As the 2017 summer league season comes to an end, it is time to roll out CBBSN’s collegiate summer league updates from around the country. Over the next two weeks, our scouts will be sharing how their school’s players have fared over the season, and how they look to project going into fall practice.
by Matt Bellantoni
Rutgers Baseball is coming off a 19-34 overall record and a 12th place finish in the Big Ten, with many of their players heading to Rutgers this fall after playing in summer leagues across the country. A number of Rutgers’ players participated in some of the most competitive summer leagues in the country, including the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, the New England Collegiate Baseball League and the Jayhawk Baseball League, just to name a few. Here are how a handful of Scarlet Knights fared this summer.
Harry Rutkowski: Trenton Generals, Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League
Incoming freshman, Harry Rutkowski, who was drafted in the 28th round by the Reds decided to attend Rutgers in the fall and played this summer for the Trenton Generals as well as the New Brunswick Matrix. He posted an impressive 2.84 ERA for the Generals, giving up eight earned runs over 25 1/3 innings and looks to compete for a weekend rotation spot as a freshman this coming spring. He recently pitched a two-hitter complete game for the Matrix in the opening round of the playoffs. Rutkowski was the New Jersey High School Player of the Year and it seems like the sky is the limit for this kid.
Carmen Sclafani: Trenton Generals, Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League
Rutkowski played along with fellow teammates Carmen Sclafani and Kevin Blum. Sclafani, who will be a junior in 2018, was a mainstay in the lineup as a sophomore, playing in 51 of 53 games for the Scarlet Knights. Sclafani enjoyed a great summer going .330 at the plate for the Generals while driving in 11 runs on 30 hits.
Kevin Welsh: South Jersey Giants, Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League
The Scarlet Knights’ freshman shortstop in 2017, Kevin Welsh, started all 53 games for RU. He continues to grow as he batted .276 in 105 at-bats this summer with 19 runs. Welsh will look to improve in his sophomore season after hitting .246 in 2017 as a true freshman.
Serafino Brito: New Bedford Bay Sox, New England Collegiate Baseball League
Several Knights took their talents to the New England Collegiate Baseball League this summer to play for the New Bedford Bay Sox. A member of coach Joe Litterio’s starting staff in 2017, Serafino Brito threw 32 2/3 innings for the Bay Sox, yielding a 4.95 ERA. Brito threw to a 4.84 ERA tune over 74 1/3 innings in the spring for the Scarlet Knights.
Nick Matera: New Bedford Bay Sox, New England Collegiate Baseball League
Catcher Nick Matera had a very successful spring season and played for the Bay Sox catching Brito and fellow junior, Dante Scafidi. Matera displayed his power this summer, hitting four home runs and driving in 19 runs for the Bay Sox. In the spring, Matera boasted a .293 average with five home runs. Matera looks to compete for a lot of the starts behind the dish in the spring.
Tyler McNamara: Derby Twins, Jayhawk Baseball League
Two Scarlet Knights took the trip out west to play in the Jayhawk Baseball League. Lefty pitcher, Eric Reardon, and junior-to-be catcher, Tyler McNamara, played for the Derby Twins in Kansas. McNamara enjoyed a successful campaign showing a .291 batting average and eight extra base hits in 92 plate appearances. McNamara who got one start in the spring as a sophomore and will make his case for more starts beginning with fall practice.
Eric Reardon: Derby Twins, Jayhawk Baseball League
Reardon, a 6-foot-5 freshman in 2017 pitched 29 1/3 innings in the spring. This summer he gave up 18 earned runs over 18 1/3 innings pitched with a 20-to-nine strikeout to walk ratio. Reardon will be a valued member of the pitching staff this spring as a lefty for Litterio.
While summer league performances do not necessarily mean everything, improvements on areas where players need to work on are the most important part of the summer. Rutgers Baseball expects a year of improvement after completely changing the coaching staff and bringing in a strong recruiting class led by Rutkowski.