James Simmons Follows Close Behind with 14th Overall Pick in First Round
June 8 , 2007
CAPE COD, Mass- The first nationally-televised Major League Baseball Draft on ESPN saw seven Cape Cod Baseball League alumni taken in the first round alone — an impressive number considering only 19 of the first 30 picks were college players. The top Cape League player picked was 2005 Cotuit Kettleer Daniel Moskos, formerly of Clemson, taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the fourth overall pick.
Moskos went 3-4 for Cotuit in 2005 with a 3.82 ERA in 15 appearances. He struck out 31 batters in 33 innings pitched and walked just 15.
The Baltimore Orioles were the next pick (fifth overall) and took power-hitting catcher Matt Wieters of Georgia Tech. Wieters played for the Orleans Cardinals last year and has hailed comparisons to Joe Mauer, last year’s American League MVP. Wieters was number two in the Cape League last year in both home runs (8) and batting average (.307).
Ross Detwiler and Matt LaPorta made it four straight CCBL alumni taken in the top 10, going number six to the Nationals and number seven to the Brewers, respectively. Detwiler pitched for Falmouth last year while Laporta, a first baseman, was fifth in the league in slugging percentage at .463 for Brewster and also played for Y-D three summers ago.
Although the Boston Red Sox didn’t have a pick in the first round, there was still a celebration in the Boston dugout as Beau Mills, son of Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians at number 13 overall. The younger Mills played for the Bourne Braves in 2005 and for Lewis and Clark State this past spring.
Next to go at No. 26th overall was one of the dominant pitchers in the league last season in James “Donald” Simmons, who was taken by the Oakland Athletics as their top pick. Simmons had a miniscule 1.18 ERA, third in the league, in 53.1 innings pitched for the Cotuit Kettleers last year. he went 4-2 and was a Western Division Cape League All-Star selection.
The last CCBL alumni to go in the first round was also the last pick of the opening round, held by the New York Yankees, and was used to pick up hard- throwing Andrew Brackman who played for Orleans in 2006.
Former Cotuit Kettleers Julio Borbon (Tennessee – 2005) and Kellen Kulbacki (James Madison – 2006) were taken in the Compensation Round A which immediately follows the first round.
Borbon batted .205 for Cotuit in 29 games in 2005 and was 18-88 with four stolen bases.
Kulbacki, the top collegiate slugger heading into last summer, struggled a little bit before picking up where he left off. Kulbacki finished with
With hundreds of CCBL alumni already having successful Major League careers there is no reason to believe that this round of players will be any different.
Beginning its 123rd season in 2007, the 10-team Cape League originated in 1885 with individual town teams, was reorganized into the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1923 with teams in Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis and Osterville and is now the premier collegiate baseball summer league in the country.
A total of 198 former Cape Leaguers currently perform in the major leagues, including former Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito (Wareham ’97-’98), former MVP Frank Thomas (Orleans ’88), former AL batting champion Nomar Garciaparra (Orleans ’93), World Series MVP Darin Erstad (Falmouth ’96) and current Boston Red Sox captain Jason Varitek (Hyannis ’91 & ’93).
Cape League alumni of yesteryear include Baseball Hall of Famer Harold “Pie” Traynor (Falmouth ’19), former New York Yankee greats Red Rolfe (Orleans ’30) and Thurman Munson (Chatham ’67), Cy Young Award winner Mike Flanagan (Falmouth ’72), Rolaids Fireman-of-the-Year Jeff Reardon (Cotuit ’74-76), former AL MVP Mo Vaughn (Wareham ’87-88), long-time major league scout Lennie Merullo (Barnstable ’35) and major league manager of the year Nat “Buck” Showalter (Hyannis ’76).