A Sabermetric Review of the 2012 Cape Cod Baseball League

The Cape Cod Baseball League is the most prestigious and competitive college summer league in the country. This year, I've had opportunity to spend the summer on the cape; interning with the league. I haven't had the opportunity to do much sabermetrically for the league, but luckily this outlet has given me the chance to share some of the statistics that I have run.

It's fairly difficult to base any player analysis solely on their time on the cape. The regular season only lasts 44 games, and most of the top players are unable to play the entire season, because of collegiate postseason play; thus, the sample size for numbers is very small.

Also, while PointStreak, the statistics site that the CCBL employs, is reporting more stats than ever before, they don't have the bank of numbers that FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference have spoiled us with. Park factors throw a wrench in any analysis, as well, because they aren't useful when a park is only being used for 22 home games, per season.

The main issue is that numbers don't matter that much (if at all), at this level. Considering the fact that minor league numbers (and the minors are obviously much closer to the bigs than the cape) mean very little and that cape statistics are nowhere close to as important as a player's tools or how a player's development projects. Any sabermetric analysis of an individual cape player does not hold much weight.

I am in no way, shape or form a scout and can't analyze a cape leaguer in the same way as one. My main tool in the analysis of baseball has never been my eyes, but instead an excel spreadsheet.

For this reason, I decided to (while it may not be extremely useful) run some sabermetric statistics for the top players on Cape Cod. The Cape League All-Star Game was played on Saturday. I analyzed the two rosters of the best players at the cape, this summer.

For those who know little of just how talented the CCBL all-stars are, I'll provide some reference. In recent years, Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, MVP winner Ryan Braun, and MLB all-stars, Evan Longoria, Jacoby Ellsbury and Matt Wieters all played in the CCBL All-Star game. Those are just the names of the most recent and successful players, many more major leaguers have played in the game (as well as on the cape).

The likelihood is high that one of the 2012 CCBL all-stars will be an MLB all-star, in the future. Sabermetrics do a good job of telling us who has been incredible on the Cape this year, and possibly give us some insight into which players have serious potential to make it at the next level.

PointStreak does provide some sabermetric statistics. For batters, they calculate secondary average, ISO power and runs created. For pitchers, they calculate power finesse ratio, first pitch strike percentage, BABIP and component ERA (ERC).

Some of those sabermetric statistics are very useful, while others are slightly outdated. Thus, I decided to calculate two other statistics for the hitters and pitchers who performed in the All-Star game.

For hitters, I calculated wOBA (weighted on-base average) using the 2011 MLB formula provided by FanGraphs. I also calculated a league-adjusted OPS+. Unfortunately, I could not adjust OPS+ by park, because park adjustments in the CCBL make very little sense.

For pitchers, I utilized the work of Tom Tango, calculating both the FIP (using 3.2 as the constant) and kwERA.

Batting All-Stars:

East Division:

Player

School

Cape Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

HR

SB

BB/K

wOBA

OPS+

C. Jake Hernandez

USC

Orleans

.284

.348

.506

5

0

0.21

0.377

130

1B. Conrad Gregor

Vanderbilt

Orleans

.325

.467

.556

7

7

0.94

0.444

177

2B. Zak Blair

Mercyhurst

Y-D

.370

.443

.455

2

6

1.55

0.397

144

SS.Alex Blandino

Stanford

Y-D

.299

.389

.449

3

1

0.34

0.389

127

3B. Ryon Healy

Oregon

Brewster

.372

.415

.640

4

1

0.21

0.447

183

LF. Sam Travis

Indiana

Y-D

.370

.444

.536

4

4

0.65

0.429

165

CF. Tanner Mathis

Mississippi

Y-D

.327

.375

.391

0

9

0.33

0.337

108

RF. Phillip Ervin

Samford

Harwich

.333

.448

.658

10

9

0.62

0.491

197

DH. Robert Pehl

Washington

Y-D

.357

.444

.535

4

3

0.52

0.430

165

IF. Carlos Asuaje

Nova SE

Y-D

.288

.344

.425

2

3

0.45

0.328

108

OF. Austin Wilson

Stanford

Harwich

.312

.436

.623

6

3

0.42

0.460

185

C. Andrew Knapp

Cal

Chatham

.287

.406

.491

4

1

0.55

0.394

143

Ervin has been far and away the best hitter on the cape. The outfielder has a ton of power and some speed. He does not have the range to play center, but he is a very good baserunner. Ervin has nine steals in 10 attempts, and stole a base with a huge jump in the All-Star game. Ervin was also a freshman All-American, in 2011.

