The Cape Cod Baseball League is “it” for amateurs. Each summer the best of the best college players head up to the Cape to strut their stuff for scouts in anticipation of the following year’s draft, and in some cases they are trying to make themselvesÂ a few extraÂ thousand bucks if they were already drafted. Many players have headed to the Cape with little hype, but left as top notch prospects; just ask Timmy Lincecum what his 0.69 ERA & .104 BAA did for him last year.Â
One player on the Cape looking to drive up his signing bonus is RHP Chris Carpenter, the Yanks’ 18th round pick out of Kent StateÂ in this year’s draft. A second rounder based on talent, Carpenter fell because of signability (as a draft-eligible sophomore, he’s got some extra negotiating leverage) andÂ health concerns (Tommy John surgery and a separate elbow surgery to clean out scar tissue in recent years). In two starts for the Chatham A’s, CarpenterÂ has goneÂ 9 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 13 K, which isn’t as great as it may look when youÂ consider that the CCBL is quite possibly the pitcher friendliest baseball league on the planet.
Carpenter won’t have a chance to improve on those numbers though; he left the A’s after experiencing pain and inflammation in hisÂ throwing elbow/forearm. Carpenter had an MRI and supposedly everything is okay, but you hold your breath when a guy has a medical history as ugly as his. Regardless of the arm trouble, Carpenter was on a part-time contract with th A’s, and had to leave the team when all the full-time contract guys showed up July 1st and took hold of any available roster spots.
Given his performance and medical issue, I think Carpenter hurt his stock this summer more than he helped it. It’s a funny situation, on one hand Carpenter could take whatever money the Yanks offer him (somewhere between $300-500k I’m guessing) and turn pro, or he could go back to school for his junior year and possibly come out as an elite prospect in next year’s draft…or he could hurt himself (again) and never see a dime of baseball money. I think he should just take the money and get himself under professional instruction and conditioning programs, but I’m not the one making the call.
Another Yankee draftee linked to the Cape Cod League is 4th rounder Brad Suttle, a third basemanÂ out of Texas. Suttle was scheduled to play with the Wareham Gatemen, but he isn’t listed on the official roster and hasn’t so much as seen a pitch on the Cape. Suttle’s camp never gave aÂ reason as to why he’s not playing, so speculation is running wild. Is he hurt? Did he sign? Who knows.
A couple of weeks ago I snuck this question in to BA’s Jim Callis during his Wednesday ESPN.com chat:
Mike A. (SD, CA): Any idea why Brad Suttle isn’t playing on Cape, even though he was supposed to? Thanks
Â Jim Callis: My guess is he doesn’t want to risk an injury that could hurt his chances of signing with the Yankees.
If true, it’s good to see that he wants to sign, but on the other hand he might have cost himself some major dough by not going out to play on the Cape. He’ll still get a ton of money if he turns pro (around $800-900k), but if he goes back to school he’s got a chance to shine without being overshadowed by Kyle Russell, whoÂ obliterated Texas’ single season homerun mark this year (and struck out 64 times in 126 AB on the Cape last year).
If you’re interested in checking out some of the action on the Cape, Brian over at The College Baseball Blog has pointed out that you can watch nearly all of the Cape Cod League games right from your computer, for free, by clicking here.Â Lemme repeat that in case you missed it: you can watch nearly all of the Cape Cod League games right from your computer, for free. Sweet deal I’d say.
Even without Carpenter and Suttle playing, you can still check out some great players (school, Cape team) like 1B Yonder Alonso (Miami, Brewster), 1B Allan Dykstra (Wake Forest, Chatham), RHPÂ The Truth (UNC, Chatham), C/RHP Robert Stock (USC, Cotuit) and RHP Brett Jacobson (Vanderbilt, Harwich). I’m going to tryÂ to make timeÂ to catch a glimpse of Gavin Brooks, a freshman at UCLA this past year who is currently with Chatham. As a Â 6’3″, 200 lb LHP with a 91-93 mph fastball and plus breaking & offspeedÂ stuff, Gavin Brooks has a chance to be a very special player.
I still have not seen any confirmation of the Carmen Angelini signing, although it’s very possible that MLB is delaying the announcement. When a signing bonus exceeds the recommended slot amount, MLB will usually make theÂ team delay the announcement so it doesn’t drive up signing bonuses across the board. Yes you’d rather have the player in uniform and playing in games ASAP, but this approach is in the best interestsÂ of baseball long term.
The uniform signing date is now less than 6 weeks away, so expect a flurry of player signings very soon.