Baseball notebook: Kevin Donati named to All-Futures League first team

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Kevin Donati led the Pittsfield Suns in hitting in each of the last two seasons. Donati's perseverance paid off this week, when he was named to the All-Futures League first team.

Donati, listed as an outfielder, and pitcher Mitch Holcomb were the two Suns players named to the team. Holcomb was named to the second team.

Donati, a rising junior from UAlbany and a graduate of Pittsfield High School, finished sixth in the Futures League with a .344 batting average. He was 52-for-151 at the plate, had four home runs and 21 runs batted in. Of those 52 hits, 13 of them went for extra bases — six double and three triples to go with the four home runs.

One of those four home runs was an inside-the-park grand slam from an 8-7 win over North Shore back on July 11.

Donati's average never dipped below .340, and he hit as high as .403 on June 26. He had a .503 slugging percentage, a .429 on-base percentage and a .932 OPS. He led the Suns in OPS, was second in slugging and on-base percentage.

The PHS graduate, who spent much of the year playing in the outfield, was 19 for 25 in stolen bases to lead the team. Donati was third in the Futures League, trailing only Chris Davis of Bristol (26) and Kevin Doody of Worcester (23).

Last year, Donati also hit .344, but every one of his other statistics were better in 2017. He only hit one home run last year, drove in 16 and had four extra-base hits. His OPS was .796, with a .404 on-base percentage and a .392 slugging percentage.

Holcomb, a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, had a 3-1 record and a 2.86 earned-run average for the Suns. The right-hander from Georgetown, Texas, started nine games, pitched in 11, and logged a team-high 50 1/3 innings. He led the Suns in innings pitched and strikeouts (42).

Holcomb was especially hot down the stretch. He was 2-0 in his final four starts, giving up only seven earned-runs in 27 innings for a 2.33 ERA.

Former Suns player Zack Tower was named the Futures League's MVP. Tower, who played at Pittsfield four years ago, hit .319 with 18 home runs and 50 RBI. Tower plays at Franklin Pierce

The top pro prospect in the league was Martha's Vineyard catcher Phil Clarke from Vanderbilt, while Dartmouth's Austin Michel of North Shore was named the pitcher of the year and Worcester's Cody Laweryson from the University of Maine was named the relief pitcher of the year.

Earlier, the Futures League had named Pittsfield shortstop Hal Hughes as defensive player of the year and Suns pitcher Brandon Shileikis as the winner of the Adam Keenan Foundation Sportsmanship and Scholarship Award.

Hughes made only seven errors in 329 innings played, and had 192 chances. His fielding percentage of .964 was the third highest among shortstops in the league.

Hughes, who graduated high school in June, will be playing at LSU in the fall.

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Baseball America has released its lists of top 10 prospects from the various summer college leagues. Both the Suns and the NECBL's North Adams SteepleCats had one player on the list.

Pittsfield pitcher/third baseman Cade Cavalli was one of the Futures League's top 10 prospects, coming in at No. 5.

North Adams pitcher Blake Whitney, a first-team All-Star and the NECBL's starting pitcher of the year, was the No. 3 prospect in the NECBL according to Baseball America.

Cavalli is one of seven incoming freshmen on the BA top-10 list. He is joined on the list by a future University of Oklahoma teammate, infielder Tyler Hardman from Martha's Vineyard.

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Bobby Kinne of Great Barrington was named an Honorable Mention selection on the Great West League's postseason All-Star team. Teammate Koty Fallon was named to the All-GWL Second Team.

That's where the story goes off in a different direction.

Kinne, a rising senior at Vassar, and Fallon is a rising sophomore at Western Oregon. They have a Berkshire County connection.

Kinne played his high school sports at Monument Mountain, where his father Kevin was a multi-sport athlete. Fallon's father Jeff is also a Monument graduate. Jeff Fallon and his wife Natasha live in Surprise, Ariz.

On the season, Kinne hit .311 with two home runs and 30 runs batted in. Fallon, the second-team first baseman, hit .260 with six home runs and 31 RBI.

Reach sports writer Howard Herman at 413-496-6253 or @howardherman.


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