Prospect League: 3 Teams Leading Their Divisions and Showcasing Their Leaders
The Prospect League is twelve games away from finalizing its 2010 summer season. Each of its three divisions is engaged in tense struggles to capture the top spots. After a first half completely dominated by the Chillicothe Paints, the new second half is looking a lot livelier. The Terre Haute Rex has pulled in 12 wins and is not allowing the Paints to simply walk away this summer as the leagues undisputed and unmatched powerhouse club. The Richmond Sliders won their division in the first half and quietly have the 2nd best overall record in the league. The three divisions in the Prospect League are shaping up in the following manner:
Central Division: The Terre Haute Rex has a 3 game lead on the 2nd place Nashville Outlaws. Both teams are 7-3 in their last 10 games, and so far each team’s offense as a whole seems to be rather even:
The Rex: .269/..371/.360, 226R, 412H, 66 2B, 14 3B, 15HR, 183RBI, 206BB, 43SB
Outlaws: .265/.379/.361, 234R, 364H, 62 2B, 11 3B, 16HR, 202RBI, 208BB, 43SB
- The Rex has two guys that have been getting on base regularly and scoring runs. AlexGuthrie is hitting .325 and has scored 26 runs. Playing either of the corner positions, Guthrie hits either in the 4th, 5th, or 6th slots. Last year at Loyola Marymount Guthrie hit 6 homeruns, and at 6’1/200lbs, people are expecting him to muster more power as time proceeds. But for now, Guthrie is simply leading the team with 55 hits; he’s hit 2 homeruns, and also leads the team with 25 RBI’s. Kyle Burnam has been producing his share of fire from the leadoff spot. He’s hitting .306 with 52 hits, 25 runs, and 3 triples. On a six game hitting streak where Burnam has had 3 multi hit games, his brand of baseball has helped the Rex win 5 out of 6. It’s obvious the kid can play. Last season at Indiana State, Burnam hit .340 and led that team with an on base percentage of .427. Another crucial part of the puzzle on the Rex roster is Nolan Earley. Leading the team with 30 runs, his .306 batting average, and 20 RBI’s are exactly what the team needs. The centerfielder hits mostly in the 3 rd spot in the lineup and has great gap power as he leads the Rex with 13 doubles. Recently, Earley went on a 5 game tear where he had 4 multi hit games and drove in 6 runs. Jase Morgan is the big 6’3/230 first baseman/Designated Hitter that is leading the team in both on base percentage (.427) and slugging (.463). His 3 homeruns and 23 RBI’s have helped power the Rex all summer. Behind the plate, the Rex counts on a sturdy Alex DeLeon. He leads the team with 4 homeruns and a respectable 20 RBI’s. On July 16th, DeLeon exploded against the DuPage Dragons and went 2 for 4, scored twice, on two solo homeruns.
The Rex: 3.57, 26-19, 356H, 197BB, 268K, .232 AVG
Outlaws: 3.65, 22-20, 347H, 166BB, 306K, .246 AVG
- The Rex has two solid starters on their rotation. Clayton Hicks leads the team with 6 wins, and in his 56.1 innings of work, opposing hitters have only hit .198 against him. An ERA of 2.72 makes Hicks an ace on the staff, and even though he’s not a strikeout machine (37), his 14 walks keeps runners off the bases and his game is always under control. His last game against the Richmond River Rats on July 24th was his best outing of the summer up to this point. Hicks went 8.2 innings, giving up 6 hits, and only 1 earned run. The beauty was in the fact that Hicks didn’t walk a soul. Alex Sachs lead the team with 63 innings pitched, and his 39 strikeouts are also the teams highest. Sachs has given up 55 hits this summer, but his 5-0 record and 2.86 ERA are still brighter than the Moon on a clear night sky. Sachs has reached the 8th inning 4 times this summer, on his best outing of the summer so far, he went 8 innings, on 7 hits, no runs, struck out 6, and gave up 1 walk.
Eastern Division: The Chillicothe Paints are the strongest team in the league. Overall they lead the entire league with 31 wins, and in the Eastern Division they currently hold an overall 7 game lead over the West Virginia Miners.
The Paints:.277/.387/.423, 295R, 92 2B, 26 3B, 25HR, 244RBI, 226BB, 87SB
The Miners: .267/.356/.353, 258R, 55 2B, 15 3B, 14HR, 205RBI, 169BB, 66SB
- The Paints are doubtlessly being led by outfielder Jeff Holm. Holm leads his team in every category. He’s hitting .354, he’s ravaged the base paths with 31 stolen bases, and his power is a category 5 hurricane with 8 homeruns and 49 RBI’s. Holm should be considered a top player in the entire national summer league scene, he has 58 hits, scored 45 runs, and his on base percentage is .472 while his slugging is a monstrous .616. Early in the summer Holm was out of control. He had a 5 hit game, a pair of 2 hit games, a 3 hit game, and a 4 hit game all within a span of one week. Since then, Holm has sort of settled into a consistent groove and in his last 10 games he’s had 11 hits, 7 RBI’s, and scored 8 runs. Looking at Holm’s numbers you would think he could be hitting cleanup, but the actual cleanup hitter for the Paints is shortstop Greg Van Horn. Van Horn’s been hitting the ball incredibly for the Paints this summer, a .328 batting average, 10 doubles, 5 triples, 2 homers, and 23 RBI’s have come from hitting right after Holm. Imagine what Van Horn’s numbers would be like if Holm was not eating up all the RBI’s one step ahead of him. Last week Van Horn had a 3 for 4 showing, and went 3 for 3 in another game. The Paints also feature a couple of solid hitters that hitting above .300. Torsten Boss is the teams’ leadoff hitting second baseman. Boss excels in 3 categories that every leadoff hitter should show prowess in. His on base percentage is .431, he’s scored 41 runs (2nd on the team behind Jeff Holm), and he leads the team with 35 walks. Batting in the 6th slot and alternating between leftfield and the teams DH, Adam Gecewich provides a solid bat. Gecewich is hitting .301/.437/.438. Another great source of run production for the Paints is Ian Nielson. Nielson is only hitting .248, but his 6 homeruns and 34 RBI’s are like an oxygen mask to an asthma patient. The 6’3/210 first baseman is hitting 6 th in the lineup, and is carving a chunk of the turkey for the Paints this summer.
