Boston High School: Chris Shaw

ESPN Boston's MIAA All-State Baseball Team

June, 22, 2012

All-StateRHP – Matt Tulley, Sr., Lowell
The Virginia Tech signee lived up to every ounce of his preseason hype, taking ESPN Boston’s 2012 Mr. Baseball Award earlier this week as the state’s top player. He earned his third consecutive Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year honor, going 7-1 with 90 strikeouts in 59 innings and one save, for a 1.46 earned run average. Opponents batted just .159 against Tulley on the season. At the plate, Tulley batted .306 for the Raiders, leading the team in RBI (20) and ranking second in runs scored (19). For his career, Tulley went 20-2 with a 1.57 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 140 innings.

All-StateRHP – Pat Ruotolo, Jr., Peabody
The 5-foot-10 craftsman caught national attention this year after throwing three no-hitters in a span of four starts, and finished the season as the state’s runner-up in strikeouts (130). In 76 innings of work, he went 8-1 with two saves, 31 hits allowed and 12 walks, for an ERA of 0.83, to earn Northeastern Conference MVP honors. He has 232 strikeouts since the start of his sophomore season, and over 300 for his career. Ruotolo is considering interest from a handful of Division 1 schools.

All-StateRHP – Alex Rozak, Sr., Plymouth North
The UMass-bound Rozak catapulted himself into discussion as one of the state’s best pitchers with his postseason play, winning three games as the Blue Eagles made their fourth Division 2 state final appearance in five seasons. He also carried a no-hitter into the final out in the Division 2 Eastern Mass final. For the season, Rozak was 8-3 with 61 strikeouts and 13 walks, with a 1.02 ERA. He won 24 games in his career at North, including a 9-1 campaign in the Eagles’ 2011 state championship season.

All-StateLHP – Steve Moyers, Sr., East Longmeadow
One of a handful of returning All-Staters, the University of Rhode Island signee is making his second appearance in the “Starting Rotation” after compiling a 7-2 record with 106 strikeouts. Over his last two seasons, he has gone 15-3 with 194 strikeouts, and he leaves East Longmeadow as one of the school’s winningest, compiling a 30-3 career record.

All-StateLHP – Ben Bowden, Jr., Lynn English
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound southpaw got off to a hot start, throwing a perfect game on April 7, and didn't cool off. On the mound he had six wins, with 82 strikeouts in 51.2 innings for a 2.19 ERA. At the plate, he played a key role in the Bulldogs' stunning upset of Peabody in the Division 1 North tournament; on the season, he batted .394 with 21 RBI, two home runs and nine extra-base hits, and also drew 17 walks.


All-StateCF – Casey DeAndrade, Sr., East Bridgewater
The speedster joins exclusive company as one of several players to make All-State in two sports, having made the football squad last fall. This spring, he put up .455/.506/.682 totals at the plate, with 25 RBI, two home runs, 19 runs and 15 stolen bases. On the mound, he went 5-2 with 67 K’s in 50.2 innings, holding opponents to a .106 average as the Vikings captured their first Division 3 South title since 1993. DeAndrade is headed to the University of New Hampshire in the fall for football.

All-State2B – Chris Hoyt, Sr., Xaverian
Nobody elevated their stock in the playoffs more than the Stonehill College-bound Hoyt, who pounded out eight RBI in the MIAA tournament – including four in the Division 1 state final. Batting out of the leadoff spot this spring, Hoyt batted .411/.477/.526 totals, with 19 RBI, two home runs, stole 19 bases and only struck out three times in 107 plate appearances. He also posted a ridiculous OPS of 1.003.

All-StateC – Bobby Melley, Sr., BC High
A returning All-Stater, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Centerville resident was one of the state’s most dangerous power hitters, compiling .370/.557/.685 totals with 13 RBI, three home runs and drawing 22 walks. Behind the plate, only two runners attempted to steal on him, both of which were caught out. Melley will continue his career next year at UConn.

All-State1B – Chris Shaw, Sr., Lexington
A returning All-Stater, Shaw was one of three Bay Staters taken in this year’s MLB Draft, going to the New York Mets in the 26th round. This spring, he batted .480 with seven home runs and 27 RBI, and also went 5-0 on the mound with 95 strikeouts in 45 innings. Shaw will be honoring his commitment to Boston College rather than signing.

All-State3B – Frank Crinella, Sr., Springfield Cathedral
In addition to flawless defense, Crinella was a tough out at the plate, hitting .456 on 26 hits, with 27 RBI and four home runs to go along with it as the Panthers went 18-2 before a surprise upset in the Division 1 West quarterfinals. Crinella will continue his career next year at Merrimack College.

All-StateSS – Matt O’Neil, Sr., East Longmeadow
Coupled with Moyers, the returning All-Stater formed an imposing 1-2 punch on the mound for the Spartans, who suffered a surprise upset in the Division 1 West semifinals. O’Neil batted four home runs to go along with 21 RBI; on the mound, he was 4-3 with 70 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. O’Neil will continue his career next year UConn.

All-State1B – John Jennings, Sr., Newton South
The Dual County League’s Large Division MVP was a force at the plate for the Lions, batting .415 with five home runs and 31 RBI. On the mound, he was 4-1 with 31 K’s in 27.2 innings, for a 1.27 ERA. He will continue his career next year at UMass.

All-StateSS – Regan Aghdam, Sr., Burncoat
One of the state’s premier leadoff hitters, Aghdam was solid at the plate, leading the Inter-High league in batting average (.463). On the mound, he went 6-0 with 43 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched. Aghdam will continue his career next year t the University of Rhode Island.

All-StateSS – Brandon Bingel, Jr., St. John’s Prep
The Catholic Conference’s co-MVP was a driving force for the Eagles, hitting .418 with 25 RBI and five home runs. On the mound, he was 5-1 with a 1.20 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched. Bingel is currently committed to Bryant University.


