Vettleson, Taylor earn Appy League honors
MCT REGIONAL NEWS
By Brian Woodson
Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.Va.
Aug. 03--BLUEFIELD -- Mercer County has swept the latest Appalachian League weekly awards.
Princeton outfielder Drew Vettleson has been selected as the Player of the Week, while Bluefield southpaw Mitch Taylor earned Pitcher of the Week honors.
The awards were given for their performance from July 25-31.
Vettleson came out of an 0-for-11 slump on July 17, and has been on fire ever since. He batted .615 (16-26) last week, with nine RBIs, five doubles, five runs scored, four walks, a triple and home run for the Rays.
He had three or more hits in four games, including going 6-8 with two doubles and three RBIs in two games last week at Pulaski, and was 7-9 last weekend at Greeneville, including a home run, two doubles and three more runs batted in.
Vettleson, who turned 19 on July 19, has raised his season average to .333 (48-144) with 5 homers, 31 RBIs, 11 doubles, three triples, 23 runs scored and 13 stolen bases.
He was a first round supplemental draft choice in 2010 from Bremerton, Wash., just outside of Seattle.
Taylor was drafted in the seventh round in 2010 by Toronto out of Spring Hill, Texas, the same Houston-area high school that produced Boston hurler Josh Beckett.
He earned the win at Burlington last Friday, allowing one hit, two walks and no runs in relief, while striking out nine in six innings on the mound. Taylor has allowed just four runs and 18 hits in his last 26 2/3 innings.
Only two runners reached base against Taylor in the Blue Jays' 7-1 win in 11 innings over the Royals.
Taylor has appeared in eight games this season, including four starts, posting a 2-1 record and 2.91 ERA. He has struck out 34 and walked 12 in 34 innings on the mound.
-- Bluefield manager Dennis Holmberg celebrated his 60th birthday on Tuesday with a rare Appalachian League off day.
Holmberg has the Blue Jays in first place in the East Division, but news over the weekend won't help keep them there.
For the second time this season, the Blue Jays have lost a potential ace of the pitching staff, with hard-throwing Noah Snydergaard having been promoted to the Class A Vancouver Canadians on Sunday.
Snydergaard joins David Rollins, who left Bluefield for the Northwest League on July 13.
Snydergaard, a first round supplemental draft choice last June, was 4-0 with a 1.41 ERA for the Blue Jays, striking out 37 in 32 innings on the mound. Rollins had been 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA, and he's also been effective in Vancouver, posting a 1-0 mark with a 2.57 ERA in three starts for the Canadians.
Bluefield, which received the services of outfielder Eli Boike (.333, 8 RBI in 8 games) -- his third team this season -- has also added shortstop Peter Mooney from the Gulf Coast League.
Mooney, who should be in uniform tonight, is listed as a 5-foot-6 shortstop, who played in three games in Florida, batting .300 with an RBI.
Princeton has recently also picked up an additional player, southpaw hurler Shay Crawford, who was promoted to Princeton from the GCL on July 24.
He has appeared in two games, posting a 1-0 record, four strikeouts and an 0.00 ERA.
-- No team lost more to promotion that Bristol, losing former Pittsburgh quarterback and slugging catcher Kevan Smith (.396, 7 HR, 32 RBI) to Great Falls of the Pioneer League. Third baseman Rangel Ravelo (.384, 13 RBI) and outfielder Collin Kuhn (.260, 4 HR, 20 RBI) have been sent to the Kannapolis Intimidators of the South Atlantic League.
Bristol does still have West Virginia University product Grant Buckner, who is hitting .294 with three homers and 20 RBIs.
-- League pitching may have caught up with Bluefield's Art Charles. After a torrid start, Charles is hitting just .237 with nine home runs, but he hasn't homered since July 24, and is batting .188 in his last 10 games.
-- The East Division is turning into a three-team race for two playoff spots, with Bluefield (24-17) currently ahead of Danville (22-18, 1.5 GB) and Princeton (22-19, 2 GB).
Johnson City (26-14) has a five-game lead on Elizabethton (21-19) in the West.
-- There are 28 games left in the Appalachian League regular season. Bluefield will play 15 at home -- including the conclusion of the Mercer Cup series with Princeton on Aug. 9-11 -- with 13 more on the road.
The Mercer Cup series is currently tied at four games apiece.
Bluefield will play three games at Danville on Aug. 28-30. They also have three games apiece left with West Division leaders Johnson City and Elizabethton.
Princeton also has 15 games left at Hunnicutt Field, with 13 on the road. The Rays will face Danville six times, three with the Blue Jays and will conclude the season on Aug. 28-30 at Elizabethton.
-- The final off day this season will be on Aug. 15. Both the Blue Jays and Rays will play their final series of the regular season on the road.
They will both play 3 p.m. home games on Aug. 26. The first high school football games in the area will be played that night.
--Contact Brian Woodson
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(c) 2011, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.Va.
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