By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Two weeks into the Appalachian League season sees the Bluefield Blue Jays sitting atop the East Division with a 9-3 record and riding a six game winning streak.
Just miles east on Route 460 the Princeton Rays have won three in a row and have climbed out of the East Division cellar. In the West Division the Elizabethton Twins have the early season lead with a 10-2 mark.
In looking at the early results from the Appalachian League, Johnson City’s Kenny Peoples-Walls is the league’s leading hitter. Peoples-Walls is batting .385, followed by Bluefield’s Mitch Nay at .366. The Blue Jays’ Derrick Loveless is eighth at .333 and rounding out the top 10 are Bluefield’s Dawel Lugo at .326 and Princeton’s David Garcia at .324.
Lugo, the Blue Jays’ slick fielding shortstop and Jays’ third baseman Nay are tied with three other players for the league lead in hits with 15. Bluefield’s D.J. Davis is next in line with 14 safeties.
Princeton’s David Garcia and Elias Torres, along with Bluefield’s Lugo and Jorge Saez are tied for second in doubles with four other players, all having four two-baggers on the season.
Bluefield’s speedy centerfielder D.J. Davis leads the league with five triples.
The Rays’ Travis Flores and the Jays’ Eric Arce along with Elizabethton’s Bryan Haar each have hit three home runs. Princeton’s Spencer Edwards, and Bluefield’s Lugo, Loveless and John Silviano are among a group of 10 players next with two long balls.
Blue Jays’ hitters are leading in RBIs. Lugo leads the league with 10 followed by Davis and Nay with nine apiece and Arce with eight.
Johnson City’s Vaughn Bryan is the Appalachian League’s theft leader with eight steals. He has not been caught this season.
Turning to the pitcher’s mound, Princeton’s Jacob Faria is one of four pitchers with a 0.00 ERA. Elizabethton’s Tim Shibuya has three wins and Bluefield’s Zak Wasilewski is one of three hurlers with a pair of victories.
Luis Nunez of Elizabethton and Pulaski’s Edwin Diaz are saves leaders with three each and Bluefield’s Shane Dawson has two.
Faria is tied with three other pitchers with 14 strikeouts, good enough for third. The Jays’ Dawson and three other hurlers have 13 Ks.
One team in the league stands out from the rest when it comes to attendance, Burlington so far has averaged 1,692 fans a game at Burlington Athletic Park, the next closest is Greeneville who attracts an average of 1,137 to Pioneer Park. Princeton is drawing 820 a contest and Bluefield 779. Bristol brings up the rear as only 650 a game are showing up at DeVault Stadium.