Goldeyes Fish makes the grade

KEN WIEBE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:34 PM ET

When a team cruises to first place in the first half of a season, it's pretty easy to fill out the individual report cards.

During the first half of the season the Goldeyes, who sit atop the Northern League standings, had many solid individual performances and a couple of players that didn't quite live up to the hype.

With that in mind, here are our grades:

LF Dee Brown (A+) -- Quite possibly the most under-rated addition of the off-season, Brown is in position to challenge for a batting title while not sacrificing his production. A 23-game hitting streak was among his first-half highlights.

SS Wes Long (A+) -- Long didn't need long to win local fans over. He was brilliant in the field, at the plate and on the basepaths before suffering a serious ankle injury.

P Ace Walker (A+) -- The right-hander has lived up to his moniker again, posting an impressive 5-1 record with an impressive 1.78 E.R.A.

P Bear Bay (A) -- The opening-day starter in 2008 picked up where he left off last season and managed five wins in his first 10 starts.

OF Kevin West (A-) -- The veteran slugger has put a slow start behind him in terms of batting average, but continues to rack up homers and RBI.

C Dustin Richardson (A) --At this point last season, Richardson was reeling from the effects of a fractured skull and his future in baseball was in doubt. He put those doubts in the past, got off to a fantastic start and earned a spot in the all-star game.

DH Juan Diaz (B+) --Another veteran slugger who still strikes fear in opposition pitchers and seems poised for a big second half.

2B Josh Asanovich (B+) --The former Tampa Bay Rays farmhand is on the road to return to organized baseball. He's now knocking on the door of .300 while chipping in plenty of extra-base hits and playing sound defence.

P Chris Homer (B+) -- The sample size was limited to eight games because of a 30-day stint on the inactive list, but the right-hander did a great job in a set-up role.

P Jordan Stewart (B+) -- The side-armer from California found a niche in the bullpen and has been tough to hit.

SS Adam Frost (B) -- The youngster opened the season as a super-utility man, but is now the starting shortstop with Long on the shelf. His average is in the .300's.

1B Cody Ehlers (B-) -- The first-year Fish hasn't hit quite as well as expected but had 21 RBI in 39 games and delivered in some big spots.

P Zach Baldwin (B-) -- The left-hander has adjusted to his new role as a reliever and has filled in as a spot starter.

P Aaron Odom (B-) -- The lefty carved out a spot for himself in the bullpen and has been one of the more reliable relievers.

P Matt Davis (C+) -- The closer leads the league in saves but also had six blown saves in the first half. Davis was brilliant in the first month and needs to get back to that form down the stretch.

CF Cory Patton (C) -- His average isn't where he'd like, but Patton has picked up some clutch hits and has driven in his share of runs. He also covers a lot of ground in the field and has come on for some mop-up pitching duty.

P Andrew Cruse (C) -- After starting the season as a swing guy, the right-hander has bolstered his spot in the starting rotation. Other than one rough outing, he's done a good job.

P Derek Feldkamp (C) -- The right-hander has given up roughly a hit per inning, not bad but not great either.

OF Kurt Crowell (C) -- While appearing in just over half of the games, he has supplied sound defence but hasn't hit much.

C Jeff DeSmidt (C) -- In limited action, the second-year pro has done a nice job filling in for Richardson.

3B Brent Metheny (C-) -- One of the most feared hitters in the NL last season, Metheny was plagued by injuries in the first half, which obviously affected his stroke. Metheny is looking for a big finish and chasing the first championship of his career.

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca


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