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Cape League prospects in 2002 MLB Draft

04/10/2002 11:13 AM

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for immediate release: 10 April, 2002

Cape Leaguers Look to Clean Up in the 2002 MLB Draft

     BARNSTABLE - While Major League Scouts are saying that this year's cream of the collegiate crop isn't quite as thick as it was for the 2001 draft, the 2002 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft promises to bode exceptionally well for former Cape League players.

South Carolina's Drew Meyer (Chatham A's 2000-01) was one of 25 Cape Leaguers named among the Top 50 Collegiate Draft Prospects by Baseball America last week.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2002 

     In fact, according to a story published in the April 15-20 issue of Baseball America, no less than 25 of the nation's Top 50 College Prospects are Cape Cod Baseball League stars, an astonishing percentage given the number of collegiate baseball players on the fields from coast to coast today.

     In the top 15 alone, 10 former Cape stars represent the Cape League, including the nation's number one collegiate draft prospect, Bobby Brownlie of Rutgers. Brownlie made his presence known on Cape Cod in 2000, hurling for the Falmouth Commodores (4-2, 2.01 ERA, 73 Ks, 62 2/3 IP) and being selected the COBOL's Outstanding Pro Prospect. The 2001 CCBL Outstanding Pro Prospect, Russ Adams (UNC), follows Brownlie with a 6th overall ranking and has won consistent praise from the national media since slamming a three-run homer in the 2001 Sprint PCS Cape League All-Star Game in Falmouth. The Orleans Cardinals infielder continued to impress scouts through the remaining summer, wrapping of the 2001 campaign with a .281 batting average and 48 hits in 44 games.

     Behind Adams was 7th overall ranked Joe Blanton (Kentucky), who led the Cape League in innings pitched (68) and strikeouts (77) in 2001, and in so doing helped the Bourne Braves to the playoffs. 

     Chatham A's run and gun shortstop Drew Meyer (South Carolina), considered by many baseball pundits to have the premier arm among collegiate infielders this spring, follows right behind Blanton in the 8th slot. Meyer, who committed to play for the A's for an almost unheard of third Cape League season for 2002, is more than likely hedging all opportunities as he waits to see how high he falls in the June draft. In spite of struggling at the plate for the A's in 2000 (.214) and 2001 (.192), Meyer nevertheless was clutch when it counted, was a true threat on the base paths and proved his arm strength from deep shortstop is almost unparalleled.


Bobby Brownlie (Rutgers), this year's top collegiate draft prospect, pitched for Falmouth in 2000.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2000

     Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox outfielder/DH Jason Cooper made the long trek from Stanford to Cape Cod for two straight summers (2000-2001) and while he struggled to find the groove, the power-laden lefty impressed when it counted the most: Cooper won back-to-back Home Run Hitting Contests in the 2000 and 2001 Cape League All-Star Games. Scouts took notice as Cooper ranks 10th overall among the Top 50 Collegiate Prospects for the 2002 Draft.

     Harwich Mariners star southpaw Joe Saunders started the 2001 CCBL All-Star Game and made the most of his appearance, garnering the 11th slot on the Top 50 list. Wareham Gatemen two-year backstop Tyler Parker (Georgia Tech) was just one among many Yellowjackets to post impressive stints in the CCBL over the past decade, but nevertheless, the two-time all-star catcher fared well enough in the CCBL to be named 12th among collegians ready to go pro. After Parker, Chatham A's flamethrower David Bush (Wake Forest) was a guaranteed lock for the list (13th) given the Tampa Bay Devil Rays did not offer the Cape League all-star righty quite what he was looking for to play professionally.

     Coming into the 2001 Cape League season, lefty Chris Leonard (Miami/Ohio) may have been a dark horse candidate for any top honor, but after posting a pristine 6-0 record, 0.98 ERA and 64 Ks in 55 innings pitched for the league champion Wareham Gatemen, it was impossible not to concede he was the top gun. Leonard (14th) walked away from the Cape not merely with a Championship ring, he walked away with the 2001 BFC Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher Award.


Russ Adams (UNC) was named the CCBL Outstanding Pro Prospect in 2001 after an all-star season with the Orleans Cardinals.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2001

     The 2002 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft is slated for June 5-6 in New York City. In last year's draft, the Cape League had 150 players drafted, 11 in the first round. Each season, the Cape League suits up 230 permanent roster players and combined with temporary roster players, puts uniforms on anywhere from 245-270 total players. An astonishing 38.13 percent of 4-year college players who were considered Major League Baseball Top Prospects in 2001 were Cape Cod Baseball League players.

     According to CCBL Official Statistician John Wylde, of 537 current Major League Baseball Players who played for 4-year schools, 181 of them are former Cape Leaguers. In 2001, there were 1,247 players in Major League Baseball. The Cape League accounted for 184 or 14.76 percent of those players.

Joe Blanton (Kentucky), pitched brilliantly for the Bourne Braves in 2001.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2001

Stanford's Jason Cooper played for the Y-D Red Sox in 2000 and 2001.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2000

Cape League all-star southpaw Joe Saunders was amazing for the 2001 Harwich Mariners.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2001

Wareham's Tyler Parker (Georgia Tech) proved his mettle behind the plate once again in 2001.  Sean Walsh/CCBL 2001

Major League scouts have few doubts about the rocket that is David Bush's right arm. Bush (Wake Forest) hurled relief for the Chatham A's in 2000 and 2001. Sean Walsh/CCBL 2001

Miami (Ohio) lefty Chris Leonard garnered Top Pitcher honors in the CCBL in 2001 while toiling for the Wareham Gatemen.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2001

Falmouth's Steve White (Baylor) had a rock solid Cape League season in 2001.
Sean Walsh/CCBL 2001

complete list of the
 25 Cape League players 

who are among the
2002 Top Collegiate Draft Prospects.

     Please click here for a complete list of the 25 Cape League players who are among the 2002 Top Collegiate Draft Prospects.

-- Sean Walsh/CCBL 2002
-- Special thanks to Baseball America
Cape Cod Baseball League Official Statistician John Wylde