Perfect Game/Rawlings released their list of Preseason All-Americans yesterday and to no one’s surprise, the 2018 Gatemen were well represented with four players selected for this prestigious honor.
First baseman Andrew Vaughn, outfielder Bryant Packard, shortstop Bryson Stott, and starting pitching Mason Feole were all named to the first team occupying four of the 17 spots.
The Gatemen had four players selected to the first team, the most of any Cape League team (Photos by Carolin O'Connor).
“It is very honoring to be selected as an All-American, especially when it is from selectees like Perfect Game that have overlooked me my whole life,” said former Gatemen outfielder Bryant Packard. “I don’t care much for the preseason accolades because I believe that greatness is only truly measured by what you do after it. But all in all, it is very honoring.”
Packard had a phenomenal season for the ECU Pirates in 2018 posting a Ted Williams-esque batting average of .406 and an OPS of 1.133. The stats do not stop there for Packard as he also hit 14 homers, drove in 50, and had 16 doubles.
On the Cape, Packard hit .305 for Wareham in 18 games and was red-hot before he left for Team USA for the summer. Packard ended his Cape League season on a 6-game hitting streak (.364) that included four homers and seven RBI.
Despite his short stint in Wareham, Packard still had high praises for the organization.
“The coaching staff in Wareham was impeccable. They did everything the right way. Sneddon, Mobbs, and Coach Matt [Miller] were great people along with great coaches and I still stay in contact with some teammates that were on the team,” Packard said. “There’s nothing I wanted more other than to come back after Team USA, but it was fantastic seeing them win it all.”
“Team USA was also filled with a great staff and team. I improved by playing alongside and against the best players in the country and played the best competition of my life,” Packard added.
Vaughn will now enter his junior year at Cal Berkeley after a historic sophomore year. Vaughn slashed .402/.531/.819 with 23 home runs and 63 RBI for the Golden Bears en route to winning the Golden Spikes Award. He also displayed an incredible eye at the plate walking 44 times to just 18 strikeouts.
In Wareham, Vaughn kept his bat going with a slash line of .308/.368/.654 in addition to eight extra base hits and 14 RBI.
Stott comes off a 2018 campaign in which he led the nation in doubles (30) and hit .365 for UNLV. He also impressed in his short time in Wareham hitting .275 in 12 games. Stott had hits in 10 of 12 and committed just one error in the field.
Feole also finds himself as a first teamer following a dominant campaign for the UConn Huskies. Feole went 9-2 with a 2.50 ERA in his sophomore season striking out 120 batters in 100.2 innings. For Wareham this summer, Feole made two starts pitching seven innings allowing three runs after appearing in eight games for the Gatemen in 2017.
The Gatemen also had three commits get recognized by Perfect Game/Rawlings. Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung (first team), Arkansas relief pitcher Matt Cronin (second team), and Arkansas outfielder Dominic Fletcher (third team) all received honors as well.
The trio was scheduled to play for the Gatemen this past summer but did not due to extended time in the College World Series before playing for Team USA.