Giants Name 5-Year Anniversary Team
Giants Name 5-Year Anniversary Team
The Five-Year Anniversary Team
Celebrating the Best of Gaithersburg Giants Baseball – Jake Shulman
Five years ago, the Gaithersburg Giants played their inaugural season in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. Since finishing third in the CRCBL that summer 2013 season, the Giants have built this well-regarded program into a premier destination for collegiate players searching for a competitive, enriching summer baseball experience. In honor of the Giants five-year anniversary, we would like to look back on the names that have helped build this franchise into what it has become today.
Ladies and Gentleman, now presenting the Gaithersburg Giants’ Five-Year Anniversary Team!
Jesse Frawley - 2013
Robin Mowatt - 2013
Nick Riley - 2013
Brandon Estrain - 2014
Taylor Bloom - 2015
Matt Chanin - 2016
Nick Pantos - 2017
David Hutchinson - 2017
C -Trey Martinez - 2016
1B - Peyton Isaacson - 2016
2B - Josh Ingham - 2013
SS - Patrick Causa - 2017
3B - Christian Torres - 2017
LF - Collin Shaw - 2013
CF - Matt Pita - 2016
RF - Daniel Cabrera - 2017
Utility - Brady Policelli - 2014
Utility - Hayden Cantrelle - 2017
DH - Nick Egli - 2016
Gaithersburg Head Coach Jeff Rabberman, in conjunction with his current and former assistant coaches and General Manager Alfie Riley, selected the Five-Year Anniversary Team. The roster consists of eight pitchers and eleven position players. Some played with the Giants for more than one season. Some members, including pitcher Nick Pantos, currently play for the 2018 Gaithersburg Giants. Three members of the Five-Year AnniversaryTeam went pro after playing for the Giants (2013 LF Collin Shaw, 2014 Utility Brady Policelli, and 2016 CF Matt Pita).
Jesse Frawley (LHP, Central Connecticut State University) – 2013
Now the pitching coach for the Gaithersburg Giants, Frawley has dedicated much of his life over the past half-decade to helping the Giants succeed. In the Giants first CRCBL season in 2013, Frawley shined on the mound, earning a spot in the All-Star Game after posting a 2.14 earned run average in eight appearances (seven starts). Frawley’s ERA ranked seventh-best in the CRCBL among qualified pitchers. His 4-0 campaign included a complete-game shutout of the Rockville Express, in which Frawley surrendered just two hits to lead the Giants to a 1-0 victory. Frawley would go on to play two seasons for the Giants, posting a career 1.73 ERA and a career record of 6-0.
In five seasons with Central Connecticut State University, Frawley posted a 5.20 ERA in 36 games (16 starts). In his junior season (2013), Frawley led the Blue Devils in ERA (1.83).
When told about his Five-Year Anniversary Team Selection, Frawley nearly jumped out of his shoes. “It’s an incredible honor. Going back to it, it was one of my favorite moments of all time to pitch down here, to come down here and play.”
Robin Mowatt (RHP, Catholic University of America) – 2013
Mowatt joins Frawley as the second member of the 2013 Gaithersburg pitching staff to make the Five-Year Anniversary Team. In 11 games (six starts) for the 2013 Giants, Mowatt went 5-1 with a 1.00 ERA, the third best earned run average in the CRCBL. Mowatt also earned a spot on the 2013 North Division All-Star Team.
Mowatt’s unbelievable summer earned him numerous awards in addition to the All-Star selection. Mowatt earned the Pitcher of the Week award for Week 1 after throwing nine innings in two games, allowing no runs on just four hits. At the end of the season, the CRCBL named Mowatt to the All-League First Team.
As a senior for the Catholic University of America in 2013, Mowatt led the Cardinals with a 7-3 record in 15 appearances (13 starts). Mowatt posted a 3.14 ERA in 77.1 innings pitched. Mowatt served as Captain of the Cardinals for three of his four varsity seasons at Catholic.
Nick Riley (RHP, Mount St. Mary’s University) – 2013
The final member of the 2013 pitching staff to receive Five-Year Anniversary Team recognition, Riley starred out of the bullpen. In 14 games for the Giants, Riley posted a 4-1 record with a 1.57 ERA and two saves. Riley proved he had lights-out stuff, as he struck out 31 batters in 28.2 innings pitched, a scorching K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) ratio. Riley only allowed a run in three of his 14 pitching appearances.
