18 July 2009
Experience Helped Orleans’ All-Star Picks
By Ashley Crosby, CCBL Intern
ORLEANS, Mass.—Four of Orleans’ five Under Armor All-Star picks played for general manager Kelly Nicholson last summer in Orleans, and there’s a mutual feeling that last year’s experience helped get them on this year’s All-Stars roster.
Center fielder Gary Brown (Cal State Fullerton) and pitcher Rob Rasmussen (UCLA) will both be starting for the All-Star East team, with pitcher/outfielder Alex Hassan (Duke) and pitchers Casey Gaynor (Rutgers) and Elliot Glynn (Connecticut) will join them as reserves. Brown, Rasmussen, Hassan and Glynn all played for Orleans last year.
Perhaps it’s that they know their surroundings, how the league works, the competition, or are simply more comfortable, but the experience has helped lead them to their position as All-Stars.
“[Hassan] was in the clubhouse the other night and talking about being up here last year and he struggled. Your first year up here you go home put a lot of pressure on yourself,” recalled pitching coach Chris Beck, “and I think the second year they realize they don’t have to do that, they just have to go out and keep playing well.”
“I don’t think there could have been five better guys,” said Beck about the picks. “I think they’re our five best guys. Rob Rasmussen and Elliot were both up here last year and both worked hard to get into this position, and Hassan is one of the best kids, and Gary Brown is probably the most talented kid on the Cape. If he’s not the most exciting player, I’d like to see the other guy.”
“Gary Brown is electric to watch play,” said Nicholson. “He’s got great speed and is really kind of a game changer—he can bunt, he can hit for power, he’s done a really good job since day one when he got up here. Hassan’s done a really good job in outfield, hit in the middle of our order all summer and (as a) closer. He’s put up solid numbers all summer, and the three pitchers, all of them have really good ERAs, and really good innings pitched to hit ratios, and strike out to walk ratio. The numbers were really deserving to be on the team.”
Their numbers are impressive: as of July 15, when the players were chosen, Brown was hitting .344 with 2 homeruns and 9 RBIs, among the top hitters in the league. Hassan, who can pitch as well, has batted a .282 with 14 RBIs. Gaynor’s ERA was only 1.20, with 27 strikeouts to his name. Glynn has 19 strikeouts and a 1.05 ERA. And the starting pitcher, Rasmussen, has a low 0.96 ERA with 26 strikeouts.
“It’s an honor,” said Rasmussen. “I was up here last year and lived with Tim Wheeler, who was an All-Star, and just kind of watching him go through all of it, I knew that if I came back it was something that I wanted to do.”
“There are a lot of guys that I think deserve it and luckily I was able to be chosen,” Rasmussen continued. “I know Casey Gaynor has been pitching well, Elliot has been pitching well, Kyle Blair has been pitching real well, so I’ve very fortunate to have been chosen to start.”
The Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game will be at Fenway Park next Thursday, July 23.
Ashley Crosby can be reached at [email protected]
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Michael Campbell, Katy Ann Fitzpatrick