Pictured above rounding third, this Bethesda Big Train veteran is headed home. Image Credit: Lisa A. Kammerman/BigTrainPhotos
Tuesday night’s game at Shirley Povich Field against the rival Baltimore Redbirds will feature a familiar face for the Bethesda Big Train, one who has been with the organization for many years and, following a brief hiatus to play on the Cape, is back for his fourth summer, his Big Train grand finale. And as this Big Train vet runs out to his position, with a few of his young fans tagging along, of course, to hold down the fort in centerfield at Povich for the first time this summer, he will receive a hero’s welcome.
A fan favorite, a sportsman, and a role model both on and off the field, outfielder Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth University) will provide an all-around jolt to the Bethesda Big Train, especially with his blazing speed on the bases and excellent defense out in centerfield.
When asked about his decision to return to Bethesda, the senior ram said, "I love it here. I love playing for these coaches, I love the atmosphere, and it's close to home. I figured it was a no-brainer to return when I found out I had the opportunity to come back. It's going to be different, a lot of the guys I had played with here the past few years are gone now, graduated, and now I'm at the top, and I'm excited to make another run this year."
Farrar started the summer of 2016 in the renowned Cape Cod Baseball League, playing for the Harwich Mariners, currently top dog in that league; 11-4 with a three game lead over the rest of the Cape Cod East Division. He held his own up in Massachusetts, hitting .286 over nine games with six RBIs, four walks, and two stolen bases, and an impressive .394 OBP.
In 2015, Farrar hit .290 over 20 games with a high .395 OBP and swatted two home runs while swiping ten bags in twelve attempts as well. He provided speed and plate discipline with occasional power from the leadoff spot on a team that went an impressive 29-11 for the regular season championship.
2014 was Farrar’s most complete season for the Big Train, a team that went an outstanding 31-9, winning the regular season championship by six games. That summer, Farrar played in 37 of 40 games and hit .304 with a terrific .408 OBP, a homer and 25 RBIs, 45 hits, 61 total bases, 21 walks, and 14 steals in 19 attempts, creating 23 runs (we’ll talk about Runs Created on Friday morning). In 2013, Farrar, a freshman at the time, one of few players who can say he made the CRCBL Bethesda Big Train before stepping onto his college campus, saw limited playing time but still managed a .478 OBP in 24 plate appearances, walking seven times and stealing two bases.
At the end of this article is the complete consolidated spreadsheet of Logan Farrar’s summer statistics over the past four seasons, three with the Big Train. The numbers that stand out the most are the frequency with which Farrar draws the base on balls. Farrar walks about thirteen times per 100 plate appearances; anything above ten per 100 is excellent, a disciplined hitter that forces pitchers to throw a lot of pitches, wearing them down and leading to more mistake pitches to other hitters in the lineup. Also impressive is the success rate of Farrar’s stolen base attempts, notching the theft roughly 74 percent of the time; anything above 70 percent is good, a producer of runs rather than a deduction of runs for the team in the long term. Also, the Secondary Batting Average, which we will also cover in this Friday’s sabermetrics article, is a modified batting average that accounts for a hitter’s ability to draw walks, steal bases at a high rate of success, and hit for extra bases. Farrar’s summer cumulative Secondary Average for the Big Train is .345, which is great.
Farrar grew up in Woodbridge, VA, and was a two-sport star (Baseball and Football) for the Woodbridge High School Vikings, the rival high school of Big Train manager Sal Colangelo’s C.D. Hylton Bulldogs. This fall, he enters his senior year at Virginia Commonwealth University down in Richmond, VA, where he is pursuing a degree in Accounting.
In summary, the Big Train is sure to take off with some of the additions to the team over the last few weeks. Creighton Catcher Mike Emodi is rocking behind the dish and has put three over the fence. Florida Atlantic Owls Gunnar Lambert and Sean Labsan have provided two more big bats in the lineup and have been integral to the team’s offensive outbursts over the past few games. Southpaw hurler Johnny York (St. Mary’s College of California) has been a more-than-welcome addition, surrendering just two earned runs in 15 innings pitched for a 1.20 ERA, allowing just eight hits, zero walks, and striking out 17 in the process. Recently returned Mississippi State Bulldog Cody Brown is off to a hot start with a walkoff and a grand slam on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and will be fun to watch manning down the outfield alongside Farrar, who is yet another superb addition to this ball club that should be a serious contender for the CRCBL title.
Link to the spreadsheet of Logan Farrar’s consolidated standard and sabermetric statistics: