It might be the middle of the summer, but baseball never stops for the Louisville Baseball program. In less than two short months, the Cards have been hard at work training to get better and make up for all the talent lost in the 2017 offseason. Fortunately for them, most of the Cards have had the opportunity to face the best collegiate baseball talent in the country. Of the 24 players given summer league assignments to 6 different summer leagues, 8 of them were designated to the prestigious Cape Cod League. Think of it like this: if baseball summer leagues were levels of minor league baseball, the Cape Cod League would be the AAA affiliates. An additional 5 players also saw time in the New England Collegiate League, a league which has seen the likes of A.J. Pollock, Stephen Strasburg and Adam Duvall.
So how did the Cards fare this summer? Take a look below.
Cape Cod League
With the departure of a ton of marquee talent, a lot of pressure rests on the shoulders of both left fielder Josh Stowers and second baseman Devin Mann. While Mann only saw 1 game due to an injury, Stowers was able to bat a respectable .250, while also managing to hit a couple long balls. After a fantastic postseason for Sam Bordner, he continued with business as usual, allowing just 2 earned runs in 8 total relief appearances. Riley Thompson and Adam Wolf were able to provide sweet relief from the bullpen as well, combining to give up only 5 runs in 15 combined appearances.
New England Collegiate Baseball League
Following his redshirt season, while Ethan Stringer did post a sub-.250 batting average in summer league play, he made his presence felt as a power hitter, sending 2 balls over the wall and registering 15 RBIs. While Austin Dickey may not have had the most impressive ERA, he did post a solid strikeout-to-walk ratio, and even pitched a complete game shutout for the Keene Swamp Bats. Relief pitcher Shay Smiddy also got a taste of being in the starting role while also maintaining a solid 1.71 ERA, as well as striking out almost 30 while walking less than 10.
Even though Zeke Pinkham and Jake Snider didn’t see as much action as his fellow Cards did in summer league play, they made the most of their playing time, with both of them batting over .380. Pitching newcomers Matthew McCarty and Hunter Sullivan both got plenty of reps from the starting pitching role, pitching over 35 inning each while still keeping a winning record intact.
Perfect Game Collegiate League
Adam Elliot perhaps had the best summer league out of all of the Cardinal Nine. Not only was he able to bat well over .300, but he was able post an ERA of less than 1 in his 5 relief roles. Shades of Brendan McKay, maybe?
Coastal Plain League
Continuing his bullpen duties, Rabon Martin had a solid season, posting a decent 2.92 ERA in 7 relief appearances as well as 1 start. While Phillip Sanderson had the worse ERA, keep an eye on him for the 2018 season, as he was able strikeout over 30 batters while walking less than 10, as fellow reliever Shay Smiddy did.
Chicago Suburban Baseball League
The lone player in the Chicago Suburban Baseball League didn’t have the hottest of summers. In 11 games, Pat Rumoro was barely able to bat over the Mendoza Line, though it wasn’t for a lack of making contact, as he only struck out 3 times.