Times Sports Editor
The Class A South Atlantic League Kannapolis Intimidators is looking to build on a solid first half of baseball as the second half is fully underway.
Brady Shoemaker is trying to do the same as he focuses on the second portion of the season after being named a league all-star two weeks ago.
Kannapolis registered a 37-31 record in the first half, which was good for just fourth place in the Northern Division, which saw Hickory, a Texas Rangers affiliate, string together an impressive 40-28 mark to win the first half race.
Shoemaker has helped spur the second half charge to a four-game Kannapolis winning streak that has seen the Intimidators more than 10 runs per game in the last three victories.
Three consecutive two hit games for Shoemaker has been a driving force to 13, 10 and eight-run efforts against Greensboro this week. He produced a four RBI game in the series opener, going 2-for-4 with his 11th home run and drew a walk as well. He then followed that up with another 2-for-4 night in game two of the series with two runs scored and his 20th double of the year. In the final game of the set, Shoemaker drove in his 53rd run of the year while producing a third, 2-for-4 game at the plate, scoring twice more while improving his season batting average to .312.
This season, Shoemaker has pounded left-hander pitching to the tune of a .366 average over 71 at-bats, smacking four of his homeruns and slugging .662 while driving in 15 RBI. Against right-handers, Shoemaker has still hit well as he's hit .292 with 37 RBI and seven home runs over 233 at-bats.
In key situations, Shoemaker has also performed well for Kannapolis, hitting .333 with runners on base and .307 with runners in scoring position.
Shoemaker was selected in the 19th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Indiana State University and signed with the White Sox in 2009. From there, he hit .351 for Bristol over 57 games, which earned him an end of the year call up to Class AAA Charlotte over the final eight games.
Last year he began the season at Kannapolis and hit .293 over 96 games, hitting 12 home runs, driving in 55 runs and smacking 23 doubles for the Intimidators.
Up next for Shoemaker and the Intimidators is a trip to the defending champion Lakewood Blueclaws, the Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.