HAVERFORD, Pa. – Haverford rising junior shortstop Will Karp will play for the Fayetteville (N.C.) SwampDogs of the wood-bat collegiate Coastal Plains League (CPL) this summer, the organization announced last week. Karp will join the squad for the first part of the season, before departing for an internship with MLB Network in the latter months of summer.
Heading into its 23rd season in 2019, the CPL features 16 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,450 alumni drafted and 116 alums reach the majors – including 2017 American League Champion Series Most Valuable Player, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 American League MVP, and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander.
Karp will compete with players from all three NCAA divisions, NAIA and junior colleges throughout the nation. His teammates will include Centennial Conference Pitcher of the Year Jonathan Cole of Franklin & Marshall as well as players from Division I powerhouses such as Georgia Tech and Texas A&M. The season kicks off in earnest tonight with an exhibition game against Catawba Valley (7:05 p.m. ET). David Anderson, the pitching coach at Division III Emory University in Atlanta, will be at the helm of the SwampDogs this season.
This spring, Karp became the first Centennial Conference player to pick up the Gold Glove of the Year award twice since its inauguration in 2015. An honorable mention All-Conference selection a season ago, Karp added a breakout season offensively to his highlight-stuffed defensive resume as he hit recorded an impressive .403/.459/.545 slash line from the leadoff spot in Centennial Conference games this season. Proving to be a nearly unstoppable force on the basepaths, Karp paced the Centennial as he tallied 17 stolen bases in just 18 attempts against conference competition.
The Princeton, N.J. native led the Fords offensively in average (.377), on-base percentage (.448), slugging (.490), stolen bases (29), triples (3), and total bases (74). His 29 total steals tied for the fourth-most in the program's single-season history as he tied his 29 from just a season ago. Karp is already fourth in program history in career steals (73) through his three seasons on campus.
Karp has the rare distinction of picking up defensive honors for the second straight season at a new position, as the junior shifted over to shortstop for the 2019 campaign and picked up where he left off at second base, consistently making difficult plays seem routine while showing tremendous range and a strong arm.
Fans can follow the action via the SwampDogs website above, and are encouraged to follow @HCFords_BSB on Twitter for summer league updates.