PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Trenton Thunder are making a strong claim to be the team to beat in the Eastern League here in 2017.
The Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, the Thunder sit at 40-21 and that is easily the best record in the league.
There are many players contributing to this success. It’s a list that includes Billy Fleming.
The 24-year-old Council Rock High School South product is enjoying an outstanding month of June for the Thunder. In nine games this month, he is hitting .367 and that has raised his average for the season with Trenton to .248.
“I think the ball is just starting to fall for me right now,” Fleming tells KYW Newsradio. “I’ve been having good at bats all year, just running into some bad luck early on. But just sticking to my approach and trying to stay consistent with that and I think that’s allowed me to to really start to hit my stride.”
He breaks down his hitting style.
“A guy that’s going to drive the gaps and pop a couple home runs out and try to get on base, a table setter, for guys to drive me in,” he says. “Just trying to stay consistent with contact hitting and hitting doubles and homers every once in awhile.”
In the field, Fleming brings versatility to the table, which could be key as he chases a chance at the big leagues. This season alone he has started games at first base, second base and third base for Trenton.
“I think the utility role as a whole could be great for me,” he says. “I’m more valuable if I can play first, second, third, even left or right field. I think the more positions you can play allows you to get into the lineup a lot more.”
While Fleming has spent most of the season at Trenton, he did get a brief promotion to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, hitting .240 in six games in late April/early May before returning to the Thunder.
Fleming is a Churchville, Bucks County native and he is savoring the opportunity to play so close to home.
“You can’t really beat it,” he says. “Going home every night and sleeping in your own bed is something, I’m very lucky, a lot of guys don’t really get to do that. So I’m definitely fortunate and I enjoy it.”
Fleming and the Thunder open a series in Hartford against the Yard Goats on Tuesday night.