America's League

Where the Stars of Tomorrow Shine Tonight!


MLB Draft Preview

07/09/2023 7:57 AM

Article By: Brian Butler

The MLB Draft is an exciting occasion for players, fans, and front offices across the country. Many players selected early every summer come from the Cape League, with four of the last five first overall picks having Cape Cod experience, as well as ten first round selections in last year’s draft. In total, 32% of all players selected last season played for the Cape League at some point. Here’s a look at some Cape League alumni who expect to hear their name on July 9th.

Paul Skenes, RHP, Louisiana State

Paul Skenes (Wareham ‘21), the projected second overall pick by many sources, brings serious heat to the table. Skenes wields a fastball that averages 98.4 miles per hour, and has reached up to 102 on the season. His fastball also has impressive movement, averaging 17 inches of horizontal break. The Tiger righthander has used that fastball alongside his devastating slider to comfortably become the NCAA’s leader in strikeouts, with his 164 across 86.2 innings leading second place by 40. Skenes’ 1.77 ERA ranks fourth in the nation amongst qualified pitchers. Whichever team ends up with Paul Skenes will likely have an electric frontline starter to look forward to. Skenes is currently projected as the No. 2 overall pick, but there are some rumors he could jump to first overall.

Jacob Wilson, SS, Grand Canyon

Jacob Wilson (Orleans ‘22), son of former Pirates All-Star Jack Wilson, is also expected to go in the early first round. Wilson has had an other-worldly season in Phoenix, posting a .425/.473/.665 slash line for the Antelopes. The Grand Canyon infielder also excels at putting the ball in play, recording more home runs (6) on the season than strikeouts (5), with his 5 Ks in 179 at-bats making him the toughest batter in the nation to strike out, a rate of once in every 35.8 at-bats. Wilson also excels defensively, being named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year. Jacob Wilson is currently projected to go in the 5th-10th pick range. Wilson isn’t the only exciting GCU prospect, as his teammate Homer Bush Jr. (Y-D ‘22), will also likely go sometime on early Day 2.

Enrique Bradfield, Jr., OF, Vanderbilt

Enrique Bradfield (Cotuit ‘22) is one of the most exciting players in the nation, plain and simple. Bradfield has 80-grade speed, stealing 127 bases in 139 attempts in his college career, including a 2022 season where he went uncaught in 46 tries. The Vanderbilt outfielder impresses at the plate as well, posting a .317/.434/.453 triple slash across his three seasons. The Commodore also has impressive plate discipline, posting an elite 13% chase rate in 2023, and has walked more than he has struck out in each of his collegiate seasons. Bradfield projects as a top-of-the-order centerfielder, with his outstanding speed providing great range in the outfield. Whoever selects Enrique Bradfield will instantly have one of the most fun players in the sport to watch. Bradfield is slated to be picked in the mid-to-late lottery range of the draft.

Matt Shaw, SS, Maryland

Matt Shaw (Bourne ‘22), last year’s Cape League MVP, has continued to elevate his draft stock this season. Shaw returned to College Park this season and excelled, delivering a .361/.470/.747 slash line, recording 23 homers and 40 total extra-base hits. He also has plus speed, stealing 17 bases in 18 tries on the campaign. Shaw’s 23 long balls on the year are tied for sixth in the nation, and his 66 RBI rank in the top 35. Matt Shaw is an incredibly well-rounded player that any team should be excited to have in their organization. Shaw is currently projected as a mid-first round pick.

Brayden Taylor, 3B, Texas Christian

Brayden Taylor (Falmouth ‘22) has been one of the best hitters in college across his three seasons, and projects to be selected in the mid-first round. Taylor has a career .310/.440/.582 slash line, and has walked more times (149) than he has struck out (133). The TCU infielder has also shown an improved power stroke this season, increasing his home run total to 18 after hitting 13 last season. Brayden Taylor should provide an offensive jolt to the organization that selects him this July. Taylor is currently ranked as a mid-to-late first round pick.

Tommy Troy, 3B, Stanford

Tommy Troy (Cotuit ‘22) came off a strong Cape League showing to become one of the best hitters in the nation in 2023. Troy is an incredibly versatile player, providing just about everything a team could need. He slashed .404/.485/.720 this season, with 31 extra-base hits and 16 stolen bases, while also playing a strong defensive third base. Troy’s .404 batting average ranked in the top 25 nationally, with his .720 slugging in the top 50. Tommy Troy will be a fun prospect to watch for whoever drafts him. Troy’s projections currently vary a bit based on scouting service, but most have him somewhere between the 15th and 25th picks.