It’s that time of the early summer and the New York Penn League is back. Through the first six games, teams are starting to find out about each other and the rest of the league. Good baseball is ahead, so get out there an enjoy what this league has to offer in fun, family, and entertainment. No team has jumped out ahead of the rest of the league yet. Most teams are still putting their roster together, which to some extent is based on the first-year entry level draft that has just been completed. Rosters will be in a bit of a changing pattern until things settle down.
Through the first six games, the Lowell Spinners (4-2) lead the league in batting with a .270 team average. The top spot in this stat can be traced to some early numbers being put up by third baseman Nick Northcut. Through four games played, he is hitting .471 with seven runs batted in. He has five extra-base hit already in the young season and is averaging over an RBI per game. Northcut should get some help at the dish from recently drafted Wil Dalton. During his just completed college season at Florida, he put up some big-time power numbers for the Gators. His 19 home runs were 11th most in the country and his 60 RBI led his team. He got his first hit and run batted in on Wednesday night in his debut vs Brooklyn.
Attendance numbers have been very good so far in the circuit. Every team to this point is averaging over one thousand fans per home date. The most surprising is the Batavia Muckdogs. The past couple of seasons have been a tough sell at the gate for this team. This year, so far, it’s a different story. Through their first four home dates, the Muckdogs are averaging 1122 fans at home for a team that has gotten off to a (3-3) start. Leading the way is the Brooklyn Cyclones who are bringing in over fifty-five hundred per home game.
Speaking of those Cyclones, they are putting up some interesting stats to start the year. Their bullpen has been lights out so far having allowed only four earned runs in 21.1 innings pitched. That is good enough for a 1.61 ERA. They have been perfect in save chances as well going three for three. The pen has also not allowed a home run yet this season. The bad would be they lead the league in wild pitches thrown at ten.
Control has been an issue for some pitching staffs early on as teams try to get their feet on the ground in this league. There is a tie for the most walks allowed so far. Aberdeen (4-2) and Connecticut (2-4) are tied at 21 issues apiece. In the Tigers’ case, it could speak to their high ERA so far as it stands at 4.40. While in the Ironbirds case, so far it has not seemed to matter as their earned run average sits at 2.56.
On the offensive side of the game, hitting with runners in scoring position has been a bit of a hit or miss for some teams. Most are getting chances to cash in on this area. Tri-City (17) and Staten Island (21) are at the bottom of the league here which may be why both of these teams are right now under .500 ball clubs. Brooklyn is a bit of a surprise as they are a couple of games over .500. At (4-2), they have struggled, hitting just .273 (6-22). While that average is third in the league at the moment, the number of times is third from the bottom of the league.
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