Players from Touching the Game, Cape Cod – Where are they now?
It is always fun to check up on the players we followed in the summer of 2003 on Cape Cod. Not every Major Leaguer shoots through the minor league system in a couple years. For some, the journey to the majors is a long and arduous, taking many years to get there. Some players have great minor league careers only to hit that glass ceiling of becoming a regular MLB player. That seems to be the point that many of our guys are at now 7 years after playing in the CCBL. Here’s an update on some of the guys who appeared in Touching the Game, The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League: Andy Laroche began 2010 as the Pittsburgh Pirates starting 3B. He hurt his back and while on the DL, lost his starting job to Pedro Alvarez. He has not played much since, and rumors are the Pirates might be looking to deal him in the off-season. Pitcher Dave Purcey started the season at (AAA) Las Vegas as the Toronto Blue Jays are making him a middle relief pitcher. He is now back with the Jays, and is doing well in that role. Justin Maxwell had been penciled in to start in the Washington Nationals outfield, but a poor spring training sent him to (AAA) Syracuse where he also struggled at the plate. He is now up again with Nationals trying to crack their lineup. Outfielder Trevor Crowe has had a good year for the Cleveland Indians batting around .250. He should be a fixture there in the coming years. After a poor start, Sam Fuld ended up batting .272 for (AAA) Iowa. Unfortunately the Chicago Cubs have no room right now in their outfield for Fuld. Jeff Frazier had a terrific season at (AAA) Toledo, and made his first Major League appearance with the Detroit Tigers in August in a game at Fenway. He too has a bunch of people in front of him in Detroit with no where to go. After spending 2009 in Independent League ball, Cesar Nicolas returned and had a good season for (AA) Erie, but had to shut it down early due to a knee injury. Tommy Manzella who began the season as the Houston Astros starting shortstop, also struggled at the plate and dealt with injuries. He is now back playing for the Astros. After batting .267 with 15 HR’s at (AAA) Lehigh Valley, John Mayberry is a September call-up with the Philadelphia Phillies, as is Brandon Boggs with the Texas Rangers as they head towards the playoffs.