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Former Vaq still on tear

Valenzuela, Jr. is putting finishing touches on stellar year at the plate in Mexico.

July 23, 2011|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

GLENDALE — The following are updates on local baseball players at the minor league level.

Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. (St. Francis High, 2000) Leones de Yucatan designated hitter: Headed into Saturday night's tilt with Minatitlan, Valenzuela, Jr. and Leones de Yucatan had just six games remaining and were out of the playoff race.

However, the former Glendale Community College and St. Francis standout is on track for his greatest professional season.

Valenzuela, Jr., who earned his first selection as a Mexican League All-Star this season, entered Saturday's action with a .357 average (117 for 328) that put him in a tie for eighth in the league.

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Along with his average, which is four points higher than his previous season-best for his career in the Mexican League, which began in 2007, Valenzuela has scored 37 runs, driven in 54 and posted 23 doubles, eight home runs, 27 walks, a .506 slugging percentage and a .411 on-base percentage through 93 games.

Yucatan, entering Saturday, was 41-58, and in dead last in the Mexican League's Norte Division standings. Including Saturday's game, Yucatan had six games remaining.

Billy Spottiswood (Glendale Community College, 2005) Mobile BayBears relief pitcher: Spottiswood incurred a rough patch recently, allowing single runs in consecutive appearances before allowing four runs and six hits in two innings of work on July 8.

He's since turned the corner, though, making five appearances and turning in six innings of work and giving up just one earned run. His latest appearance came on Thursday against Birmingham, as he threw two innings and struck out four, while allowing no runs, just one hit and no walks in the BayBears' 9-3 victory.

For the season, Spottiswood, heading into Saturday action, sports a 4-2 record with one save and a 3.33 earned-run average. Over 51 1/3 innings, he's struck out 41 batters and walked 17.

Mobile, a double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is dominating the Southern League North standings with a 21-7 record through Friday and a seven-game lead.

Ryan Sherriff (Glendale Community College, 2011) Johnson City Cardinals pitcher: The left-hander has found appearances hard to come by so far, having made just five and alternated relief appearances and starts.

In two starts, he went 10 innings and gave up five runs combined. In three relief appearances, he's thrown 6 2/3 innings and given up three runs combined.

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