The Clearwater Sluggers have maintained their clutch on the top spot in the Florida Rookie League weekly team rankings once again, but the Naples Admirals and Jacksonville Beach Ravens have made impressive strides to catch up.
The Admirals and Ravens were 5th and 6th in last week’s rankings, but have improved to 2nd and 3rd respectively for Week #4.
Meanwhile, the Louisville Sluggers rookie team, Clearwater, is cresting above the pack with a 19-6 record. Chris Felix Division rivals, Naples Admirals, sit 2 games behind at 17-8. The Ravens lead the Chuck Provost Division at 15-10.
Sluggers pitching has played no small part of their success. Two starters remain undefeated, Mike Banks and Jaylen Patterson. Banks, a native of Abbotsford, BC, holds a 5-0 record and 3.27 ERA after 52.1 innings, and looks ready for A ball or higher. After several low minors seasons of struggles, he finally seems to be putting the right pieces in place for success. LA-native Patterson, meanwhile, is 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA after 42.2 innings, and has walked just 8 batters.
The Players of the Week were also announced this morning. Jim Upshaw of the Lakeland Salts (Seattle) hit 12-for-25 and drove in 6 runs, earning the Gulf Coast League’s POTW honors. Raul Vasquez, an 18-year-old Dominican import playing for the Orlando Tidals (California), tallied up 3 homers, 6 RBIs, and 5 runs scored while batting .500 (8-for-16) this week, and was given the nod as the Atlantic Coast League’s top player for this week.