Official League Website
Atlantic Collegiate League top 25 prospects (list)
Atlantic Collegiate League is divided into three distinct divisions:
the Wolff Division, comprised of four teams from New Jersey and
Pennsylvania; the Kaiser Division, composed of three teams based in
the New York City area; and the Hamptons Division, made up of five
teams from the exclusive Hamptons region on Long Island.
the Wolff Division’s Jersey Pilots easily posted the league’s
best record during the 2011 season at 24-10 and the Kaiser Division’s
Staten Island Tide walked away with the league title, it was the
Hamptons Division that easily had the best talent. Of the ACBL’s
top 25 prospects identified below, the five Hampton teams combined to
contribute 17 players to the list.
Hamptons Division is a spinoff of the old Hamptons Collegiate League
and its integration into the ACBL in 2009 has greatly added to the
talent mix in the league. That division produced league champions in
2009 and 2010, and contributed 13 of the league’s top 25 prospects
in 2009, 15 of the top 25 a year ago and outdid itself this summer.
Westhampton Aviators had the most prospects (6), including No. 1
prospect Brandon Kuter, a rising junior righthander from George
Mason, but managed to compile just a 21-19 record on the season,
though finished first in its division and lost in the league
championship game to Staten Island.
gap between the first- and fourth-place teams in the Hamptons was
just one game, and a mere three games separated first and last.; Such
parity stems largely from the Hamptons blueprint of recruiting
college players as an organization and distributing them on a
relatively equal basis among its five teams in the form of a draft
based on a pre-season tryout of the assembled talent.
ACBL made a noteworthy contribution to the 2011 draft as Stanford
lefthander Chris Reed, selected 16th overall by the Los
Angeles Dodgers, was the No. 1-ranked prospect in the league a year
ago, while Connecticut shortstop Nick Ahmed, a second-round selection
of the Atlanta Braves, was the No. 1-ranked talent in the league in
the summer of 2009.
lofty ranking was actually based more on his perceived upside as a
pitcher rather than as a shortstop, though he rarely pitched in the
ACBL or in three years at UConn, and was ultimately drafted as a
shortstop. Ahmed’s younger Mike followed in his footsteps this
summer by also playing shortstop for Westhampton, and his upside may
also be greater on the mound, though he worked in just two innings
for the Aviators. The younger Ahmed is ranked No. 9 on the list
remains to be seen where this year’s top prospect, the 6-foot-7
Kuter, will be drafted in 2012, but he was hands-down the top-rated
talent in the league and actually moved to the top spot after being
ranked No. 7 a year ago. Kuter topped the league in saves with a
fastball that peaked at 96 mph.
League Established: 1967.
Represented in League: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.
of Teams in League: 12 (13 in 2010).
Champion (best overall record): Jersey Pilots.
Champion: Staten Island Tide.
PG CrossChecker Summer 50/Final Ranking: No. 36 Staten Island
1 Prospect, 2010 (per PG CrossChecker): Chris Reed, lhp,
Torrington Titans (Stanford; Dodgers/1st round).
2010 Player Selected, 2011 Draft: Chris Reed, lhp, Torrington
Titans (Stanford; Dodgers/1st round).
Valuable Players: Kevin Heller, of, Westhampton Aviators.
Outstanding Pitcher: Rob Corsi, lhp, Jersey Pilots.
Prospect (as selected by league): Brandon Kuter, rhp, Westhampton
Average: Alex Maruri, 1b/of, New York Atlantics (.420).
Percentage: Kevin Heller, of, Westhampton Aviators (.645).
Average: Alex Maruri, 1b/of, New York Atlantics (.490).
Runs: Kevin Heller, of, Westhampton Aviators (11).
Frank Schwindel, c/1b, Riverhead Tomcats (36).
Bases: Four tied at 17.
Three tied at 5.
Chris Phelan, rhp, Southampton Breakers (0.68).
Brandon Kuter, rhp, Westhampton Aviators (10).
Rob Corsi, lhp, Jersey Pilots (56).
Athlete: Kevin Heller, of, Westhampton Aviators.
Hitter: Frank Schwindel, c/1b, Riverheads Tomcats.
Power: Matt Carroll, 1b, North Fork Ospreys.
Base Runner: Anthony Vega, of, Long Island Collegians.
Defensive Player: Stuart Turner, c, Southampton Breakers.
Velocity: Brandon Kuter, rhp, Westhampton Aviators.
Breaking Ball: Brandon Kuter, rhp, Westhampton Aviators.
Command: Taylor Black, rhp, Westhampton Aviators.
BRANDON KUTER, rhp, Westhampton Aviators (George Mason/JR in 2012)
PROFILE: There’s something about the ACBL that seems to bring
out the best in Kuter. In two seasons working in relief at George
Mason, the 6-foot-7, 220-pound righthander has struggled mightily in
going a combined 1-3, 7.68 while giving up 32 walks and 55 hits in 34
innings, and striking out just 32. But he has been a completely
different pitcher the last two summers as a closer for Westhampton.
He fanned 31 in 21 innings a year ago, and thoroughly dominated the
league this summer in 21 appearances, posting a 0.40 ERA, saving a
league-high 10 games and punching out 36 in 22 innings. He also
earned a save in the league all-star game with a fastball that
registered 96 mph. The pitch typically sat at 92-94 during the season
and he complemented it with a power slider, giving him the two
dominant pitches needed to excel in a game-ending role. Kuter has a
live, loose arm with a projectable, athletic frame, but he still
needs to repeat his delivery more consistently to fine-tune the
command of his slider. If he can accomplish that, he appears to have
everything that a scout would look for in an early-round draft pick.
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