All-StateLHP – Scott Tully, Jr., Reading
Tully had a breakout junior season, going 8-2 with four saves with a 0.99 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 63.1 innings, tied for third-most K’s in the state. Tully also allowed just 27 hits this spring. He is currently committed to Notre Dame.
All-StateRHP – Pat Delano, Sr., Braintree
Nearly two years after Tommy John surgery, the 6-foot-7 fireballer found his way back to the top, going in the 35th round to the Boston Red Sox in the MLB Draft, and earning MVP honors in the Bay State Conference’s Carey Division. He posted a 1.21 ERA with four wins and 50 strikeouts in 57 innings, and added four home runs at the plate. He was also named a Region 1 All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Delano is currently committed to Vanderbilt, but has until the August 15 deadline to decide whether he’ll sign or not.

RHP – Charlie Butler, Sr., Nashoba
A returning All-Stater, Butler was once again dominant on the mound for the Chieftains, striking out 90 in 54 innings for a 0.91 ERA and 6-2 record. At the plate, he batted .365 with 14 RBI and two home runs. Butler will continue his career next year at the University of Maine.

All-StateRHP – Mike Walkowicz, Sr., Amherst
Another one of the state’s strikeout kings, Walkowicz went 5-4 on the mound as he rang up 112 batters in 65 innings of work for an average of nearly two K’s per inning. He will continue his career next year at Endicott College.
All-StateLHP – Tyler Buck, Sr., Franklin
One of the state’s most elusive lefties, Buck went 7-1 on the mound with 80 strikeouts and a 1.42 ERA for the Panthers, who were the No. 1 overall seed in Division 1 South. He also went .378 at the plate with 18 RBI and two home runs. Buck will play next year at St. Anselm College.

All-StateLHP – Mac Curran, Jr., Coyle-Cassidy
The hard-throwing 6-foot-4, 240-pound Lakeville resident was an intimidator for the Warriors, going 6-1 with a 0.52 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 49 innings. He also batted .351 at the plate, and is 14-3 so far as a starter for Coyle. Curran is currently fielding a slew of Division 1 interest.

All-StateRHP – Brandon Shileikis, Jr., Dighton-Rehoboth
The workhorse logged 68 innings and struck out 74 while walking just 12, going 9-1 with three saves, an ERA of 1.75 and a WHIP of 0.96. At the plate, Shileikis had .427/.456/.524 totals with 28 RBI and 27 runs. Shileikis is currently fielding various Division 1 interest.

All-StateRHP – Keegan Dellacona, Sr., Barnstable
The 6-foot-3 Dellacona formed a dynamic 1-2 punch on the mound along with UConn-bound Willie Nastasi, as the Red Raiders won the Old Colony League outright. For the season, Dellacona struck out 67 in 49.1 innings, for a 4-0 record and 0.89 ERA. He also threw 70 percent of his pitches for strikes, registered a 0.67 WHIP, and held opponents to just a .136 batting average. Dellacona is undecided on college plans.

All-StateLHP – Ryan McDonald, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
Another of the state’s most deceiving lefties, McDonald went 5-2 with 71 strikeouts in 46 innings, for a 1.98 ERA. He also led the Dual County League in batting average (.468) and plated 16 runs, including two homers. McDonald had previously signed with Bryant University, but is currently uncommitted.

All-StateRHP – Lee Albertson, Sr., Westfield
Albertson was the ace of a Bombers staff that won its third Division 1 West title in five years this spring. He went 6-2 on the mount with two saves, and struck out 58 batters in 54 innings. Albertson will be heading to Holyoke Community College next season.


All-State3B – Joelfi Arias, Sr., Springfield Central
The Eagles scored one of the biggest upsets of the MIAA tournament by knocking off Springfield Cathedral, and Arias played a big role. He had five home runs on the season to go with 24 RBI, and on the mount he had 65 strikeouts in 62 innings, logging a 5-2 record. Arias is headed to Juco power Indian Hills Community College, in Ottumwa, Iowa.

All-StateOF – Adam Benvie, Sr., Dighton-Rehoboth
One of several mashers on a lineup that batted nearly .400 as a team, Benvie posted .386/.538/.771 totals with 37 RBI and five home runs, scoring 27 runs and drawing 22 walks. Benvie will continue his career next year at UMass.
All-StateC – Joe Walsh, Sr., Taunton
The Old Colony League MVP led the Tigers on a surprise run to the Division 1 South final, where they lost to eventual state champ Xaverian. He batted .447 with 31 RBI, 23 runs scored and three home runs, for an on-base percentage of .562. He leaves Taunton a career .379 hitter with a .486 on-base percentage and 50 RBI. Walsh will play next year at Eckard College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

All-StateSS – Evan Mondor, Sr., Dighton-Rehoboth
One of several big bats that led the Falcons to the No. 1 seed in Division 2 South, Mondor posted .478/.617/.791 totals with 10 doubles, three home runs, and 20 RBI. Mondor also scored 35 runs and only struck out three times all year. He will continue his career next year at Bentley University.

All-StateSS – Brendan Skidmore, Sr., Franklin
Skidmore took home Hockomock MVP honors this season after batting .467 with five home runs and 21 RBI for the Panthers, who won the league outright as well as the No. 1 seed in Division 1 South. Skidmore will do a post-graduate year at Bridgton Academy next season.

OF – Jarrod Casey, Sr., Milford
A returning All-Stater and the reigning Mid-Wach A MVP, Casey put in another dominant season for the Scarlet Hawks, batting .490 with 22 RBI. On the mound, he was 6-2 with 73 strikeouts in 47 innings, for a 0.91 ERA. Over the last two years, Casey has gone 14-3 on the mound.

