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Johan Limonta on Revolution & Atlantic League record RBI pace

Limonta, Johan 37

The Revolution’s May 30 game at Southern Maryland was the quarter pole of the Atlantic League season, or the first half mark of the First Half, if you will.  York’s most valuable player to begin the season has undoubtedly been Johan Limonta, who was batting .336 (third in ALPB) with six home runs (tied for seventh in ALPB) and 33 RBI (third in ALPB) at the quarter mark.

While Limonta began that day as the league leader in RBI before being overtaken by Long Island’s Lew Ford and Lancaster’s Cole Garner, each with 34 batted in as of May 31, Limonta’s torrid pace still puts him in pursuit of both the Revolution single-season record for RBI, and the Atlantic League record as well.  Chris Nowak drove in 107 runs for the 2012 Revolution, eclipsing Jason Aspito’s mark of 105 in 2008.

Limonta has started each of the 35 games so far, and finished all but one.  He’s currently on pace for 132 RBI, which would obliterate the York record, and best the league mark of 129, set by Ozzie Canseco (Jose’s brother) of the 2000 Newark Bears.

Now it’s good to temper expectations a bit…last season York’s Andy Marte had 40 RBI in his first 44 games and was also on pace to break both records before cooling off and falling off the pace, and then was signed by the Angels on August 2, departing with 74 RBI.  Even if Limonta should cool off, he’d still likely be York’s most feared offensive threat as Marte was.  The pace he’s setting now would be tough for any player to sustain, but with as locked in Limonta is at the moment, it’s possible.  And of course, there is always the chance Limonta could have an opportunity to advance his career and not play the whole season with the Revolution, suddenly stopping his pursuit.

Nevertheless, with three players on pace for 130 RBI or more, perhaps this is the year Canseco’s long unreachable record is finally in peril.  For Ford, who is turning 38 in August, you’d assume he has the best chance at the record if he can keep pace, considering it’s unlikely he’d be signed by an MLB organization at his age.  But you never know, sometimes those older guys are coveted later in the season for Triple-A teams in playoff contention, and Ford does have experience in six MLB seasons, mostly with the Twins, and as recently as 2012 with the Orioles.  Limonta will be 31 in August, and Garner is just 29, making him the most likely to earn an MLB contract this season.  Garner’s only MLB time consisted of four games with the Rockies in 2011.

-Paul Braverman

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