Double-A Harrisburg Senators outfielder Bill Rhinehart, who smacked a double and scored a run in the Eastern League All-Star Game for the West, finished the first half of the season on a surge. The Western All-Stars beat the Eastern All-Stars 8-3 on Wednesday in Manchester, N.H.
Rhinehart has gone 8-for-18 the last five games, including three straight multi-hit games. He has crushed six homers in the last 10 games, with a .394 average during that run.
Overall, the former Arizona Wildcat has averaged .293 with 13 doubles, two triples, 19 homers, 47 RBIs in 76 games and is another critical element to the Senators' first-place standing as the second half begins.
His OPS is 1.007. As I noted before, he is also surrounded in the lineup with talented hitters like Tyler Moore, Chris Rahl, Derek Norris and Archie Gilbert that get on base and also take a lot of good pitches. As Moore said, this helps every player in the lineup and a good reason for why this team excels on the field.
One of those teammates is Senators center fielder Gilbert, who had a base hit in the All-Star Game after presenting a standout first half resume: .305 average, 12 doubles, 10 homers, 33 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 78 games, drawing praise from Harrisburg manager Tony Beasley.
"He has been playing really well," Beasley said. "We started with five outfielders. It was really difficult getting everyone into a rhythm. It kind of worked itself out later and he got to get consistent playing time. He started swinging the bat very well. He has been a big part of our offense. He has done a good job on the bags. He has 20 stolen bases and four caught stealings. That is what it is all about. You go out and play hard and get recognized. Hopefully, he is doing that."
There are pictures all over Metro Bank Park of the Harrisburg Senators last league titles during their magical four-year run from 1996-1999, and with the way this team is playing this season (53-36), it is not out of the realm of possibility they well have to add a new banner and pictures before the start of next season.
Beasley is impressed with the talent on this team in his first season with the organization and explains why this team is so good.
"We have had some pretty good success this year," Beasley said. "We had Steve Lombardozzi earlier in the year, he contributed big time. Obviously, Derek Norris as well and (pitcher Brad) Peacock is pitching extremely well. We have Tyler Moore at first base. We have some guys doing some good things and some other guys filling in and hopefully making a name for themselves. I am excited about where we are right now."