It’s the Off-Season

Former Wareham star George Springer is on the verge of becoming the first 40/40 player in modern minor league history.


 
I will never get used to the end of a Cape Cod Baseball League season. It’s such an intensive season – rarely does a day go by without it – and then . . . poof. It’s gone.

Fun while it lasted though. Some notes as we head into the very, very long off-season . . .

  • I was a little surprised that Bradley Zimmer won the Playoff MVP award. He’s a fantastic player and he had a good finals series, but Austin Byler had a tremendous post-season. He had a hit in all eight of Cotuit’s playoff games and finished with 12 for a .429 average. He led the team in postseason average, home runs, extra-base hits and RBI.
  • Byler’s 12 hit total is the same as the leader in each of the last four postseasons, since the league expanded and created more playoff games. Some kind of magic number.
  • Christian Cecilio was the winning pitcher in the clinching game of Cotuit’s series victory over Falmouth and in the clincher of the championship win over Orleans. Pretty impressive feat and somewhat surprising on the surface. Cecilio had an ERA over three in the regular season and didn’t often pitch deep into games. But take away one bad start in which he gave up seven earned runs in 1.1 innings, and Cecilio had a fantastic summer. He didn’t allow more than two runs in any other start.
  • Perfect Game named Bourne’s Max Pentecost its Summer Player of the Year. It’s a well-deserved honor for Pentecost, who was also the Cape League’s MVP award winner. PG’s Frankie Piliere, who did great work scouting the Cape all summer, said Pentecost was “one of the most impressive all-around catchers to play on the Cape since Buster Posey.” High praise right there.
  • The Cape League released its all-league team last week. You can check it out here. Scott Heineman, who hit .304 and led the league in stolen bases, looks like the biggest snub to me.
  • The last award winner also trickled in as Jeff Hoffman has been named the Cape’s top pro prospect. He’s the second straight Hyannis pitcher to win the honor, joining his former teammate Sean Manaea.
  • I’m planning on doing the minor league all-stars feature that I did last year. It’s still a little ways off, but for now, how about the season former Wareham Gateman George Springer is having? The Astros prospect started the season in Double A and has since moved to Triple A. Between the two levels, he has hit 37 home runs and has stolen 42 bases. If he hits three more home runs he’ll become the first 40/40 player in the modern history of minor league baseball.
  • 6 Comments

    1. I could not agree more with your Playoff MVP analysis, Will. Byler was a monster from the day he arrived (late) in Cotuit, and he had a fantastic post-season. Byler was the leader of the group of players that Cotuit picked up late in the season and who were thrilled to get a chance to play in the vaunted Cape League. Byler and those other late pick-ups gave the Kettleers a huge emotional lift by literally playing their hearts out during their brief time on the Cape. And while Byler’s hits were a key factor in the Kettleers 2013 Championship, it was a strike out that impressed me the most. In the critical Game 1 of the first round playoff game against Bourne at Lowell Park, the Kettleers got behind early, and the Bourne starter was mowing down Kettleers batters one after another. He was cruising effortlessly, and he certainly looked like he could go the distance without giving up a run. Byler stepped into the box in about the 5th inning, and engaged in an epic 12 pitch at-bat wherein he fouled off pitch before eventually striking out. But you could feel that Byler’s at-bat gave the Kettleers a huge emotional lift. It also wore out the Bourne starter, who departed early, and enabled the Kettleers to get to the Bourne bullpen and eventually come back to win the all-important first game of the series. Without that at-bat, I think that the Kettleers would have lost that game (Bourne won Game 2), and likely exited the playoffs early for a second straight season. I told Byler after the game that I would have given him the game ball for that performance. And speaking of great performances, congrats to you, Will Geoghegan, for yet another outstanding season of the absolute best Cape Cod Baseball League coverage anywhere. I read them all, and NOBODY does it better than you. The good folks in Cotuit salute you!

    2. Will Geoghegan says:

      Thanks, Joe! And great story.

    3. Nice call on Scott Heineman! Boy can’t get no respect!

    4. Orville from Orleans says:

      When might we expect your minor-league all-stars feature?

    5. Will Geoghegan says:

      Should be soon. Probably next week.

    6. Orville from Orleans says:

      As much as I like George Springer, I’m getting tired of seeing his photo. Hint, hint! How about a nice shot of Kolton Wong?

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