The news on the Futures Collegiate Baseball League continues to be positive. As we turn the calendar from July to August, this league is in position to do something that most did not think was possible. Play a season worth of baseball under a different set of guidelines. This league should get a lot of credit for hanging in there and not giving up on the summer when most did. It would have been easy to do so. But this league believed they had a window to play baseball, and so far that is exactly what they have done. With that said, here is what’s going on as the last week of July begins.
Two teams seem to be separating from the rest of the pack. In fact, they are the only two ball clubs above .500. The Worcester Bravehearts finds themselves on top of the standings for the second week in a row at 12-5. They have won three in a row and eight of their last ten ballgames. On offense, Worcester is being led by Daniel Torres who leads the team in batting average with a .368 mark. He has at least one hit in nine of his last ten games with four multi-hit games mixed in to go along with ten RBI. His thirteen total runs batted in also lead the team and his three long-balls have him tied for second in home runs. Torres is getting help from Ben Rice who is hitting a solid .286 with nine extra-base hits of which four have left the yard. He has struck out sixteen times in forty-nine plate appearances, which might be a little high. But Rice is being asked to drive the ball and from time to time that may lead to no contact. On the mound, this team is getting ace-like numbers from Cole Chudoba. In three starts, Cole has a 2-0 record with a 1.28 ERA. In fourteen innings on the hill, he has allowed only four hits while striking out nineteen. Cole throws strikes and forces hitters to put the ball in play having given up only two free passes in those 19 frames of work. He leads the team in wins with those two, is second in ERA, and third in punch outs.
The other team that is playing really well at the moment is the Nashua Silver Knights. When the season got started, it looked like it could be a long summer for the Silver Knights. But they have turn things around in a hurry having won seven of their last ten games to get to 11-8, two games back of Worcester for the top spot in the standings. At the plate, Nashua is being led by Dominic Keegan who has hits in nine of his last ten games to push his batting average to .364. That is third on the team and shows you just how well this team is raking at this time. He is tied for the team lead in home runs with five and does lead the team with 22 driven in. He has back-to-back four-hit games to his credit. First on July 19 vs North Shore. Then, the next night vs Worcester. In the team’s last ten games, putting up runs has not been a problem for Nashua as they have been averaging over five runs per game. On the hill, Griffin Young has been getting the key outs when needed for his team. Young is tied for the team lead in wins with two and has not allowed an earned run in nine and a third innings pitched. He has given up five hits and has twelve strikeouts. For Griffin, it has been the quality outs he has been asked to get. That’s because he has been asked to go more than two innings only once. When his number gets called, it’s to get a big out and so far he has delivered.
One of the advantages of playing in a league like this is the chance to be seen by big-league scouts. The Futures Leagues give their players that chance and then some. During the first week in August, the league will run three days worth of what is begin called “scout days”. The dates for these events are August 3rd in New Britain, CT., August 4th in Brockton, MA., and on August 5th in Nashua, NH. All three of these days will start at 1 PM. Scouts will get an opportunity to evaluate position players on things like the 60-yard dash, infield/outfield sessions, and, of course, batting practice. It’s a great opportunity for players to find out where they stand in the eyes of big-league scouts and for scouts to get an idea of what will be available in upcoming drafts.
Next week, more from the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.