Agua Prieta, Tijuana and defending champion Guaymas are all tied for the second-half lead in the Class A Mexican Northern League with identical 14-4 records, one game ahead of 13-5 Ensenada. Tijuana nudged out Caborca for the first-half crown with a 29-9-2 record.
Ex-Cubs farmhand Kevin Soto of Empalme leads the LNM with a .413 batting average in 53 games, former Mexican Leaguer Jayson Bass of Caborca has a commanding lead in homers with 15 and onetime Japanese Pacific League player Yuji Yoshioka of Ensenada is tops with 57 RBIs.
Pitchers Omar Urquidez of Empalme and Agua Prieta’s Jose Quintero each sport 8-1 records, Ensenada’s Alexis Candelario (who is a perfect 6-0) has a microscopic 1.28 ERA while Tijuana’s Carlos Teller leads the Norte with 74 strikeouts in 58 innings. Urquidez has pitched sparingly in the Mexican League in recent seasons (including four games for Nuevo Laredo this year), while the other three hurlers have all pitched affiliate ball in the low minors.
Guaymas (pictured) defeated Agua Prieta in the LNM finals last August for the 2009 pennant.