The Sugar Land Skeeters had a subpar week, going 3-4 against Atlantic League opponents with losing records in the second half of the season.
Despite the team’s struggles, there were bright spots individually. Sugar Land manager Pete Incaviglia was particularly impressed with the play of outfielder Wynton Bernard, who signed with the Skeeters as a free agent on July 15.
“This guy’s very professional, shows up every day, works at his craft, plays hard, never complains, got a great work ethic,” Incaviglia said. “He’s got some tools. He can run, he’s got power, he’s a very good outfielder, he’s a great teammate and he plays the game the right way every day.”
Bernard, 28, has 38 hits with 20 runs and 22 RBIs in 38 games with the Skeeters. He has six doubles, a triple and two home runs – including one last week against the New Britain Bees – to go along with a .271 batting average. Bernard has stolen 13 bases while being caught once.
Incaviglia said Bernard, who has played at the Triple-A level in each of the last four seasons but has yet to reach the major leagues, has the kind of drive and work ethic he likes.
“I know Wynton’s one of those guys that wasn’t a high-round draft pick, but he worked himself up to Triple-A because of hard work and belief in himself and you always root for guys like that,” Incaviglia said.
Bernard is in his eighth year of professional baseball. He began this season in the Chicago Cubs organization, playing 41 games for their Triple-A affiliate and 11 with their Double-A team. He spent the entire 2018 season in the Cubs’ farm system and then played 27 games in the Australian Baseball League over the winter.
Bernard was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 35th round of the 2012 MLB draft out of Niagara University. Along with the Cubs and Padres, he also has played for affiliates of the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers.
Rumbelow goes to Mets
The contract of right-hander Nick Rumbelow has been purchased by the New York Mets.
Rumbelow, 27, went 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA and seven saves in 22 appearances with the Skeeters, striking out 31 batters in 22 ⅓ innings pitched. Rumbelow was tied for ninth in the Atlantic League this season with seven saves and held opponents to a .203 average.
The Skeeters have set their single-season record with 13 contracts purchased by Major League Baseball organizations. They’ve also added to their single-season contracts-purchased record with a total of 16 from other professional baseball organizations this season. Both figures lead the Atlantic League this year.
Three days after releasing him Aug. 16, the Skeeters re-signed pitcher Matt Purke, a Houston-area native and former first-round draft pick.
The Skeeters started a four-game series at the York Revolution on Monday. They return home Friday for three games against the High Point Rockers and three against the York Revolution. Friday’s game features postgame fireworks and Saturday features a team card set giveaway.
Skeeter of the Week
Pitcher Carlos Pimentel tossed a season-high seven innings last Wednesday to earn a win for the Skeeters.
Atlantic League Second Half Standings
Wins – Losses – Games back
York Revolution 25-18-0
Sugar Land Skeeters 24-19-1
S. Maryland Blue Crabs 22-21-3
Lancaster Barnstormers 17-25-7. 5
Long Island Ducks 23-19-0
High Point Rockers 24-20-0
New Britain Bees 19-23-4
Somerset Patriots 17-26-6.5
Bees 7, Skeeters 5
Bees 3, Skeeters 2
Skeeters 3, Bees 2
Bees 7, Skeeters 4
Barnstormers 8, Skeeters 2
Skeeters 4, Barnstormers 3
Skeeters 7, Barnstormers 2