Hey everyone, sorry for the absence. I wanted to do two articles reflecting on how some of the best performers in the Cape Cod League did this summer, now that the regular season is over. This article will focus on the hitters. I have written three smaller pieces about three of the best in this year's Cape: Bobby Dalbec, Nick Senzel, and Andrew Calica. Absent is Kyle Lewis, who I still love, and was written about earlier in the summer. Below the write ups, you can find a table of the final stats for those with at least 50 AB, a 100 OPS+, and 10 RC/100 AB.
In the next few days, I will have a post reviewing the pitchers. After that, I will begin working on my first ranking of the draft talent for next June. I will probably go about fifty deep. So keep an eye out for that.
Bobby Dalbec: Dalbec was one of the top power bats in college ball this past season as a sophomore at the University of Arizona. He hit .319/.410/.601 with 15 home runs, 32 walks and 60 strikeouts in 213 at bats. Dalbec is a 6'4", 220 pound right handed hitter who went undrafted out of Legend HS in Colorado. He was ranked the 33rd-best 2016 draft prospect by Perfect Game last December, and 14th by Kiley McDaniel in April.
As a righty power bat with questions about his contact ability in the pro game, and an outside shot at playing third base with a likely move to first or the corners of the outfield, Dalbec reminds me quite a bit of D.J. Peterson. Interestingly, Kiley put the same comp on him. He stays loose at the plate, and his quick swing has no red flags for me personally.
This summer, he was arguably the best hitter in the Cape Cod League, putting up a .315/.432/.728 batting line while pacing the league with 12 home runs (four more than second place), a .413 ISO (.170 more than second place), 29.5 RC/100 AB (6.4 RC ahead of second place), and a 179 OPS+ (29 points ahead of second place). All while ranking 72nd in at bats. Right now, he is a first round draft pick next June just based on his bat. If he grows any more as a hitter, he could push into the top 10-15 overall picks.
Nick Senzel: Senzel was undrafted out of Farragut HS in Tennesee, but has done quite well at the University of Tennessee. Playing mostly second base, the 6'1", 205 pound right handed hitter has shown a knack for bat to ball skills, leading to a .320 BA over his first two seasons. He also shows decent speed, leading to 21 stolen bases in 27 attempts. And a nice eye that has led to a 53/61 BB/K ratio over 381 AB (about 445 PA).
He hasn't yet been ranked by Perfect Game or Kiley McDaniel, although that will likely change due to his performance in the Cape this summer, playing mostly third base. He hit .364/.418/.558, with a 150 OPS+, 35.5 RC, 23.1 RC/100 AB, and 14 stolen bases in 19 attempts. Senzel's swing can get a bit handsy in games, but if he starts using his legs more there should be an increase in in-game power. He could go in the first round most years, but with next year's stocked draft class, he may slip into the second or even third round. A strong spring could force him up the draft boards, though.
Either way, he's the type of player that could end up being a steal for whichever team grabs him.
Andrew Calica: Calica is a redshirt junior with UC Santa Barbara. He was drafted in the 17th round out of Eastlake HS in California by the Cleveland Indians. The 6'1, 180 pound outfielder has never shown much power, but he has good bat-to-ball abilities (.310 BA in about 458 PA) above-average speed (25 stolen bases), and a nice batting eye (43 BB/61 K). Defensively, he should be able to stick in center field. He hasn't been ranked recently by any of the big draft sites, although Perfect Game saw him as a top 200 draft prospect for 2015 when he was entering his freshman season.
This year in the Cape, he crushed the competition for the batting title, as his .425 BA was 61 points higher than Senzel, taking home the Thurman Munson Batting Champion Award. Overall, he hit .425/.480/.469 with a 146 OPS+, 24.5 RC, and 21.7 RC/100 AB. He still didn't show any power, however. His draft status next year will depend on whether he shows any growth in the power department. If he doesn't, he could still go in rounds 5-10 as a leadoff type. Personally, I love guys who walk and steal bases, and will always root for guys like Calica.