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Teams in Brockton Game:22 Alumni on MLB Rosters

06/24/2008 10:10 AM

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24 June 2008

Cape League Teams in Brockton Game
Have 22 Alumni on Major League Rosters
Seven Y-D, Falmouth Players Picked in 1st Round of 2008 Draft

BROCKTON, Mass. – How many future major leaguers will be on the field this Saturday night when the Cape Cod Baseball League makes its first-ever appearance at Campanelli Stadium?

     Well, if baseball’s amateur entry draft held June 5-6 is any indication, the answer is: “Plenty!”

     Fourteen Cape League players were chosen in the draft’s first round, including seven who played for the two teams that will be participating Saturday in the City of Champions Cape Cod Hall of Fame Classic, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (4) and the Falmouth Commodores (3).

     Always among the Cape League’s elite franchises, Y-D and Falmouth have taken recruiting to a new level in recent years. The 2007 Red Sox were absolutely loaded with talent and it showed as they rolled to the best record in the regular season and swept through two playoff rounds to capture their second straight league title and third in four years. 

     Y-D’s four first-round draftees were catcher Buster Posey (5th by San Francisco), shortstop Gordon Beckham (8th by the Chicago Cubs), catcher-DH Jason Castro (10th by Houston) and pitcher Joshua Fields (20th by Seattle). Beckham and Fields are among the stars of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, finalists in the 2008 College World Series at Omaha, Neb.

     Top Falmouth player to be drafted was pitcher Aaron Crow (9th by Washington), who was named the Cape League’s Outstanding Pro Prospect of 2007. Next came third baseman Brett Wallace (13th by St. Louis) and pitcher Christian Friedrich (25th by Colorado). And the first two players taken in the “compensation round,” sandwiched between rounds one and two, were Commodores -- pitcher Steven “Shooter” Hunt (31st by Minnesota) and the Cape League’s 2007 MVP and batting champion, third baseman Conor Gillaspie (32nd by San Francisco). 

     Of the 217 Cape League players selected in the 2008 draft, 30 were from Yarmouth-Dennis and 23 from Falmouth. 

     Even more telling, though, is the number of current major leaguers who were helped along on their road to “The Show” by playing in the Cape League. As these words were written, 130 ex-Cape League players were listed on the active rosters of American League and National League teams – and 22 of them had spent at least one summer at either Y-D or Falmouth. 

     Four members of the world champion Boston Red Sox are ex-Commodores – relief pitchers David Aardsma (2002) and Javier Lopez (1997), backup catcher Kevin Cash (1999) and rookie outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (2004). But the most accomplished player Falmouth has sent to the big leagues is probably Houston Astros first baseman/outfielder Darin Erstad (1993 & 1994).

     Erstad, the 1994 Cape League MVP and a 2001 inductee into the league’s Hall of Fame, has been a star performer practically since the day he signed with the Angels after being the first player selected in the 1995 amateur draft. A three-time Gold Glove winner, he enjoyed his best season in 2000 when he led the American League in hits (240) and singles (170) and batted .355 to trail only Nomar Garciaparra (Orleans 1993), who hit .372 for the Red Sox.

     Here’s the complete list of Y-D and Falmouth players on big league active rosters as of June 19:

Toronto Blue Jays (2)
Scott Downs, 1996
Curtis Thigpen, 2003
Kansas City Royals (1)
Luke Hudson, 1996
Minnesota Twins (1)
Matt Guerrier, 1997
Seattle Mariners (2)
J.J. Putz, 1997
Brandon Morrow, 2004 & 2005
New York Mets (1)
Matt Wise, 1995
Houston Astros (2)
Michael Bourn, 2002
David Newhan, 1993 & 1994
Arizona Diamondbacks (1)
Mark Reynolds, 2002
Colorado Rockies (1)
Brad Hawpe, 1999
Los Angeles Dodgers (1)
Mark Sweeney, 1989 & 1990
Boston Red Sox (4)
Javier Lopez , 1997
Kevin Cash, 1999
Jacoby Ellsbury, 2004
David Aardsma, 2002
Baltimore Orioles (1)
Luke Scott, 2000
Cincinnati Reds (1)
Eric Milton, 1995 & 1996
Houston Astros (2)
Mark Loretta, 1991 & 1992
Darin Erstad, 1993 & 1994
St. Louis Cardinals (1)
Adam Kennedy, 1996
San Diego Padres (1)
Khalil Greene, 1999 & 2000


Joe Sherman, CCBL Public Relations Dept. ([email protected])

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