Boston High School: Coastal Carolina

Yankees select Winnisquam (N.H.)'s Cote

June, 7, 2011
Jordan Cote sat in front of his computer in the living room of his Sanbornton, N.H. home with a final exam in one hand (his teacher let him take it home), 20 or so friends gathered around (some of them cut class), and afternoon baseball practice an hour and half away.

And then, within the last half hour, things suddenly got crazy. The highly-touted Winnisquam Regional righthander watched his name come across the ticker, going 118th overall (third round) to the Yankees, and watched his mother flip out. Moments later, Yankees Northeaster Director of Scouting Matt Hyde called him up with a welcome greeting, and it was official.

"I'm a Yankees fan, so it couldn’t get any better," Cote said. "I don’t even know what to say…I couldn't have been going to a better team, but I don’t think I've ever been this happy in my entire life."

The Yankees had shown arguably the most interest in Cote for a while, but he said he got a little nervous when the phone didn't ring as things inched closer to the pick.

"I figured I'd get a call before, but evidently they don't do that," he laughed.

The past two months have been eye-opening for the 6-foot-6, 215-pounder, who was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year last week and has seen his stock soar, based on projectability and a fastball that continues to escalate in the 90's as the weather has gotten warmer. As many as two dozen scouts have been seen at his starts this spring.

And it's not over yet, as the Wolves will face Somersworth in the Class M semifinals Friday. Last season, he tossed a no-hitter against Somersworth to capture the school's first-ever state championship in baseball.

"It's been a pretty wild ride," Cote said.

Cote is currently committed to Coastal Carolina, but is reportedly very signable. In Sunday's profile of the prospect on, he told correspondent Roger Brown "Money is definitely the No. 1 factor. I wish baseball could always be for fun, but that’s not the way it is."

Cote confirmed those comments again, saying that his advisor and the club have come to terms on an undisclosed number that both parties are "very comfortable with". He said with his busy schedule, it would be realistic to expect him to sign close to the August 15 deadline.

ESPN's Keith Law has Cote ranked No. 85 on his Top 100, with the following scouting report:

Cote is an extremely tall right-hander with present arm strength, and he's a virtual blank slate as a pitcher, having received limited instruction. His physical tools are a pitching coach's dream.

The New Hampshire native has been mostly 88-92 in cold weather all spring, with fringy off-speed stuff, mostly a mid-70s curveball that he needs to get on top of better. His mechanics need a cleanup, if not an overhaul; among other things he tends to get his back elbow up during his delivery, pinching his shoulders behind him and putting pressure on both joints.

He also might slide because like most New Hampshire kids, he's tough to scout between weather, short schedule, and poor competition. But he's pretty athletic and has very little pitching experience, so it's all projection with lots for a player development group to work with.

Last weekend, an American League scout gave me the following scouting report on Cote:

“He’s the one that’s been climbing the most. I’d say Cote was one that was kind of a sleeper early in the season. People had to wait and see what you get out of him, being in a Northern climate, playing on 35-degree days more so than Mass kids. Early on, he struggled, was hitting 87-88, then over the last two or three weeks, as the weather warmed up he found his groove. He’s really climbed into the upper echelon of high school prospects. You look at that frame, 6-6, 215, and there’s a lot of projectability. You could see him filling out to 240, and see that fastball velocity increase because of the hand speed he demonstrates."

Napolitano switches to Wake, Cote to CCU

August, 22, 2010
When Mik Aoki left the head coaching position at Boston College a month ago to take the same position at Notre Dame, it left some of his 2011 commitments at a crossroads.

BB&N's Andrew Chin staunchly stuck by his verbal to BC. But Lawrence Academy righthander Joe Napolitano -- who committed to the Eagles as a sophomore -- talked things over with his family and decided to de-commit and look at his options once more.

Napolitano, a 6-foot-3 senior from Hollis, N.H., took a visit to Wake Forest a week ago. This weekend, he's been down at the World Woodbat Association Baseball Heaven showcase in Yaphank, N.Y.; last night at 9 p.m., while out at dinner with family and close friends in nearby Port Jefferson, N.Y., he decided to make the call to the Deacons staff and make his verbal commitment.

"Wake Forest came along, UConn came along, and those were my top two choices the last few weeks," Napolitano said. "Wake Forest seems like a prestigious school. I was impressed by how well the academics are and how they're meshed into the athletics program. It's a good fit for me, I really like it alot."

Any regrets?

"I guess," Napolitano said. "I had a year to kind of dwell on it, the BC a child growing up in New England, you look at Boston College as the place to go, it's the hometown school. BC and Wake Forest were two dreams schools for me growing up. I guess there's some regret, but I'm in great situation at Wake Forest. It was a turn for the better."

Meanwhile, one of the most dominant pitchers in the state of New Hampshire will be taking his exploits to another big time program in the fall of 2011. Jordan Cote, a 6-foot-4 righthander from Winnisquam (N.H.) Regional, made a verbal commitment to Coastal Carolina University late in the week. He chose the Chanticleers over offers from Vanderbilt, UConn and Central Florida.

"I liked the atmosphere when I went down there," Cote said. "I like where the school's located. It's a really big baseball school, not like the other schools, where football or basketball come first. I liked the coaches, it was a real friendly atmosphere when I was down there."

Cote is known most around the Granite State for delivering the Tilton-based school its first Class M championship in school history with a no-hitter in the state final, a 2-0 win over Somersworth. Cote went 11-0 this year for the Bears, with a 0.66 ERA, 113 strikeouts in 63 innings, and just 17 walks. So far in his career at Winnisquam, he is 25-1 with a 0.96 ERA, 229 strikeouts in 168 innings pitches, and 52 walks. His fastball currently tops out at 93 miles per hour.

He'll be a welcoming addition a Chanticleers squad that was the No. 4 overall seed in this year's NCAA tournament, making it all the way to the Super Regional on their Myrtle Beach, S.C. campus before bowing out to eventual national champion South Carolina.