Photo by Darwin Moore / MTSU Sidelines
When most people think of a leadoff hitter, what comes to mind is a guy that gets on base. A leadoff hitter is also typically one of the fastest and most patient hitters on the team. MTSU’s Riley Delgado is just that.
Delgado’s career number’s at MTSU have exemplified everything a coach could possibly want out of a leadoff hitter. Since joining the Blue Raiders, Delgado has hit .381 and boasted a .464 on-base percentage. Delgado has also scored a total of 54 runs and has also been ranked as the seventeenth hardest player to strike out in all of Division One baseball.
The big difference that Delgado has seen this year in comparison to years past; his power-hitting numbers have jumped up. So far this season, Delgado has boasted a .523 slugging percentage in his team high 109 at-bats this season. That slugging percentage number is also third on the team with a minimum of 20 at bats this season.
The number’s that jump out the most? Extra base hits. Delgado hit his first two home runs in a Blue Raider uniform this season, which is tied for the team lead in home runs.
Delgado’s first two career round trippers came in back-to-back games. His first came on the second pitch of a March 19 game at Florida Atlantic to give the Raiders an early 1-0 lead, with his parents in attendance. The following game at home on March 22 against Lipscomb, Delgado smashed a two-run home run over the left-field fence to cut the Bison’s lead to three in the fifth inning.
Delgado has also collected nine doubles this season through 24 games. The nine doubles from Delgado are just one short of his season total last year. Delgado’s 17 RBI’s also are just one shy from his season total last year. Delgado is on pace to double his number in two-base hits this season, and he should double his RBI numbers in comparison to last year if he stays on the same clip.
In comparison to other players in Division One baseball, Delgado’s power numbers are starting to appear on national stat sheets. Riley is ranked in a tie for 70th in doubles out of the all players in NCAA Division One baseball, only three short of putting him in the top 20. Riley is also only .29 of a percent from cracking the top NCAA 250 in slugging. Delgado is only one triple away from cracking the top five in Conference USA in triples.
Delgado’s power from the top of the lineup has helped him become one of the most well-rounded players to come through MTSU in recent years. The sweet-swinging shortstop will certainly continue to prove why he is one of the top 30 players in his position in the entire country, while trying to help the Raiders turn their season around.