Collegiate Summer baseball is a different animal. The bats are wooden, the rosters are fluid, and the locales can be far-flung. The leagues provide college players the opportunity to work on their game, stay in shape, and have a change of scenery before heading back to campus. Summer ball results can be deceiving. You never know what a guy is working on that might impact their performance. The level of competition of the league should also be considered. Also, some teams are much better at publishing stats than others. What we are saying is, that when it comes to Summer baseball, don’t take the results with a grain of salt, take the top off the shaker and apply liberally. Still, it’s fun to follow and certain trends do emerge. Here are some observations from Summer 2019:
Speed doesn’t slump – After posting an OBP of .384 during the 2019 season, Todd Elwood spent considerable time on the base paths for the Forest City Owls of the Coastal Plain League. Todd slashed .329/.401/.403 in 40 games while swiping 26 bases in 27 attempts and driving in 15 runs. Todd finished 5th in the Coastal Plain League in SB’s. The Niners will be looking for more of the same this season from the speedy senior outfielder.
Junior Jake Whitcomb also spent a lot of the Summer on base for the Mooresville Spinners of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League. Jake slashed .382/.538/.529 with 10 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 26 games on his way to an SCBL All-Star nod.
Replacement Power – A key issue for the Niners heading into the Fall will be replacing the offensive power lost to graduation. Harris Yett (.325/.392/552) & Dominick Cammarata (.293/.398/.512) combined to drive in nearly 1/3rd of the Niners’ runs last season. Part of the answer appears to be incoming juco catcher Craig Keuchel, from Hill College in Texas. In 31 games for the Danville Dans of the Prospect League, Keuchel (.250/323/.607) hit 9 HRs and drove in 29 runs. Keuchel was also selected to the Prospect League All Star Game this summer. How this translates to the collegiate game will be worth watching once practice cranks up.
Szczypinski Stays the Course – After last season there is no doubt that new head/pitching coach Robert Woodard will be looking to reinvigorate a staff that was touched up at times. One of the staff’s more consistent performers in 2019, Patrick Szczypinski posted a nice strings of outings for the Forest City Owls on his way to earning a spot on the CPL All-Star roster. The numbers aren’t overwhelming (2-2, 3.98 ERA, 31.2 IP) but he continued to show the durability that suggests he could be in the mix for a starting role in 2020.
Junior pitchers Ryan Czanstkowski and Spencer Ard were likely looking to put the 2019 campaign behind them. Both seem to have done so with the Asheboro Copperheads of the CPL. Ard made 22 appearances out of the pen, tossing 42 innings with an ERA of 4.29. This earned him a record of 4-0 with 2 saves. Perhaps the biggest stat for the senior lefty was his 1.77 K/BB ratio. Czanstkowski tossed 16.2 innings in 9 appearances while earning 5 saves. His K/BB was a robust 2.66. Walks were a major detriment to the staff last season. For the pitching staff to rebound from that performance, these two seniors will need these Summer performances to carry over.
Summer stats can be seen by clicking the links below below: