Captains’ Capel Named Midwest League Player of the Week
Bob Toth | On 06, Jun 2017
An impressive three-week tear at the plate by Lake County’s Conner Capel has captured the eyes of those in the Midwest League as the second-year outfielder was named the league’s Player of the Week for games played between May 29 through June 4.
The 20-year-old left-handed hitter out of Seven Lakes High School in Katy, Texas, already had a bit of a baseball pedigree, but he made a name for his own this week, with much of the work coming during the Captains’ homestand against Lansing and South Bend.
He started off the week with a solid showing in game four of Lake County’s series in Bowling Green against the Hot Rods. After notching hits in each of the first two games of the series, he added two more in the Monday finale, getting a double, a solo homer, and drawing a pair of walks.
As the Captains came back north to Eastlake, Capel brought his bat home with him to Classic Park. He went 6-for-12 in the series against the Lugnuts, hitting a solo homer in the series opener on May 30 and adding a single, a triple, a three-run homer, and five RBI in total in the series finale as he fell just a double short of hitting for the cycle in the tough 15-9 loss to Lansing.
With the South Bend Cubs in town for a three-game weekend set, Capel started the series strong with a single and a double before going hitless on Saturday. The game was not entirely lost on him, however, as he drew a pair of walks and scored a run. In the series finale on Sunday, he was 2-for-4 with two singles and a run batted in to close out his week.
All told, Capel hit .480 (12-for-25) with a .581 on-base percentage and an even 1.000 slugging mark over the course of the week with two doubles, one triple, three home runs, and eight runs batted in. He also drew six walks, scored eight times, and picked off a base.
His hot stretch at the plate has extended well beyond the last week. Since mid-May, he has been a force in the Captains lineup. He had just five hits in the first half of May, a span of 13 games and 51 plate appearances that saw him slash .125/.245/.175 during the particularly rough stretch while dropping his season batting average to .170.
He had 14 hits in his final 15 games of the month, hitting .259 with a .344 on-base percentage and .741 slugging mark with seven homers and 10 RBI in that span, moving his average back up to .199.
In four games thus far in June, he has seven hits in 14 at bats and 17 total plate appearances. Eight of his nine home runs on the year have come since May 16.
Capel joined the Indians organization two seasons ago when he was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 June Amateur draft. He is the son of former Major League pitcher Mike Capel, who spent time with the Chicago Cubs, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Houston Astros.
He is the first Captains player to take home a player of the week or player of the month honor this season in the Midwest League. He joins several others in the Indians organization to receive similar awards this season, following in the footsteps of former Captains Sam Haggerty and Triston McKenzie with the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats and Julian Merryweather while with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks. Mike Clevinger also received the Pitcher of the Week honor from the International League while pitching for Triple-A Columbus in April, while Akron’s Thomas Pannone was named the Carolina League’s Pitcher of the Month for April for his time with Lynchburg.
Photo: Tim Phillis/TCP Photography/Lake County Captains