06/10/2020 1:53 PM
The South Florida Collegiate Baseball League will feature some of the top collegiate baseball players this year in the sunshine state. Here is a list of two from each team in the SFCBL to keep an eye on as we start the 2020 season on June 12.
Boca Raton Blazers
RHP - Merfy Andrew - St. Thomas University
This will be Merfy Andrew’s second season in the SFCBL, last year he struggled with a 11.17 ERA over his 9.2 innings and had difficulty finding the strike zone. Since then, he has greatly improved, Andrew started to gain better control of his fastball, which tops out in the 100’s, and with that the strikeouts came in droves. In his five starts with St. Thomas University in 2020, he racked up 42 k’s in 25.1 innings along with three games with 10 or more punchouts. On opening night, Andrew will start for the Blazers and face off against fellow flamethrower Jermain Vanheyningen of the Delray Beach Lightning.
INF - Cade Doughty - Louisiana State University
After being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 39th round in 2019, Cade Doughty decided to stay home and go to school at LSU. In his abbreviated 2020 season with the Tigers, Doughty recorded a .278 batting average with a .407 slugging percentage and a .365 OBP in 16 games. Expect more good things to come for the Bayou Bengal this summer in south Florida.
Boynton Beach Buccaneers
RHP - Chris Seymour - Florida Gulf Coast University
Former Park Vista High School standout will be coming back home for a second summer in the SFCBL in 2020. Last year, Seymour struck out 38 and posted a 1.86 ERA over 29 innings en route to a 4-1 record for the Bucs. In the 2020 season with FGCU, the Boynton Beach native was only able to get one outing where he struck out two and gave up no runs. With solid mechanics and great offspeed stuff, Seymour will definitely keep batters on their toes this summer.
INF - Nolan Schanuel - Florida Atlantic University
Another former Park Vista Cobra will help round out the Bucs’ roster in 2020, first baseman Nolan Schanuel will also stay home this summer. The 2020 Park Vista graduate played three seasons at the varsity level for the Cobras and finished his high school career with a .406 average and .518 OBP. Maybe something more impressive than his high average is his ability to not strike out, over 175 at bats he only struck out 16 times.
Delray Beach Lightning
RHP - Jermaine Vanheyningen - Florida International University
The aforementioned flamethrower that will be going up against Boca Raton’s Merfy Andrew on opening night. Vanheyningen will also be playing in his second season in the SFCBL, with a high-potential build at 6’7” and 225 pounds he is showing the possibility of becoming a top-tier talent. Recently he has been topping out in the 100’s, and he will be entering the summer as the Lightning’s ace for the 2020 season.
OF - Jackson Wenstrom - Florida Atlantic University
Coming from FAU in Boca Raton, by way of Hudson Valley Community College in New York and the great state of North Dakota, Jackson Wenstrom has been everywhere. In his first year with FAU this summer, Wenstrom had a .286 average and a .375 OBP in his 42 at bats with the Owls. Prior to migrating down south, he finished his time at HVCC as the all-time home run leader (23) and third on the list of total RBIs (103).
LHP - Jack Hattrup - Baylor University
In his first season with Baylor, Hattrup was unable to get solid playing time due to the shortened season in the spring, but prior to college, the Plano, TX native was able to finish strong. In three varsity seasons with Plano West Senior High, he was named District 6A Pitcher of the Year twice, along with posting a career ERA of 1.55 and 161 punchouts.
OF - Giovanni DiGiacomo - Louisiana State University
Prior to heading to LSU, Giovanni DiGiacomo was drafted in the 29th round of the MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but eventually decided to go to LSU for college. In his freshman season, DiGiacomo continued to improve his swing as he went from a .275 average to .351. Even though it was a shorter season, if he were to stay on pace he started at he would easily surpass his 2019 totals. With big game experience in NCAA Regional and Super Regional, he should easily adjust to the high level of play in the SFCBL.
Ft. Lauderdale Knights
OF - Mitch Hartigan - Florida Atlantic University
With two good seasons at FAU under his belt, Mitch Hartigan will look to keep the good times rolling this summer. After his first year as an Owl, Hartigan was awarded Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American honors and named a Conference USA All-Freshman. Along with hitting over .300 in both years, he also refuses to go down in the batter's box, only striking out roughly 18% of the time.
