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The summer league action around the country is rolling along and we continue our summer league coverage with an inside look at the Coastal Plains League, California Collegiate League, Valley League and Perfect Game Collegiate League.
As we continue our national tour each week, our coverage will include an inside look at the Prospect League, Cal Ripken League, Alaska League and West Coast League.
Coastal Plains League
Spotlight player: 1B Chase McDonald, East Carolina
McDonald hit .314 in his first season with the Pirates and is having an even more impressive summer at the Coastal Plains League. He leads the league with a .418 average, 56 hits, seven doubles, 10 home runs and 40 RBIs. He’s also slugging .694 and has a tremendous .477 on-base percentage. Additionally, McDonald has walked 15 times and struck out on 22 occasions.
OF Jake Cave, LSU signee: The Tigers are going to be blessed with a good one if the talented two-way player decides to go to college. He was a sixth-round pick to the New York Yankees and time will tell if he signs or goes to college. So far this summer, Cave is hitting an impressive .382 (third in the league) with 39 hits, seven doubles, two triples, a home run and 14 RBIs. He’s also slugging .520 and has a solid .475 OBP. Cave also has induced 18 walks thus far.
OF Ryan Matthews, N.C. State: There’s no doubt Matthews needs to work on his OBP with it sitting at .373 so far this summer, but otherwise he’s putting together quite a summer. He’s one of the league’s better hitters and is batting .307 with 42 hits, 10 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs and 36 RBIs. He also has a .679 slugging percentage and has stolen nine of 10 bases. Contributing to the low OBP is the fact Matthews has struck out 35 times this summer.
LHP Charlie McCready, Charleston Southern: He might not exactly be a top prospect or physical specimen standing at just 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, but McCready is putting together a special summer for the Asheboro Copperheads. He has started seven games and made eight appearances and has a 2.11 ERA in 42 2/3 innings. He also has struck out 35 and walked seven and teams are hitting just .259 against him.
RHP Seth Cutler-Voltz, Virginia Commonwealth: Cutler-Voltz finished the 2011 college campaign with a 5.12 ERA, but much better results could be in store for 2012. He has started six games at the CPL and has a 1.93 ERA in 42 innings. He also has struck out 29 and walked 10 and teams are hitting him at a .228 clip. It’s also worth noting Cutler-Voltz only has allowed nine earned runs and has tossed one complete game.
P Brooks Fiala, Miami (Ohio): Fiala finished the 2011 college campaign with a solid 2.53 ERA and is continuing his successful ways this summer at the CPL. He has started seven games and has a tremendous 2.18 ERA in 41 1/3 innings. He also has struck out 39 and walked five and teams are hitting him at a .201 clip. Fiala has a 4-1 record and has allowed 10 earned runs.
California Collegiate League
Spotlight player: INF Jeff McVaney, Texas State
There might not be a college baseball player having a more impressive summer than McVaney. He’s been an absolute terror at the plate for the Santa Barbara Foresters this summer. He’s hitting an impressive .448 with 47 hits, nine doubles, five triples, two home runs and 17 RBIs. He’s also slugging .686 and has a fabulous .520 OBP. Additionally, McVaney has struck out and walked 14 times, while he is 14-for-20 in stolen bases.
UTI Scott Heineman, Oregon: We’ve featured Heineman before in our roundups and he continues to put together an impressive summer. He’s hitting .338 with 45 hits, 11 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 23 RBIs. He’s also slugging .594 and has a respectable .407 OBP. It’s also worth noting Heineman is 15-for-18 in stolen bases.
P Tom Barry, Northern Illinois: The NIU Huskies left-handed pitcher continues to put together an impressive summer at the California Collegiate League. He has started seven games and appeared in eight and has a fantastic 1.80 ERA in 40 innings. He also has struck out 45 and walked 20 and teams only are hitting him at a .203 clip. Also impressive is the fact Barry has yet to allow a home run.
P Travis Huber, Nebraska: The Huskers hope to take a step forward in their first season in the Big Ten in 2012. They’ll need guys like Huber to rise to the occasion to do so. The talented right-handed pitcher has started seven games and appeared in eight and has a 2.75 ERA in 39 1/3 innings. He also has struck out 44 and walked 11 and teams only are hitting him at a .177 clip. Huber is one of several NU arms having solid summers.
OF Greg Zebrack, Pennsylvania: The Quakers must be pleased with Zebrack’s continued success at the California Collegiate League. The talented outfielder continues to have an impressive summer. He’s hitting .361 with 39 hits, 13 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 31 RBIs. He’s also slugging .676 and has a .395 OBP. Zebrack’s strikeout total (29) is a little high, while he is 6-for-9 in stolen bases.
