TinCaps catcher Austin Allen extended his hitting streak to 24 games Friday, setting a new Fort Wayne record.
Allen’s first two at-bats resulted in flyouts before the San Diego Padres prospect doubled to lead off the bottom of the 4th inning. He finished the game 2-for-5 with a run batted in. (The TinCaps beat the Bowling Green Hot Rods 13-5.)
Allen is batting .322 with 7 HR and 55 RBI in 95 games with the TinCaps. His batting average is fifth-best among players who qualify for the Midwest League batting title, 21 percentage points behind league leader Will Maddox of the West Michigan Whitecaps.
The previous Fort Wayne franchise record of 23 consecutive games was set by Sean Burroughs in 1999, when the team was known as the Wizards. Burroughs batted .359 with 5 HR, 80 RBI and 17 SB in 122 games with the Wizards. He made his major-league debut for the Padres three years later.
Although Burroughs had an impressive season in Fort Wayne, he was not named the Midwest League MVP. That honor went to Michigan Battle Cats first baseman Aaron McNeal, who batted .310 with 38 HR and 131 RBI in 133 games. McNeal never reached the major leagues, but several of his teammates did, including LHP Johan Santana, RHP Roy Oswalt and infielder Aaron Miles.
The 1999 MWL Prospect of the Year was Lansing Lugnuts outfielder Corey Patterson, who batted .320 with 20 HR, 79 RBI and 33 SB in 112 games. He made his MLB debut for the Chicago Cubs in September 2000.
Allen’s 24-game hitting streak is tied for the longest in the Midwest League this season, equaling Francisco Mejia’s mark with the Lake County Captains. Mejia continued his hitting streak after being promoted to the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, and extended it to 49 consecutive games Friday. Mejia is now tied for the sixth-longest hitting streak in professional baseball history, 20 games behind the mark of 69 set in 1919 by Joe Wilhoit of the now-defunct Western League.