Two Stanford hitters have had big CCBL seasons. Wilson, an outfielder, has put up ridiculous power numbers. Blandino was drafted by Oakland in 2011, and the shortstop has impressed at the cape this summer, winning the East All-Star game MVP.

Healy, an Oregon product, has put up some incredible numbers and has serious power (he homered off Trevor Bauer, in college), but his BB/K is a little unsettling.

West Division:

Player

School

Cape Team

AVG

OBP

SLG

HR

SB

BB/K

wOBA

OPS+

C. Mitchell Garver

New Mexico

Hyannis

.265

.331

.434

3

3

0.37

0.335

106

1B.Daniel Palka

Georgia Tech

Wareham

.285

.366

.569

10

4

0.38

0.409

151

2B. Mott Hyde

Georgia Tech

Wareham

.301

.374

.455

4

8

0.32

0.369

124

SS. Bradon Trinkwon

UCSB

Hyannis

.323

.355

.508

5

2

0.37

0.350

132

3B. Colin Moran

UNC

Bourne

.328

.390

.516

5

0

0.56

0.390

144

LF. Tyler Horan

Va. Tech

Wareham

.325

.384

.640

10

2

0.22

0.436

174

CF. Patrick Biondi

Michigan

Cotuit

.404

.496

.465

0

11

0.84

0.395

162

RF. Mason Robbins

Southern Miss

Bourne

.325

.374

.596

7

1

0.21

0.377

160

DH. Drew Dosch

Youngstown

Falmouth

.333

.389

.548

6

2

0.37

0.417

152

IF. John Murphy

Sacred Heart

Bourne

.308

.365

.452

4

6

0.32

0.363

121

OF. Jacob May

Coastal Carolina

Cotuit

.305

.368

.366

1

13

0.37

0.333

100

C. Tyler Ross

LSU

Wareham

.216

.243

.245

0

0

0.10

0.202

33

Palka with a three-hit performance was the West ASG MVP. The Georgia Tech product has oodles of power, but similar to most power-hitting first baseman he strikes out often.

Corner outfielders, Robbins and Horan, put on a show with their left-handed power in the CCBL home run derby. Their power really is impressive, but both have scary BB/K's.

Biondi is the only qualifying hitter with a .400 average. The center fielder has little power but a good BB/K and his hit tool in center field is very good.

Moran, a two-time CCBL all-star, is considered by many to be the best player in the league. While his numbers look impressive, taking the time to watch him play is something special. Moran looks more like a major league-ready hitter than anyone on the cape.

Trinkwon is a defensive wizard at short, and also is an above-average hitter with some power.

Pitching All-Stars:

East Starting Pitchers:

Player

School

Cape Team

IP

GS

ERA

K

BABIP

K/BB

FIP

kwERA

Aaron Blair*

Marshall

Y-D

36.1

6

1.24

41

.238

3.73

1.85

2.93

Tom Windle

Minnesota

Brewster

32.2

6

2.20

40

.247

10.00

2.30

2.10

Ryan Thompson

Franklin Pierce

Chatham

27.1

5

2.31

27

.280

3.00

2.69

3.79

Michael Wagner

San Diego

Chaham

27.1

5

1.98

30

.230

2.14

3.49

3.44

David Whitehead

Elon

Harwich

29.2

6

3.34

20

.297

3.33

2.90

3.90

*denotes starter of the game

Surprisingly, none of the East starters come from big schools. Blair, the game's starter, has drawn the most attention, with his league leading ERA and win total, but Windle may be the most effective starter in the East. Windle, a Minnesota product, sports the best K/BB and was drafted by the White Sox, in 2010.

West Starting Pitchers:

Player

School

Cape Team

IP

GS

ERA

K

BABIP

K/BB

FIP

kwERA

Sean Manaea*

Indiana St.

Hyannis

43.2

7

1.44

75

.202

12.5

1.07

0.23

Trey Masek

Texas Tech

Falmouth

33

6

3.55

41

.284

3.42

3.78

2.93

Jeff Hoffman

East Carolina

Hyannis

30

5

2.4

30

.207

3.99

3.06

3.13

David Garner

Michigan St.

Hyannis

35.1

5

3.06

37

.248

3.70

3.50

3.40

*denotes starter of the game

Cape League pitching starts and ends with Sean Manaea, this summer. Manaea does not hail from a big school, Indiana St., but that hasn't stopped him from dominating the best hitters in the country. In his last four starts, Manaea has struck out 46 batters, while walking zero, in 26 innings.

