Given that he was 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA in five starts for the Crosscutters, allowing just four runs over 31 innings with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 28-to-2, a case could be made that he was the league's best starter during that span.
"I certainly enjoyed starting since coming to this league," said the 22-year-old Pettis, a native of West Hills, Calif. "However, I'm a reliever for the rest of season.
"The Phillies feel they need to limit my innings at this point, and I can see why."
Pettis was a closer at the University of California-Irvine until his senior year, picking up All-America recognition along the way. But in 2009-10, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-hander threw 124 1/3 innings for UC-Irvine, going 9-5 with a 3.62 ERA in 18 starts and six relief appearances. Add the 36 1/3 frames he's worked this season in the NYPL, and his total innings are getting up there.
"Except for my senior year, when I worked as both a starter and reliever, I was strictly a closer," said Pettis, who is 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA in nine NYPL outings while limiting hitters to a .193 average. "I have the personality to close games and the confidence to do it."
Pettis has three pitches -- an 88-90 mph fastball along with a changeup and sweeping curve -- and can throw all of them for strikes. Given his arsenal and control, it was surprising that he lasted until the 35th round of June's First-Year Player Draft before finally being nabbed by the Phillies.
"I really expected to go sooner," said Pettis, who compiled a 22-10 record with 40 saves in four seasons at UC-Irvine. "Maybe it was because some guys throw faster than I do.
"All I can do is make the most of my chance with Williamsport and establish myself."
Pettis caught the eyes of several scouts during his stint with the Cape Cod League's Bourne Braves in 2008, when he went 2-0 with eight saves and a 2.49 ERA. He's turning heads again with the Crosscutters, who are 22-16 and in a first-place tie with Jamestown in the Stedler Division.
Whether working as a starter or reliever, Pettis will use all three of his pitches in any count. Since moving to the 'pen, however, he has been able to add velocity without hurting his command.
"I'm throwing a mile or two faster on all my pitches coming out of the bullpen," he said. "The key is, I have been able to mix them to keep hitters off-balance. So far, all our pitchers have been doing great, and things seem to be falling into place."
The Williamsport staff -- led by Pettis and lefty Kevin Angelle (3-0, 1.12) -- leads the league with a 3.06 ERA and is tied for second with four shutouts.
Pettis, who has recorded a pair of saves in three appearances since moving to the bullpen, realizes big league relievers are often made from Minor League starters.
"We'll see if they want me to start or relieve after this season," said Pettis. "I'm certainly willing to do whatever they ask.
"I do know one thing, after throwing all these innings, I probably will get a rest this winter before coming back next spring."
He may have had to watch the phone for a while on Draft day, but the versatile Pettis has a sweet view now from the top of the NYPL leader board.
Freitas a major hit: Vermont's David Freitas won Offensive Player of the Week honors after going 8-for-20 with two homers and five RBIs. Selected by the Nationals in the 15th round of this year's Draft, Freitas leads the league with a .462 on-base percentage and is second with a .373 batting average. Freitas is a catcher by trade who has also served as the Lake Monsters' DH. Before matriculating at the University of Hawaii, he attended Cosumnes River Community College, where he was a JUCO All-American.
Warming to the music: State College RHP Tyler Waldron, who earned league Pitcher of the Week honors by tossing 11 scoreless innings to win both of his starts last week, came up with his own tradition while pitching at Oregon State. During his time with the Beavers, Waldron always warmed up by listening to the same 10 songs. On the mound, his mix features a hard fastball with sink that sits at 90-94 mph and an effective slider. The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder was Pittsburgh's fifth-round pick this June. He was previously selected in the 37th round of 2007 by the Florida Marlins.
Perez making mark: Batavia C Audry Perez is quietly putting together a breakout season, hitting .358 (34-for-95) -- third best in the circuit -- with 27 RBIs, which is tied for third. The 21-year-old native of the Dominican Republic hit .322 (57-for-177) with 40 RBIs in 46 games for the DSL Cardinals in 2008, but just .258 (33-for-128) over 40 games in his domestic debut with Johnson City last season.
Attendance concerns: Naomi Silver, chairman and CEO of the International League's Rochester Red Wings, which has run the Batavia Muckdogs since 2008, is concerned about the lack of attendance at Dwyer Stadium. The Muckdogs rank last in attendance in the 14-team NYPL, having drawn 18,192 fans over 18 games this season. "We're still trying to figure out where we should go with this, but it's been a little discouraging," Silver told The Batavia Daily News. "The overall operations have improved, but in the past three years of us running the team, the attendance has not."