Top Prospects of the Cape Cod League by the Numbers

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With August very much here, the nation’s collegiate summer leagues — many of which have probably hosted at least one future major leaguer — are coming to an end.

Below are the players to have performed most ably in this year’s edition of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Offensive production (represented as the totally made-up SCOUT+, where 100 is league average and above 100 is above average) is essentially a version of wRC+, except using the three main defense-independent inputs (home-run, walk, and strikeout rate), all regressed duly*. Pitching performance (represented by the also entirely made-up SCOUT-, where 100 is league average and below 100 represents above-average run prevention) is calculated using a version of kwERA, with regressed strikeout and walk rates as the relevant inputs.

*By the method outlined here.

The idea here is not to suggest that the following players are/were the actual best prospects from the Cape League this summer. Outlets like Baseball America and Perfect Game will certainly do a much better job of that. Rather, it’s to (a) represent as accurately and responsibly as possible the best performances of the Cape League season and to (b) acquaint ourselves with those top performers.

Here are the top hitters from this year’s Cape League, as determined by the methodology explained above. Positions are those listed by team. Click on a player’s name to see his Cape League profile page.

Player Team POS PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Conrad Gregor ORL IF 193 3.5% 19.3% 20.7% 153
Phil Ervin HAR OF 154 4.8% 10.5% 18.8% 146
Tyler Horan WAR 3B 173 6.3% 6.7% 23.7% 143
Kyle Schwarber WAR OF 199 3.4% 12.0% 15.1% 142
Brian Ragira HAR 1B 163 4.0% 14.6% 22.7% 142
Tony Kemp COT OF 139 2.2% 15.2% 13.8% 139
Zak Blair YD SS 174 1.6% 12.6% 8.6% 135
Eric Jagielo HAR OF 182 5.2% 10.8% 28.0% 134
Andrew Knapp CHA C 174 3.6% 12.1% 21.8% 131
Mike Ford COT P 132 1.9% 15.0% 16.2% 131

• Provided all information is correct, Kyle Schwarber of Wareham and Indiana University is the only freshman on the leaderboard here. Schwarber appears to’ve played mostly corner outfield on the Cape this summer, but started 54 of Indiana’s 60 games this past spring at catcher, while also placing among the team leaders in offensive production.
Zak Blair of Yarmouth-Dennis and Mercyhurst College is the only shortstop on this list, but is also the only junior, as well, which should be taken into account alongside his numbers. The next-best (and sophomore) shortstop? Falmouth and Mississippi’s Austin Anderson, who finished 12th with a 130 SCOUT+.
Mike Ford of Cotuit and Princeton University (where he was a sophomore this year) is listed as a pitcher — and, in fact, he did post a 15:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 12.1 innings this summer — but his greatest production came as a left-handed-hitting first baseman.

And here are the top pitchers:

Player Team IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Sean Manaea HYA 51.2 182 46.8% 7.2% 32
Jaime Schultz CHA 22.1 92 36.0% 9.4% 68
Nicholas Rumbelow WAR 25.2 107 35.7% 9.4% 69
Mike Mayers BOU 28.0 119 33.0% 8.3% 73
Dan Slania COT 29.2 110 32.5% 7.9% 74
Jake Joyce CHA 18.2 82 34.4% 9.8% 74
CK Irby HAR 25.2 109 34.0% 9.5% 74
Kyle Ruchim FAL 18.1 77 33.8% 9.5% 75
Austin Voth BRE 35.2 153 34.1% 10.1% 76
Matt Boyd ORL 27.0 111 32.3% 8.4% 76

• As noted on Friday, Sean Manaea of Hyannis and Indiana State won both the top-pitcher and top-prospect awards for this year’s Cape League. As the numbers here suggest, he was conspicuously better than everyone else.
• Besides Manaea, Mike Mayers (Bourne, Mississippi) and Austin Voth (Brewster, Univ. of Washington) are the only other two pitchers on this list to’ve made the majority of their appearances as starts. Neither appears to have anything like Manaea’s stuff, however — at least in terms of velocity.
Dan Slania of Cotuit and Notre Dame won the Cape’s award for the league’s top relief pitcher this weekend. Slania sits about 93-95 mph with his fastball, reports Frankie Piliere.

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