Riley’s swing-and-miss stuff made him the third Giants pitcher to achieve All-Star status for the 2013 summer.
In 77 appearances over four varsity seasons for Mount St. Mary’s University, Riley recorded 14 saves and a career 5.81 ERA. Riley struck out 97 batters over his career at The Mount.
Brandon Estrain (LHP, University of North Carolina, Pembroke) – 2014
Though Estrain pitched two seasons (2013 and 2014) for the Giants, his stellar 2014 campaign puts him on this list. Estrain dominated out of the bullpen, posting a mesmerizing 0.78 ERA in 15 appearances (23 innings) for Gaithersburg. Estrain also recorded three saves on the season to go along with a 4-0 record.
A snub for the All-Star Game, Estrain earned Second Team All-League honors after tying for second in the league in wins. Estrain’s ERA would have put him atop the league in that category as well, but he did not log enough innings out of the bullpen to qualify for the leaderboard.
In his best stretch of the season, Estrain went seven straight appearances (11.1 innings) without surrendering a run. During that stretch, which lasted from June 27 to July 24, Estrain only allowed one hit.
At the University of North Carolina, Pembroke, Estrain pitched four years for the Braves. In his best season – his 2014 junior campaign – Estrain recorded a 3.77 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched, while also making the PBC Presidential Honor Roll.
Taylor Bloom (RHP, University of Maryland College Park) – 2015
Another two-year member of the Giants, Bloom had a decent 2014 summer season before breaking out in 2015. In 30.2 innings pitched for the 2015 Giants, Bloom went 3-0 with a 1.76 ERA. Bloom’s 38 strikeouts tied him for fourth-most in the CRCBL that summer and helped earn him a spot on the North Division All-Star Team.
Bloom was named the CRCBL Pitcher of the Week for Week 2 of the 2015 season. That award came after Bloom went eight innings and struck out 16 batters to earn the win against the Alexandria Aces. At the end of the summer, the CRCBL named Bloom to the Second Team All-League as a starting pitcher.
At the University of Maryland College Park, Bloom has excelled as a regular starter in the Terrapin’s weekend rotation. In 2016, Bloom was named to the Third Team All-Big Ten. He also made the Los Angeles Regional All-Tournament Team in 2015. Bloom made 31 starts over his junior and sophomore seasons for Maryland, proving to be an integral part of their rotation. The former Giant just finished his senior year with the Terps.
Matt Chanin (RHP, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) – 2016
Chanin’s 2016 campaign could go down in the record books as one of the best seasons by a Giants pitcher ever. A North Division All Star and 1st Team All-League honoree, Chanin was one of the best pitchers in the entire Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. Chanin finished tied with Baltimore Redbirds’ Pitcher Hunter Parsons for the most wins (6) in the league, posting a 6-0 record after starting six games for the Giants. In 46 innings, Chanin struck out 30 and allowed just 42 hits. His 1.76 ERA put him in fourth among all qualified CRCBL pitchers in that category.
The righty out of UMBC was also named the CRCBL Pitcher of the Week for the last week of the regular season. In his last two games of the 2016 season, Chanin earned wins against the Silver Spring-Takoma T-Bolts and the Rockville Express, respectively, pitching a combined 11 innings of one-run ball.
The Olney, MD native played four seasons at UMBC, highlighted by a junior campaign in which Chanin led the team with three complete games. Chanin also earned the America East Rookie of the Year award in 2015 after posting a 1.96 ERA in 11 starts as a freshman for the Retrievers.
Nick Pantos (RHP, Old Dominion University) – 2017
If you are at all familiar with the Gaithersburg Giants, you have probably heard of Nick Pantos. Now in his third year with the Giants, Pantos has become something of a mini-legend, his fame continuing to grow as he strikes out batters at a blistering pace. Yet, despite his incredible start to this year, Pantos earns a spot on the Five-Year Anniversary Team for last year’s effort.
A 2nd Team All-League honoree and North Division All Star, Pantos dominated to a tune of a 1.52 ERA in 23.2 innings out of the bullpen (he has since transitioned to become the ace of the Giants’ starting rotation). Though he did not pitch enough innings to qualify for the leaderboard, Pantos’ stellar ERA would have put him in fifth among all CRCBL pitchers.
