Valenzuela leading team with bat

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — The following are updates on area athletes in minor league baseball.

Fernando Valenzuela Jr. (St. Francis High, 2000) designated hitter, Leones de Yucatan: Valenzuela has started his season out on the right foot, leading his team in batting average. Sixty-eight games into the season, he's hitting .362 (85 for 235), which is also tied for seventh best in the Mexican League.

The St. Francis and Glendale Community College product has hit 18 doubles, six homers, a triple and driven in 44 runs this season. He's also put up a .425 on-base and .523 slugging percentage, but the Leones, a AAA Mexican League team, are still below .500 with a 35-39 record, nine games behind the league leaders, Quintana Roo Tigres in the league's south division.

Valenzuela has maintained his hot bat in the past 10 games, hitting .333 (11 for 33) and driving in eight runs on three doubles and a triple. He's on a four-game hitting streak and will look to continue his level of play as the Leones close out a three-game series against the Tigres on the road, looking to gain some ground on the league leaders.

Bill Spottiswood (Glendale Community College, 2005) Mobile BayBears pitcher: Spottiswood entered the 2011 season at the AA level — playing for the Mobile BayBears, the AA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks — and has been dealing as of late.

The former Glendale Community College standout has only allowed three runs (one earned) in his past 13.1 innings of work out of the bullpen, striking out nine batters in that span.

Spottiswood's hot streak has lowered his earned-run average to 2.89 in 37.1 innings pitched this season. He has a 2-2 win-loss record and has only given up one home run this year. The BayBears are 36-32 this season, three games behind the Birmingham Barons, who are leading the AA Southern League's south division.

The BayBears were riding a seven-game losing streak heading into their game against the Montgomery Biscuits Saturday night. The BayBears will look to get on the right track with a game against the Montgomery Biscuits Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) Tri-City Dust Devils pitcher: Bergman began his second season in the minors on Thursday and struggled, giving up five runs – four earned – on eight hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings.

He took the loss in the Tri-City Dust Devils' season-opening 5-4 defeat to the Everett AquaSox.

The former All-Area Baseball Player of the Year also struck out four as the opening day starter of the Colorado Rockies' class-A short-season affiliate.

Tri-City was set to continue a five-game homestand through Tuesday with Everett before traveling to Boise on Tuesday to continue play in the Northwest League.

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