The Cape Cod Baseball League is widely regarded as the best amateur summer league in the nation. Now in its 134th season, the Cape has been a launching pad for some of college baseball’s best and brightest stars.
Since the league switched to wood bats in 1985, the stands are full of coaches and scouts looking for breakout stars heading into the next college baseball season. We’ve already had a few players come and go, like Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson — who was out to a red-hot start hitting .385 with two home runs in five games — before joining Team USA Baseball for their summer tour.
PRESEASON TOP 25: Take a look at our early 2020 rankings
Let’s take a look at nine players who are certainly turning heads this summer.
Zach DeLoach, OF, Texas A&M (Falmouth Commodores)
DeLoach had a nice freshman campaign for the Aggies in 2018, hitting .264 with 18 extra base hits, before taking a step backward in 2019. He just never got it going this season after an impressive summer, hitting just .200 with a .612 OPS. But DeLoach is tearing up the CCBL, with hits in nine of his last ten games. He’s currently leading the league with a .400 batting average over his first 60 at-bats and put up his first two-home run game of the summer on July 9.
Nick Gonzales, 2B, New Mexico State (Cotuit Kettleers)
Well, if you had any questions whether Gonzales could hit as he does during the season with a wood bat on the Cape, they’ve been answered. Gonzales improved on his WAC freshman of the year 2018 campaign by hitting .432 with 16 home runs, 80 runs scored, 80 RBI, and an eye-popping 1.305 OPS in 2019. He’s continued to put up numbers for Cotuit, hitting .326 with seven doubles, two triples, and four home runs through 25 games. Gonzales is a hit machine and is showing he’s an early contender for 2020 player of the year honors.
Austin Wells, C, Arizona (Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox)
From a former WAC freshman of the year to the reigning Pac-12 freshman of the year, Wells is showing his huge 2019 debut was no fluke, already taking home one CCBL player of the week award. Wells hit .353 as a freshman with 15 doubles and five home runs in 56 games and has matched that home run total with a wood bat in just 24 games. The catcher/first baseman is tied with Oklahoma’s Tyler Hardman for the CCBL home run lead.
Darren Baker, INF, Cal (Wareham Gatemen)
Baker, once known only as the son of Dusty and friend of J.T. Snow after a now-famous run-in at home plate had a much-improved sophomore campaign for the Golden Bears. He raised his batting average 30 points to .306 in 2019 and his OPS by 74 to .702, while going a perfect 21-for-21 in stolen bases. His hot hitting has carried over to the Cape, where he’s hitting .329 with a .736 OPS in 21 games. His 28 hits trail only Gonzales’ league-best 30 on the summer.
Hunter Goodman, C/UTIL, Memphis (Hyannis Harbor Hawks)
Goodman is a name you should know, if you don’t already, earning the AAC freshman of the year award for position players. He also earned five freshman All-American honors leading Memphis in hitting (.326), doubles (16), home runs (13), RBI (67), and runs scored (51). Now, Goodman isn’t exactly knocking the leather off the ball on the Cape, hitting just .238, but check this out: with just 19 hits, Goodman is leading the CCBL with 22 RBI. That’s more than an RBI per hit with seven multi-RBI games in his 23 this season. He may just be heating up as well with seven hits, two home runs, and nine RBI in his last five games.
Jacob Teter, 1B, Florida Southern (Wareham Gatemen)
Can we get some Division II love out on the Cape this summer? Teter isn’t the first DII baseball player to make waves in the league, but he has been steady with the bat since opening pitch of the summer season. He’s currently hitting .315 with a .799 OPS in 23 games, and his 28 hits, six of which have gone for extra bases, are tied with Baker for second-most in the CCBL.
Hayden Cantrelle, INF, Louisiana (Falmouth Commodores)
Cantrelle had a quiet breakout season in his 2019 sophomore campaign for the Ragin Cajuns, hitting a nice .309 with nine home runs and a .930 OPS, all career-high marks after a very impressive freshman debut. He’s been on fire, especially of late for Falmouth with four multi-hit games since the beginning of July. Overall, he has 26 hits with three home runs and a .351 batting average and .976 OPS.
Cade Beloso, 1B/OF, LSU (Bourne Braves)
Beloso got a late start on the CCBL season, but the rising sophomore is already heating up for Bourne. Beloso had a nice freshman season in Baton Rouge, hitting .279 with 10 home runs, some in memorable walk-off fashion. He's played just 13 games on the Cape, but is hitting .342 with four extra-base hits already with eight hits in his last six games.
Wyatt Young, INF, Pepperdine (Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox)
Young had a nice freshman debut in 2019, leading Pepperdine hitting .313 on the season. You won’t see a lot of power in the 5’7, 160-pounder — just six of his team-high 67 hits went for extra bases — but he clearly gets the bat on the ball. That’s carried over to the CCBL, where his .377 average is second-best in the league behind nine multi-hit performances in his 22 games played.
Jamal O'Guinn II, INF/OF, Southern California (Chatham Anglers)
O’Guinn isn’t a name you're going to hear in many college baseball circles with a .264 career average, just five home runs and a modest .790 OPS over his first two seasons. That’s what made his numbers jump off the page in the CCBL. O’Guinn II came out red-hot, with 11 hits in his first eight games, and has remained pretty steady with hits in seven of his last ten games. He also has half as many doubles (six) as he does in his USC career with three home runs, which is impressive enough with a wood bat to make our list.
Others of note: T.J. Collett, 1B, Kentucky (Brewster Whitecaps); Niko Kavadas, INF, Notre Dame (Harwich Mariners); Jared DeSantolo, INF, Florida Atlantic (Hyannis Harbor Hawks).
All stats and rosters taken from the official Cape Cod Baseball League website.