FAIRFIELD — By nature, minor league baseball players don’t want to spend too much time in the same place – something about moving up the ladder.
Andrew Aplin, however, has found a home in center field – and in the No. 3 spot in the batting order – for the Lancaster JetHawks of the California League.
Though Sunday’s games, the Houston Astros’ advanced Class A farm team is in first place in the second half of the league’s South Division, two games up on the Inland Empire 66ers, after having won the first half title.
Aplin, a Vanden High graduate, is a big part of the team’s success, leading the league in runs scored (83) and runs batted in (82). He’s also tied for second in walks (64), tied for third in doubles (27), fourth in at-bats (414) and tied for fifth in hits (115).
This past week, Aplin batted .310 (9 for 29) with nine RBIs, going 2 for 4 in three different games.
Geno Escalante (Rodriguez) played in just two games last week for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, going 2 for 7 for the San Francisco Giants’ short-season Class A team in the Northwest League. Over his last 10 games, Escalante is batting .382 (13 for 34).
Nick Baligod (Fairfield) ripped his second home run of the season and also had a double with three RBIs for the Dunedin Blue Jays in a 9-2 win over the Charlotte Stone Crabs. He went 0 for 5 the rest of the week, however, and hit .172 over his last 10 games for Toronto’s farm team in the advanced Class A Florida State League.
Kris Negron (Vanden) had a pair of two-hit games for the Lousville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A team in the International League.
Also at the Triple-A level, Jordan Brown (Vacaville) batted .429 (9 for 21) for the Miami Marlins’ New Orleans Zephers of the Pacific Coast League. He went 3 for 4 against Iowa on July 22.
Drew Carpenter (Vacaville) pitched just once for the Arkansas Travelers, the Los Angeles Angels’ team in the Double A Texas League, but his lone appearance was a good one. He started against Tulsa and went 6 innings, allowing two hits and no runs with three strikeouts and a walk in getting a no decision.
After spending nearly three months on the 7-day disabled list, Ryan Lipkin (Solano, Vanden) saw his first action since April 28 on July 26 for the Midland RockHounds of the Texas League. The Oakland A’s farmhand went 0 for 3.
Two area players are currently on the 7-day DL, Jonathan Jones (Vanden) with Dunedin and Chris Elder (Armijo, Solano) of the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the advanced Class A Carolina League in the Kansas City Royals’ system.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.