(Photo credit: USA Baseball, usabaseball.com)
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 several 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.
The Razorbacks bounced back after a dismal 2016 season to finish the 2017 season at the top of the SEC, as they hosted a regional before losing to Missouri State in the Fayetteville Regional final. This summer, the Hogs sent 20 players to play summer ball all over the country, here’s a look at how they fared.
Luke Bonfield, Wareham Gateman, Cape Cod Baseball League
Bonfield played for the Wareham Gateman on the Cape. Over 20 games, he did not fare very well, as he hit just .172 in 64 at-bats with no homers and 11 RBIs. Bonfield’s success this spring in Fayetteville did not carry over to the summer but he will look to bounce back as the 2018 season approaches.
Dominic Fletcher, Orange County Riptide, California Collegiate League
Fletcher, one of the SEC’s best freshman this past season, played for the Orange County Riptide of the California League. The California native hit .386 with six home runs and 30 RBIs in 114 at-bats this summer. The Riptide won the league and he was named the MVP of the CCL.
Grant Koch, USA Collegiate National Team
Koch, the Razorback catcher, played for Team USA and in 40 at-bats hit .400 with two homers, a double and nine RBIs. Koch was the Razorbacks’ best hitter in the first-half of the season and then tapered off toward the end. This showing over the summer could lead to bigger and better things in his junior season in 2018.
Eric Cole, Rockford Rivets, Northwoods League
Eric Cole played for the Rockford Rivets of the Northwoods League where he hit .389 in nine games with three doubles and six RBIs. Cole looks to take control of a corner outfield spot headed into his junior season, but will have some heavy competition to earn the spot.
Evan Lee, Santa Barbara Foresters, California Collegiate League
In 28 games, Evan Lee hit .356 with no homers, 17 RBIs and 16 walks and was named an All-Star in California League. In 11 games pitching he had a 4-1 record with a 1.83 ERA in 34 1/3 innings pitched. Lee is looking to be an everyday corner outfielder for the Hogs next spring while also being a key bullpen piece.
Jordan McFarland, Conejo Oaks, California Collegiate League
In 19 games with Conejo, he hit .262 with 16 hits and eight RBIs while compiling 12 walks and three stolen bases. McFarland looks to be the starting first baseman this year as he sat behind the emergent star, Chad Spanberger, who was drafted by the Rockies this past June.
Jack Kenley, Victoria Generals, Texas Collegiate League
In 37 games, Kenley hit .319 with 13 extra base hits and an OPS of .914 and an OBP of .457. He played a couple games last season at third, and will compete for the starting third base spot with two others.
Jacob Kostyshock, Fon Du Lack Dock Spiders, Northwoods League
In three games, Kostyshock had a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings pitched. He struck out six and walked seven while giving up three earned runs. He will look to be a key bullpen piece for the Hogs next season.
Barret Loseke, Wareham Gateman, Cape Cod Baseball League
In five innings he gave up 12 runs on seven hits while walking nine. Loseke was usually the first guy out of the bullpen for head coach Dave van Horn, but this summer was not too promising that this role could continue for him.
Jackson Rutledge, Neptune Beach Pearl, California Collegiate League
In 11 1/3 innings, Rutledge gave up 14 runs on nine hits while striking out 15. He also walked 12 batters. Rutledge did not pitch for the Hogs last season, but looks to add depth to the bullpen next spring.
Anthony Dahl, Rockford Rivets, Northwoods League
In 14 innings, Dahl struck out 19 and walked two with an ERA of 0.64. On June 7th he was named the Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night, allowing five hits and striking out 13 in eight innings. Dahl has not made many appearances for the Razorbacks, as he has been injured and not done very well when he gets his opportunity. He looks to be healthy and could maybe crack the starting rotation next season.
Matt Burch, Lake Shore Chinooks, Northwoods League
In 16 games Burch had 10 hits with one extra base hit. He hit .196 with a .521 OPS. He played a couple games last season at third, and had some pinch-hit opportunities. Burch hopes to get in the competition at third base, or play a backup role to Carson Shaddy at second.
Matt Cronin, Holly Springs Salamanders, Coastal Plain League
Cronin pitched 18 1/3 innings giving up 14 hits and five runs while walking 11. He finished with a 1.96 ERA and an opponent’s batting average of .222. Cronin came on late in the season and pitched well for the Hogs in the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament out of the bullpen. He should be a key left arm out of the bullpen next spring.
Angus Denton, Conejo Oaks, California Collegiate League
Denton pitched 8 2/3 giving up six hits while striking out seven batters with a 4.15 ERA. He did not pitch very much last year. He made a few appearances in non-conference play, but never really pitched when conference play came. With some departures, he could become someone who comes out of the bullpen for van Horn.
The Hogs look to build upon their success they had in 2017 with the key pieces they have coming back. The bullpen needs some work but with the help of fall practice, I think they will come into their own and step up big for the Hogs in 2018.