Tim Yandel (Tulane) has arguably been the league's most valuable all-around player, with exceptional pitching statistics combined with clutch hitting. Photo Credit: Lisa A. Kammerman/BigTrainPhotos
With the regular season winding down, the conversations among Cal Ripken League officials regarding the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Most Outstanding Pitcher (MOP) are beginning to surface. Below are some potential candidates for each award, with statistics entering Monday’s action.
Five Players Who Should Be in the MVP Conversation:
Tim Yandel (Bethesda Big Train, Tulane)
A sensational pitcher, Tim Yandel has the second-lowest ERA of all qualified pitchers in the Cal Ripken league and is one of only four pitchers league-wide with at least 40 innings pitched. Yandel also ranks third in strikeouts with 36. In addition to his great pitching statistics, Yandel has been a staple in the powerful offense of the Bethesda Big Train. Yandel has posted a strong .288/.314/.455/.769 slash line with a homer and 18 RBIs, numbers no other top-tier pitchers in the league have come even remotely close to offensively. Yandel also has time and time again demonstrated an exceptional ability to come through in clutch situations, which included back-to-back opposite field walk-off doubles on June 14th and 15th at Povich Field.
Nathaniel Lowe (Vienna River Dogs, Mississippi State)
Lowe has had an exceptional summer offensively, posting a monstrous .337/.434/.587/1.021 line, leading in average and slugging, fifth on OBP, and third in OPS. On top of that, Lowe is tied for the league lead in homers with five and third in RBIs with 22. The first baseman/designated hitter also won the home run derby at Povich Field last Wednesday, and has been a standout among the Vienna River Dogs’ nine All-Stars.
Mac Caples (Baltimore Redbirds, Virginia Tech)
Caples has been an offensive powerhouse, the best hitter on the Redbirds, the league’s best offensive team (5.86 runs per game). Leading in OBP and OPS, the outfielder boasts an incredible .312/.484/.559/1.043 line with four homers and 19 RBIs. Caples also leads in runs scored (33) and is tied for fourth in walks (23). On top of it all, Caples has great speed as well, as he is 14/15 in stolen base attempts this summer.
Andy Mocahbee (FCA Herndon Braves, West Georgia Tech)
The best hitting catcher in the league, Mocahbee slashes .333/.467/.543/1.010 to go along with four stolen bases, three home runs, fourteen RBIs, and 19 walks. The West Georgia Tech junior participated in the home run derby last Wednesday and was one of two All-Stars representing the Braves.
Chris Lewis (Bethesda Big Train, Sacramento State)
One of nine Bethesda Big Train All-Stars, the cleanup man has turned in an outstanding offensive summer. The outfielder from San Francisco posted a .312/.355/.493/.848 line while swatting five homers, including a walk-off in extra innings on July 1st, and knocking in 31 runs, leading the league by a healthy margin. The Sacramento State senior has five steals and leads the league’s best team in average, home runs, RBIs, slugging, and OPS.
Five Players Who Should Be in the Most Outstanding Pitcher Conversation:
Jack Gomersall (Vienna River Dogs, VMI)
Gomersall is a clear front-runner for the Most Outstanding Pitcher award, leading qualified starters with a ridiculous 0.45 ERA having given up just two earned runs in 40 innings pitched. The VMI sophomore held opponents to a .168 average and held an unreal 0.78 WHIP. Gomersall is the only pitcher in the league with five wins and also was the winning pitcher in the All-Star game last Wednesday, chipping in a scoreless frame for the South Division.
Tim Yandel (Bethesda Big Train, Tulane)
The Tulane senior has been the ace of the Bethesda Big Train, the league’s best pitching staff (2.33 ERA). Yandel’s 1.09 ERA ranks second in the league among qualified starters. The right-hander also is tied for third in strikeouts with 36 and third in innings pitched with 41.1. He has held opponents to a .176 average against and owns a sparkling 0.80 WHIP.
Isaac Mattson (Baltimore Redbirds, Pittsburgh)
The Redbirds right-hander has been the most dominant relief pitcher in the league. In 18 innings of work, Mattson has yet to give up an earned run and has struck out 35 hitters, an alarming 17.5 SO/9. The Pittsburgh sophomore is 2-1 on the season with 2 saves and has held opponents to a .115 average against with a WHIP of 0.67.
Conrad Wozniak (Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, UMD Baltimore)
The UMD Baltimore senior has given up only six earned runs in 43.2 innings for a sparkling 1.24 ERA to go along with 36 strikeouts, a .194 average against, and a WHIP of 0.89. The big righty has also tossed two complete games and was one of seven All-Stars representing the Thunderbolts.
Taylor Bloom (Gaithersburg Giants, Maryland)
A bright spot on a last-place Gaithersburg Giants squad, the Maryland sophomore has given up six earned runs in 30.2 innings for a superb 1.76 ERA and has 38 strikeouts, tied for the league lead. The right-hander is 3-0 on the season and has walked only two batters to go along with a .214 average against and 0.88 WHIP.