MEAC And SWAC Baseball Hitters To Watch Down The Final Stretch of 2019

With just a little more than one week left in the regular season, baseball is entering the home stretch for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). With batters swinging hot bats getting on base and driving in runs, here are some of the best outright hitters to keep an eye on as the conference championships approache.

Yamil Pagan, Alabama State, Outfielder
The center fielder is posting a sizzling hot .386 batting average 44 games into the season. He’s also making the most out of every one of his 13 home runs and 47 runs batted in. He hits the ball well but has been a bit streaky with the home runs. He hit a home run in his first at bat on the first pitch from the leadoff spot in an important 3-2 11- extra inning win against Jackson State in a battle for first place this past April 27. Still, that power can’t be denied. He is still a run-producing machine with nine RBI in his last six games.

Head Coach Jose Vazquez Comments:
“Yamil worked extremely hard on his game during the offseason. His ability to hit the baseball to all fields is what has separated him this year. He has embraced his leadership role on the Hornets team and has definitely lead by example. The season he is having has help him solidified his status as one the best players in the conference and the nation. He is a humble young man that has represented ASU and the baseball program to the best of his ability.”

Alsander Womack, Norfolk State, Infielder
For a guy with a pretty solid swing, plus a sizzling hot 1.019 on-base slugging (OPS). There’s not a lot of holes in what Womack does. It allows him to hit in the gaps, put balls in play, get on base and drive runs home. The strikeouts have not been high for a guy hitting with his slugging percentage. A lot of that is because his swing is sound; it allows him to be a successful hitter better average-wise and power-wise. He tries to be a complete hitter, which is a unique thing considering you’d think he’d go out there looking to hit home runs, but he really hasn’t.

“Womack has not suffered from any sophomore slump. The 2018 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American has ranked among the top hitters in all of Division I much of the season. He is currently seventh in the nation with a .416 average, which leads the MEAC. He also ranks among the top 50 in on-base percentage, hits per game and toughest to strikeout. Womack has also fared well out of conference, hitting .588 (10-for-17) in four games against JMU and Virginia. Perhaps more impressively, he has at least one hit in all but three games in which he has played (29 of 32).”

Head coach Keith Shumate comments “Alsander possesses the hit tool. The most coveted and hardest tool to find. He gives quality at bat after quality at bat. He loves to compete on every pitch in the batter’s box. He’s a dangerous guy to pitch against.”

Corey Joyce, North Carolinia Central, Infielder
The right-handed hitting junior has been red-hot all season all of which have been multi-hit performances. What’s more is three of his five home runs have come during that span, so he may be just be getting into his groove.

Head coach James Koerner comments “Corey has had a phenomenal season. His consistency has been tremendous from the first game and throughout. He manages his AB’s at a very high level and works hard through the process. He’s had big games vs. #5 NC State, going 4-4 with a homerun as well as going 6-6 with a home run against Bethune-Cookman. Recently he batted .500 for the week with another home run against No. 25 Duke. He has garnered draft interest from just about every Major League Baseball organization and has been projected to go anywhere from the 5th-13th round this June.”

Isaiah Torres, Grambling State, Outfielder
We were told to keep an eye on Torres early in the preseason, making him one of our players to watch at the beginning of the season. Boy, has he delivered. He leads the Tigers with a .368 batting average with 14 doubles and 37 runs batted in from the leadoff spot. So in my opinion, we are looking at another well-rounded SWAC hitter and a nightmare for opposing pitchers.

Head coach James Copper comments “Isaiah Torres is hands down the best professional we have on the team. He has the most plate coverage I’ve ever seen. He’s not afraid to hit with 2 strikes. He doesn’t swing at pitches out of the zone. He is unfazed when he believes the umpire gave him a bad call. He handles the bat well very versus left hand pitching. All we need is for him to do what he does best: play baseball and hit the ball hard to all parts of the field. Torres is our leadoff hitter, and he is the guy that sets the tone for the rest of our hitters in the lineup. It’s no mistake that we went on a 8 game winning streak with him in the leadoff spot. He is the guy that drives the CADILLAC, he’s going to help drive us to a championship this year.”

