Orleans Firebirds, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.07 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. In 31 1/3 innings of work he compiled 25 strikeouts giving up 25 hits with only three walks (good for an elite-level 0.45 BB/9). This could represent a nice step forward for the lefty, who in 77 1/3 innings this Spring for Virginia gave up 29 walks (3.35 BB/9) and over a hit per inning (86), including 26 for extra bases). He was an East Division selection to the Cape Cod All-Star Game and threw a perfect inning with a strikeout.
Summary: Strong, durable frame; long, quick arm with clean arm circle and good extension out front; big variations in fastball velocity for effect (87-to-93 mph, most frequently at 91 mph) with sink, run and tail to both sides of the plate – a plus movement; can cut fastball into right-handed hitters; plus slider (79-to-82 mph) with tilt and depth, late break; clean arm action on plus changeup (78-to-82 mph) with fading action to both sides of the plate; projects to three plus pitches with good size/durability and ability to throw strikes.
Early Designation: Top Follow (Potential Day 1)
Summary: Wong served primarily as a late-inning arm for Orleans, with 15 of his 16 regular season (and all three of his post-season) appearances coming out of the pen. The Grand Canyon University righty racked up 22 strikeouts over 20 1/3 innings of work while allowing just three walks and 12 hits, holding opposing batters to a .171 average.
Notes: Strong, durable frame; compact, quick arm from three-quarters arm slot; plus arm strength; plus-to-double-plus fastball velocity (93-to-96 mph, sits at 94 mph) with bore action and run to both sides of the plate; projectable, plus fastball movement; erratic fastball command at present but projects to average; projectable plus power curveball (80-to-81 mph) with two-plane action and depth, late break/bite; Friday Night starter for Grand Canyon and appears he will continue to be stretched out once he returns to college for the the 2018 season.
Early Designation: High Follow (Potential Top 5 Rounds)
Background: Baum made five starts and two appearances out of the pen for the Mariners this Summer and led the league in in ERA (2.72) among qualifying arms. He worked 43 innings in total, striking out 41 and giving up 36 hits and just 10 walks (2.09 BB/9). Baum made 14 starts for the Tar Heels (and one relief appearance) during his freshman year this past Spring, punching out 43 and walking 23 while posting a 2.65 ERA and .213 batting average against over his 57 2/3 innings of work.
Notes: Medium, lanky frame; will fill out some but not a lot of room to project significant growth beyond 185 pounds or so; minimalist windup with quick, long arm action and a shallow wrap; loose, live arm with free and easy arm action; ball jumps out of his hand; projectable, plus fastball (90-to-94 mph, sitting 92 mph) with run and tail, good two-seam life, plus movement; downer curveball (77-to-80 mph) with good two-plane depth and plus action, projection; on occasion will vary shape of curveball to 11-to-5 with 3/4’s break; will use cutter (88 mph) into left-handed hitters with plus action; does not utilize cutter often enough; shows some feel for seldom used changeup (77-to-79 mph) with good fade; changeup projects to solid average; overall projection to plus trio – fastball/curveball/cutter – to go with average changeup; projects to be a mainstay in the Tar Heel staff in 2018 and 2019.
Early Designation: 2019 Top Follow (Potential Day One)
Background: Langeliers was drafted out of high school in 2016 by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 34th Round but elected to honor his commitment to Baylor, where he was the Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year in 2017 and earned several Freshman All-American honors after slashing .313/.388/.540 with 10 home runs. The underclass backstop logged 34 regular season games for Chatham this summer, slashing .234/.324/.469 with over half of his 30 hits going for extra bases (six home runs, two triples, and eight doubles).
Notes: Strong, compact, well-proportioned frame; average athlete; good swing mechanics and swing path, good bat speed and ability to get the barrel out; makes good, consistent, hard contact; has strength, loft and leverage to his swing; projects to above-average hit tool (.275 average at maturity) with plus power (25-plus home runs per year); good receiving actions with average hands and average shifting ability and mobility; average-to-plus arm with good carry.
Early Designation: 2019 Top Follow (Potential Day 1)