D-Backs prospect Andrew Velazquez sets minor-league on-base record

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

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With his second inning infield single on Sunday, Diamondbacks shortstop prospect Andrew Velazquez set a new minor-league record by reaching base in his 72nd consecutive game. The previous record was shared by Kevin Millar (1997) and Kevin Youkilis (2003). Mookie Betts also reached base in 71 straight games spanning 2013-14 when you include the postseason.

Here is a local news report on Velazquez's record-breaking hit and streak:

"It's good to have it done. Whatever happens, if it keeps going it keeps going," said Velazquez to Chris Goff of the Journal Gazette. "Coming down the last couple of games, it was definitely nerve-racking ... It's a blessing to be in the history books and be in the company of guys like Millar and Youkilis. Those guys are awesome. It's a blessing."

During the 72-game streak, Velazquez hit .314/.401/.472 with 94 hits, 41 walks and two hit-by-pitches. His longest hitting streak during that time is a modest 15-gamer from May 15-30, during which he went 24-for-63 (.381) with nine walks and eight strikeouts.

"He used to have zero awareness of the strike zone, he was up there hacking. But all of a sudden, he started focusing," said Mark Haley, Velazquez's manager with the South Bend Silver Hawks, to MiLB.com's Mark Emery on Saturday. "We used to get on him about that, saying, 'Hey, you need knowledge of the zone, to lead off.' And he took that seriously and now he's pretty much mastered it."

Velazquez, who turns 20 today, was Arizona's seventh round pick in the 2012 draft out of a New York City high school. He is currently hitting .310/.388/.466 with 13 doubles, 13 triples, six home runs and 40 stolen bases in 90 games for the team's Low Class-A affiliate.

In case you're wondering, the major league record for most consecutive games reaching base is 84 by Ted Williams in 1949.

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