Fort Wayne TinCaps (7-10) at West Michigan Whitecaps (9-8)
RHP Hansel Rodriguez (3.27) vs. LHP Gregory Soto (0.00)
Monday, April 24, 2017— Fifth Third Ballpark (Comstock Park, Mich.) — First Pitch 6:35 p.m. — Game 17
YESTERDAY: G.K. Young and Rod Boykin homered, but the TinCaps lost in walk-off fashion to the Great Lakes Loons, 5-4, as Luis Paz hit a 1-out solo homer in the bottom of the ninth. Will Headean turned in a quality start, allowing 3 earned runs in 6 innings.
HOMECOMING FOR SHECKLER: Reliever Ben Sheckler is back home. The 6-8 lefty is from Sparta, Mich., which is immediately to the north of Comstock Park. He says his family’s house is no more than a 15-minute drive from the ballpark. Sheckler grew up going to Whitecaps games. In fact, in 2015, Sheckler, who stayed home for college at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, attended a playoff game here between the TinCaps and Whitecaps. Although it’s unlikely he’ll pitch tonight, Sheckler expects to have at least 35 friends/family members in the crowd. A contingent from Cornerstone is coming, too.
POTTS PUTTING ON: In his first 7 games of the season, Hudson Potts was 3-for-28 (.107) with 2 RBIs, 0 extra-base hits, and 0 walks. Since, he’s on an 9-game hitting streak in which he’s 13-for-40 (.325) with a double, a triple, and a homer. He has 7 RBIs and 2 walks.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Jack Suwinski leads the MWL in walks (13)… Eguy Rosario is tied for 4th in doubles (5)… Rosario and Fernando Tatis Jr. are tied for 4th in stolen bases (5)… Tatisalso is tied for 9th in RBIs (11)… Brad Zunica is tied for 9th in walks (10)… Jerry Keel and Jesse Scholtens are tied for the 4th most strikeouts (22) among pitchers.
ADVANCED STATS: In the MWL, Rod Boykin is 7th in BB% (17%) and Jack Suwinski is 9th in BB% (16%) (Brad Zunica doesn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify, but among players with 30+ ABs
he’s 4th at 24%)… Speed Score (Spd) rates a player based on their speed and baserunning ability, calculating Stolen Base %, Frequency of Stolen Base Attempts, % of Triples, and Runs Scored % Reinaldo Ilarraza’s 8.5 Spd ranks 5th in the MWL (For context: 7.0 is considered “Excellent”)… Weighted Stolen Base Runs (wSB) estimates the number of runs a player contributes to his team by stealing bases, as compared to the average player. Ilarraza ranks 4th in wSB at 0.8.
AS A TEAM: TinCaps pitchers lead the Midwest League in strikeouts (178, 10.4/G)… The TinCaps are 2nd in walks drawn (71, 4.1/G) and are tied for 2nd in stolen bases (21).
AGAINST SOTO: The TinCaps were 2-for-20 against Soto last Tuesday and struck out 5 times, with just 1 walk. (Fort Wayne wound up winning the game, 2-1.)
BACK IN FORT WAYNE: Today is the start of the Parkview Sports High School Baseball Series at Parkview Field. There are doubleheaders today and tomorrow, as well as from May 2-5.