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Summer Collegiate : : Story
Futures League prospect reports
Allan Simpson        
Published: Friday, September 13, 2013


Official League Website: 
www.thefuturesleague.com
2013 Summer Collegiate Top Prospect coverage
Futures League Top Prospect list (free)


With teams based in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the Futures Collegiate League plays in the formidable shadow cast by both the Cape Cod and New England Collegiate Leagues—two of the nation’s elite summer college circuits. But the nine-team league, which just finished its third year of operation, continues to carve out its own identity, both on the field and at the box office.

Even as the league mandates that at least 50 percent of its talent must have ties to New England, the league has diligently mined the area for players that have largely been overlooked by other leagues and even the scouting community, while also broadening its recruiting reach nationally. Fourteen of the top 16 players on the accompanying list of the league’s top prospects have roots in New England, including five that were plucked right out of high schools in the region.

For all of the league’s apparent emphasis on youth this summer, the two top prospects overall, somewhat curiously, are both rising red-shirt college seniors who played for the Brockton Rox and will be 23 years old by the time the 2014 draft rolls around. But even scouts who frequented the league admitted it was difficult to overlook the raw speed and overall athleticism of outfielder Mitch Elliott, the league’s No. 1 prospect, or the impressive raw arm strength of righthander John Sheehan, ranked No. 2.

The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks were the league’s dominant team, both in the regular season and playoffs, and ended the two-year reign of the Nashua Silver Knights as Futures League champion, beating the Knights in the final. But the Sharks, with admittedly an older, more experienced roster, had few bona-fide prospects, with only shortstop Dylan Tice represented below.

Tice, a rising junior at Division-II Indiana (Pa.), was named the league’s regular-season MVP, playoff MVP and best overall defender, yet ranked only No. 12 overall. He was at least recognized as two fellow Pennsylvania products who also played prominent roles for Martha’s Vineyard, outfielder Ryan Siegel (Mercyhurst), the league batting champion at .373, and righthander Bob Carbaugh (Seton Hill), whose eight wins were a league record, were conspicuously absent.


FAST FACTS

Year League Established:
2011
States Represented in League: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire
No. of Teams in League: 9
Regular-Season Champion: Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (35-18, 39-18 overall
Post-Season Champion: Martha’s Vineyard Sharks)
Teams, Perfect Game Summer 50/Final Ranking: No. 27 Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, No. 45 Nashua Silver Knights
No. 1 Prospect, 2012 (per PG CrossChecker): Corey Stump, lhp, North Shore Navigators (Florida; did not play summer baseball in 2013)
First 2012 Player Selected, 2013 Draft: Tyler Bashlor, rhp/of, Torrington Titans (South Georgia JC; drafted by Mets/11th round)

Most Valuable Player:
Dylan Tice, ss, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (Indiana, Pa.)
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Bob Carbaugh, rhp, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (Seton Hill, Pa.)
Top Prospect (as selected by league): Mitch Elliott, of, Brockton Rox (Xavier)

BATTING LEADERS

Batting Average:
Ryan Siegel, of, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (.373)
Slugging Percentage: Jamil Moquete, of, Wachusett Dirt Dogs/North Shore Navigators (.571)
On-Base Average: Jamil Moquete, of, Wachusett Dirt Dogs/North Shore Navigators (.465)
Home Runs: 3 tied at 7
RBI: Johnny Adams, ss, Nashua Silver Knights; Dylan Tice, ss, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (39)
Stolen Bases: Brendan O’Brien, of, Brockton Rox (19)

PITCHING LEADERS

Wins:
Bob Carbaugh, rhp, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks (8)
ERA: Tom Hudon, lhp, Nashua Silver Knights (1.49)
Saves: Cody Rocha, lhp, Nashua Silver Knights (17)
Strikeouts: Tim Holmes, rhp, Seacoast Mavericks (64)

BEST TOOLS

Best Athlete:
Mitch Elliott, of, Brockton Rox
Best Hitter: Dylan Tice, ss, Martha’s Vineyard Sharks
Best Power: Jamil Moquete, of, Wachusett Dirt Dawgs/North Shore Navigators
Fastest Base Runner: Mitch Elliott, of, Brockton Rox
Best Defensive Player: C.J. Saylor, c, Torrington Titans
Best Velocity: John Sheehan, rhp, Brockton Rox; Ty Sterner, lhp, Seacoast Mavericks
Best Breaking Ball: John Sheehan, rhp, Brockton Rox
Best Command: Tyler Pogmore, rhp, Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide


TOP 20 PROSPECTS

1. MITCH ELLIOTT, of, Brockton Rox (Xavier/RS-SR in 2014)
With his freakish athletic ability and the game-changing speed he exhibited this summer in the Futures League, it defies logic why the 6-foot, 190-pound Elliott has never been drafted before—particularly since he’ll turn 23 prior to the start of the 2014 college season. He turned heads at the league all-star game when he was clocked in 6.37 seconds in the 60-yard dash, but his unique talent was prominently on display all season long, in all phases of the game for Brockton. Not only did Elliott hit .358-3-33 overall, but his superior speed was a significant factor at the plate, on the bases and in center field, where he ran balls down with routine ease while also making his share of acrobatic catches. His game wasn’t all about speed, either, as he displayed a solid gap-to-gap approach, flashed occasional power and exhibited solid-average to plus arm strength. So why has Elliott never been drafted? Essentially, it stems from his inability to hit with any kind of authority in his first three years at Xavier, including a red-shirt season when a freshman, and a debilitating, injury-plagued 2013 campaign, stemming from a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, incurred while playing last summer in the Northwoods League. The injury limited Elliott to just nine starts and a .155 average in 58 at-bats as a fourth-year junior at Xavier, and big-league teams were understandably gun-shy about drafting him in June. Restored to full health this summer in the Futures League, Elliott was a different kind of player than at any time in his career, and should be an attractive senior sign in the 2014 draft if he can maintain the momentum built up this summer, although scouts say he’ll need to continue to shorten his swing and put the ball on the ground more consistently to better utilize his raw speed and better fulfill the role of a leadoff hitter, and get better jumps on the bases.


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