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Cape League Notes: Week 5

Reports from week 5 of CCBL games.

Welcome to the fifth edition of Cape League notes. In case you missed weeks one, two, three, and four, I’ll be spending all summer on the Cape as an intern, getting in-person looks at some of the nation’s top collegiate players. Given the multi-faceted confusion around Covid-eligibility and the draft being pushed back, there is a lack of high-profile 2021 draft prospects on the Cape this year. That said, there is a very strong contingent of ’22 and ’23 eligibles to pick up the slack. Each week I’ll share highlights and scouting reports from players I’ve seen in the past week.

Having now seen the majority of players currently on the cape, this week provides the opportunity to highlight a pair of Hyannis All-Stars, along with some true-freshmen currently riding hot streaks. As always, you can find the assorted videos on my Twitter (@natan_cd) that don’t always make it into the weekly article.

 

Jonah Scolaro, LHP, Hyannis/Florida State

 

FF: 89-91   CH: 81-83  SL: 77-81

Scolaro was named one of Hyannis’ three CCBL All-Stars this week – a well-deserved honor after posting 2.25 ERA with 28 strikeouts across 20 innings pitched. Though he still projects as a middle reliever long-term, what stood out this week was the length of his outings. Having spent his entire collegiate career (and the majority of his CCBL career) in the bullpen, Scolaro made his first start against Bourne on 7/13. He responded by throwing 5 innings of 1-hit shutout ball, striking out 7 against the league’s best offense. That start was followed by an even more impressive 6 inning performance against Falmouth, where he again allowed just one hit and struck out 10. With a fastball that tops out at 91mph, Scolaro relies heavily on his secondaries; a low 80s changeup and high 70s slider. Both have flashed plus at times, with the changeup being especially effective since moving to the rotation. He has shown the ability to command both around the edges, making up for the below-average fastball. It remains to be seen whether Scolaro can parlay his secondaries into anything more than a middle relief role, but he has earned the chance to be stretched out at FSU this fall.

 

Carter Rustad, RHP, Wareham/San Diego

 

FB: 89-91  CH: 81-83  SL: 76-81  CU: 71-73

Similarly, Wareham righty Carter Rustad used a heavy dose of secondaries to carve through the Hyannis lineup. He has a projectable frame, starter traits, and is a prime candidate to benefit from a velocity bump. He came out of the bullpen sitting just 89-91 with the fastball but showed two routinely plus breaking pitches and a strong changeup. Rustad has a simple delivery, though uses his long levers to create some deception out of a high arm slot. His cross-body motion from the stretch hides the ball well and allows him to locate a low-70s curve early in the count for strikes. He turned to the slider more in his later innings, which had 17-18 inches of horizontal movement and just 5-10 inches of drop according to trackman readings.

 

Clark Elliott, OF, Hyannis/Michigan

 

Michigan leadoff man Clark Elliott was a late addition to the Harbor Hawks squad but joins Scolaro and the previously mentioned Adrian Siravo as Hyannis’ All-Star selections. Coming off a .270/.403/.428 sophomore season, Elliott was immediately entrenched atop the Harbor Hawk lineup and has proved to be an on-base machine. He has reached base in nearly half of his 73 PA on the cape, which included a stretch of 11 straight PA going into last night’s game. His on-base prowess is buoyed by strong contact ability and a passive offensive approach that results in a ton of walks. While he has nearly as many walks as strikeouts over his collegiate career, Elliott rarely shows much power. Of his 21 hits on the cape this season, just two have gone for extra bases. That said, Elliott’s future power projection isn’t as bleak with quick hands and a clean swing path likely to provide more pop as his wiry frame fills out. At present, Elliott has a Mallex Smith skillset — with the defensive chops to stick in CF, and the speed and on-base skills to be a top-of-the-order nuisance. But with added strength, Elliott could prove to be an above-average regular at the major league level.

 

Tommy Troy, 2B/SS, Wareham/Stanford

 

Stanford infielder Tommy Troy has been on a tear lately, moving to the cleanup spot for Wareham and slashing a robust .289/.368/.458 in 21 games. Speed was the calling card for Troy early in the season, as his aggressive baserunning has him among the CCBL leaders in SB (9), 3B (3), and CS (5). Though he flashed some pull power in BP, Troy has an inside-out approach in-game with a short bat path driving the ball to RCF. His propensity for strikeouts raises some concern (46:17 K:BB ratio) but he also hit 10 homers as a true freshman on a Stanford team that is known to preach a high-contact approach. He will not be draft-eligible until 2023, but Troy has an intriguing power/speed combination for a middle infield defender and could continue to rise with hit tool improvements.

 

Christian Ruebeck, RHP, Wareham/Oklahoma

 

FB: 92-94  CH: 80-82  CU: 78-80

Ruebeck sat 92-94 and showed solid command through four innings of work. He works at a brisk pace and utilizes a cross-body delivery to get arm-side action on both his fastball and changeup. His mound presence feels similar to someone like Sonny Gray, a shorter-statured starter who pounds the zone with consistency. He was roughly 60% fastball usage and rarely threw his breaking ball (and struggled to command it when he did). The FB/CH combination will certainly play but curveball development will be the key to Ruebeck becoming a starter long-term.

 

Featured Image by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)

Natan Cristol-Deman

Natan is a California native and senior at UMass Amherst. He enjoys applying analytics to scouting and player development. You can find him on twitter @natan_cd

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