The Cape Cod Baseball League's regular season ended, and Arizona fans will find a familiar name at the top of the stats page.
Freshman SS Kevin Newman became the first ever freshman to take home the CCBL's batting title.
Newman, who finished the regular season with a .375 batting average (60-for-160), went on an absolute tear the last three weeks of the year to finish with a batting average 25 points higher than second-leading hitter Kevin Cron, a junior first baseman at TCU. Cron also has Arizona ties as he went to high school at Mountain Pointe in Phoenix.
But back to Newman. On July 13th, the Falmouth Commodores played the Wareham Gatemen. Newman went 0-for-5 for Falmouth, dropping his season batting average to .287, which is still pretty good in a collegiate summer league, especially for a freshman.
Then the magic happened. After that game, he went 33-for-65, good for a .508 batting average over his last 17 games! He also made the CCBL All-Star Game played on July 27th, but went 0-for-2. That game, fellow Wildcat Mathew Troupe hit 95 MPH on the radar gun, but I'll get into that later.
Newman was one of three freshman on the PAC-12 all-conference team in 2013. In his first year in Tucson, he hit .336 in 55 games at shortstop, drove in 42 runs, and scored 40. One thing that stands out with Newman is how many singles he hits. During the college season, he had six doubles and three triples. In The Cape, he had just three doubles. This spray chart shows that he was hitting the ball all over the field this summer, which is a good sign for next spring.
It's exciting to see Newman continue to do so well this summer after a great spring. It's still early in his Arizona career, but there is definitely the potential for him to be the best Wildcat position player in the Andy Lopez era. He has the tools defensively, has speed (11 SB with Arizona, 16 with Falmouth), and if he develops a little power, will be a serious weapon at the plate. Right now I would expect him to be the lead off guy in the Arizona lineup next year to set the table for Trent Gilbert, Riley Moore, Joseph Maggi, and Zach Gibbons.
Newman wasn't the only Wildcat in The Cape this year though. Here's how the others did:
Troupe also made the All-Star Game this summer, and was primarily used as the closer for the Orleans Firebirds. In addition to looking good on the mound, he did a hilarious video.
Troupe appeared in 17 games, threw 20 innings, converted 11 saves and struck out 32 batters. He finished the regular season with a nice 1.35 ERA.
There's been some speculation that Troupe would move in to a starter's role next year to replace Colorado Rockies draft pick Konner Wade, but with what's being reported about him hitting 95 MPH on the gun and being so effective as a closer in the spring and summer for the most part, I would expect him to be the Arizona closer next year again. Cody Moffett and Nathan Bannister are far more likely to be the Sunday starter after their performances in Alaska this summer. Moffett had a 0.76 ERA in 35.1 IP, and Bannister had a 2.25 ERA in 44 innings.
Moore was Troupe's teammate at Orleans. He struggled though. He hit just .217 in 33 games played, and struck out 30 times. He only had 8 RBI, and hit one home run.
Trent Gilbert played in 35 games for the Bourne Braves, and hit .232 (26-for-112). 9 RBI, 9 BBs, and 23 Ks. Meh. What's most concerning is that he only stole two bases.
Maggi, who apparently played OF (I still think he's much better at first base), struggled hard. He played in 30 games for the Falmouth Commodores, and was 19-of-115 at the plate (.165 batting average).