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As players, coaches and fans of the Cape Cod Baseball League have anxiously awaited, Chatham begins its 2022 campaign with a home contest against Cotuit at 7 p.m. Sunday.
With insight from manager Tom Holliday, the following is a breakdown of the Anglers' position players prior to the release of Chatham's official roster:
Benson has a smooth swing and adds depth to Chatham's middle infield, a position of need for the Anglers. The lefty reached base at a .335 clip in his freshman year at Akron and is currently in the transfer portal.
Out of Oklahoma State, Brown will provide the Anglers with stability at shortstop.
'You will see in Marcus Brown what I hope he teaches the other 12 or 13 position players ' there's nobody (who) plays the game of baseball any harder than Marcus Brown,' Holliday said.
In addition to his leadership, Brown possesses a strong hit tool. The sophomore hit .316 in his second season with the Cowboys.
Castagnozzi is one of many Anglers with the ability to play multiple positions. The sophomore has played both first and second base for North Carolina. Last year, Castagnozzi played third base for Chatham ' a position to which he will likely return ' while hitting .231 in 14 games. This past season with North Carolina, the righty hit .261 with a .453 slugging percentage.
A right-handed infielder, Caufield brings a lefty bat to the Anglers' lineup. Caufield put up impressive numbers at Division II Millersville, hitting .373 this spring.
'I don't think he's intimidated at all,' Holliday said about Caufield's transition to the Cape League.
After recording the third-most at-bats and stealing a team-best seven bases with the Anglers last summer, DeLeo is back with Chatham this season. In limited playing time with Georgia Tech, he hit .286 with a .532 slugging percentage. DeLeo's contributions in the outfield will be needed, as the Anglers lack depth at the position.
Garibay Jr. is a lefty outfielder and first baseman who provides Holliday with more defensive options. In his sophomore season at Rice, Garibay Jr. hit .290, walked 32 times and logged 44 strikeouts in 55 games.
Grice can and will do it all. At 6 feet, 6 inches tall, the standout from Clemson has a high ceiling both at the plate and on the mound. Along with slugging 27 home runs over two seasons at Clemson, Grice pitched 10 innings his freshman year and six innings as a sophomore.
'It'll probably be around days off, either before the day off or maybe after a day off,' Holliday said about Grice's availability as a pitcher. 'Yeah, we're gonna pitch Caden.'
Defensively, Grice can play first base and outfield, adding to his versatility.
A late addition to the team, Herrera is another option in Chatham's infield. He impressed at Western Oklahoma State, hitting .403 with a .755 slugging percentage this past season. With 41 steals on 43 attempts in two seasons with Western Oklahoma State, Herrera is also a threat on the bases.
Hogan is returning to the Anglers after hitting four home runs and batting .227 with Chatham in 2021. The outfielder played three seasons with Vanderbilt before spending this past season with South Carolina.
'He's my kind of guy,' Holliday said. 'You want to see a guy hustle and respect the game' Watch Matt Hogan.'
Initially expected to be Chatham's primary catcher, Ingle suffered an arm injury that will force him to be a designated hitter until the middle of July, according to Holliday. Still, Ingle is a force at the plate. After having one hit in 16 at-bats his freshman year, Ingle made an incredible offensive jump this spring; in his sophomore season, the lefty posted a .449 on-base percentage along with a .526 slugging percentage.
Ingram supplies the Anglers' lineup with power. The sophomore laced 14 home runs and 13 doubles en route to recording a .582 slugging percentage with Wichita State this spring. Ingram also hit .310 and led the Shockers in RBIs. Defensively, he will fill one of Chatham's outfield spots.
Similar to Ingram, Ledford will be a constant source of power in Chatham's lineup. Ledford paced Georgia Southern with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs. As a complement to his staggering power numbers, Ledford drew 37 walks while striking out 43 times this spring.
With Ingle stuck at designated hitter for at least the first half of the season, Holliday will likely have to play Ledford at first base to get both bats in the lineup.
Despite starting eight games for Oklahoma State, Meola has the potential to take on a larger role in Chatham's infield this season. Meola hit .286 with five extra-base hits in 35 at-bats as a freshman and joins fellow Cowboys infielders Marcus Brown and Roc Riggio on the Anglers this summer.
Nankil's athleticism helps him in all facets of the game and has jumped out to Holliday in the early going. The sophomore from Cal State Fullerton also brings a strong work ethic and plus defense to the Anglers' outfield.
Riggio made an instant impact with Oklahoma State and has the potential to do the same with Chatham. The freshman started 53 games for the Cowboys and slugged 11 home runs to go with a .295 average. Riggio played second base for Oklahoma State and should find a role there with the Anglers, recreating the Cowboys' middle infield with shortstop Marcus Brown.
With Ingle out of the picture defensively for the time being, Rivera will serve behind the plate along with Dominic Tamez. Rivera's defensive prowess has been on display prior to Chatham's opener Sunday, and Holliday says Rivera will get his chances at the plate given that he's a right-handed hitter in a team full of lefty bats.
After a full season with Alabama, Tamez returns to the Cape League looking to improve on his 2021 campaign with the Anglers. Tamez found his swing with the Crimson Tide, hitting .289 and posting a .341 on-base percentage. As seen last summer, Tamez brings dependable defense behind the plate.
Winland Jr. comes to the Anglers after logging a .439 on-base percentage and .554 slugging percentage with Florida SouthWestern State. A right-handed fielder and lefty hitter, Winland Jr. adds more depth to the Anglers' infield.