All-StateSS – Sean O’Neill, Sr., Norwood
The senior played a significant impact on the Mustangs’ run to the Division 1 South quarterfinals, taking MVP of the Bay State Conference’s Herget Division in the process after batting .416 with 16 RBI and a home run in the wood-bat league. O’Neill will play next year at Merrimack College.

All-StateSS – Dan Cellucci, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
Another returning All-Stater, Cellucci was consistent once again for the Warriors, batting .435 with 18 RBI and two home runs as the Warriors came up short in the Division 1 state title defense. Cellucci will continue his career next year at Bryant University.

All-State1B – Adam Mayhew, Sr., Westfield
His numbers probably don’t reflect his importance to the team (12 RBI; 3-0, 15 IP), but his defensive presence was without question as the Bombers won their third Division 1 West title in five years. Mayhew will continue his career next year at Westfield State University.

Photos of Adam Mayhew, Mike Walkowicz, Lee Albertson, Matt O'Neil and Joelfi Arias are courtesy of the Springfield Republican. Photos of Pat Ruotolo, Ben Bowden and Mac Curran are courtesy of the Area Code Games.

Lexington's Shaw: 'It's a surreal feeling'

June, 6, 2012
Lexington first baseman Chris Shaw was on his way up to practice this afternoon with the Nashua Knights with the newly-founded Futures Collegiate Baseball League, periodically refreshing the Twitter feed on his cell phone, when finally a tweet came across the screen that nearly floored him at 65 miles per hour.

"I laid on the horn and punched my sun roof -- I probably dented it," he chuckled. "I was going nuts."

Shaw found out from his phone's news feed that the New York Mets had taken him with their 26th round pick in the final day of the Major League Baseball Draft, and then a phone call from the organization several minutes later finalized it.

"I was pumped up, I was really excited," Shaw said. "Whether or not I sign, that's something in your entire life that you work for. You always strive to be a Major League baseball player, and just to even have that option now, it's a surreal feeling. It's awesome."

At the advice of their area scout Art Pontarelli, the Mets were one of several teams expressing interest in the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder, for his smooth, powerful stroke from the left side of the batter's box. Shaw was invited by Mets National Scouting Director Tommy Tanous to come down to Citi Field last week for a workout, but couldn't make it due to high school graduation.

But like the three other Massachusetts high schoolers taken today, Shaw's draft stock wasn't universally agreed upon. While everyone agreed he certainly had the talent to go in the first 10 rounds, new draft rules under the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement combined with his strong intention to honor his commitment to Boston College meant he would likely fall to day three -- if at all. At the beginning of the spring season, an American League scout projected Shaw as going in the first 15 rounds in a conversation with

Asked about his future, Shaw said, "I'm planning on honoring my commitment," saying the maximum of $100,000 allowed to offer players taken after the 10th round is "not enough to pass up" going to BC.

Shaw, a returning ESPN Boston All-State selection, turned in another decorated season for the Minutemen, hitting .480 with 7 home runs, 27 RBI, and going 5-0 on the mound with 95 strikeouts in 45 innings.

Wiseman likely to honor Vandy commitment

June, 4, 2012
Last Thursday, in the Red Sox’ annual pre-draft press conference with the Boston media, general manager Ben Cherington was asked about the local talent, and declared “We bet there’s a big leaguer this year out of New England, even if we don’t know for sure who it is.”

The MLB amateur draft kicks off tonight with the first round, followed by 39 more rounds over tomorrow and Wednesday, and there’s probably one overwhelming guess as to who that individual might be. But the reality is it’s anyone’s guess –- and, with the new rules enacted by the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, perhaps more so.

Most notable among the new rules is a tax penalty on teams that exceed the designated slot salary recommendation for the sum of their first 10 picks. Also, players taken after the 10th round cannot sign for more than $100,000 (including bonuses).

“I think the changes in the draft from an industry standpoint are generally intended to create more meritocracy, where the first player taken is the best player, and on down from there,” Cherington said. “And in that, you know, spread the talent out more. I think that’s part of the intent. The reality is, no matter what you do to create meritocracy in scouting, there’s always going to be, you know, one player taken, and then 20 picks later a player taken that’s better, no matter what the rules are.”

That makes for an interesting situation for Buckingham, Browne & Nichols outfield Rhett Wiseman, the most high-profile of the bunch, with projections as high as the late first round. The state’s Gatorade Player of the Year and a Vanderbilt signee, has explosive speed both on foot and at the plate, and drew as many as 75 scouts to a game last March during the Knights’ spring training trip.

The Red Sox, Angels, and a slew of National League teams have shown significant interest in the Mansfield resident. But this morning, Wiseman confirmed to that it is highly likely he will honor his commitment to Vanderbilt unless he is taken in the first 40 picks.

“I’m so excited about Vanderbilt, and I’m very fortunate with all the pro attention this spring," Wiseman said. "But what we’re looking for as a family I don’t think is there right now out of high school. Hopefully in three years the attention is still there and I can start my professional career after going to Vanderbilt.”

Asked about a potential asking price, Wiseman said that wasn’t the case.

“We took in a lot of questions about a possible asking price,” Wiseman said. “But for a Vanderbilt education, it’s tough to put a price on it, and a price on the college experience.”

Wiseman is close friends with Tyler Beede, the Lawrence Academy righthander and 2011 ESPN Boston Mr. Baseball who turned down $2.5 million from the Blue Jays at the signing deadline last August. And he was with Beede the night he got drafted last June, watching from the living room with nearly 100 others as the Jays made him their 21st overall selection.

But tonight, the Wiseman clan is keeping it low-key. Rhett will likely head to one of the Hockomock region's favorite pizza joints, Town Spa Pizza in Stoughton, and hole up for a bite with another close friend and draft hopeful -– Lawrence Academy lefty and Wake Forest commit Max Tishman.

