Record: 43-25, First in South Division, Second Best Record in the American Association
The Wichita Wingnuts got off to a fairly rough start to the 2016 Season. They did not win any of their first five-series of the season and were 6-11 at one point. Then the team rattled off a six-game win streak, and has been on a roll ever since.
Injuries and inconsistent play were the main culprits for the team’s struggles early on, especially in the starting rotation, but that has not been an issue of late. The pitching has been solid as Eddie Medina, Jon, Link, and Tim Brown have turned things around, but the real difference has been the lineup. This is the best hitting team in the league with a .284 average, and Brent Clevlen’s power surge coupled with the play of Matt Chavez and Richard Prigatano have made them the most formidable group to face. The team has a 6.5 game on Laredo and all three division rivals are going to be kicking themselves come season’s end for not kicking as much dirt on the Wingnuts as they could when they had them down.
Mid-Season MVP: Harrison Kain
A lot of guys could lay claim to this honor, but the truth is that the one guy who has consistently delivered all season long has been Harrison Kain. Kain leads the American Association in hitting (.355), and has shown incredible discipline at the plate, striking out just 17 times in his 48-games played. He has missed some games due to injury, but that has come from a hard charging attitude that he will do anything to make plays. He may be the best center fielder in the league, and has proven to be the MVP on a team that is full of stars.
Mid-Season Top Pitcher: Alex Boshers
No one would question the amazing job that Frankie Reed has done as the club’s closer. He is probably the best closer in the league, but this team would be in a whole world of hurt had it not been for Alex Boshers. When the club needed a guy to make a spot start, the right-hander came through for them and he has not left the rotation since. Boshers is 8-3, 8-1 as a starter, and his 3.17 ERA is ninth best in the league. He has been a major reason why the team is rolling in the last eight weeks.
Everyone expects the Wichita Wingnuts to be in the thick of things, and first year Manager Pete Rose, Jr. really has this team playing well. There are only two things that are going to stand in their way and that is injuries and signings. Several of their position players have drawn interest from Major League organizations and there are some guys on the club who are getting up in years. Should they keep the core together they will be a favorite to win it all.
By Robert Pannier.