Marlins’ third baseman Johnny Caputo is one of eight Coastal Plain All-Stars selected to compete in the 2014 CPL Home Run Derby, sponsored by the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, on July 13 in Morehead City.
Caputo leads the Marlins with four home runs as of July 9, which also puts him among the top five in the CPL in round-trippers. Two of Caputo’s home runs came in the same game—a grand slam and three-run home run on June 24.
“We are excited to see Johnny represent the Marlins in the Home Run Derby in front of the home-town fans,” said Marlins’ general manager Mitch Kluver. “I have watched him take batting practice, and he is going to put on quite a show.”
The other CPL East Derby contestants will be Orlando Olivera (Edenton), Taylor Ostrich (Peninsula) and Alex Close (Peninsula). The contestants for the West will be Hunter Bryant (Forest City), Austin Bossart (Asheboro), Chase Shelton (Columbia) and Alex Staton (Columbia).
Olivera has the most home runs among East participants with five, while Close enters with three home runs, and Ostrich with one. Bryant is tied for the CPL lead in home runs this season with six, while Bossart, Shelton and Staton have three apiece.
In the first round of the Home Run Derby, each contestant will be granted eight outs to attempt to hit as many home runs as possible. Anything that is swung on and not hit out of the park will be considered an out. The two hitters from each side with the most home runs will advance to the semi-final round. In that round, hitters will again have eight swings, and their home run totals will be added to those of the first round to determine the top two home run hitters from each league. Those two will compete in the final championship round, during which both hitters’ home run counts will reset, and the winner will be determined by whoever hits the most home runs in that round.
The Home Run Derby will take place on July 13 at Big Rock Stadium, with gates opening at 5 p.m. The Derby is sponsored by the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, in New Bern, N.C.
“When you hit the ball over the fence, running around the bases is as easy as flying out of the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport—close, convenient, connected,” Coastal Carolina Regional Airport Director Tom Braaten said.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. The CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 69 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum - Russell Wilson - won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at