“We had 26 pro teams in the house over the winter, hundreds of guys come in during the season, and if I had to do it all again I wouldn’t do it any other way, that’s for sure,” said Rhett’s father, Mike Wiseman. “It is an incredible decision for a 17-year-old kid to make when you think about it. He did a great job handling it the whole way, and I’ve been proud of him from start to finish.

“He had some great games this year when a lot of people were in there to watch him. It was great to see everyone, I enjoyed it. I loved talking to all the scouts, talking real baseball with baseball guys.”

Some other thoughts as we head into tonight’s first round:

The skinny on Rhett
Wiseman put together a solid season in the ISL to win Gatorade Player of the Year, batting .444 with eight home runs, 24 RBI and 26 runs scored. But just what part of the outfield he ultimately lands on is not universally agreed upon in the scouting fraternity.

Two American League scouts offered different takes on how he projects.

“I don’t know if he has the arm for right,” says one scout. “I think ideally he’ll end up in centerfield, because of his speed and it takes some pressure off the bat a little bit. He’ll need to improve on his defense. He’s not a finished product yet.”

Says another, “Everyone was interested in seeing what he’d come out and do in the spring, making changes to his swing in the offseason, and I’d say he’s pretty similar to the player he was last summer, but more advanced and with more years under his belt. His bat speed and running speed, there’s two really useful tools right now, it’s just a question of whether or not he can put it together against elite pitching.”

Gens on the rise?
Virginia Tech-bound righthander Matt Tulley garners the most attention for Lowell High, and is a potential late-rounder, but the most interesting prospect to rise on the local radar this spring might be one of his teammates.

Chad Gens, a senior bound for College of San Mateo (Calif.) who roams the left side of the infield and pitches relief, doesn’t have the impressive numbers of other more high-profile position players (.356, 20 runs, 14 RBI, 3 HR, 10 stolen bases; 1-1, 2 saves, 3.00 ERA, 20 K, 9 IP). But his physical tools are impressive, demonstrating power from the plate, and his athletic 6-foot-2 frame is almost prototypical.

Late last month, for instance, Gens came in for relief in the Red Raiders’ game with Andover at Lelaucher Park, and was clocked at 90 miles per hour on his fastball –- and 62 on his curve.

“He’s probably one of the most intriguing kids to pop up around here,” says an American League scout. “His overall athletic ability makes him intriguing as a position player, he’s got the raw tools and he’s physical offensively.

“Going to a junior college he’s viewed as more signable than a kid going to Vanderbilt, and I think that’s the intriguing part. Gens is really raw and could learn a lot from the lower levels if you spend time developing him. So the question is, do you draft a kid like that this year with immaturity and raw tools, and hope you have a diamond in the rough, or do you wait?”

Lowell head coach Danny Graham says he’s been told by scouts that day three is a possibility for Gens, just as it is for Tulley.

“Here’s a kid who’s never been in the right situation, but he eats, sleeps and drinks baseball, the whole nine yards,” Graham said. “I was told by someone in the scouting bureau that talks to a bunch of people, Chad is going to get drafted somewhere around the 30th round. Whether or not any of that happens, I don’t know.”

Others on the cusp
At the beginning of the spring, we targeted five players who could hear their name called. Looking at that number again, there seems to be only one sure thing -– Wiseman, but where is anyone’s guess. But there are a number of other players who could see themselves in the mix.

In addition to the aforementioned Tishman and Tulley, keep an eye out for Lexington’s Chris Shaw and St. Sebastian’s John Nicklas, who are both heading to Boston College.

Also keep an eye out for another one of Wiseman’s future Vanderbilt teammates, Braintree rigthhander Pat Delano. Two years out from undergoing Tommy John surgery from world-renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, Delano’s velocity –- once clocked in the low-90’s as a sophomore –- appears to be coming back. Standing 6-foot-7 and showing quality leg strength, the Bay State Conference MVP could develop into a draft-ready prospect in three years’ time, if not this year.

Recap: No. 2 Lowell 13, No. 5 Lexington 3

April, 9, 2012
LOWELL, Mass. -- Roughly a dozen major league scouts were behind the plate at Alumni Stadium, radar guns at the ready, to watch Lowell’s Matt Tulley go up against Lexington’s Chris Shaw on Monday.

Lowell’s hard-throwing right-hander got the better of the battle, holding Shaw to 0-for-3 during his at-bats against him.

He was also a big reason his team was able to come away with the 13-3 victory over the Minutemen (0-1). He struck out 10 batters, while allowing only two hits, over five innings.

“I’ve played against Chris for probably three or four years now,” said Tulley. “I was with him in California [last summer at Area Code Games] and talked to him a bit and kind of got some hints from that. I just attacked him. No fear. I don’t fear anyone.”

[+] EnlargeMatt Tulley
Brendan Hall/ESPN.comAfter allowing a sacrifice fly early, Matt Tulley buckled down and fanned 10 Lexington batters over five innings.
The only blemish to Tulley’s box score came in the first inning. Lexington's Nick Murray lead off the game with a fly ball to right field. The right fielder, Roger Roman, made a play at the ball, but appeared to misjudge it in the wind. He spun around, missed the ball, which allowed it to roll all the way to the wall.

Murray was able to get to third on the play, and was driven by a Shaw sacrifice fly two batters later.

Lowell (3-0) answered back in the bottom of the first with hits by Derek Reed, Tulley, and Chad Gens. Reed hit a two-out triple, and was driven home by Tulley’s double. Gens got up after him and hit a bomb to left-center that cleared the 365-foot wall with ease.

After that, Tulley got rolling. He struck out three batters in both the second and fourth innings. He did not allow an official hit until the fourth.

