New Britain is having a decent start to the 2008 season, as their record is hovering around the .500 mark. Though they have lost seven of their last ten games, New Britain is only 9.5 games out of first place, and have played well at home. The team has hit well collectively, as they rank fourth in the league with a .268 batting average, though their staff is in the bottom half of the league in earned run average. If they can get some good pitching in the next couple of weeks, they should put themselves in contention in the Eastern League North Division.
The star so far for the New Britain Rock Cats has been Luke Hughes, who currently ranks first in the league in batting average with a .352 mark. He has hit for average, is second in the league in home runs, and has really been a catalyst for the Rock Cats offense. David Winfree has once again shown the ability to drive in runs in bunches, as he already has 38 runs batted in, and his ten home runs ties Hughes for second in the league.
Brock Peterson, who has hit for power at every level he has played at during his career has also been a great run producer, and he is right behind Winfree with 36 runs batted in. Erik Lis, who is arguably the most polished hitter in the Twins organization, has begun to catch fire, and currently leads the league with 17 doubles.
Top prospect Trevor Plouffe is once again thriving in the Eastern League, a year removed from being named New Britain Player of the Year. The Twins are seriously considering moving him up to the Big Leagues, though he may make a quick stop in Rochester. Dustin Martin is once again showing the Twins why they traded for him, as he is batting over .300 for the season. He is a very good outfield prospect, who should be a starter for the Twins in a few years.
While Yohan Pino has been more than solid for the New Britain Rock Cats in 2008, the rest of the pitching staff has struggled for the most part. Pino has been a constant in the Rock Cats rotation, and his earned run average is only 3.25 through his first eight appearances. Reliever Zach Ward has also been great, posting an earned run average of 0.58 through his first 19 appearances.
The biggest surprise so far this season in New Britain has been the struggles of Oswaldo Sosa and Jay Rainville, who are two of the top young right-handed starting pitching prospects in the Twins organization. Rainville has struggled mightily, posting a high earned run average of 6.61 through his first starts, and Sosa also joins him with an earned run average over 6.00. If the two of them can right their ship, the Rock Cats could make a serious run towards and Eastern League championship in 2008.