2011 Cotuit Kettleers Hot Stove Report

Truck Day is a week away and even though the snow is falling in Cotuit the 2010 Cape Cod Baseball League champions Cotuit Kettleers have posted their 2011 roster-in-progress. To continue the tradition started last year, here’s the line-up with some analysis gleaned from a little Google/BaseballAmerica/college roster analysis.

First, the roster itself and the caveat that this list will have NO bearing whatsoever on the team that actually takes the field on Friday June 6 at Cotuit’s Elizabeth Lowell Park.  The College World Series, Team USA, and other post-season enticements will see some of these players opt out of a stint in Cotuit next summer.

Returners: Returning from last summer’s championship team are sophmores:  Deven Marrero, the shortstop from Arizona State; Michael Faulkner, the outfielder from Arkansas State; Michael Yastrzemski, the outfielder from Vanderbilt; and Brady Rodgers, the right hander also from Arizona.

The three position players were crowd favorites last summer, with Marrero finishing the season incredibly strong with a hitting streak (.328 avg) that extended into the championship series against Wareham, Falmouth, and finally Yarmouth Dennis. A 2009 17 round draft pick by the Cinncinati Reds, it remains to be seen if Marrero will reappear this coming summer.  The same holds true for Faulkner and Yastrzemski — the latter a crowd favorite because of his illustrious grandfather, but who emerged in his own right over the course of the summer to become one of the best outfielders on the team, and a key hit producer with several spectacular long balls, including a championship home run in the final game of the season.  Faulkner, who hit .254 over the summer, is a strong outfielder who showed huge improvement over the summer as he settled into the wooden bat experience.

BradyRodgers, the right-hander pitcher — had a strong start in the championships despite an injury, and threw a great 2.54 ERA over the season — a 1.17 in the finals.

Newcomer Position Players:

Torsten Boss: 2B Michigan – cited in BaseballAmerica’s 2009 Michigan state roundup as a name to watch.

Cory Spangenberg: 2B Indian River State – 2010 Baseball America Freshman All-American team (2nd team with fellow freshman Deven Marrero).  hit .370 at VMI and was voted Big South Conference Freshman of the Year

Chris O’Dowd: catcher Dartmouth – Ivy League co-rookie of the year, hit .384, third best average in the Ivies. Was a 40th-round pick of the Oakland Athletics in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Stefan Sabol: catcher Oregon – highly touted freshman prospect – you can see the MLB scouting video here. Was thinking of signing with the Braves and is viewed as one to watch. Some doubts about his chances behind the plate, perhaps he’ll end up in the outfield.

Patrick Biondi: OF – Michigan. Teammate of Boss, Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team (among others). Wolverine coach said of Biondi: “…he’s a really, really good center fielder—he’s special.” Hit .313 as a frosh.

Logan Vick: OF/INF Baylor – made Baseball America’s first team in its 2010 College Freshman All-America team, putting him in very select company indeed. Hit .329 and set a record for most walks (among others) in his freshmanyear.

Jacob Morris:  OF Arkansas – switchhitter, made Baseball America’s list of top High School prospects in 2008.  BBA says “Jacob Morris (Coppell (Texas) HS) is physical specimen with a combination of speed, strength and agility. Also a standout high school football player, Morris took up switch-hitting just over a year ago.” Drafted by the Nationals in 2009 in the 35th round.

Newcomer Pitchers:

Michael Clevinger: RHP Citadel – Southern Conference All-Freshman Team after going 5-3 with an ERA of 5.15 in 92.2 innings pitched.

Michael Cunningham: RHP U Arizona — no one on the roster, but there is a Nick Cunningham, RHP. Will keep looking.

Ryon Healy: RHP 1B Oregon – teammate of Sabol, played in the California Collegiate league last summer and was clocked at 95 mph a few times.  BBA touted him as one of the best two-way player sin that league. Hit .360/.432/.522 with a league-best 17 doubles.

Keenan Kish: RHP Florida – BBA wrote about him as a high school senior : “Kish presently throws his fastball in the upper 80s to low 90s and also mixes in a changeup and a curveball. He has an athletic frame with projection remaining and smooth mechanics that help him to throw a lot of strikes. But he’s also a good third baseman that hits from the left side and plays the game hard.”

Randy LaBlanc: RHP Tulane – Aaron Fitt at BBA scouted him and wrote: “Tulane might have found itself a true ace in 6-foot-5 righthander Randy LeBlanc (92), an unsigned 16th-round pick who turned down second-round money from the Marlins, according to Tulane’s coaches. “I love him—I think he has a chance to be a Friday night starter pretty quickly,” one scout said. “He’s tall, projectable, and has a really quick arm. The kid’s got a chance to pitch at 92-95, 96 mph in the next couple of years—a chance to sit there. He has a good breaking ball and a pretty good changeup, and he competes his butt off.”

Dillon Overton: LHP Oklahoma – one of two southpaw hurlers for the Kettleers this coming summer.  Pitched his high school to a state championship. According to his profile on the Sooner website: “Threw 97 innings and recorded a 15-2 record with 164 strikeouts and less than 20 walks as a senior, when his team became State Champions”

Kevin Ziomek: LHP Vanderbilt – From Amherst Mass, the Bay Stater was drafted last summer by the Diamondbacks in the 13th round.

In closing ….

Coach Mike Roberts and the Cotuit Athletic Association have put together a fine squad, drawing as usual from Arizona, Arkansas and Vanderbilt where they have found some great talent in recent years. I’ll keep an eye on the Kettleer website for any roster changes as the spring goes by, but with five months to first pitch, al lot can happen between now and then.

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