Starting with the man who’s name is in the title, we look over to the New Britain Rock Cats, where a young first baseman has been raking. Kennys Vargas, 23, has had an impressive season which is looking even better now after a hot week in which he batted .371.
Vargas added 9 runs batted in on 4 extra base hits, while striking out and walking at 5 a piece. On the season, Vargas has complied 8 home runs, a .323 batting average, and 32 runs batted in. He’s shown a great balance of both hitting for contact and swinging for power. He falls 9th in the league in average, 11th in home runs, and 6th in runs batted in. Kennys has been an offensive powerhouse in the middle of the Rock Cat’s lineup, and he’ll look to carry that trend on through the summer.
Looking on the other side of the field, we find starting pitcher A.J. Cole who is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dark season for the Harrisburg Senators. In his only start of the week, Cole went 5.2 innings deep, giving up 0 earned runs while striking out 5. This is most of the same for Cole on the season, who has an ERA of 1.97 on a 4-2 record for the year.
Both players, Vargas and Cole, are leading teams who for the most part are having rather down seasons. Don’t believe me? Check out the full standings here:
Updated MVP Standings:
1: Mookie Betts, 2B, Portland Sea Dogs (.363 AVG, 6 HR, 30 RBI, .451 OBP, 1.020 OPS)
2: Christian Walker, 1B, Bowie BaySox (.330 AVG, 14 HR, 45 RBI, .390 OBP, .979 OPS)
3: Dariel Alvarez, RF, Bowie BaySox (.342 AVG, 9 HR, 42 RBI, .353 OBP, .920 OPS)
This may be hard to believe, but Mookie Betts is slowly starting to lose his unanimous hold on the lead MVP spot. He only leads the batting race by 6 points now, and his lengthy on-base streak has come to an end. That being said, he still has the most impressive stat line, but it is starting to decline. Alvarez and Walker both find their way on the rankings again, boasting impressive power with an equally impressive average. This far into the season, it’s more than likely that these three players will be hanging onto these spots for the long run, barring any huge changes.
Updated Pitcher of the Year Rankings:
1: A.J. Morris, Altoona Curve (5-0, 1.43 ERA, 26 K, 14 BB)
2: A.J. Cole, Harrisburg Senators (4-2, 1.97 ERA, 39 K, 9 BB)
3: Darin Gorski, Binghamton Mets (4-2, 2.22 ERA, 54 K, 12 BB)
No, you’re not reading that wrong, there are two A.J.s leading the charge. After an impressive past few weeks, A.J. Cole has jumped into the rankings, lead by his impressive 1.97 ERA. However, the other A.J. is still winning my vote. His perfect record and league leading ERA say it all, and he’s been a shining star for the struggling Curve.