OF Brett Vertigan, UC Santa Barbara: The Gauchos have a new head coach in Andrew Checketts and he probably can’t wait to see what Vertigan brings to the table in 2012. Vertigan is having an impressive summer, hitting .336 with 36 hits, eight doubles, two triples, three home runs and 16 RBIs. He also is slugging .533 and has a respectable .405 OBP. It’s also worth noting Vertigan is 10-for-13 in stolen bases.
Spotlight player: UTI Brad Zebedis, Presbyterian
What an incredible summer Zebedis is having at the plate. He had an impressive 2011 college campaign and so far this summer, he’s hitting .420 with 63 hits, 18 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 32 RBIs. He’s also slugging .653 and has a fantastic .483 OBP. It’s also worth noting Zebedis has walked and struck out each on 16 occasions. There’s no doubt Zebedis has been one of nation’s most impressive players this summer.
OF Mac Williamson, Wake Forest: Consistency has been the key for several players at the Valley League, including Williamson. The Demon Deacons outfielder is having a fantastic summer from a power standpoint. He’s hitting .374 with 46 hits, 10 doubles, nine home runs and 35 RBIs. He’s also slugging .675 and has a .462 OBP. It’s also worth noting Williamson has walked on 14 occasions and struck out 21 times.
SS Ryan Dineen, Eastern Illinois: The Valley League has several players performing at a high level this summer, and Dineen is one of those guys. He’s hitting an impressive .347 with 27 runs scored, 41 hits, five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 21 RBIs. He’s also slugging .483 and has a tremendous .435 OBP. It’s also worth noting he’s 9-for-10 in stolen bases this summer.
P Vince Voiro, Pennsylvania: The Quakers aren’t exactly a powerhouse program on the national stage, but they sure have some players playing well this summer. Voiro is having an impressive summer at the Valley League. He has made seven starts and has a 1.62 ERA in 44 1/3 innings. He also has struck out 47 and walked 15 and teams only are hitting him at a .206 clip. It’s also worth noting Voiro has yet to allow a home run so far this summer.
P Peter Kelich, Bryant: Bryant is just beginning to gain some traction at the Division I level and Kelich is a guy bringing it some headlines. The talented right-handed pitcher is having a fantastic summer at the Valley League. He has made seven starts and nine appearances and has a 1.89 ERA in 52 1/3 innings. He also has struck out 40 and walked 15 and teams are hitting him at a .244 clip. Interestingly, Kelich has tossed a complete game this summer.
P Chris Devenski, Cal State Fullerton: Devenski could decide to sign with the White Sox this summer, as he was a 25th-round pick in the MLB draft. However, should he return to Cal State Fullerton, chances are good he’ll have an increased role. Devenski is having a fantastic summer. He has made six starts and eight appearances and has a 2.50 ERA in 39 2/3 innings. He also has struck out 53 and walked 14 and teams are hitting him at a .199 clip.
Perfect Game Collegiate League
Spotlight player: OF Cullen Wacker, Auburn
After transferring from Northeast Texas CC, where Wacker was named all-conference by hitting .391 in 2010, he assumed a part-time role with the Tigers last spring hitting .287. He got his day off to a good start on Monday at the All-Star Game in Elmira, winning the home run derby, and went on to be named the game's MVP going 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored and 3 driven in. He started a 3-run rally in the sixth inning with a single that allowed the East to tie the West team, and put his team on top in the top of the ninth with a booming 3-run home run down the right-field line. Wacker also added a double to deep left-center, showing his power to all fields as a left-handed hitter. With a fluid stroke, bat speed and loft power, Wacker was the best professional prospect on the field.
INF Alex Maldonado, Holy Cross: Gaylord's teammate for the Watertown Wizards, Maldonado arguably is swinging an even hotter stick. He too is hitting .368 this summer, .529 over the last 2 weeks, and he has 16 multi-hit games in the 31 games he has played in. The two combined have 28 stolen bases, and form a dynamic duo atop Watertown's potent offense.
OF Erick Gaylord, Campbell: Gaylord was the spotlight player in our last summer collegiate update, thanks to hitting 6 home runs in two days over the weekend. He continued to swing a hot bat at the All-Star Game, hitting a 2-run home run and scoring a pair of runs, giving him 7 blasts in 3 days. A good overall athlete that tracks balls well in center, Gaylord is contending for the league's triple crown, currently hitting .368-9-36.
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball editor for Perfect Game USA and has covered the sport for over 10 seasons. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org