Pantos also pitched for the Cal Ripken Showcase team, a team comprised of some of the best players in the league that travelled down to Florida in June 2017 to compete in front of professional scouts.
After a lights-out season at Frederick Community College – he struck out 90 batters in just 67 innings, compiling a 2.96 ERA in 12 starts – Pantos will play for Old Dominion University next spring.
David Hutchison (LHP, Millersville University) – 2017
If Nick Riley, Jesse Frawley, and Robin Mowatt made up the Three Musketeers of the 2013 Gaithersburg Giants, Nick Pantos and David Hutchison teamed up to become the Bash Brothers for the 2017 team.
Hutchison, another 2nd Team All-League honoree and North Division All Star, finished tied for third in the league in wins (four) and sixth in the league in ERA (2.02) after appearing in nine games (five starts) for the 2017 Giants. Hutchison did not record a loss in five starts for the Giants, becoming the team’s de facto ace.
After playing his freshman year at the University of Albany, Hutchison transferred this year to Millersville University but missed the season with an injury.
Hutchison and Pantos combined to go 7-1 for the Giants in 2017, staking their places in history as some of the best to ever grace the mound at Criswell Automotive Field.
The Position Players
Trey Martinez - C (Towson University) – 2016
A good pitching staff is not complete without a solid backstop behind the plate. In 2016, Trey Martinez played more than just the “solid backstop” role. Martinez, by some measures, played the “Team MVP” role.
In 24 games for Gaithersburg that summer, Martinez led the team with a .347 batting average. One of the best catchers in the league, Martinez earned 2nd Team All-League honors and was named a North Division All Star. Martinez also ranked third on the team in OPS (On-Base plus Slugging Percentage), behind fellow All-Team members Peyton Isaacson and Matt Pita.
Now a senior at Towson University, Martinez has played for the Giants each summer since 2015. Martinez has started regularly for the Tigers in his three years with the program, playing at least 37 games each year.
Peyton Isaacson - 1B (Saint Leo University) – 2016
Another candidate for MVP of the Giants’ 2016 season, Isaacson exemplified the term “pure hitter.” Isaacson did not join the Giants until early July due to Coastal Carolina’s National Championship run, limiting him to 14 games with the team.
Yet, in those 14 games, Isaacson raked. The first baseman led the team with a whopping 1.119 OPS (.712 slugging percentage and .407 on-base percentage). Isaacson hit .327 to finish second on the team in batting average (behind Martinez). Perhaps most impressive, more than half of his hits (9/17) went for extra bases, including five home runs. Had Isaacson been available to play the full season, he could very well have earned some of the most prestigious CRCBL awards.
After transferring from Coastal Carolina following his sophomore season, Isaacson continued to crush the ball at Saint Leo University as a junior this spring. In 48 games for the Lions, Isaacson hit .346 with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs. His batting average and RBI total led the team. Isaacson also tied a school record on the mound with 14 saves.
Rawlings and the American Baseball Coaches Association recently named Isaacson to their All-South Region Second Team. Isaacson was also named to the Second Team All-Conference in the Sunshine State Conference.
Josh Ingham - 2B (Central Connecticut State University) – 2013
Our double-play combo starts on the right side, with a player who exemplified consistency and durability in all phases of the game. In 36 games for Gaithersburg in 2013, Josh Ingham hit .339 to lead the team in batting average. Ingham also led the team in OPS and slugging percentage.
League-wide, Ingham finished third in batting average, helping him earn 1st Team All-League honors.
Ingham starred on the mound, too. Pitching in nine games for Gaithersburg, Ingham did not allow a run in 14.2 innings of work. In those nine outings, Ingham collected four saves.
That year at Central Connecticut State University, Ingham was named to the All-Northeast Conference Second Team after recording 23 RBIs and 19 runs at the plate and leading the Blue Devils in saves (8) on the mound.
Ingham finished a career .300 hitter at CCSU in addition to recording 23 saves with the program.
Patrick Causa - SS (Mount St. Mary’s University) – 2017
The captain of the infield, Causa certainly lived up to his title in 27 games with the Giants last summer. After playing 33 games with Gaithersburg in 2016, Causa took on a leadership role with the team last summer, hitting .283 to become one of the more reliable bats in the Giants’ lineup.