Justin Banks, Coppin State, First Base 
There was perhaps no player more impressive than Banks, who demonstrated a serious knack for coming through in the clutch. The junior infielder has received notice for good reason. He started all 38 games for Coppin, batting .414 with 5 home runs, 41 runs batted in and a .629 slugging percentage leading the Eagles. The offense will likely take them as far as Banks goes in 2019 and if this season is any indication, that should be a considerable distance.

Head Coach Sherman Reed Comments:
Justin Banks has been a staple in the Coppin State batting order as both a table setter, and run producer. Banks has shown extra base hit ability to all fields. Justin has elite pitch recognition, feel for the strike zone, and an advanced hit tool has allowed him to rack up quality at bats. Justin has been a model of consistency. Leads MEAC in Hits (58), HR (5), RBI (41), slugging (.629), on-base percentage (.511), total bases (88) while ranking second in batting average (.414), and doubles (15) and third in walks (29). Has been intentionally walked 12 times this season which is top 5 nationally. 2 HR at UNC Charlotte. In MEAC play, leads conference in hitting (.453), RBI (25), walks (22), on-base percentage (.559), slugging (.667), total bases (50) while second in doubles (10) and hits (34). National Ranks: 8th in Average, 12th in OBP, 37th in 2B/Game, 40th Hits/Game and 50th/2B.” Tyler LaPorte, Southern, Infielder
The senior might be the most versatile player in the SWAC conference. He made 44 starts this season. The Southern leadoff hitter is a run-producing machine ranked nationally #31 with a .396 batting average and #17 in 54 runs batted in. Add 20 stolen bases to his resume. LaPorte is a nice addition to the heart of the Jaguars lineup.

Head Coach Kerrick Jackson Comments:
Tyler has been a steady presence in our line up from day one! Once we moved him to the top of the line-up he really came into his own, as one of our top hitters, and RBI leader. His aggressive approach at the plate, along with his low strikeout numbers make him the ultimate threat in our batting order. He posses the ability to drive the gaps for extra base hits, and pull-side power for the occasional HR. His speed gives him the ability to stretch singles into doubles, as well as being a threat to steal bags.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Standings:

Northern

Team Record Win % GB Overall Overall % Streak
Coppin State 15-6 0.714 24-17 0.585 W3
Norfolk State 14-7 0.667 1 19-21 0.475 W2
Delaware State 9-12 0.429 6 14-23 0.378 L2
UMES 4-17 0.190 11 10-38 0.208 L6

Southern

Team Record Win % GB Overall Overall % Streak
North Carolina A&T 11-6 0.647 23-19 0.548 W1
Florida A&M 10-8 0.556 1.5 18-28 0.391 L5
North Carolina Central 10-10 0.500 2.5 19-24 0.442 W1
Bethune Cookman 9-12 0.429 4 16-31 0.340 L2
Savannah State 7-11 0.389 4.5 9-22-1 0.281 L1

Southwestern Athletic Conference Standings: 

Eastern

Team Record Win % GB Overall Overall % Streak
Alabama State 18-5 0.783 25-21 0.543 L1
Jackson State 13-8 0.619 4 27-20 0.574 L2
Alabama A&M 9-11 0.450 7.5 13-35 0.271 L6
Alcorn State 6-14 0.300 10.5 13-27 0.325 L1
Mississippi Valley State 6-14 0.300 10.5 8-24 0.250 L2

Western

Team Record Win % GB Overall Overall % Streak
Southern 15-5 0.750 25-19 0.568 W1
Grambling State 16-8 0.667 1 23-21 0.523 L2
Texas Southern 11-10 0.524 4.5 15-30 0.333 L1
Prairie View A&M 8-12 0.400 7 16-30 0.348 L4
Arkansas Pine Bluff 2-17 0.105 12.5 6-36 0.143 L14

 

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