by James Middleton | West Chester University
As the 2022 Cape Cod Baseball League regular season comes to a close, the Ketts are getting a final round of offensive and defensive help for their playoff push. The Ketts will add Enrique Bradfield Jr. (Vanderbilt), Ryan Bruno (Stanford), and Sam Ruta (Army) to the roster for the final weeks of the season.
Before starting his baseball career at Vanderbilt, Bradfield played high school ball at American Heritage High School in Florida. Bradfield was the nation’s 13th ranked outfielder by Perfect Game and was Florida’s fourth-best outfielder and 11th rated prospect. In a shortened senior season, Bradfield in just 8 games had a .397 batting average, one home run, 10 RBI’s, and five stolen bases for Heritage.
The center fielder went on to have a monstrous freshman season for Vanderbilt. In 67 games, the lefty hit for a .336 AVG, .451 OBP, and a .865 OPS. He also stole 47 bases while only getting caught stealing 6 times during his freshman campaign. The center fielder capped off the season by winning the SEC freshman of the year award, a first team all-SEC nod, and a selection to the all-SEC defensive team. He was a consensus all-American, which included first team honors from the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). Vanderbilt ended up finishing their season in Omaha, the pinnacle of college baseball. Unfortunately, Vanderbilt came up short and lost in the finals to SEC foe Mississippi State.
The Florida native returned to Nashville for his sophomore season. Bradfield played in 62 games this season and once again had astounding numbers. He hit for a .317 AVG, .415 OBP and .913 OPS. While the average and on-base percentage saw decreases, his OPS shot up from his freshman season. Bradfield was also a nightmare for opposing teams on the base paths this year. The offensive catalyst stole 46 bases and was not caught once. He was once again selected for the all-SEC first team and all-defensive team. The center fielder was also a Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist this past season, which the Dick Howser Trophy is given to college baseball’s top player.
The Ketts will also add the left-handed pitcher out of Stanford Ryan Bruno. Just like Bradfield, Bruno also went to American Heritage for high school. According to Perfect Game, the Wellington, Florida native was the 37th best overall player, third-best left-handed pitcher, and the top left-hander in Florida coming out of high school. While at Heritage he helped lead the team to two state final four appearances, finishing as a runner-up in one of those appearances.
During his freshman campaign the left-hander appeared in 6 games, starting one of them. During this season he was able to limit opponents to a .154 AVG. In his sophomore season he appeared in 30 games for the Cardinals and finished with a record of 6-1. The pitcher boasted a 2.72 ERA and struck out 71 batters this past season.
Sam Ruta, the Army third baseman, is one of the latest pieces added to the roster. The Yardley, Pennsylvania native played his high school baseball at Pennsbury high school. During high school he was a three year varsity player, with Covid taking away his senior season.
As a freshman, Ruta played in 50 games, making 46 starts for Army. He put together a season where he hit for a .278 AVG, .376 OBP and a .809 OPS. This season was able to earn him a collegiate baseball’s freshman All-American nod, the Patriot League rookie of the year award, and a selection to the All-Patriot League first team. He also led the Patriot League with 40 RBIs and was third in the conference in home runs with 5.
Returning to West Point for his sophomore season he played in 52 games, making 51 starts. The third baseman put together a strong season for Army. This past season he had a .390 AVG, .493 OBP, and 1.119 OPS. Once again he was selected to the Patriot League’s first team as a third baseman and was the Patriot League’s tournament MVP. The lefty was also selected to the American Baseball College Association’s (ABCA) first team All-Northeast region. His average on the season was good for the 25th best average in the nation, along with his on-base percentage being 21st best in the nation. Ruta finished off the season with a 16 game streak of reaching base safely. Army finished off their season with a NCAA regional appearance. They were selected to be in the Hattiesburg regional (Southern Mississippi) where their season came to a close.
The Ketts will be able to use all of these players to try and extend their season and make a deep playoff run. As we have learned throughout this season and previous seasons, Coach Mike Roberts loves to play small ball and loves to steal bases. Bradfield should be able to fit right into Roberts’ system given the fact that he has stolen a whopping 93 bases in his career at Vanderbilt. Bruno will look to keep hitters at bay during his time on the mound. Ruta will look to pick up right where he left off and continue his dominance from this past season at Army.