If there was a week to remember, outfielder Ben Guez will remember this one. Since All-Star break, the Texas native has batted .373 with three home runs and 20 RBI. His big at-bats earned him the MWL Player of the Week award this past week. He is the sixth ‘Cap to take home the honor this season. Fellow teammates, Casey Crosby, Luke Putkonen, Bryan Pounds, Billy Nowlin and Ronnie Bourquin were named for the award this past year as well.
On July 20th, coming off his award, Guez made a game-winning hit that brought home teammate Avisail Garcia in the bottom of the 10th inning as the ‘Caps slid by Kane County, 1-0, for the finale of the three game series, and the last game of the home-stand.
July 23rd, Ben Guez smacked a three-run shot in the first inning, which would set up his ‘Caps for a 4-0 win against Quad Cities on the road. Brandon Hamilton (4-3) was also good in his last start— shedding some light on his former following. In his longest start in two months, the fire-baller went six innings, allowing only three hits and two walks.
In fact, all of West Michigan's top starters came through this past week, accept Crosby. Crosby gathered one of the two losses the ‘Caps had on their home-stand, July 15th. Luke Putkonen won his start on the 13th. Anthony Shawler also won his on the 16th. Between Crosby, Shawler, Hamilton and Putkonen, they have a combined total of 22 wins on the season.
On a more in-depth look, Brandon Douglas is emerging as the ‘Caps' leader on the field. His numbers might say a lot, but it's the way the team rallies behind him that makes a difference. Douglas has played in the midfield all season, and has seen different combo pairings at shortstop and second. Since Nunez's departure, Douglas is noticeably taking more run-checks, pickoffs, out of reach grounders and infield flies, thus stating his leader status. He has maintained his game and came through when his team needed him the most. With Iowa blood and big league heart, he is the unsung hero of the West Michigan Whitecaps.
‘Caps come and ‘Caps go, but in the end it's the wins that matter. But behind those wins there is a little thing called chemistry. If this team sticks together through the system, Detroit might see something special in the next 5-7 years.