A weekly list of the top six performers of the 2014 season
By Zach Leach
The first two weeks of the season have given us both dominant pitching performances and extraordinary offensive displays, but the most interesting thing it has given us is a puzzling dichotomy between the best teams and the best players. Anyone can look at the current standings and see that the Harwich Mariners and Bourne Braves are the Cape’s two best teams at the moment. With 10-3 records, both squads have set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. Yet a closer look at individual player statistics will show that neither team has a player in the top five of most major statistical categories, contributing to the fact that neither have a player on this week’s Watch List. Are the teams just really well-balanced? Or are they simply overachieving right now? Even more interesting may be the fact that the only other team above .500 is the Hyannis, who has two Players to Watch this week. Are the Harbor Hawks the real team to watch for?
Willie Calhoun (Arizona)
Infielder, Wareham Gatemen
.353 BA, 11 R, 3 RBI, 0 HR, 0 SB
Despite his Gatemen finding themselves in last place in the West, Calhoun has been the most exciting player in the Cape League to this point. The league-leader in hits, runs, and doubles has been seemingly omnipresent on the base paths early this season. The perfect leadoff man, Calhoun has been an extremely tough out for Wareham’s opposing pitchers. With a top ten batting average and slugging percentage as well, he has proven himself to be a legitimate MVP threat even this early in the summer. After a tough 2013 season, the Gatemen need Calhoun to lead them back to the playoffs this season. If he keeps up his current level of play and adds to his power stats, he might just be able to put the team on his back.
Rob Fonsceca (Northeastern)
Infielder, Y-D Red Sox
.394 BA, 8 R, 6 RBI, 2 HR, 0 SB
Like Calhoun, Fonseca is currently the best player on the worst team, as the Red Sox sit at 4-9 in the East. His team’s success hasn’t stopped the local college kid from having an electrifying start to his Cape League career. He currently leads the division with a .667 slugging percentage and .524 on-base percentage, and his nearly-.400 batting average isn’t too shabby either. As if being one of the best hitters for average in the league wasn’t enough, he is also tied for the league-lead in home runs too. Fonseca is simply succeeding at every aspect of offense right now, and it turning heads across the league. If he can keep it going and can get the Red Sox back on track, he’ll turn some heads around the country as well.
Matt Hall (Missouri St.)
Pitcher, Falmouth Commodores
16 IP, 1-0, 0.56 ERA, 16 K, 1.00 WHIP
Hall has been downright dominant on the mound so far in the new campaign. He leads the league in strikeouts and has the best earned run average of all pitchers with three starts already. While the Commodores have only managed to get him the win in one of his starts, it is not a reflection on his performance, as he has allowed only one earned run on only ten hits so far. Opposing batters have only a .179 average against the Falmouth ace. With a perfect 1.00 WHIP in sixteen innings and sixteen strikeouts as well, Hall is currently letting only one base runner on per inning and fanning a batter per inning too. He’s averaging over five innings per start and less than a run per outing. Any manager in baseball would gladly take those numbers any day of the week.
Donnie Dewees Jr. (North Florida)
Outfielder, Hyannis Harbor Hawks
.400 BA, 7 R, 7 RBI, 1 HR, 6 SB
For those who have not yet seen Dewees play this season, just take a look at his stat line and you can guess that he’s awfully close to a legitimate five-tool player. Coming from the relatively unknown North Florida Ospreys, Dewees has definitely been one of the biggest surprises of the season so far. Though maybe overshadowed on the box score by Hyannis sluggers like Bobby Melley (UConn) and Daniel Kihle (Wichita St.), who are #1 and #2 in the league in RBIs, a better look at Dewees’ numbers so far and his actual play on the field shows that he is the true offensive catalyst for the Harbor Hawks. Dewees leads the league in slugging percentage (.700), is second in stolen bases (6) and extra-base hits (6), third in on-base percentage (.500), fourth in batting average (.400), and in the top ten in RBIs (7). That’s unbelievable.
Tate Scioneaux (Southeastern Louisiana)
Pitcher, Hyannis Harbor Hawks
17.1 IP, 3-0, 1.56 ERA, 7 K, 1.38 WHIP
Dewees’ Hyannis teammate is also lighting up the league early in the season, just from the mound rather than the plate. Scioneaux has been a workhorse for the Harbor Hawks, and an effective workhorse at that. He is the only three-win starter in the league, and his perfect record has been accomplished in a league-leading 17.1 innings. While Scioneaux gives up more balls in play and doesn’t rack up the strikeouts like some other top pitching prospects, he seems to thrive under pressure and can get out of nearly any jam. He may not have the lots of flashy pitching stats, but as long as his ERA stays low and the win count continues to climb, that’s all that matters.
Edwin Rios (Florida International)
Infielder, Orleans Firebirds
.317 BA, 9 R, 10 RBI, 2 HR, 0 SB
The East-leader in RBIs saw a slight performance drop off in the second week of the season, but not enough to start doubting the Firebirds slugger. Rios still finds himself near the top of major offensive categories, as he is tied for the league-lead in home runs, second in the league with six extra-base hits, and in the top five in runs scored with nine and slugging with a .585 percentage. He is the main source of power in the Orleans lineup and as long as his slide doesn’t continue, he’ll remain the leader of the offense and an MVP candidate if he can turn around a slow start for the 2013 East champs.
Dropped out from Week One: Kevin Newman (Arizona), Falmouth Commodores
Ian Happ (Cincinnati), Harwich Mariners
Jason Ingrham (William & Mary), Harwich Mariners