Durham Bulls (20-17, 9 gb). 1B Kevin Witt is tied for the International League lead with 8 home runs, while batting .287. The biggest surprise for the Bulls must be CF Darnell McDonald. He is 6th in batting (.331) and 5th in slugging (.541) with 6 home runs, 28 RBI and 8 stolen bases. Elijah Dukes has also put up strong numbers the first 37 games (.309-4-18). SS B. J. Upton continues to lead the league in stolen bases with 18. He has also raised his average to .292 with 4 home runs and 19 RBI. Oh by the way…he has committed a couple of errors. The pitching staff has been incredible for the most part. Jamie Shields (2-2, 2.91, 1.20) has been the beacon of control with a 40:4 strikeout to walk ratio. Brian Stokes (2-1, 2.06, 1.14) is among the league leaders in ERA. Chris Seddon, Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel, have all shown signs of brilliance but have been inconsistent.

Montgomery Biscuits (22-16, 0.5 gb). 2B Elliot Johnson has been a pleasant surprise for the Biscuits. He is 5th in the Southern League in home runs (7) and batting average (.322). Wes Bankston who is trying to make the conversion to 3B has missed half the season with an injury, but was hitting .333 on the shelf but has committed 333 errors (actually 11). 1B Gabriel Martinez has slowed down considerably after a hot start (.273-5-15). Jason Pridie is only hitting .221 with 1 home run, but is 8 for 8 in stolen bases. In the starting rotation, Tony Paguero (4-3, 1.97, 0.91) and Jim Magrane (6-2, 2.61, 1.16) have been the lone bright spots. In the bullpen, Juan Salas has yet to allow an earned run in 18.2 innings and has struck out 28.

Visalia Oaks (14-23, 11.5 gb). C Jahn Jaso and SS Reid Brignac continue to splinter the ball. They are tied for 7th in the California League with .343 batting averages. Brignac is tied for 6th with 6 home runs, while Shaun Cumberland leads the league in dingers (9) and Patrick Breen is 3rd (7). Cumberland is also 2nd in RBI 29, but is only hitting .231. From the mound, Christopher Mason (2-2, 2.50, 1.21) is the lone starting pitcher that has been consistently good.

SW Michigan Devil Rays (20-17, 3.5 gb). There haven’t been any early season standouts at the plate for the D-Rays. James Hall is batting .320 with 3 home runs, but is 2-8 in stolen bases. Garrett Groce is batting .291 and leads the league with 13 stolen bases. On the other hand, the pitching staff continues to be solid with several members that could be seen in Tampa in the years to come. Wade Davis (3-0, 1.23, 1.15) has a big league arm, but is still struggling with his control. He has only surrendered 19 hits in 36.2 innings but has also allowed 23 walks. He is 4th in the league with 46 Ks. Jacob McGee (3-5, 3.12, 1.27) has been nearly as impressive with a league leading 55 strikeouts. The most impressive in the rotation might be Michael Wlodarczyk. In 48 innings, he is 4-1, with a 0.94 ERA and a 44 to 15 strikeout to walk ratio. In the bullpen, Greg Dupas has 9 saves in 15 appearances, with a 0.95 ERA.

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