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.