Our #12 hitter, Gabriel Saade, is the League's 1st team All-League shortstop, plus Baseball America's #8 prospect in the league.
He began the summer in the Cape Cod League, playing for the Bourne Braves. When he was one of the last cuts of the summer for the Braves, his college coach found him another place to play- in Waynesboro, Virginia. Saade's arrival on June 30 had a domino effect on the Generals: Brandon Sizemore, who was covering shortstop, moved back to second base, his strongest position. This solidified the Generals up the middle, and as baseball lore says, teams that are solid at catcher, second, short, and center will be playing late into the playoffs.
Saade made a huge difference in the field, but his bat plays as well. He went 4-4 with 2 runs, 3 RBI, 2 stolen bases, and a triple in his first game in the Valley, and while he didn't continue to hit a thousand, he still hit very well the rest of the season. (It sure seems like every at-bat that I witnessed had Gabriel putting solid wood on the ball.)
The rising junior from Duke ended with 327/431/449 numbers in 98 at-bats, with a 15/24 BB/K ratio and a whopping 17 stolen bases in 24 games for the Generals.
As a freshman at Duke, Gabriel hit 269/354/456 in 182 at-bats, with 13 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and a 19/43 BB/K ratio. In his sophomore year, he hit 286/376/483 in 203 at-bats, with 13 doubles, 3 triples, 7 home runs, and a 28/55 BB/K ratio.
We'll end with what Jesse Burkhart from Baseball America wrote about Gabriel: "Saade is a defensive playmaker in the middle of the infield, showing exceptional range and good arm strength that plays well at shortstop. Although he still needs to polish his footwork, several coaches considered him one of the top defensive shortstops in the Valley. Saade was a consistent producer at the top of Waynesboro's order, hitting .327/.431/.449 while swiping 17 bases in 18 attempts. He has a chance to develop average power if he can shorten his swing and become less pull-conscious."