06/06/2008 9:36 AM
Brewster Whitecaps 2008 Season Preview
Brewster Whitecaps Introduce
Entirely New Roster in Quest
For 2008 Cape League Crown
BREWSTER, Mass. – Despite a posting a winning record of 22-19-3, the Brewster Whitecaps found themselves on the outside looking in when the Cape Cod Baseball League playoffs got under way in 2007. With a completely new roster, Brewster hopes to be in the thick of the action when the playoffs arrive in August.
Whitecaps general manager Ned Monthie is optimistic. “The players we have contracted with are looking healthy and having a good year with their respective collegiate teams,” Monthie said. He and field manager Bob Macaluso both believe the Whitecaps of 2008 have the talent to compete for the championship.
Monthie said the Whitecaps will have some strong arms this year, beginning with Matt Packer (Virginia). Packer was 6-2 at Virginia with a 1.16 ERA and a WHIP average of just 0.98. He struck out almost four batters for every batter he walked (3.67 K/BB).
Caleb Cotham (Vanderbilt) is expected to be another valuable contributor to the pitching staff. He is struck out more than one batter per inning (1.08 K/inn) and was 7-5 on the season. His Commodore teammate Mark Lamm will also be pitching for the Whitecaps this season. Opposing batters hit a meager .202 against Lamm.
Freshman Iden Nazario (Miami) saw limited mound time with the top-ranked Hurricanes (10.2 innings), but his numbers were impressive. He allowed only one earned run for an ERA at 0.84 and he struck out 15 while walking only five. Blake Smith (California) was 3-0 this season with a 3.26 ERA. The versatile Smith also plays the outfield and, with a .539 slugging percentage, was a true two-way threat.
The Whitecaps will boast three players who were leading their respective teams in hitting. Connor Powers (Mississippi State), a heavy hitting outfielder. led the Bulldogs with a .384 batting average, 11 homers and a frightening OPS of 1.066. Catcher Jim Klocke (Southeast Missouri) also led his team with a .357 batting average. Klocke struck out in only nine percent of his at-bats and he drove in 40 runs this season.
Offensive catalyst Mike Freeman (Clemson) batted a team-leading .332 and recorded a strong .401 OBP.
Some outstanding Major League players have come out of Brewster in recent years, including 2007 NL Rookie of the Year Ryan Braun (2004), Brian Bannister (2001), who finished third in the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year voting; five-time AllSstar pitcher Billy Wagner (1992) and current Red Sox backup first baseman Sean Casey (1994).
Jim Chandley, CCBL Intern ([email protected])