In his one inning of work during the ASG, Manaea got all of the outs himself; striking out two and picking off Mathis, who leadoff with an infield single.

Manaea's incredible strikeout numbers have drawn comparisons to Lincecum's work on the Cape, in 2005. Interestingly enough, Lincecum was a closer then, working 39.1 innings and striking out 68 batters, while walking 11.

East Relievers:

Player

School

Cape Team

IP

G

ERA

K

BABIP

K/BB

FIP

kwERA

Matt Boyd

Oregon St.

Orleans

21.2

10

1.66

32

.261

6.4

1.54

1.30

Kyle Crockett

Virginia

Orleans

20.1

13

0.89

21

.281

10.5

2.07

2.48

Pat Christensen

LaSalle

Orleans

21.1

17

2.11

28

.293

7.0

1.75

1.97

Bryan Verbitsky

Hofstra

Y-D

18

11

5.00

30

.286

3.0

2.26

2.32

The CCBL gained a good deal of respect in my eyes, by selecting Verbitsky for the game. It's tough to explain to some people why a guy with a 5 ERA should be on an All-Star team, but his peripheral numbers have been much better than that traditional statistic would indicate.

Boyd and Crockett come from prestigious programs and have put up spectacular numbers for Orleans, this summer.

West Relievers:

Player

School

Cape Team

IP

G

ERA

K

BABIP

K/BB

FIP

kwERA

Tim Giel

Columbia

Bourne

24.1

9

0.74

22

.159

3.67

2.13

3.27

Colby Suggs

Arkansas

Wareham

15.2

9

0.57

21

.175

3.00

1.83

2.65

Konnor Wade

Arizona

Wareham

12.2

8

4.97

6

.233

2.00

4.17

4.90

Nick Rumbelow

LSU

Wareham

21.2

14

3.32

36

.250

3.60

3.06

1.93

Dan Slania

Notre Dame

Cotuit

24.2

17

1.82

36

.263

12.0

1.17

1.14

Giel, a computer engineering major from Columbia, isn't the prototypical cape leaguer, but he has been making batters look foolish, this summer.

Wade's numbers are in an extremely small sample, but aren't impressive enough to give the National Champ the nod to perform in the game. It seems he made the appearance based solely on reputation.

Slania blew the save in the All-Star Game, but the Notre Dame product has ridiculous numbers, this summer.

Park Factors:

I used a Baseball-Reference's Park Adjustment formula, to calculate park factors for the last three seasons of the CCBL. For reference, 100 is a neutral hitting environment, anything above-100 is hitter-friendly and below-100 is pitcher-friendly:

Team

2012

2011

2010

Bourne

93

78

70

Brewster

86

94

112

Chatham

126

88

103

Cotuit

122

118

88

Falmouth

112

81

120

Harwich

109

101

68

Hyannis

101

112

118

Orleans

99

78

100

Wareham

76

112

117

Y-D

94

149

111

The results are all over the place. Hyannis and Bourne are the only two parks that stayed on the same side of 100 over the three seasons. Like I said earlier in the piece, a 22-game sample size is not large enough to make these park factors worthwhile in any sort of discussion or analysis.

Run Scoring Environment:

The CCBL is typically known as a low-scoring league that is dominated by pitching; mainly because of the adjustment that has to be made from metal to wood bats. The result of the 2012 All-Star Game, a 1-1 tie, would lead one to believe that has been the case again this season.

Ironically, the run scoring environment is at a record-breaking high. With nine games left in the 2012 season, more runs have been scored (1792), than in each of the last two full seasons (2010: 1580 runs, 2011: 1704 runs).

There are a few possible explanations for this rise in run scoring. The CCBL switched baseball manufacturers before this season and I've heard that a change in stitching has led to a "juiced" baseball. College baseball also changed their metal bat regulations to allow only bats with less pop; which could have made the adjustment to wood bats much easier for hitters. Also, the talent-level of pitching is down. As seen by the schools that the All-Star game starters represented, some of the best collegiate starters aren't at the Cape, this summer.

All Statistics as of Sunday July 29th and come courtesy of PointStreak

You can follow Glenn on twitter @Glenn_DuPaul

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Beyond the Box Score

You must be a member of Beyond the Box Score to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Beyond the Box Score. You should read them.

Join Beyond the Box Score

You must be a member of Beyond the Box Score to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Beyond the Box Score. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker