Cape Cod League & draft signings update

The Chamberlain/Kennedy show
Eric Duncan can't get in on the fun

The Cape Cod Baseball League is “it” for amateurs. Each summer the best of the best college players head up to the Cape to strut their stuff for scouts in anticipation of the following year’s draft, and in some cases they are trying to make themselves a few extra thousand bucks if they were already drafted. Many players have headed to the Cape with little hype, but left as top notch prospects; just ask Timmy Lincecum what his 0.69 ERA & .104 BAA did for him last year.Â

One player on the Cape looking to drive up his signing bonus is RHP Chris Carpenter, the Yanks’ 18th round pick out of Kent State in this year’s draft. A second rounder based on talent, Carpenter fell because of signability (as a draft-eligible sophomore, he’s got some extra negotiating leverage) and health concerns (Tommy John surgery and a separate elbow surgery to clean out scar tissue in recent years). In two starts for the Chatham A’s, Carpenter has gone 9 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 13 K, which isn’t as great as it may look when you consider that the CCBL is quite possibly the pitcher friendliest baseball league on the planet.

Carpenter won’t have a chance to improve on those numbers though; he left the A’s after experiencing pain and inflammation in his throwing elbow/forearm. Carpenter had an MRI and supposedly everything is okay, but you hold your breath when a guy has a medical history as ugly as his. Regardless of the arm trouble, Carpenter was on a part-time contract with th A’s, and had to leave the team when all the full-time contract guys showed up July 1st and took hold of any available roster spots.

Given his performance and medical issue, I think Carpenter hurt his stock this summer more than he helped it. It’s a funny situation, on one hand Carpenter could take whatever money the Yanks offer him (somewhere between $300-500k I’m guessing) and turn pro, or he could go back to school for his junior year and possibly come out as an elite prospect in next year’s draft…or he could hurt himself (again) and never see a dime of baseball money. I think he should just take the money and get himself under professional instruction and conditioning programs, but I’m not the one making the call.

Another Yankee draftee linked to the Cape Cod League is 4th rounder Brad Suttle, a third baseman out of Texas. Suttle was scheduled to play with the Wareham Gatemen, but he isn’t listed on the official roster and hasn’t so much as seen a pitch on the Cape. Suttle’s camp never gave a reason as to why he’s not playing, so speculation is running wild. Is he hurt? Did he sign? Who knows.

A couple of weeks ago I snuck this question in to BA’s Jim Callis during his Wednesday chat:

Mike A. (SD, CA): Any idea why Brad Suttle isn’t playing on Cape, even though he was supposed to? Thanks

SportsNation Jim Callis: My guess is he doesn’t want to risk an injury that could hurt his chances of signing with the Yankees.

If true, it’s good to see that he wants to sign, but on the other hand he might have cost himself some major dough by not going out to play on the Cape. He’ll still get a ton of money if he turns pro (around $800-900k), but if he goes back to school he’s got a chance to shine without being overshadowed by Kyle Russell, who obliterated Texas’ single season homerun mark this year (and struck out 64 times in 126 AB on the Cape last year).

If you’re interested in checking out some of the action on the Cape, Brian over at The College Baseball Blog has pointed out that you can watch nearly all of the Cape Cod League games right from your computer, for free, by clicking here. Lemme repeat that in case you missed it: you can watch nearly all of the Cape Cod League games right from your computer, for free. Sweet deal I’d say.

Even without Carpenter and Suttle playing, you can still check out some great players (school, Cape team) like 1B Yonder Alonso (Miami, Brewster), 1B Allan Dykstra (Wake Forest, Chatham), RHP The Truth (UNC, Chatham), C/RHP Robert Stock (USC, Cotuit) and RHP Brett Jacobson (Vanderbilt, Harwich). I’m going to try to make time to catch a glimpse of Gavin Brooks, a freshman at UCLA this past year who is currently with Chatham. As a  6’3″, 200 lb LHP with a 91-93 mph fastball and plus breaking & offspeed stuff, Gavin Brooks has a chance to be a very special player.

I still have not seen any confirmation of the Carmen Angelini signing, although it’s very possible that MLB is delaying the announcement. When a signing bonus exceeds the recommended slot amount, MLB will usually make the team delay the announcement so it doesn’t drive up signing bonuses across the board. Yes you’d rather have the player in uniform and playing in games ASAP, but this approach is in the best interests of baseball long term.

The uniform signing date is now less than 6 weeks away, so expect a flurry of player signings very soon.

The Chamberlain/Kennedy show
Eric Duncan can't get in on the fun
  • Trevor

    Whats the status of greg peavey?

  • Brian Foley

    Scott Stricklin at Kent State is an excellent coach and can provide an extra year of development for Carpenter. I actually interviewed him before this past season.

  • Mike A.

    Peavey is playing in a summer league in Corvallis, Oregon; conveniently close to Oregon State, where he committed. I dunno how he’s doing or anything like that though.

    I think Peavey’s kind of a backup plan for the Yanks if they fail to sign Carpenter or even Brackman. If they manage to grab those 2, they’ll probably let Peavey head to OSU. Even the Yanks have limitations to how much they can spend on the draft.

  • The Scout

    The Yankees have quite enough pitchers with serious elbow injuries. yes, it isn’t my money, but I’d recommending leaving Carpenter out there.

  • CB


    Any updates on Brackman either in terms of his health or negotiations? If he does sign will he stay shut down or go to Staten Island, or another lower level?

  • Mike A.