The Lowell offense tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, and blew the game open in the fifth with a four-hit inning that saw seven players cross the plate.

“I said in the beginning of the year that I really like our pitching, I like our defense, but what I really think could be a difference-maker for us is our lineup,” said Lowell coach Dan Graham. “I think one through nine, if the kids have quality at-bats, we can get to any starter. That’s what we want to do and see what happens from there. I expect offense. With a kid like Matty on the mount, I’ll take 13 runs for sure.”

What Pressure? One could not help but be distracted by the bevy of MLB scouts stationed behind the backstop with their team-branded travel bags and team logos on their shirts. They had all arrived well before game time and made their way down the first base line to watch Tulley throw his pregame bullpen session.

As the game started, they each made their way back to their marked territory behind the plate. Some even took out handheld video cameras to watch Tulley’s delivery or Shaw’s swing at the plate and play in the field. The scouts were often scribbling in their notepads, checking their cell phones, or talking amongst themselves, but appeared to spring to life whenever Shaw came to the plate against Tulley.

Some even darted down the left field line, beyond the Lexington dugout, to get a side look at Shaw’s swing.

Their radar guns rose and fell in unison after every pitch, like a section of a symphony orchestra preparing to play its part in a song.

If a group of scouts drew this much attention from onlookers, the players had to have noticed them too, right?

“No, I didn’t notice,” said Tulley.

“Really?” he replied after being told there was at least a dozen watching him. “I mean, I see them back there, but I just try not to think about it because last game, I struggled and I didn’t really do good. That’s probably why I didn’t do good, because I was thinking too much.”

Improved Outing: While the final stat line for Tulley looks imposing, there were still things that Graham felt could have been better from his star pitcher. However, he is well aware there is a long season ahead.

While he ended the game with 10 strikeouts, he threw 3 balls to seven of the 21 batters he faced, including all four of the batters he faced in the fifth inning. However, when he was able to get ahead in counts, like in the second and fourth innings, he was able to attack the zone and come away with outs.

“He was better than his first time out,” said Graham. “It’s so early in the season too. If he’s in 2-0 counts and kids are sitting dead-red fastball and they’re going to be aggressive on it, they’re going to put balls in play. When he gets ahead in counts and gets in a groove and he starts using his off-speed pitches, he’s very tough. He had flashes of it in the middle innings, maybe the third, fourth inning it looked like he was getting in a little bit of a groove.

Even from a pitch count standpoint, I think he threw 97 pitches in five innings, which is kind of high for a point this early in the season. So he’s better, but he’s not where he’s gonna need to be.”

MLB Draft prospects to watch this spring

March, 30, 2012
Rhett WisemanBB&NBB&N outfielder Rhett Wiseman has the potential to be taken in the first five rounds of this year's MLB Draft.
Last season at this time, we identified eight players from Massachusetts that would go on to get selected in June's Major League Baseball Entry Draft. Of the eight listed, six were taken, including Lawrence Academy's Tyler Beede 21st overall to the Blue Jays. Winnisquam (N.H.) righthander Jordan Cotealso went in the third round to the Yankees.

By all measures, it was one of the most loaded draft classes for pitching prospects in years. This season the Bay State comes back to Earth a little bit, but it is once again a unique class. BB&N outfielder Rhett Wiseman and Lexington first baseman Chris Shaw are considered the most draft-ready prospects, something you don't see often around these parts. Typically, pitching dominates the draft classes in New England, due to their projectability from a lack of live action in the offseason.

Further complicating things this year will be the new regulations on signing draft picks under the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, which includes a tax penalty on teams exceeding the designated salary slot recommendations for the sum of their picks in the first 10 rounds. Last year, that would have made teams more reluctant to draft prospects such as Lincoln-Sudbury's Adam Ravenelle (Vanderbilt) and St. John's Prep's Pat Connaughton (Notre Dame) -- two pitchers with first five-round potential who made their intentions to pursue college baseball well-known, and subsequently dropped all the way to day three.

With that in mind, I went over the prospects with an American League scout earlier this week, and he identified five players in Massachusetts who could possibly see their named called in June.

Rhett Wiseman, OF, BB&N
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 195 lbs.
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Hometown: Mansfield, Mass.
College: Vanderbilt
2011 Stats: .447, 12 doubles, 5 triples, 11 home runs, 29/29 stolen bases.
Scout’s Take: “Rhett is one of those outfielders who you look at and try to figure out if he can continue to progress as a Centerfielder, or if eventually you have to move him to Left because of his arm strength. The way his speed plays, you could probably keep him in center until he proves he can't handle it. Then the bat comes into play – is he a power guy or is he more of a speed guy who can make his power play? His power was on display in the bigger events last summer, but he’s also shown a propensity to strike out quite a bit against top-tier pitching. Obviously the power is going to be there as he gets older, but putting the ball in play and allowing his speed to show itself more consistently will be a big piece for him. Ultimately, I think he's a gap to gap guy who will be able to hit HR's as he learns to stay within himself and take what he is given. He’s shown the ability to play at a really high level, but it’s going to be a matter of whether people are willing to buy into his swing. He tends to get a little stiff on his front side; if he can smooth that out and show development and the ability to go the other way a little bit, he's going to put himself into the mix. It's a tough sign because of his commitment to Vanderbilt and the new CBA rules, but I can see someone taking a chance on that.”
Projection: First five rounds.