INF - Caleb Durbin - Washington University in St. Louis
Caleb Durbin finished last summer in the SFCBL with a .302 average, 22 RBIs and only five strikeouts. He translated those good numbers into what seemed to be the makings of a great 2020 spring season in St. Louis totaled 16 RBIs, three strikeouts and three triples in just 12 games with the Bears. He will look to keep those numbers up in the summer of 2020.
Palm Beach Diamond Ducks
LHP - Luke Rettig - Lehigh University
Newcomer Luke Rettig will look to make his impact felt early after getting his sophomore season at Lehigh cut short. Seeming as though he was making strides to improve upon his freshman campaign, the year was called off after Rettig was able to get his ERA down to a 3.52 and striking out 27 in 23 innings compared to his 47 k’s over 50 innings in 2019. With more opportunities to get out on the bump, the Oxford, PA native should continue to grow.
INF - Michael Brooks - University of Arkansas
Another 2020 high school graduate makes our list, Palm Beach Central’s Michael Brooks will be taking his talents to the natural state to join an already loaded Razorback squad. In his senior season, he hit .345 with four doubles and a home run in 29 at bats. For his last complete season at Palm Beach Central, Brooks recorded a .457 average, 20 runs and 31 RBIs in 81 at bats.
Palm Beach Xtreme
RHP - David Williams - University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Although David Williams did not compete in the abbreviated 2020 season, he was able to get a bit of playing time during the 2019 season for Xaiver where he made 11 appearances and finished with a 5.54 ERA while striking out 18 over 13 innings. The redshirt junior will look to get back into form this summer with the Xtreme.
OF - Bailey Uderitz - Pepperdine University
Our third 2020 grad on the list, comes from American Heritage (Delray Beach) where he was able to play five years of high school baseball by being called up from the middle school teams at the private school. In his last three seasons for the Stallions he was able to hit above .300 along with 46 RBIs during that time span. He will certainly be an impact player at the plate this summer if he can stay consistent.
Phipps Park Barracudas
LHP - Ryan Bruno - Stanford University
Another former American Heritage (Delray Beach) player will be adding some power to the Barracudas lineup this summer. Just last summer Bruno was competing with the best high school prospects in the nation at the Perfect Game All-American Classic in San Diego, CA. He also finished his high school career with a 1.99 ERA and 117 k’s.
INF - Zach Arnold - Louisiana State University
After getting a rib removed in the fall of 2019, Zach Arnold will look to get back into the swing of things this summer in south Florida. The freshman from LSU was drafted in the 34th round in 2019 by the Baltimore Orioles due to stellar defensive ability, and has the chance to grow more at the plate.
Pompano Beach Clippers
RHP - Ronaldo Gallo - Florida Gulf Coast University
Another current Eagle makes the list, this time for Pompano. Ronaldo Gallo’s lengthy 6’6” frame gives him a lot of room to grow, both physically and pitching-wise. He did show some signs of dominance as opposing hitters could only muster a .140 average against the righty. Expect hitters to continue to struggle against the big right hander from Miami.
OF - BJ Murray - Florida Atlantic University
BJ Murray provides some power to the Clippers roster, since he graduated high school in 2018, Murray has gained 20 pounds going from 180 up to 200. Adding this to his 6’ frame can take some time to get used to his new power, that all began to come together this spring. With Murray leading the Owls with 3 home runs before the year was cut short he is hungry to get back out on the field to keep everything going in the right direction.
West Boca Snappers
RHP - Miguel Alba - Florida International University
Coming off a solid season with College of Central Florida in 2020, Miguel Alba will be heading over to FIU for his sophomore season. In 2020, Alba recorded 32 k’s in 25.1 innings with a 4.26 ERA to help the Patriots get to a 21-7 record. He will look to prove that he belongs with the other division one talent this summer in the SFCBL.
INF - Cory Acton - University of Florida
After being drafted in the 39th round by the Detroit Tigers, Cory Acton decided to reject the pro offer and head over to Gainesville, FL to play for the Gators. In his first year, he was one of two freshmen to play in all 60 games, he hit .251 with 15 XBH and 30 RBIs. In 2020, he was able to remain solid at the plate by keeping up a .364 OBP thanks to 12 walks in 15 games. Acton will make pitchers sweat when he’s at the plate due to his lack of chasing pitches out of the zone.