    Honestly, I have no friggin’ idea. No word on the elbow, the negotiations, anything involving Brackman really. I do hear that he’s still 6’11 and throws 99 with a nasty knucklecurve when healthy though…

    Only 13 of the 30 first round picks have signed, the highest of which is Ross Detwiler, who went 6th overall to the Nats. I’m almost sure they’ll sign Brackman, but probably not until late because there’s alot to be worked out with the two-sport thing/injury troubles.

    As soon as I find anything out, it’ll be on RAB.

  • Brian Foley

    I really hate promoting my site but I did see Brackman pitch this year against Boston College. It was early in the conference season and it was cool in boston around 50s and he threw about 93 but jacked it up to 97 when he had to. I didn’t think he was that impressive at all because he was wild and really didn’t command the mound like a first round pick should. Another thing about Brackman is that there is not much mileage on that arm as he focused on basketball in his first two seasons with occasional starts on the baseball diamond.

    My report is linked below on Brackman

    Just some thoughts guys.

  • Mike A.

    Thanks for the input Brian. No worries, we’ve been known to self-promote all over the interweb.

  • Malcard89

    now that i’ve looked at some scouting reports on all the first round picks for 2007, i am super pissed off the tigers took porcello before we had a chance. sometimes life isnt fair. they basically got a free ace (in terms of how he was just there waiting to be taken with his 95 heat) in justin verlander in 2004, they humiliate the yanks in the playoffs, and then they take rick porcello who i’ve read throws 94-95 consistently, and has no arm troubles or command issues like brackman, plus he’s 4 years younger!!! i hate the tigers.

  • felixpanther

    i still can not get over Yankees not pick Matt Harvey at 2nd round and Cole St.Clair at 7th round, it’s a no brainer

  • C-Note

    I’d pass on carpenter, I agree with an earlier post- YANKS have WAY TOO many guys with potential who are also DAmaged goods

    Also agree brackman has enough of an upside to take the chance- 6 11 & 99 MPH doesn’t come around everyday, and he’s never focused soley on Baseball- the yanks (given the quality and quantity of arms in the system) can give him some time to develop

    and Carmen Angelini is like having another #1 pick

    could turn out to be a very good draft… like things time will tell

  • Brian Foley

    I had a scout tell me before the draft that Harvey would be picked in the first round. I was shocked to see him slide as much as he did.

  • CB

    For what it’s worth Alan Horne had a terrible elbow once too and he’s moving into top of the line prospect status.

    You just never know and there aren’t many guys who throw as hard as Carpenter. Yes he’s raw, yes his secondary pitches sound non-existent but developing complementary pitches is a real organizational strength now (hats off to Nardi)

    Take a chance on him. They gave Kyle Farnsworth $18 million. You can take all of the guys with elbow problems the Yankees have now (throw Brackman in there as well), add up their bonuses and if any one of them makes it to the majors its an enormous cost savings. AJ Burnett the 99 m.p.h disabled list got $55 million after all.

    Mike you should be Carpenter’s “Advisor.” You’re right – he should just sign, get something in the bank and get into the Yankees developmental system. The marginal money he’ll lose between this year and next (assuming he doesn’t wind up a top ten pick) will wash away if he makes it to the majors. The Yankees are so good at developing young arms (even damaged ones) they would be a good fit for him.

  • Brian Foley

    CB, I am a Red Sox fan but looking at the current Yankees (MLB) rotation I don’t really see any good young arms after Hughes. The Yanks have Wang but I don’t think they developed him.

  • Mike A.

    I have to disagree Brian – they certainly developed Wang, actually twice if you think about it. He made it to Triple-A as a fastball-splitter strikeout guy, then basically changed course with him and made him the groundball machine he is now.

  • CB


    The MLB staff is definitely old but in transition. Unless they panic the young arms are going to get to the majors.

    The Yankees did develop Wang. Signed him for $1.9 million bonus out Taiwan. Jack Curry in the NY Times had a great piece about his development earlier this year.

    He learned the two seam sinking fastball while he was in the yankee’s system. This has been the key to his success and he picked it up in the minors relatively late. That’s why he flew under the radar for so long and seemed to come out of nowhere. He’s exactly the kind of player that in the past they would have spent a lot of money to sign and then either ignored or traded. He’ll hopefully mark a transition point for the team.

    Cashman has engineered a strong system with Oppenheimer running the draft along with International Scouting identifying talent, the organization committing resources to signing them in and then letting Nardi Contreras, along with Scott Paterson, Dave Eiland, etc polish their talent. Contreras in particular has broken down a lot of bad habits and retaught guys with how to pitch. That’s what they did with Hughes. When they drafted him he was more a fastball slider guy. The curve wasn’t much and the change non-existent. Within a year and a half he had arguably the best curveball in the minors. Hughes is clearly an exception but when he was drafted he was considered talented but not a phenom or a once in a generation kind of arm. Even this year with the parade of rookie pitchers the yankees have turned to, it’s striking how each of them generally had an idea of how to pitch. They didn’t succeed because of talent, lack of experience or injury but they definitely had a clue. Guys like Rasner and Karstens are good examples of pitchers with very marginal talent at best but look like they can probably pitch somewhere in the majors. That’s a sign of good player development.

    Both Carpenter and Brackman would benefit from being in that kind of system. Carpenter had a good season this year with one pitch – his fastball. Narid Contreras would help him immensely.

  • Brian Foley

    Remember…I thought Wang came over and went directly to the Yanks but I guess I was wrong.

  • Greg

    Excellent report. I interviewed the GM of Wareham, John Wylde, for our CodBall Conversation podcast recently. He touches on the roster and Suttle just days before the opening of the Cape season. Hope you all will visit us occassionally on, devoted to the Cape League.


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