Chris Shaw, 1B, Lexington
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 230 lbs.
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Hometown: Lexington, Mass.
College: Boston College
2011 Stats: .484, 10 doubles, 8 home runs, 27 runs; 25 IP, 49 K, 7 BB, 8 hits, 5-0, 0.00 ERA
Scout’s Take: “He’s an interesting one. You go and look at him, and he’s got that typical look of a power guy, goes about 6-3, 6-4 ,225, 235ish. Supposedly he’s put more weight on over the winter and got stronger. Obviously, he can hit for power, the question is whether he can hit consistently for contact against upper-echelon pitchers. His swing is really smooth from the left-side and he generates some nice loft and backspin. The only issue is he tends to lose his rhythm in the box a little bit when the velocity picks up and the swings and misses can add up. That’s definitely correctable as he sees more of it at the next level and learns to make adjustments on a consistent basis. He’s really intent on going to BC, so you have to really believe in his bat if someone's going to make a run at signing him, but he has a chance to go pretty high if he shows a willingness to sign.”
Projection: First 15 rounds.

Max Tishman, LHP, Lawrence Academy
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 200 lbs.
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Hometown: Wellesley, Mass.
College: Wake Forest
2011 Stats: 32.2 IP, 45 K, 8 BB, 8 runs, 5-0, 1.70 ERA
Scout’s Take: “He’s a loose-arm lefty with a chance to throw three pitches for strikes, and he’s still very projectable. He put on 25 or 30 pounds over the winter, we’ll see how that plays in his development. He’s got a little bit of an unorthodox delivery with a quick-tempo delivery and a high leg kick, but that creates some deception for him and he’s shown the ability to repeat it, so I think you leave that alone. He flew under the radar last year, pitching at 165 pounds, but his velocity climbed from 86-87 to the 88-90 range by the end of summer. He put on that weight over the winter, and supposedly his velocity has climbed into the 88-91 range coming into this season, so who knows as weather warms up where he’ll go. He’s in the same boat as Jordan Cote was last year [Yankees third-round pick from Sanbornton, N.H.], where people might be climbing onto the bandwagon as the season goes on. Nice three-pitch mix there with a fastball to both sides of the plate and a slider and changeup to complement that. He works really fast out there and has shown a propensity to pitch down in the zone. He could be really interesting if his velocity holds in that 88-92 range, because there aren't many high school lefties, who can mix three pitches of that quality.”
Projection: First 15 rounds.

Matt Tulley, RHP, Lowell
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 200 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Hometown: Lowell, Mass.
College: Virginia Tech
2011 stats: 42 IP, 68 K, 7-0, 0.82 ERA; .280, 17 RBI
Scout’s Take: “He came onto the scene a little bit at some of the high profile events last summer like Area Code Games. He’s similar to Barrett O’Neill [Ashland resident and Virginia freshman], where there’s not a ton of projectability but his velocity is in the 88-91 range with some downward angle on his fastball and he's shown the ability to compete in the strike zone. He surprised a lot of guys at the Area Code tournament, putting his fastball by people, and complementing that by getting swings and misses with his cutter. Most people view him as a college guy right now, but that could change. His velocity climbed over the winter, and he’s got a chance at the 91-92 range as well. You never know with a player like that, if someone views him as being signable, a team might make a run at him in the middle rounds
Projection: Fringe/late rounds.

John Nicklas, RHP, St. Sebastian’s
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 180 lbs.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Hometown: Foxborough, Mass.
College: Boston College
Scout’s Take: “Another competitor out of the ISL who’s a pretty polished three-pitch, four-pitch guy. His fastball is consistently in the 87-89 range, with a cutter, curve, and changeup; he attacks with all four of those pitches. He doesn’t necessarily have the projectable body you're looking for out of the high school ranks, but he’s got a quick arm and really competes well. He’s similar to John Gorman [former Catholic Memorial ace and BC freshman] or John Leonard from BC last year, just kind of a bulldog out there. His curve is a little bit more of a tighter two-plane breaking ball without a ton of depth and he throws it pretty firm. A lot of his pitches come in hard, and there’s not a ton of separation. That’s something he’ll want to improve upon. Very good high school pitcher, who I expect to have a lot of success in college as well.”
Projection: Fringe/late rounds.

ESPNHS preseason All-State baseball team

March, 1, 2012
ESPNHS kicks off its baseball season coverage by unveiling its preseason All-State Teams for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. A number of stars litter its Massachusetts squad, including BB&N's Rhett Wiseman, Lowell's Matt Tulley, Lexington's Chris Shaw and Braintree's Pat Delano.

You can find the entire list, which includes "Other Top Players" by clicking here. Below is ESPNHS' All-State Team for Massachusetts:


Anthony Capuano, St. John's Prep, OF, Senior
Led SJP in hits, runs and stolen bases last year.

Jarrod Casey, Milford, OF/LHP, Senior
Batted .530 and posted an 8-1 record on the mound.

Dan Cellucci, Lincoln-Sudbury, SS, Senior
Posted a .536 BA and scored 44 runs for Division 1 state champs.

Chris McCarthy, Everett, C, Senior
Hit .585 and drove in 28 runs as a junior.

Bob Melley, BC High, C, Senior
Productive backstop has signed with UConn.

Matt O'Neil, East Longmeadow, SS/RHP, Senior
Batted .447 with 15 stolen bases last year, committed to UConn.

Christopher Shaw, Lexington, 1B/RHP, Senior
Boston College recruit hit eight home runs last year.

Ryan Summers, Westfield, C, Junior
Hit six home runs and drove in 27 last year; headed to Louisville.

Matt Tulley, Lowell, SS/RHP, Senior
Has signed to play at Virginia Tech.

Rhett Wiseman, BB&N, OF, Senior
Vanderbilt recruit hit .447 with 11 HRs and 29 SBs last year.


Austin DeCarr, Xaverian, RHP/SS, Junior
Strong-armed athlete also took snaps as a quarterback in the fall.

Patrick Delano, Braintree, RHP, Senior
Big power pitcher is headed to Vanderbilt.

Tyler Dowd, Springfield Central, RHP/OF, Senior
Should be among state leaders in K's this spring.

