While the 2016 version of the Brooklyn Cyclones may have struggled with the bats, three former Cyclones finished the season tops in their league in batting average. T.J. Rivera, who played in Brooklyn during the 2011 season, finished tops in the Pacific Coast League and Phil Evans, a 2012 & 2013 Cyclone, led the Eastern League in batting. In addition, Tomas Nido won the Batting Crown for the Florida State League .
T.J. Rivera entered Triple-A Las Vegas' season finale on Monday with a .350 average, down four points in the Pacific Coast League batting race with teammate and former Cyclone Brandon Nimmo.
Rivera wasn't aware he was within reach of the title at the start, but his 51s teammates let him know before he sealed it with a double to center field in his final at-bat.
Riding a stretch of three straight multi-hit games, Rivera went 3-for-5 and drove in two runs in Las Vegas' 7-1 win over Salt Lake at Smith's Ballpark to pass Nimmo and capture the crown by just one point with a .353 average.
Rivera rejoined to the 51s on Aug. 29 after a short stint with the Mets. When the calendar flipped to September, he was sporting a .345 average. In his absence, Nimmo, who returned from New York on Aug. 10, slashed .407/.474/.651 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 20 August games to vault himself into the lead.
Rivera went down on strikes in his first two at-bats and collected his first knock with a single to right field with two outs in the fourth. In the sixth, Nimmo walked and Rivera gained more ground with a one-out, two-run single to center to extend the 51s' lead to 5-0.
Nimmo tallied his first hit with a single through third base with two outs in the seventh and finished 1-for-5. The 23-year-old's batting average climbed steadily since July 20, when he was hitting at a .327 clip.
In his final at-bat in the eighth, Rivera laced his 31st double of the season to straight-away center to pull ahead for the title.
Rivera ended his Triple-A season with a .353/.393/.516 slash line, 11 homers and 85 RBIs. He closed out the year with hits in 17 of his last 18 ballgames.
Binghamton Mets INF Phillip Evans went 4-for-6 in the last game of the regular season and raised his batting average to .335 to secure the Eastern League batting title. Evans slipped past the idle Portland Sea Dog outfielder Aneury Tavarez by .00012.
Evans trailed Tavarez by five percentage points entering the day and grounded out twice in his first three at-bats. He singled to left in the seventh and ripped a single past Dominic Ficociello at first in the ninth. After Amed Rosario's game-tying two-run single in the ninth forced extras, Evans skipped a single into center in the 11th. Evans was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 13th inning.
Promoted to Binghamton on April 22, Evans stumbled out of the gate with a 1-for-14 stretch to open his Double-A career. The infielder from California bounced back with a .333 average in May and checked into the All-Star break at .311.
Evans caught fire once the calendar flipped to August. From August 9 to the close of the season, he hit .430 (46-for-107) and led the league by 38 percentage points during the stretch. In his final 25 games, he registered 15 multiple-hit games, including three four-hit performances.
With a slim margin to collect enough plate appearances to qualify for the league leader board, Evans started all of Binghamton's final 21 games. Evan's six plate appearances on Monday gave him enough to qualify for the title.
Officially, Evans ended the season with a .33518 batting average. Tavarez finished in second with a .33506 mark.
Tomas Nido, who played with Brooklyn in 2012 and 2014, won the Florida State League Batting Title thanks to a late season surge that helped him get just enough plate appearances to qualify. The backstop hit .320 (110-344) with 23 doubles, seven home runs and 46 RBI in 90 games with the St. Lucie Mets. Nido hit .500 (9-18) over the final week of the season to help clinch St. Lucie’s Playoff spot as well as his batting crown.