Akron continues to terrorize the Eastern League with its strong play. At 23-9, they have a strong hold on the top spot in the league already, owning a seven and a half game lead in the EL Western Division. Their most recent three-game homestand came to an end on Wednesday afternoon, when their series against the Detroit Tigers’ affiliate, the Erie SeaWolves, wrapped up. They completed the series sweep with a walk-off 9-8 win in ten innings.
The RubberDucks now return to the road, playing seven straight in Harrisburg and Hartford to conclude a stretch of 20 straight games played for the Indians affiliate before their off day on the 19th. They will return home then for three games with Binghamton, but will head right back out on the road when that series with the Mets is done.
In other RubberDucks news and notes…
Coming into the season, the name Yandy Diaz was not one that anyone had really heard much about. In the league for just one season, he hadn’t quite made a name for himself just yet. That might not be the case anymore, as Diaz has worked his way up the ladder and is now a legitimate option for the Indians, possibly sooner rather than later.
Diaz was signed by the Indians prior to the 2014 season. He started out that year in High-A Carolina. During his time there he only played in 76 games due an injury in his wrist. In that small sample size though, Diaz had hit .286/.396/.367 with seven doubles, five triples, and two home runs. Even in a small size such as it was in 2014, he still showed off some fantastic on-base abilities, while also hitting for average.
With the All Star break over and gone, the Akron RubberDucks are looking forward to September. While this team may not have looked exciting on paper, they’ve managed to put together a solid season thus far through 2015. Through the first half of 2015, the RubberDucks stood at a record of 47-43 and as of July 20, they’re sitting in third place of the Eastern League Western division with a record of 50-44. Going into the second half, and beyond, they’re sporting a higher than .500 record, and have real chances of seeing playing time once September rolls around.
Looking back at the first half, the RubberDucks have a lot they should be proud of, but there are definite parts of their game that need to be improved on.
To say that Akron RubberDucks centerfielder Tyler Naquin has been hot at the plate lately would be an understatement. Scorching, sizzling, scalding, searing might be a better way to describe his bat of late. Naquin the Indians first pick from the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft hit .485 for the week with 16 hits in 33 at bats. Naquin scored eight runs, added a double, triple, two homeruns, four runs batted in and two stolen bases. Naquin is currently on a 15-game hitting streak, which he has maintained an unbelievable .453 average with 29 hits in 64 at bats.
Naquin’s hot hitting started before the 15-game streak, however. In his last 48 games Naquin has amassed 72 hits, leading to a .365 batting average while scoring 44 runs and adding 12 stolen bases as the leadoff hitter in the RubberDucks lineup. Interesting enough it took the first 16 games of the season for Naquin’s bat to get started. In his first 16 games he hit only .200 with 22 strikeouts, leading some to wonder if Naquin was indeed ready for the jump to Double-A to start the year. Naquin, sporting a robust .327 average on the season, has put that talk to rest and then some.