Mike Krupczak, Springfield Cathedral, RHP, Senior
Went 7-0 with a 1.85 ERA last year.

Ryan McDonald, Acton-Boxboro, LHP, Junior
Posted a 0.90 ERA last year, striking out 71 batters over 55 innings.

Steve Moyers, East Longmeadow, LHP/OF, senior
Went 8-1 last year while posting a 0.44 ERA; career record of 23-2.

John Nicklas, St. Sebastian's, RHP, Senior
Has signed to play at Boston College.

Pat Ruotolo, Peabody, RHP, Junior
Struck out 102 batters last year, including three games of 15-plus K's.

Max Tishman, Lawrence Academy, LHP, Senior
Polished left-hander has signed with Wake Forest.

Troy Whitty, Dexter, RHP, Senior
Transferred from Oliver Ames, where he posted a 0.90 ERA last year.

Locals selected to Yankees Area Code roster

July, 21, 2011
The rosters for next month's Area Code Baseball Games have been finalized, and there are a handful of locals who will be participating with the New York Yankees squad.

Now in its 25th year of operation, the wood-bat tournament annually pits high school players from different geographical areas against one another, each team corresponding to a particular Major League Baseball team. Eight Major League teams will compete in this year's field, which will be held from August 5 to 10 at Blair Field in Long Beach, Calif.

Since its inception in 1987, nine Area Code Games alumni have gone on to become No. 1 overall draft picks, including this year's top pick, Gerritt Cole out of UCLA. In last month's draft, 34 of the top 100 picks had Area Code Games experience. Locally, that included Lawrence Academy's Tyler Beede, who went 21st overall to the Blue Jays.

The Northeast squad, which falls under the Yankees, features seven Bay Staters:

Pat Delano, RHP, Braintree
Riley MacEachern, RHP, Austin Prep
Buck McCarthy, C, Everett
Chris Shaw, 1B, Lexington
Max Tishman, LHP, Lawrence Academy
Matt Tulley, RHP, Lowell
Rhett Wiseman, OF, BB&N

The full roster can be found here.

More information, including the seven other Major League rosters and a schedule of events, can be found here. All four of the games on August 9 will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Our MIAA Baseball All-State Team

June, 29, 2011

All-StateAdam Ravenelle, Sr. RHP, Lincoln-Sudbury
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound fireballer was an integral part of the Warriors' run to the Division 1 state championship this season, going 8-0 with 93 strikeouts in 56 innings -- including a career-high 18 in a win over Arlington. He also batted .481 with 44 RBIs. Earlier this month, the Vanderbilt-bound Ravenelle was drafted in the 44th round by the New York Yankees.

All-StatePat Connaughton, Sr. RHP, St. John’s Prep
The 6-foot-4 Connaughton, who was also a starter on ESPNBoston's inaugural All-State basketball squad, strung together some dominant performances this season, including a no-hitter against his hometown Arlington High. On the mound, he went 2-2 with one save, with 86 strikeouts in 50 innings for an ERA of 1.83. At the plate, he also hit .400 with four home runs, a .547 on-base percentage and .750 slugging percentage. Earlier this month, Connaughton was drafted in the 38th round by the San Diego Padres

All-StateJohn Gorman, Sr. RHP, Catholic Memorial
The Boston College-bound Gorman was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year last month, and was also named the Catholic Conference MVP, after a stellar senior season with the Knights. As the No. 1 ace, Gorman went 6-2 with 80 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.24. At the plate, he also hit .354 with 11 RBI, 14 runs scored an a home run. Earlier this month, the Norwood resident was drafted in the 50th round by the Boston Red Sox.

All-StateSteve Moyers, Jr. LHP, East Longmeadow
One of the state's most elusive lefties, Moyers turned in another strong campaign on the mound as the Spartans advanced to the Division 1 West Final. He went 8-1 this season, with 88 strikeouts in 64 innings with an ERA of 0.44. For his career, Moyers is 23-2 and has averaged better than a strikeout per inning. He is receiving various interest from Division 1 schools in the Atlantic-10, Patriot League and Big East conferences.

All-StateGarrison Banas, Sr. LHP, Hopkins Academy
Stats-wise, there isn't another pitcher in the state who can lay claim to the numbers Banas put up this season. He went 9-2 this season for the Golden Hawks, with 173 strikeouts in 87.2 innings for an ERA of 0.48, before bowing out in the Division 3 West final. For his career, Banas was 26-6 with five no-hitters and a perfect game, and is in the state's ever-exclusive 400-strikeout club with 415 career K's. He will pursue a post-graduate season next year at Salisbury School, in Connecticut.


Matt Walsh, Sr. C, Plymouth North
The Franklin Pierce-bound Walsh was one of the more intimidating hitters in the region this season, as he led the Eagles to their second Division 2 state title in four years by hitting over .530 with 36 RBIs. But the most outstanding stat on Walsh has to be the respect he commands behind the plate. Counting the playoffs, only five runners attempted to steal on Walsh, and four were thrown out.

Chris McCarthy, Jr. C, Everett
Equipped with a live arm, the junior backstop was as efficient at the plate as he was at throwing out runners, batting over .585 with 28 RBIs and an on-base percentage close to .700. McCarthy is receiving varied degrees of interest from Division 1 schools in the Big East, Atlantic Coast and Atlantic 10 conferences.

Mike Barry, Sr. C/OF, Lincoln-Sudbury
The 6-foot-2 Barry was one of the most prolific hitters on arguably the state's most dangerous lineup, as the Warriors captured their third state title in seven seasons. For the season, he hit .437 with 38 RBIs and seven home runs,

Matt O'Neil, Jr. SS, East Longmeadow
As one of the premier position players in Western Mass, O'Neil turned in a solid junior season for the Spartans, batting .447 with six home runs and stealing 15 bases. He was also efficient on the mound, going 6-1 and striking out 69 batters in 43 innings. O'Neil is verbally committed to UConn.

