A college player named Garrett Wittels, who plays for Florida International University (FIU), now has hit safely in 49 straight games. That’s second only to Robin Ventura’s 58 consecutive game record, set back in 1987 when Ventura played for Oklahoma State.
I looked up Wittels’ 2010 stats. They’re good, but not great, especially when you consider that he’s playing for a college team with what does not appear to be a top-tier schedule.
He’s hitting a lusty .411, which you would expect from a guy with a 49-game hitting streak. However, he has little HR power and does not draw a whole lot of walks, so his OPS is .996, which is good, but not likely to get him drafted in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft.
However, FIU’s website lists Wittels as a sophomore this year and he has hit 18 doubles and triples this year, one off the team lead. If he can develop HR power next season and continues to hit for average, he would be a real professional prospect.
FIU looks to be a good place to hit, at least based on the starters’ batting averages—the team’s eighth and ninth best regular hitters are hitting .310 and .291, respectively.
In fact, the best prospect on the team may be starting pitcher R.J. Fondon. Fondon has a 3.93 ERA (FIU’s team ERA is 5.28 and Opponent’s ERA is 6.89, so FIU does have some good hitters) with a line of 87 IP, 90 hits, 15 HR, 20 walks allowed, and 75 Ks. Except for the HR's allowed, he looks like he’s got something.
Wittels, by the way, leads the team in ERA at 3.38 after three relief appearances and 2.2 innings pitched. Obviously, the manager prefers to keep his bat in the lineup.