The 2018 New York Penn League regular season is now in the books. There are four teams that are battling it out for the championship of the league. They are the defending champs from one year ago, the Hudson Valley Renegades taking on the Auburn Doubledays. The other two are the Tri-City Valleycatshost to host to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Good luck to this year’s playoff teams.
If there was an MVP award to hand out, Tyler Freeman of the Scrappers would be a leading candidate. His .352 batting average, 270 at-bats, 95 hits, and 35 extra-base hits lead the league. He is tied for the lead in runs scored with 49, his slugging percentage of .511 leads the NYPL, and he leads in lowest TPA/So Ratio 13.68. Looks like good things are ahead for Mr. Freeman.
The home run leader is Sean Reynolds of Batavia. His 17 bombs have him way ahead of his nearest rival. He finished the season as the only player in double-digits in home runs. Reynolds also leads the league in games played with 75, runs batted in with 52, and in intentional walks with four. That’s good news for fans of the Miami Marlins.
On the pitching side, Jaison Vilera, of the Brooklyn Cyclones could be one of the best on the mound in the league. He leads in strikeouts with 78, WHIP at .0.98, and in batting average at .191.
The comeback player may be Lowell Spinners starting Pitcher Yorvin Pantoja. One year ago, Pantoja ended his season winless in seven decisions. His earned run average, was very high at 5.45, and his WHIP was at 1.61.
This year was a complete turnaround with a 4-3 win-loss record, a 3.69 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.29. His record was put together over 63.1 innings.
A nice moment took place at LeLacheur Park on Labor Day afternoon. Relief Pitcher Danny Bethea was calling it a career after the ballgame vs the Connecticut Tigers. He would make one final trot in from the bullpen to pitch. He threw two-thirds of clean baseball before his manager Corey Wimberly came to the mound to remove him from the game. He received a nice round of applause from the home crowd. Danny is moving on to the coaching ranks at his alma mater St. John’s University. He was a 34th round pick back in 2013 draft by the Boston Red Sox. He was originally drafted as a catcher, reaching as high as Triple-A before being converted to a pitcher. We here at the notes column wish Bethea all be best in his new adventure.
That’s all for this year. So, look forward to an even better 2019 in the New York Penn League.