A weekly list of the top six performers of the 2014 season
By Zach Leach
The story of this season’s Players to Watch list has been consistency thus far. With three weeks under our belts, it seems that the same handful of players are intent on battling each other for end of the year awards. Matt Hall, Willie Calhoun, and Edwin Rios have remained on the list since Week One, while Rob Fonseca gets his second straight selection and nearly every player who has made an appearance has seen continued success. There is still more than enough time for new players to make a name for themselves this season, but it seems like this current group of players isn’t going away any time soon.
Willie Calhoun (Arizona)
Infielder, Wareham Gatemen
.351 BA, 17 R, 4 RBI, 0 HR, 0 SB
Calhoun continues to impress game in and game out. The league-leader in runs scored and extra-base hits is carrying his team and making a strong case for MVP. While he may not have the power to rack up home runs and RBIs or the speed to dominate the base paths, he is unbelievably efficient at the plate, batting .351 and slugging .514. Calhoun has also scored 17 of Wareham’s 79 total runs this season, which is about 22%, the highest percentage of any player in the league so far this season.
Jordan Tarsovich (Virginia Military)
Outfielder, Y-D Red Sox
.390 BA, 11 R, 10 RBI, 2 HR, 6 SB
The current batting leader has forced his way onto the Watch list and into award conversation with consistent success in all aspects of the game. Tarsovich has been the hardest out in the league thus far, with an unbelievable .390 batting average, which is twenty-three points better than the second best average. He has also displayed both power and speed, as the only player in the league with multiple home runs and over five stolen bases. Add in a top ten position in runs scored, runs driven in, slugging and on-base percentage and you have possibly the most well-rounded player on the Cape thus far.
Rob Fonsceca (Northeastern)
Infielder, Y-D Red Sox
.353 BA, 10 R, 10 RBI, 2 HR, 0 SB
It’s hard to see the Red Sox not climbing out of the basement of the East if both Tarsovich and Fonseca continue to produce at their current levels. Like his teammate, Fonseca has ten RBIs and two home runs and finds himself near the top of most offensive statistics. In fact, Fonseca is second in the league in both slugging and on-base percentage. If he can keep it up, the Northeastern revelation could be in for a big season.
Matt Hall (Missouri State)
Pitcher, Falmouth Commodores
23 IP, 2-0, 1.17 ERA, 21 K, 1.04 WHIP
Without much doubt, you can say that Hall has been the best pitcher on the Cape so far this summer. He’s been a workhorse for the Commodores, leading the league in innings pitched with four shutdown starts. His stunning 1.17 ERA is third best in the league, and tops among pitchers with over seventeen innings. The West division strikeout leader has been dominating his opponents, holding them to a .195 batting average and only allowing three earned runs all year. While Hall would like to be 4-0, he can settle for two wins right now, knowing plenty more will be coming if he keeps pitching this way.
Kevin McCanna (Rice)
Pitcher, Falmouth Commodores
19 IP, 3-0, 1.89 ERA, 10 K, 0.79 WHIP
Perhaps Hall’s only real competition so far for Pitcher of the Year is his own teammate. Though he has only made three starts versus Hall’s four, McCanna has been unbelievable on the mound early this season. His 1.90 ERA is fifth best in the league and second only to Hall among pitchers with over seventeen innings pitched. McCanna is not much for strikeouts, but he forces opposing batters into difficult situations to get easy outs. He has actually been better than Hall at not allowing base runners, with an amazing 0.79 WHIP and .191 batting average against. Falmouth has been blessed with two ace pitchers this season, and their competition to be the best could just be what boosts the Commodores to the top.
Edwin Rios (Florida International)
Infielder, Orleans Firebirds
.306 BA, 13 R, 14 RBI, 3 HR, 0 SB
With the Firebirds in the middle of a five-game winning streak in which their offense has been on display every night, Rios has remained in the spotlight with his production at the plate. The league-leader in RBIs has one of the best power bats in the Cape League this year, with three home runs as well. Orleans has recently been scoring a ton of runs, and Rios has benefitted, as his thirteen runs scored are second only to teammate David Thompson (Miami) in the East. Rios’ batting average slipped again this week, but he is still slugging .532, which is good enough for third best in the league. If he can replace some of his strikeouts with more hits going forward, he will stick around in any MVP debates.
Dropped out from Week Two: Donnie Dewees Jr. (North Florida), HYA
Tate Scioneaux (Southeastern Louisiana), HYA