While there are plenty of players surging this year in the Eastern League (Mookie Betts, Niuman Romero), there’s plenty who’s play has been flat, specifically Yankees elite prospect and Trenton outfielder Mason Williams.
Williams, the former fourth round pick, is widely considered as one of the Yankee’s best prospects. His season in Trenton however, is not reflecting those statements. Mason comes into today’s action with a .193 batting average, only 1 home run and 8 runs batted in, and a woeful .554 OPS.
Mason was struggling mightily coming into this week, and he somehow found a way to make it worse. He went a combined 4-37 on the week, with only 1 extra base hit. He did manage to accumulate more walks than strikeouts (9-6) something he’s struggled with in the early stages of this year. Mason has been pretty consistent on how he struggles, batting .190 against lefties, and .194 against righties. Both Williams and the orgamnization are hoping that this is nothing more than an extended slump, because there’s some high expectations following the 22-year old kid from Florida.
On the inverse, Richmond shortstop Matt Duffy is quietly putting together an impressive season, including winning the Player of the Week award this past week. His season as a whole has him batting .320, with 22 runs batted in and 8 doubles. Duffy has been seeing the ball weel, and although he may not have a whole lot of power, he’s combining speed and solid contact to find his way to extra bases.
While his season has been impressive, it’s this past week that sticks out the most. Going 15-27 with 10 runs batted in earned Duffy the honors, and allowed his impressive start to continue.
Most Valuable Player Race:
1: Mookis Betts, 2B, Portland (.396 AVG, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 1.055 OPS)
2: Dariel Alvarez, RF, Bowie (.338 AVG, 6 HR, 30 RBI, .903 OPS)
3: Cam Perkins, OF, Reading (.341 AVG, 2 HR, 18 RBI, .892 OPS)
For the third week in a row, Mookie finds his way to the top of the leader boards. He leads the league in average (by about 40 points) and has had 18 extra base hits, so he’s not just a singles hitter. What was once a “hot start” is starting to become an astounding season. Alvarez stays in the rankings this week, with his league leading 30 RBIs and impressive average. Cam Perkins makes his reappearance, with a .341 average, batting his way into third place.
Pitcher of the Year Race:
1: AJ Morris, Altoona (1.80 ERA, 3-0, 19 Ks)
2: Zach Nuding, Trenton (2.43 ERA, 2-0, 28 Ks)
3: Keith Couch, Portland (3.03 ERA, 4-0, 33 Ks)
Keith Couch and Zach Nuding hang around in the rankings this week, but a new pitcher claims the top spot; AJ Morris. He leads the league in ERA, and has only allowed 17 hits on the season. Couch’s ERA is starting to rise, but he still continues to strike out at an impressive rate.
Not much has changed over the course of the year so far. Portland still hangs in first place, while Harrisburg sinks to the bottom. This week, we featured one player who’s had some serious struggles in Mason Williams, and another player in Matt Duffy who’s developing into an offensive force.