We’re about a month into the Eastern League’s season, and Portland (BOS) is showing that it’s the clear front runner to be the best team in the league. I’m sorry if you’re getting sick of seeing Mookie Betts’ name in these reviews, because that won’t be changing anytime soon.
Betts is setting the pace for all major hitting categories, including average (.407) on base percentage (.471) and slugging (.689). Betts is on a torrid pace, and after a month, is showing no signs of slowing down. Portland as a team went 4-3 last week. While that may not be the best record, they still hold first place in the Eastern Division, and the Eastern League as a whole, with a 15-7 record.
Harrisburg (WAS) and New Britain (MIN) are still holding up the rear, both posting 6-16 records on the young season. Harrisburg is still left without the aid of Matt Skole, who continues a worrisome cold streak (.177 AVG) and pitcher Matt Purke, who is 0-4 with a 9.37 ERA. Both of those players have found any traction this season, and not much changed for the struggling duo, or the Senators, this past week.
Richmond (SF) finds themselves in first place in the Western Division, with a 14-10 record. Their big win of the week came against New Britain, a 7-5 victory. The Flying Squirrels were paced by third baseman Brandon Waring, who went 2-5 with a double and 3 RBIs. Waring, however, finds himself with a .172 average on the season.
Heading up to Trenton, we find the Thunder (NY) a half-game back of Portland, with a 16-9 record. Trenton amazingly has one player batting over .400 (Kyle Roller, .407). On the 25th versus Portland, Roller exploded, going 2-2, with two HRs and 2 walks to boot.
The Reading Fighting Phils (PHI) find themselves at a solid .500, 11-11, and lost a tough game against New Hampshire (TOR) this week. Reading lost 11-10, giving up 5 runs in the fourth, and 4 runs in the fifth. Kyle Simon took the loss in the bottom of the 12th, surrendering the game winning run.
Eastern League MVP Race:
It may be early, but it can’t hurt to start some MVP rankings:
1: Mookie Betts, POR: .422 AVG, .471 OBP, 4 HR, 13 RBI
2: Dariel Alvarez, BOW: .361 AVG, .370 OBP, 3 HR, 20 RBI
3: Garabez Rosa, REA: .373 AVG, .392 OBP, 2 HR, 20 RBI
Betts is simply leading the pack, and that may not change for the rest of the year. Alvarez and Rosa are both starting to put together impressive stat lines, but for now, there’s no catching Mookie.
Eastern League Pitcher of the Year Race:
1: Keith Couch, POR: 4-0, 2.48 ERA, 25 Ks, 1.17 WHIP
2: Tyler Wilson, BOW: 4-0, 2.76 ERA, 36 Ks, 1.19 WHIP
3: Aaron Sanchez, NH: 1-1, 2.10 ERA, 27 Ks, 1.30 WHIP
The POY race is a little tighter than that of the MVP, but these three are the clear favorites. There’s a solid group of elite pitchers in the Eastern League, and this will be a fast changing group. had this race started last week, there’s a good chance Portland’s Henry Owens would be in the #1 spot. For now Couch leads the way, but Wilson issecond in the league in strikeouts, and right behind Keith.
Mookie. Betts. That’s a name that every baseball fan in the country either already know, or will get to know very well soon. He’s on a scorching start to the season, and his Sea Dogs are right there with him. It’s been an exciting first month of baseball, filled with players batting .400, blowout wins, and plenty of rain delays. Let’s hope the next month can be just as good.