Each week we will recognize the top hitting and pitching performances from our Indiana Hoosier alum who are playing professional baseball at both the affiliated and independent, major and minor-league levels. We will also highlight other notable performances of the week and pass along other Hoosier related news and notes.
Alumni Position Player of the Week
Any other week Cade Bunnell may have repeated as the Alumni Star of the Week, but this wasn’t just any other week. Not only did Kyle Schwarber launch 5 home runs to strengthen his hold on the National League home run lead with 28, he earned his second National League All-Star selection.
It wasn’t just Schwarber’s All-Star accolades that earned him the Alumni Position Player of the Week. Kyle sported a .318 average, slugged 1.000, and tallied an OPS of 1.440 while driving in 6 runs. In the absence of the injured Bryce Harper, Schwarber has stepped up as an offensive spark for the Phillies. He’s struck for 8 home runs, driving in 15, and scoring 11 runs of his own since Harper’s injury.
Schwarber was a first time All Star in 2021 but suffered a hamstring injury in the week prior to the All-Star Game and did not take part in last year’s game. While it was his first time selected to play, 2021 wasn’t Schwarber’s first All Star Game experience. 2018 saw Kyle as part of an epic showdown with now teammate Bryce Harper in the Home Run Derby which saw Schwarber advance to the finals where he would eventually fall to Harper in the finals on a final homerun in the closing seconds of the finals. Schwarber hinted he would consider a return to the Home Run Derby if he was selected to play in the All Star Game. Now with one of the hurdles cleared, might we see Kyle Schwarber launching balls towards the San Gabriel Mountains?
Other Notable Hitting Performances:
Cade Bunnell – Mississippi Braves (AA – Atlanta Braves)
- Sam Travis had a 7-game hitting streak come to an end Sunday against the Lexington Legends.
- Cade Bunnell continues to impress in his call up to AA Mississippi. Since joining the Mississippi Braves on June 28th Cade has slashed .367/.537/.700. This has included 2 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs, while drawing 11 walks.
- This week Elijah Dunham reminded us, “defense don’t slump”. Thursday night saw yet another spectacular diving catch from Dunham while playing right field. The next night, while patrolling left field, Elijah notched his 4th outfield assist of the season, cutting down a runner trying to score from second on a single to left by three steps.
Alumni Pitcher of the Week
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (A) – Chicago White Sox
Tommy Sommer has gotten to the point where he has just been flat out dominate at the Class A level. In his last outing Tommy didn’t have his typical 6+ strikeout game, but he limited the Carolina Mudcat hitters to just 1 hit over 6 innings while not surrendering a walk.
Sommer has not allowed an earned run in 3 of his last 5 starts and has only allowed 6 earned runs in his last 7 starts. It shouldn’t come as much surprise, but Sommer’s success has been paired with his ability to limit walks. During some early season control inconsistences, Sommer was walking 10% of the batters he faced, over his last 7 games he has been able to drop that rate to just 7%. With the All Star break approaching, might it be a good time to see a promotion to Advanced A, Winston-Salem?
Other Notable Pitching Performances:
McCade Brown – Fresno Grizzlies (A – Colorado Rockies)
Tim Herrin – Columbus Clippers (AAA – Cleveland Guardians)
- Tim Herrin, Andrew Saalfrank, and Braden Scott where strikeout machines out of the pen. All three put up K/9 numbers this week which boggle the mind! Scott led the way with a K/9 of 22.5, Herrin followed at 19.3, and Saalfrank came in at 16.2.
- Scott Effross has continued his success out of the pen. He currently is tied for 2nd in Inherited Runners Scored with only 4 of 25 (16.0%) runners he’s inherited scoring.