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CPL Notebook: Despite down week, Stone leads league in average
Also: 'Stangs 3 games out of playoffs, CPL alumni in the majors
Sunday, July 15, 2012
By MARK THOMPSON -
Jake Stone still leads all Coastal Plain League batters, but his average this week was not a huge help to that.
How was he this week? Five-for-17 at the plate with three RBIs, all of which came on a three-run blast Thursday night against Asheboro. Stone’s average is now .389, seven points higher than Forest City’s Stephen Tarkentonho and more than30 points higher than every other player.
But Stone’s on-base percentage continues to best shed light on his value at the plate. He’s reaching base at a rate of .504, more than half his plate appearances. After his pinch-hit homer, Stone said he’s just trying to be patient at the plate.
Stone has 22 walks and just eight strikeouts.
Mustangs 3 games out of playoffs
If the Coastal Plain League playoffs were today, the Mustangs would stand miss out by 3 games.
Forest City and Edenton are each automatically into the postseason for winning their divisions in the first half of the season. There are six teams with 20-plus wins so far this season, and with just 19 days remaining in the regular season (including the two-day All-Star break), those teams appear headed for a playoff spot.
Florence (19-20) and Thomasville (19-22) are currently in line for the seventh and eighth spots in the playoffs and the Mustangs (15-24) are three games behind Thomasville. The Mustangs play both of those teams twice before the end of the season. They are 1.5 games out of first place Gastonia in the West standings for the second half.
CPL Alumni in the Majors
Sometimes there’s no telling where players in the Coastal Plain league will be years from now. The CPL currently has 51 alumni in Major Leauge Baseball, including a few big ones.
Former Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis, now with the White Sox, used to play for the Florence Red Wolves. Most notably, Justin Verlander, the 2011 AL Cy Young winner and AL MVP, played for the Wilson Tobs. Verlander is a five-time All-Star on the Detroit Tigers.
The Mustangs currently have one former player in the Majors — pitcher Scott Diamond.
He debuted with the Minnesota Twins and had a shaky first year, going 1-5 in seven starts with a 5.08 ERA. But Diamond’s sophomore campaign has been a complete reversal. The lefty is currently 7-3 in 12 starts for the Twins with a 2.62 ERA. He’s allowed 81 hits in 79 innings pitched and Diamond has only walked 12 of the 325 batters he’s faced for a WHIP of 1.177.
Diamond played with the Mustangs in the summers of 2006 and 2007.