It’s hard to believe, but the New York Penn League has six weeks left to it. Short season baseball can do that. It sneaks up on you and then it’s gone. The good news is, there is plenty of games left so get out and see a game before Labor Day arrives. The Lowell Spinners maintain the best record in the league and the biggest lead in any of the divisions to date. Meanwhile, the Wild Card race is loaded with teams. So here we go, the race to the finish line in the New York Penn League is on!
Fans of Boston College baseball will be happy to know that a member of this past spring team is playing in the league. Jake Alu, who had a very solid ACC campaign, is doing all right for himself with the Auburn Doubledays. In fifteen games, Jake is batting .375 (18-for-48. with four doubles, one triple, nine RBI, and eight runs scored). Auburn was in Lowell this past weekend and Alu was able to play in one of the games. Alu, who played third base this spring for the Eagles, is playing on the right side of the infield for Auburn at second base.
Three members of the Doubledays (14-16) ball club have put together some really good on-base streaks. Caldioli Sanfler has reached base in 16 straight games, a team season-high. He was also riding a nine-game hitting streak, but that was snapped last Friday night vs Connecticut. J.T. Arruda has reached base in 13 straight despite hitting only .246. However, his on-base percentage of .387 may be why the streak is growing. The third member is Albert Carrillo who’s streak is at seven. In the previous six games, Carrillo went 6-for-10, with four doubles, a HR, two walks, and three RBI. His six-game hitting streak came to an end on Monday night vs the Spinners.
Speaking of those Spinners (20-9), the twenty wins they now have in twenty-nine games is the fastest to that mark in team history. And their roster may be getting better if that’s possible. Cameron Cannon, the 43rd overall pick of the Red Sox, made his debut in Lowell on Monday night. He played a little with the GCL Red Sox going 1-for-9 with a single. In his first game as a Spinner, Cannon went 0-for-4, though he did hit a couple of balls hard. In the field, Cannon played shortstop and did make one fielding error in four total chances.
On the pitching side of things, the Spinners are being led by Yusniel Pardon-Artilles who is tied for the league lead in wins with four and leads in strikeouts with 41. That number is even better when you consider he has only walked seven hitters in 34 IP. Opposing batters are hitting only .208. Artillies has only allowed eight earned runs in those innings.
The leagues leading hitter is Milton Smith JR. of The Batavia Muckdogs, the surprise team so far in the league. Smith is hitting .402 and over his last ten games. He was hitting .385 (15-for-39) which includes a five-hit game vs State College on July 8th, with three runs scored. Smith JR. was a 22nd round pick by Miami. RHP Evan Brabrand, who is the closer for the Muckdogs, is tied for the lead with six saves. All six have come in his last ten appearances, 7.1 IP, 7 H, 11 SO, 4 BB, 1-0 record with a 1.29 ERA. Brabrand was a ninth-round pick. J.D. Orr is leading in runs scored with 22. Eight of those are in his last ten games. He scored four runs in a game at home vs Lowell on July 10. He also banged out three hits in that game. Orr also had seven steals in that ten game span. He was a tenth round selection.
Mahoning Valley has a couple of players at the top of the stats list. George Valera is at the top in HRs with six and in runs batted in with 22. However, he has only driven in five over his last ten games. Valera has interesting splits on the road as he is hitting .333 (16-for-48) and while at home he is hitting only .232 (13-for-56). Versus left-handed pitching, Valera is batting only .192 (5-for-26) and vs right-handed pitching .308 (24-for-78). In the closer role, Tim Herrin is tied with six saves for the top spot. The lefty has all six saves in his last ten games to go with 16 innings pitched, seven hits, zero runs allowed, 10 strikeouts, and two base on balls.
That’s this week look at the New York Penn League. We will be back next week with more.