The playoffs of the nation’s premier collegiate summer wood-bat league, the Cape Cod Baseball League, began Thursday night. Along with the end of the regular season come the league’s various awards — and one player, left-hander Sean Manaea of both Hyannis and Indiana State, has won not only the league’s Top Pitcher Award but also its Outstanding Pro Prospect Award.
Manaea was excellent this summer, posting an 85:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 51.2 innings for Hyannis over nine appearances (including eight starts). Those numbers are preposterous as they sound: the next most strikeouts recorded was Ryan Connnolly’s total of 56 in 51.1 innings. Nor was Manaea’s dominance merely a product of polish or deception: according to the whole internet, he was sitting at 92-96 mph this summer and topping out at 98. There’s now every indication, provided he remains healthy, that Manaea will go in the first round of the 2013 draft.
It certainly seems as though being recognized as the best college prospect in a league that has, of late, produced ca. 200 draftees per year and generally has about 200-250 active alumni in the majors — it certainly seems as though that sort of thing would indicate future success. “How much future success?” one might wonder — or, like the author, wondered slightly earlier this afternoon.
Here are the (sortable) results of that search for batters who’ve won the Outstanding Prospect Award. (Note: WAR/650 is WAR per 650 plate appearances.)
And here are the results for pitchers to’ve won the same award. (Note: WAR/200 is WAR per 200 innings.)
• From the above, we find that 14 of 19 batters (73.7%) to have won the Cape’s Outstanding Prospect Award have played major-league ball of some sort — and that three of the five batters not to’ve made the majors (Todd Cunningham, Grant Green, and Victor Roache) could rightly still be considered prospects.
• As for pitchers, the percent of future major-leaguers is about the same: in this case, 13 of 19 (68.4%), although with just one of the remainder (Cubs prospect Tony Zych) still regard-able as a prospect.
• In terms of career WAR, batters have approximately a 3:1 advantage over pitchers — not surprising, considering the attrition rate of pitching prospects. I discussed some of the league’s best hitters earlier in the week.
Given the above, we can assume that left-hander Sean Manaea has about a 70% chance now of making the majors.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.