Every year when the college baseball season ends, players scatter across the country to play in summer baseball leagues. The most famous of these leagues, the Cape Cod League, has the reputation for the place to go if you want to be seen by MLB scouts, and as Michael Busch was just drafted in the first round, it’s clear the experience helps.
Summer baseball leagues afford players a few advantages: to play against different players than they have seen all year, and to do it with a wooden bat which is what they’ll have to use in the majors. There’s also the opportunity in some summer leagues for players who didn’t see a lot of time on the field during their collegiate season to get some action and get a head start on improving for the next season.
That last point is key for UNC this year. The last couple of years, the Tar Heels have sent several players to the Cape Cod League, as last year saw seven players spend at least part of their summer on the shores of southeastern Massachusetts. This year, however, as a good chunk of the team that saw time on the field were juniors and seniors, the Tar Heels are only sending three to the CCL. They are:
Caden O’Brien, Harwich Mariners
Austin Love, Orleans Firebirds
Danny Serretti, Orleans Firebirds
An obvious name missing from that list is freshman masher Aaron Sabato. Sabato was drafted by the CCL, but has apparently decided to take this summer off. As he can’t be drafted next year, missing a summer of baseball likely isn’t going to hurt his stock any.
Those three have just gotten to Massachusetts so they don’t have any significant stats to update yet. We’ll check in with them starting next week to see how things are going.
Meanwhile, several other Tar Heels are going to take advantage of another league, the Coastal Plain League. The CPL has teams that stretch from Georgia to Virginia, with the majority in North Carolina. The premise is the same: the teams are comprised of college players who face off against other college players except they use wooden bats. The season stretches from the end of May to the beginning of August, and in fact they are already closing in on the end of the first half of the season.
Several Tar Heels are playing, and most have been playing since the season ended a couple of weeks ago. Due to this, we can go ahead and give you stats as well:
Clemente Incan, Wilmington Sharks:
9 GP, 28 AB, .321 Avg, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 4R, 1 SB
Angel Zarate, High Point/Thomasville HiToms
3 GP, 16 AB, .500 Avg, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 6R, 2 SB
Nik Pry, Holy Springs Salamanders
5 App, 8.2 IP, 0-1, 2.08 ERA, 12k
Chris Joyner, Holy Springs Salamanders
4 GS, 18 IP, 2-1, 6.50 ERA, 15 K
Austin Elliot, Martinsville Mustangs
4 GS, 17 IP, 0-2, 6.35 ERA, 23 K
Davis Palermo, Martinsville Mustangs
4 App, 3 GS, 17.1 IP, 2-1, 1.04 ERA, 24K
Will Schroeder, Martinsville Mustangs
6 GP, 20 AB, .050 Avg, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
Josh Dotson, Forest City Owls
2 GS, 9.1 IP, 1-0, 11.57 ERA, 6 K
Connor Ollio, Forest City Owls
2 App, 1 GS, 10 IP, 2-0, 0.90 ERA, 10 K
Bennett Nance, Lexington County Blowfish
5 App, 2 GS, 13 IP, 1-0, 1.38 ERA, 13K
We’ll keep track of these stats as the year goes along. Meanwhile, if you live close enough to either league and want a chance to see this unique set up, take a night to catch some action. The summer will be over before you know it.