RIDGEFIELD — An already successful summer with the Ridgefield Raptors became even better for Quincy Scott on Monday.
Scott, an outfielder from San Marcos, California, was selected in the ninth round (261st overall) of the MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers, making him the first current West Coast League player to be picked in this year’s draft. The approximate slot value of the pick is $182,000, according to MLB.com’s 2023 Draft Tracker.
Scott took the junior college route out of high school, starring for two seasons at Palomar College. Near the end of his sophomore season this spring, Scott committed to UC Santa Barbara.
The timing of the draft coincided with a quality stretch of play for Scott and the Raptors, who clinched a West Coast League playoff berth by wrapping up the South Division first-half title Wednesday, July 5 against the Portland Pickles.
During a week in which the Raptors went 4-2, including a sweep of the Bellingham Bells, Scott put together a six-game hitting streak, highlighted by a 3-for-5 outing with a home run and four RBI against Bellingham on Saturday.
“That baseball looks like a beach ball to me,” Scott said Saturday. “Anything I see, I’m confident, I know I’m going to hit something, I know I’ll hit it hard. … My thing right now is just to try to drive the ball up the middle. If I pull it or hit it (opposite), it is what it is, but I’m feeling very confident out there.”
Following the completion of rounds 3-10 on Monday, the MLB Draft will resume in the 11th round Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, Ridgefield will kick off a three-game road series at Bellingham, before returning home on Friday for three games against the Yakima Valley Pippins.
Injury ends Sharp’s stint in Ridgefield
Another player hoping to hear his name called in the MLB Draft, Jacob Sharp (UNLV) had his second season with the Raptors conclude unceremoniously last week.
In the final game of a road series July 1 against the Springfield Drifters, Sharp suffered a thumb injury when an errant pitch hit him during a plate appearance. After consulting with his draft advisor, Sharp chose to leave the team in order to avoid risking further injury ahead of the draft, according to Ridgefield head coach Chris Cota.
Named the WCL co-MVP in 2022, Sharp appeared in 11 games this season with Ridgefield, batting .244 with 11 hits (two doubles) and three RBI.
Last week’s series between Ridgefield and Bellingham was a matchup of the top two WCL teams, both of which won their first-half division titles to clinch No. 1 seeds for the August playoffs.
Much of the Bells’ success has been predicated on their pitching staff, which boasted a league-best 2.58 earned-run average coming into the series at Ridgefield.
The Raptors put up a combined 20 runs in the series sweep, which dropped Bellingham’s team ERA to 2.89, second behind the Wenatchee AppleSox (2.87). The confident Raptors felt like their batting order made a statement, especially during a 10-4 win in the middle game of the series against Bellingham. It included an improbable seven-run fourth inning, all with two outs.
“I think it says we’re the best,” Scott said. “We’re great at hitting. We have a great team bond, you know, we’re all very close with each other (and) we clicked very fast. You can go ahead and put up guys throwing 95, 96 miles per hour, it doesn’t matter, we’re going to hit them. We can hit speed like no other.”
Ridgefield’s other two wins in the series were secured in 11th inning walk-offs. On Friday, Justin Stransky scored the winning run when an errant Bellingham throw sailed over third base on Stransky’s steal attempt.
Ridgefield won that series opener 5-4, and replicated the same final score in Sunday’s series finale. Following a Nick Seamons triple, Trent Prokes delivered the game-winning RBI single to give the Raptors a series sweep.
In their own words
“We’re happy about (the playoff berth), but we’re not done yet. There’s still a championship, and we’ve got to get there. We’re not going to take anything light.” — Ridgefield infielder Reiss Calvin, on the Raptors’ mindset for the rest of the regular season and beyond.
The week ahead
Ridgefield (22-10) is set to make the nearly four-hour bus trip to play Bellingham (20-10) at Joe Martin Field, where the Bells have lost just two games this season. Dating back to last season, the Raptors have won six straight games against the Bells.
Later in the week, Ridgefield will play host to the Yakima Valley Pippins (12-21) in a rematch of a June 20-22 series at Yakima the Raptors swept in the midst of their 11-game winning streak.
The Raptors will wear special limited edition jerseys in Friday’s series opener to be auctioned off for the Pink Lemonade Project, a nonprofit to support those diagnosed with or recovering from breast cancer.