Causa’s production at the plate expanded beyond his ability to get hits. The shortstop was an on-base machine, posting 17 walks en route to a .391 on-base percentage, fifth best on the team. His excellent season earned him a CRCBL All-League Honorable Mention.
At Mount St. Mary’s University, Causa has become an integral part of The Mount’s everyday lineup. In three seasons with the program, Causa has a career .277 average. In 54 games this season, Causa hit .316 with 47 RBIs and 34 runs scored, earning All-Northeast Conference Second Team honors. Causa led the Mountaineers in batting average, on-base percentage, RBIs, and walks, cementing his status as the best hitter in their lineup.
Christian Torres - 3B (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) – 2017
Rounding out the infield, number one, Christian Torres. Torres, a 2017 North Division All Star and CRCBL 2nd Team All-League honoree at third base, locked down the hot corner all summer long for Gaithersburg.
In 32 games, Torres hit .291 with 18 RBIs. Torres scored the second-most runs on the team with 20, just two behind fellow All-Time Team member Daniel Cabrera. In a particularly memorable game, Torres finished a triple shy of the cycle in a 16-4 win over the Baltimore Dodgers. Torres went 3-3 with 2 RBIs and a run scored to lead the Gaithersburg attack.
In two years with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Torres has hit .279 as a regular starter for the Retrievers. During his freshman season, Torres won back-to-back America East Freshman of the Week awards after hitting .444 over the two-week period. His hot streak continued the rest of the season, earning him America East All-Conference 2nd Team, America East All-Rookie Team, Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, and ABCA/Rawlings All-East Region 2nd Team honors. Perhaps most prestigious, America East named Torres the Rookie of the Year.
Collin Shaw - LF (University of Texas at Austin) – 2013
Anchoring the outfield for the inaugural team and locking down the left field corner for our Five-Year Anniversary Team, Collin Shaw provides perhaps the most reliability of any player on this list. Playing in 43 of 44 games for the 2013 Giants, Shaw led the team in at-bats (154), hits (46), and runs scored (24). He finished second on the team in batting average (.299) and on-base percentage (.388). Like many others on this list, Shaw earned a trip to the CRCBL All-Star Game. His offensive consistency and standout defensive skills also earned him 1st Team All-League honors, joining Josh Ingham and Robin Mowatt as the three Giants named to the team.
At the University of Texas at Austin, Shaw played four years for the Longhorns, earning a reputation as a premier defensive outfielder. As a senior in 2015, Shaw even made SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays with a diving catch in foul territory against the University of Texas San Antonio that came in at number two on the list.
While he went undrafted in the 2015 MLB Draft, Shaw signed with the Rockford Aviators of the independent Frontier League, becoming one of the first former Giants to play professional baseball. That summer, Shaw hit .212 in 33 games for Rockford.
Matt Pita - CF (VMI) – 2016
How do you profile a player who has received so much praise you could write a book about him? Matt Pita, a new member of the New York Yankees’ farm system, has all the tools of a star player in addition to being one of the greatest people to ever play at Criswell Automotive Field. He has the speed (13 stolen bases in 2016), the ability to hit for average (.299, third-best on the team), the power (8 home runs, most in the entire CRCBL), the throwing skills (8 outfield assists, most on the team), and fielding skills (.978 fielding percentage, best among all the outfielders that played at least 20 games for the 2016 Giants).
Yet, Pita’s lore goes beyond those statistical numbers. “He’s one of my favorite kids that I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching,” said Coach Rabberman shortly after the Yankees made Pita their 12th round draft pick in this year’s MLB draft. Teammates, coaches, fans, and Giants’ staff alike have all echoed these sentiments, labeling Pita “a great kid” and one of the nicest and hardest working players they have ever met.
After starring at the Virginia Military Institute (he finished in the top five in the Southern Conference in five different statistical categories this season as a junior), Pita looks ready to take the next step in his baseball career. “It’s always been of dream of mine to play for the Yankees.”
Daniel Cabrera - RF (LSU) – 2017
Talk about a guy whose career seems ready to take off! Cabrera shined last summer with Gaithersburg before making some more noise as a freshman at LSU this spring.
