Monday, December 27, 2010

Garrett Wittels

Robin Ventura was an outstanding MLB third baseman who had a sensational career at Oklahoma State University. When you talk about collegiate superstars, Ventura is definitely in the discussion. And his 58-game hitting streak in college is the Division I record.

It's a record that is currently being challenged by Florida International's Garrett Wittels, who happens to be Jewish. But Wittels didn't burst onto the scene like Ventura did as a freshman. In fact, I would say Wittels and Ventura are a study in contrasts.

Ventura's line as a freshman was .469/.574/.846 for an OPS of 1.420 in 241 ABs. He hit 21 HRs and 28 doubles. Wittels' line as a freshman was .246/.323/.314 for an OPS of .637 in 118 ABs. He hit 1 HR and 5 doubles.

Flash forward to 2010. Wittels' line as a sophomore was .413/.463/.541 for an OPS of 1.004 in 242 ABs. He hit 2 HRs, 2 triples, and 21 doubles. Not a ton of power, but that's a lot of extra base hits. And his BB/K ratio was 22/19. Ventura had another beastly season as a sophomore, putting up a line of .428/.536/.768 for an OPS of 1.304 in 271 ABs. He hit 21 HRs, 1 triple, and 27 doubles.

Ventura would go on to have a terrific junior season as well. Wittels will enter his junior season with a 56-game hitting streak on the line. That's insane. I don't care what level you're playing at. Getting a hit in 56 consecutive games is unbelievable.

Like Ventura before him, Wittels is a third baseman (and a second baseman). He's also 6-1, the same height as Ventura. That's about as much as they have in common.

Wittels is said to have a good inside-out swing a la Derek Jeter. He's not the type of player who can swing for the fences, but by the looks of his 56-game hitting streak, that hasn't hurt him any. No, he's not much like Robin Ventura, but he is a serious threat to his record.


William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

That would be quite an accomplishment. Amazing even at 56! Nothing like Florida for baseball. They have every advantage down there for year round ball.

Gridlock said...

What are the odds that you post this on the day the guy gets accused? Did you post this after you found out or beforehand?
In any case, I hope he gets the change to break the record, but now he is going to have extra stress on him.

Josh Borenstein said...

Posted it before I found out. Kind of a buzzkill. Hopefully, he'll still be eligible to play this season.