Chris Shaw, Jr. 1B, Lexington
As the Middlesex League co-MVP alongside teammate Will Marcal, Shaw put on a clinic at the plate, with the numbers to show. He batted over .490 with eight home runs, and plated 41 runs. Shaw is verbally committed to Boston College.

Ryan Summers, Jr. C, Westfield
The junior got off to an explosive start to the season for the Bombers, with 21 RBIs and six home runs through the first three weeks of the season. He finished the year with 27 RBIs and six home runs.

Jarrod Casey, Jr. OF/LHP, Milford
The latest in a line of Caseys to succeed on the diamond at Milford, the 5-foot-11 junior was one of the premier hitters in Central Mass, hitting .530 while also going 8-1 on the mound. Casey was also the Mid-Wach A Most Valuable Player.

Lorenzo Papa, Sr. 1B, Arlington Catholic
The Stoneham resident led the state in home runs last season with 10, and followed up with another solid campaign in 2011, finishing with eight homers for the Cougars. Papa will continue his career at the University of Rhode Island next year.

Sean Amaru, Sr. 1B, Westwood
Also a star on the gridiron, Amaru was a standout in the Tri-Valley League in 2011, turning in a monster season. He batted .515 with 34 RBIs, and also led the state in home runs with 10.

Will Archibald, Sr. RHP, Milton
Freddy Andujar, Sr. LHP, Holyoke
Dan Dymecki, Sr. RHP, Wellesley
Evan Mackintosh, Sr. LHP, Northbridge
Will Marcal, Sr. LHP, Lexington
Ryan McDonald, Jr. LHP, Acton-Boxborough
Victor Mendez, Sr. RHP, Lawrence
Donny Murray, Sr. RHP, BC High
Matt Tulley, Jr. RHP, Lowell
Brandon Walsh, Jr. RHP, North Andover

Charlie Butler, Jr. IF/RHP, Nashoba
Dan Cellucci, Jr. SS, Lincoln-Sudbury
Aaron Fossas, Sr. SS, Holy Name
Matt Goreham, Sr. 1B, Catholic Memorial
Keith Kelley, Sr. SS, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Dan Light, Sr. 1B, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Bob Melley, Jr. C, BC High
Rory O'Connor, Jr. OF, Lowell
Tyler Sterner, Sr. SS, Doherty
Ramses Vittini, Sr. OF, Peabody
Alex Witkus, Sr. OF, North Attleborough
Paul Yanakopulos, Sr. SS, Malden Catholic

No. 1 Lexington caps perfect regular season

May, 28, 2011
LEXINGTON, Mass. -- It appeared the Lexington and Lowell High School baseball teams were destined to play extra innings Friday, just as they did the first time they played each other April 8. That is, until the Minutemen broke the game open with a four-run sixth inning, giving them an 8-4 victory and securing an undefeated season at 20-0.

"No Lexington team has won 18 games and we won 20," said Will Marcal, who pitched a complete game. "It hasn't been done by a Middlesex League team in a long time. This is unbelievable, it's great to be a part of history."

Marcal, a tall, hard-throwing lefty, surrendered nine hits, including a home run, two walks, but had 12 strikeouts in the victory.

He ran into the most trouble in the second inning. After Ben Ruxin scored on a wild pitch to put Lexington on the board, 1-0, in the first, Lowell's Matt Tulley came back in the top of the second and homered off Marcal to start the inning. That was the beginning of a four-run inning that saw R.J. Noel, Roger Roman, and Richard Gary each single to put Lowell (14-6) up 2-1. Derek Reed knocked in the next two runs with a double to right-center to make it 4-1.

Lexington answered back in the bottom of the inning when Demetri Monovoukas hit a two-run homer off Nick Godfroy to center cut the deficit to one. The Lexington bats went quiet over the next two innings, but that was not a problem since Marcal kept Lowell off the board for the rest of the game.

"I was saying if we could just keep it to a one-run game, I thought we'd definitely have a shot," said Marcal. "We did it in the first game of the year [against Lowell]. We were down three runs going into the last inning and it just really showed the teamwork that we had and everything clicked and everything came together."

It was a strong performance by a pitcher who, admittedly, did not begin the game at his best.

"I didn't start off the game with my best stuff," Marcal said. "Towards the end of the game I really started to feel it. I felt like my fastball was really jumping and I felt like I could stay on top of it. I think the command of my fastball was really what got me over the hump."

Godfroy kept the Lexington bats quiet for the next two innings, and was relieved in the fifth by Kyle Edwards. Overall, Godfroy finished with four innings of work, giving up three runs, four hits, with five strikeouts.

Edwards walked the first two batters he faced, but settled down and got a strikeout and a flyout to the next two. It seemed he was going to get out of the inning when he got Chris Shaw to hit a groundball to second, but the second baseman made an error on the play, sending the ball into right field, which allowed a runner to score, tying the game 4-4.

The damage continued in the sixth inning after Chad Gens came in to pitch for Lowell. He hit Charlie Guthrie on the first pitch of the inning, then gave up a single to Monovoukas, putting runners on the corners with one out. A failed double-play brought Guthrie home to put Lexington ahead 5-4. A hit batsman and two walks later, Lexington went up another run, which got Gens pulled from the game in favor of Noel.

Noel was not anymore effective for Lowell, giving up a two-run double to Marcal to make it 8-4.

Lexington's performance was all that much more impressive when considering the two teams could potentially cross paths again in the upcoming state tournament.

"They're a great team, this was a much closer game than the score indicated," said Lexington coach Tom O'Grady. "We got some big at-bats in the end. I certainly don't think winning this game can hurt us [going into the state tournament]."