South Jersey Baseball:
Monday, August 23, 2004
By Bill Cook
Mitch Jones of the Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, moved into a tie for the Eastern League home run lead with his 37th home run of the season on Sunday in Portland. He is now four home runs away from the Eastern League record with fifteen games to play; six of which are at home this week.
The Eastern League home run mark of 41 was set by Ken Strong of Hazelton in 1930 and tied by Rick Lancellotti of Buffalo in 1979.
“Mitch’s pursuit of this record is sure to bring some excitement to the ballpark as we head into our final six home games of the year,” said Thunder General Manager Rick Brenner. “It’s not every day that someone has a chance to break a record that has stood for 74 years.”
Jones is currently batting .260 and leads the league in extra base hits (64), is second in RBI (95) and runs scored (83) and is fourth in slugging percentage (.578). Jones is tied with Ryan Howard, who is currently with Scranton Wilkes Barre of the International League (AAA), for the HR lead. Jones homered in six of the eight Thunder games this week. He had 17 RBI for the week, including three 3-RBI games and a 4-RBI game.
Jones was a 2004 Eastern League All-Star and won the 2004 EL Home Run Derby. He was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 7th Round of the 2000 draft.
The Thunder host the New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins) this Tuesday through Thursday before facing the Binghamton Mets (New York Mets) Friday-Sunday. Tickets are available for all Thunder home games by calling 609-394-3300 or by going to www.trentonthunder.com.