The lack of high school players selected in the 2014 draft gave the Williamsport Crosscutters a strange base, then they didn’t get any of the top 5 round players the Phillies selected in the 2015 draft leaving the team as a bit of a mutt in terms of team construction. The result however, was a highly talented roster that combined power and speed on offense and great pitching for the level. The team lead the Pinckney Division poll to poll and fell, but ultimately fell in the playoffs when their bats fell silent. The team has two of the better prospects in the league in RHP Franklyn Kilome and RF Jose Pujols, and while both showed their talent neither was the real driver behind the team’s success. Where this team really found its success was with a strong late round college class mixed with some lesser known international prospects. These players may not be stars, but there are some players here who could be major league contributors.
Standing: 1st Pinckney Division (Lost to West Virginia Black Bears 2-1 in 1st Round)
Hits – Josh Tobias (77)
Doubles – Josh Tobias (19)
Triples – Tobias/Biter (3)
Home Runs – Jan Hernandez (10)
Walks – Zach Coppola (28)
Strikeouts – Jose Pujols (81)
Stolen Bases – Zach Coppola (19)
Batting Average – Austin Bossart (.333)
On Base Percentage – Brendon Hayden (.376)
Slugging – Josh Tobias (.475)
ERA (SP) – Mitch Gueller (2.23)
ERA (RP) – Jacob Waguespack (0.42)
Innings – Alejandro Arteaga (72.1)
Home Runs – Denton Keys (4)
Walks – Mitch Gueller (23)
Strikeouts – Jose Taveras (59)
WHIP (SP) – Tyler Gilbert (1.14)
WHIP (RP) – Jacob Waguespack (0.80)
College On the Fringes:
In the GCL I wrote about players that intrigued me through their glimpses of talent. Mitch and Ian will touch on some of these players in their interviews, but for the Crosscutters I wanted to talk about late round college players. College seniors get little press and prospect love (though Josh Tobias is certainly getting his due) and college juniors from small schools rarely get any attention either. I want to draw attention to some players who might be more than pure filler (I am going to exclude Josh Tobias and Austin Bossart because Mitch and Ian go more in detail on the pair).
- Zach Coppola – Coppola was the Phillies’ 13th round pick out of South Dakota State and he is all about speed. His speed is 60+ or 70 depending on who you talk to and he uses it everywhere. He had a ton of infield hits, stolen bases, and highlight plays in center field. Zach has less power than Ben Revere and has nowhere near the raw contact abilities, that being said his glove will keep him around for a long time while he gets stronger. At minimum he is a guy that could force his way to a place where a team looks at him as an up and down speed and glove center fielder.
- Kenny Koplove – Koplove is going to get plenty of praise from those that watch games because there is a lot to work with. He was a 17th round pick as a junior out of Duke and will get to 94 with a promising curveball. What makes Koplove so intriguing is that this will be his first time exclusively pitching as he was also Dukes’ shortstop, so there could be more growth than normal ahead.
- Jacob Waguespack – This is a number’s curiosity than a stuff curiosity. Waguespack was an undrafted free agent who just dominated in the NYPL in his stay there. He is only 89-91 and the secondary stuff is limited, however he is 6’6″ and was only a junior so I am interested if the Phillies’ development staff can get a bit more out of his arm.
- Brendon Hayden – College senior first baseman are supposed to either mash or fade away and Hayden really did neither. He has been hitting for less time than most college first baseman (he was a pitcher originally when the Phillies drafted him out of HS). Injuries slowed him down and he lacks a carrying tool, but he is a big guy with a good approach so if he can tap into some raw strength he could stick around. He is the least likely on this list to stick around for a long time but not a bad player.
- Skylar Hunter – In many ways Hunter is similar to Koplove as a former college reliever with good but not overpowering stuff. Hunter throws a bit harder than Koplove, sitting 92-94, and mixes in a curveball as well. He has less raw upside than Koplove, but the 12th round pick can do a lot of similar things that got an arm like Colton Murray to the major leagues. He will need to miss some more bats, but he has shown he can throw strikes and put up solid numbers.