It has been a season of streaks at the plate for Lynchburg outfielder Jodd Carter. His most recent one, now a season-high nine games and counting, helped earned him the recognition of the Carolina League on Monday when he was named the league’s Player of the Week.
Carter becomes the second position player to earn a Player of the Week nod this season for the Hillcats, joining teammate and All-Star Sam Haggerty. Lynchburg pitchers Triston McKenzie and Shane Bieber have also brought home the hardware on the pitching side of the award this season.
Carter, a 20-year-old in his fourth season in the Indians organization after being selected in the 24th round of the 2014 draft out of Hilo High School in Hilo, Hawaii, is enjoying the best season of his professional career in his first full season at the High-A level with the Hillcats after appearing in a pair of games for Lynchburg last season.
He entered the week riding a three-game streak, the seventh such streak in his season to date. He had recently wrapped up a six-game hitting streak and had an eight-gamer in April.
Carter had to wait until the bottom of the eighth inning to get into action last Monday, replacing Andrew Calica in center field and in the eighth spot in the lineup. He singled and advanced to third with two outs in the ninth, but was unable to score to break the 2-2 tie with Salem. He would come up again in the tenth inning after the Hillcats took the lead and doubled home a run before scoring on a home run by Daniel Salters. The six-run inning gave the Hillcats an 8-2 win.
Carter was in the starting lineup on Wednesday, hitting seventh and playing center field. After a groundout and two fly outs in his first three at bats, he hit a solo homer, his tenth of the season, in the eighth inning to give the Hillcats a 4-3 lead. As with the previous game, this one was headed to extra innings as Wilmington scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. Carter took a big swing in the tenth, hitting a leadoff triple before the Wilmington bullpen struck out the next three batters. He drew a two-out walk in the 12th inning, but would be stranded, and the Blue Rocks would win the game 5-4 on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 13th.
He wasted no time extending his hitting streak on Thursday, hitting a double in his first trip to the plate to drive in the second Hillcats run to make it a 2-0 game. He flew out in the fourth, walked in the sixth, and drew a bases loaded walk in the seventh to again break a tie, giving Lynchburg a 5-4 lead. Luck would not be on the side of the Hillcats, however, as they would give up two in the bottom of the ninth to fall, 6-5.
In game three with Wilmington on Friday, Carter extended his hitting streak to seven games with a fifth inning double, but he struck out in his other three at bats as Lynchburg again lost on a run in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4.
Carter made it eight straight games with a hit with his second inning leadoff single on Saturday in the final game of the series with Wilmington. He would be stranded there, but would add another single in the ninth inning. Lynchburg would give up another run in the ninth in this contest, but a bigger lead allowed them to prevail with a 7-4 victory in the finale with the Blue Rocks.
Lynchburg returned home on Sunday to host Winston-Salem in a game with scoring all throughout. Carter grounded out to end the first inning with a runner on third in a 2-2 tie, but he would help tie the game again in the fourth after reaching on a leadoff bunt single. The next hitter, Anthony Miller, doubled him home to make it a 3-3 game. He grounded out in the sixth, but singled with two outs in the eighth inning with the score tied at five, but he would be left stranded. The Dash scored four times in the top of the ninth and the Hillcats rallied in the home half, but fell two runs short in a 9-7 loss.
In his six games played between July 10 and July 16, he went 10-for-22 (.455) with three doubles, a triple, and a home run while driving in four runs and scoring three times. The weekly honor was the first such award that Carter has won during his time in the Indians organization.
During Carter’s active nine-game hitting streak, he is hitting .438 with a .514 on-base percentage and a .688 slugging mark with three doubles, one triple, one homer, and four RBI. He has also drawn five walks to reach base safely in 19 of his 37 trips to the plate since July 7.
The Hillcats and the Dash were rained out on Monday night in Lynchburg, preventing Carter from reaching a double digit hitting streak for at least one more day.
Photo: Lathan Goumas/The News and Advance