Really exciting news for Niskayuna graduate and 2015 first-round MLB draft pick Garrett Whitley:

Whitley had been playing with the Gulf Coast League Rays, where he had hit .188 in 30 games for the Rays affiliate. But he did have a .310 on-base percentage. He also hit three home runs and had 13 RBIs.

Don't read too much into stats. Take this into account:

Garrett Whitley on draft day (3rd from Left) Getty Images.
Garrett Whitley on draft day (3rd from Left) Getty Images.

1. Whitley was playing in Section II just four months ago. The difference between high school and professional pitching is staggering. There's a high adjustment period, so don't worry about his batting average.

2. He's away from home for the first time: Whitley isn't going to college like most graduated seniors right now. This is his first experience away, another adjustment period.

3. It's really hot in Florida: For a kid who's used to playing in New York, getting used to playing in the heat of Florida is another huge adjustment.

4. He's playing every day: That's the biggest adjustment of them all. How can you prepare every day?

What you should focus on is Whitley's OBP is more than 100 points higher his batting average. A keen eye and a willingness to walk is a developed plate approach.

The Renegades are the short-season A-ball affiliate of the Rays. They play in the New York-Penn League, but do not play the ValleyCats again this season.

They are 32-31 and one game back in the McNamara Division race. They could see the 'Cats in the playoffs.


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