The Paints: 3.72, 31-13, 379H, 173BB, 279K, .249 AVG
The Miners: 4.29, 24-20, 404H, 203BB, 311K, .267 AVG
- The Paints are led by Andrew Richardson on the mound. Richardson leads the team with 49.1 innings of work, a record of 5-1, and with an ERA of 2.74. He’s not a power pitcher, with only 27 strikeouts he relies on his defense to coral the ball at every turn. Opposing hitters are getting wood on the bat against him with a batting average of .268. Still, Richardson finds a way to survive. On June 25th Richardson pitched a complete game where he allowed 1 earned run on 6 hits. Nothing fancy, only 1 strikeout, but he controlled the game by giving up only 2 walks. Richardson normally is good for 6 to 7 solid word for the Paints. In relief, Kyle Lindquist is a sure handed right hander that is currently the insurance card of the team. A total of 31 games in which he’s accumulated 31 precious innings, Lindquist have a 0.58 ERA, 26 strikeouts, a 3-1 record, and 8 saves. It’s not just keeping the runs down; it’s also about keeping the pesky hits down. Opposing hitters are only hitting .135 against him, and with only 8 walks to his name, Lindquist is difficult to go up against. The most he’s ever pitched in one game was back on the 1st of July when he went for 4 innings. He took the loss despite allowing 3 hits, and only 1 run. In his latest game on July 25th, Lindquist pitched 3 innings. This time he registered the victory by only giving a single hit and no runs.
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Western Division: The Springfield Sliders are the overall leaders of the Western Division. They hold only a 2 game lead on the Quincy Gems and were the 1st half winners of the division.
The Sliders: .250/.332/.344, 348H, 188R, 64 2B, 17 3B, 11HR, 137RBI, 146BB, 71SB
The Gems: .280/.391/.429, 371H, 242R, 58 2B, 11 3B, 19HR, 197RBI, 181BB, 96SB
- The Sliders feature the league leader in hitting Nick Judkins. He’s currently hitting .374, the shortstop hits anywhere from 3rd to 5th in the lineup, and his on base percentage (.437) has consistently put him in a position to score runs. Judkins has scored 20 runs and stolen 8 bases, his 2 homeruns and 25 RBI indicate that he does have some interesting abilities with the even the wood bat. Last year at Iowa Central, Judkins led his team with a .475 batting average, 12 homeruns, 84 RBI’s, 22 stolen bases, an on base percentage of .549 and slugged for .785. Everything translates into the fact that Judkins can hit. He’s on a 6 game hitting streak that includes 3 multi hit showings. Early in the summer on June 19th against the Hannibal Cavemen, Judkins had his best game so far. He went 5 for 6; he scored 2 runs, hit a homerun, and drove in 5 runners. His partners in run producing are Bryce Redeker (3HR, 16RBI’s), Clay Cuno (2HR, 15 RBI’s), and Trevor Willis (4HR, 16RBI’s).
The Sliders: 3.51, 26-17, 322H, 175BB, 277K, .228 AVG
The Gems: 4.00, 25-17, 317H, 188BB, 311K, .236 AVG
- The Sliders real power comes from their excellent pitching staff. It’s not about one pitcher that stands out like a neon tube over the door of your favorite night club. It’s more like a room full of people being lit up by a hundred black lights. Chase Stevens, KendallMayer, and Corey Kimes all have an ERA under 3 points. Stevens leads the team with a record of 6-1, 1.50, 42 innings, and 48 strikeouts. He seems to oppress hitters more than a tyrant in a geo political war. Their only hitting .144 against him and he once pitched 10 full shutout frames for a victory where he struck out 14 on 2 hits. Mayer has appeared in 15 games only 1 coming as a starter. He leads the team with 6 saves, but in his first start of the season on July 22nd against the Dupage Dragons, Mayer went for 5 scoreless innings only scattering 5 hits and striking out 11. Kimes has really turned on the natural gas as starter in his 2 latest outings. He pitched a complete game 4 hit 1 run gem where he struck out 10, and before that on July 15th he went for 7 innings on 7 hits and only giving up 1 earned run. Kimes is now 3-1, after 31.2 innings with an ERA of 2.84.
By Adrian Nevarez
DFN Sports Staff Writer