The Major League Baseball season is in full swing and the All-Star Break approaches. Florida fans have heard the names of their favorite players called in the draft for years. Now some of Sully’s products are making their way into The Show. There are a lot but let’s take a minute to look at a select few’s progress this season.
Singer’s found a home in the rotation for the Kansas City Royals. And it seems he’s still adjusting to the Majors. In 2020, he posted a 4.06 ERA, a .220 batting average against and a WHIP near 1.2 over 64.1 innings in 12 starts.
All of those numbers are up this season: 4.77 ERA, .269 BAA, 1.493 WHIP with 71.2 innings in 15 starts and a 3-5 record so far. He was limited to fewer than four innings in his last two starts on June 16 (3.0) and June 22 (3.2) but only gave up three runs in that time. However, he’s among the league leaders in starts. And, for the most part, he’s working into the fifth and six innings. He’s just throwing a lot of pitches to get there. He’ll get plenty of more chances this season.
Not to mention he went pretty viral lighting up umpire Angel Hernandez.
It’s safe to say Indy is the Cincinnati Reds’ every day second baseman. He’s appeared in all 62 games (58 starts) for third-place Cincinnati and all at second base. He’s hitting .261 with an OPS of .777 with 29 runs batted in and six home runs.
But he seems to be heating up. The old Florida third baseman is hitting .316 with a .447 on-base percentage and slugging at a .421 clip over his last 10 games. And he’s batting over .400 on the balls he’s putting in play. The Reds are 5-5 over that stretch. Even though he’s among the league leaders in errors at second base, he’s committed just one since May 18 with a fielding percentage of .992 and 10 double plays turned.
He’s essentially being paid for two things: be an elite catcher and hit the ball a mile. He’s currently under the Mendoza Line for the third straight year with a .196 batting average but is second among MLB catchers with 15 home runs. He even hit the longest homer by a Rays player since they started recording length at 472 feet. Over his last 10 games, he’s hitting .167 with a .500 slugging percentage.
Meanwhile, as a catcher, he’s third in the league with 25 assists, his seven runners caught stealing are third in the AL but has allowed the second-most stolen bases. However, he does have the fifth-most putouts in the American League with 438 and only has committed two errors on the season for a .996 fielding percentage over 405.2 innings caught.
Pete took The Show by storm in 2019 as he demolished all baseballs and disgraced loads of families with a 52-homer-120-RBI-season. He appeared in 57 of 60 games in 2020. Although his numbers weren’t where they were in 2019, Alonso seems to be doing better in 2021. He’s around the same number of games as 2020 right now, with the same number of RBIs (35) and five fewer dingers with 11. Although his on-base plus slugging is down from .817 to .782.
He is slumping as of late as he’s only batting .212 and he’s hovering around .300 when it comes to getting on base. He is still 10th in average exit velocity at 92.9 mph and 11th with a 10 barrels/plate appearance percentage among qualified MLB batters. Not to mention, he recently announced he’ll be defending his title in the upcoming Home Run Derby during All-Star Weekend.
Kowar made his MLB debut a few weeks ago and he didn’t last long before being sent back down. He dominated in AAA in 2021 with a 0.85 ERA and 41 strikeouts over 31.2 innings. But, as a Major Leaguer, he allowed 10 earned runs over just five innings of work. Like Singer, he’s still relatively young as a prospect and I’m sure the Royals are still high on him. In the meantime, he’ll be in the minors before his next chance comes.
Special: Gator in the KBO Preston Tucker
After a few years in the MLB, Tucker went overseas to the KBO in 2019. He lit it up in 2020. He hit .306 with a .955 OPS with 32 homers, 113 RBIs and 100 runs scored in 142 games for the Kia Tigers. Right now, his numbers are down. He’s hitting over .245 in 2021 and has a .691 OPS with 29 RBIs. Additionally, he’s only hitting .235 with runners in scoring position. They’re about 61 games into their schedule so he has plenty of time to make a turnaround.
The old Florida pitcher went 1-2 in nine games with a 7.22 for Cincinnati in 2020. Now, in 2021, he’s 8-2 with a 2.77 ERA through his first 15 starts with the San Francisco Giants. He’s 15th in all of the MLB with a 1.00 WHIP and his ERA is 18th-best in the Majors. The numbers aren’t going to jump out like a Shane Bieber, Gerrit Cole or a Trevor Bauer. But DeSclafani is having an exceptional year thus far even if his rotation mate in Kevin Gausman is doing better.
He’s gone at least six innings in three of his last four starts including a two-hit shutout on June 11 with eight strikeouts. In his most recent start, he threw seven strong innings of shutout ball with nine punchouts to two walks and three hits allowed.