A 1st Team All-League selection and North Division All Star, Cabrera led the Giants in hits (42) to the tune of a .339 batting average, seventh-best in the CRCBL. Baseball America voted Cabrera the No. 2 pro prospect in the Cal Ripken League and the No. 82 overall prospect in the 2017 MLB Draft. Though the San Diego Padres drafted him in the 26th round of the 2017 Draft, Cabrera declined, choosing to keep his commitment and play for the LSU Tigers this year.
The Tigers could not be happier Cabrera declined the Padres. In 63 games for LSU this year, Cabrera hit .315 – second-best on the team – and drove in a team-high 54 RBIs. The Louisiana Sportswriters Association named Cabrera the 2018 Louisiana Freshman of the Year. He also earned three different Freshman All-America awards (Rawlings, Collegiate Baseball Magazine, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association).
After his stellar season, Cabrera opted to play summer ball for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League.
Brady Policelli - Utility (Towson University) – 2014
While most players on this list earned their spot from their time playing for the Giants, Policelli may have earned his as much for his time with the Giants as for his time after.
With the Giants in 2014, Policelli posted a solid .268 batting average and led the team in runs scored (24). Policelli also created the second most runs on the team, with 13.774. The CRCBL gave Policelli an All-League Honorable Mention.
Yet, Policelli received little fanfare or recognition until after his junior year (2016) at Towson, when he hit a team-best .375 while also leading the Tigers with nine home runs and 45 RBIs. That June, the Detroit Tigers drafted Policelli in the 13th round of the MLB Draft, making the catcher/infielder the highest player drafted out of Towson since 2000.
In three seasons and across four levels of Minor League ball, Policelli has hit .231 with 19 RBIs. Currently, Policelli plays for the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League, where he has a .256 batting average with 15 RBIs and 13 runs scored over 41 games (the most he has played for a single minor league franchise to date).
Hayden Cantrelle - Utility (University of Louisiana Lafayette) – 2017
Every quality team has a speedster. On this team, Hayden Cantrelle plays that role. Cantrelle made a name for himself last summer with the Giants by showcasing his lightning quick feet on the base paths and in the field. In 23 games, Cantrelle co-led the Giants with 11 stolen bases. He also tied for the lead in triples (two), while finishing second to Daniel Cabrera in batting average (.308) and runs scored (20).
A North Division All Star and 2nd Team All-League honoree, Cantrelle traveled down to Florida with P Nick Pantos as part of the Cal Ripken Showcase team. Last summer, the New York Yankees selected Cantrelle with the 1,202nd overall pick (40th Round) in the MLB Draft. Cantrelle, however, decided to keep his college commitment and play for the Ragin’ Cajuns of the University of Louisiana Lafayette.
As a freshman at ULL, Cantrelle hit .287 in 59 games, the third-highest average on the team. Cantrelle finished second on the team in stolen bases (18) and runs scored (46), while leading the team in walks (40, almost double the second-place player). Cantrelle opted to play for the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod League this summer.
Nick Egli - DH (Belmont University) – 2016
Today’s game values home runs more than any other time in history. Fitting, then, that the last member of our All-Time squad loves to mash. A 2016 2nd Team All-League honoree and North Division All Star, Nick Egli is best remembered for his towering shots flying over the wall.
In his summer with Gaithersburg, Egli tied for the team and league lead in home runs with eight (Matt Pita’s eight-homer season made the two the Giants’ own Mickey Mantle/Roger Maris “M&M Boys” duo). At the All-Star Game, Egli won the home run derby, delighting fans with his sweet stroke and mammoth homers.
In four seasons at Belmont, Egli hit .288 with 34 home runs. His college career peaked his senior year, when Egli hit .353 with 18 home runs and 54 RBIs en route to an Ohio Valley Conference All-Conference selection. Egli finished among the top players in the NCAA in nine different statistical categories. That June, Egli was named the winner of the 2017 Gregg Olson Award, given to the National Breakout Player of the Year in all of college baseball.
There you have it, folks, the Gaithersburg Giants Five-Year Anniversary Team. Whether they showcased power pitching or power hitting, consistency on the mound or at the plate, these 19 players earned their spots on the squad. Who will be next to stake their spot among the Gaithersburg greats? Stay tuned.