Earlier this week, I took a look at the DSL Astros season (not so good) and the GCL Astros season (not so bad). Now let's look at the Greeneville Astros, the first of the three with a win percentage over .500 and a positive run differential. Here's a quick look at how the 2011 and 2012 teams compare.
2011 Win Percentage - .368
2012 Win Percentage - .529
2011 Runs Scored - Runs Allowed = Run Differential - 326 - 419 = (93)
2012 Runs Scored - Runs Allowed = Run Differential - 339 - 297 = 42
2011 Team ERA & WHIP - 5.12 & 1.487
2012 Team ERA & WHIP - 3.80 & 1.301
2011 Team Batting Line - .252/.330/.365
2012 Team Batting Line - .262/.328/.379
The differences are dramatic with an 11-game swing in the win column and a 135 run swing in the run differential. The biggest difference, statistically, is the pitching with this year's team ranking third in the Appy League in ERA (out of 10 teams) and fourth in WHIP while last year's team was ranked ninth out of ten in both of those categories. There is definitely improvement in batting categories as well, though, as the 2012 club's BA/OBP/SLG rank third, fifth and fifth respectively as compared to the eighth, seventh and tenth rankings of last year's club.
As far as individual players go, there are several standouts.
IF Jean Batista did so well at Greeneville, hitting .321/.345/.531, that he merited a mid-August promotion to Tri-City where he is currently hitting .302/.295/.372 over ten games. Batista ranked fourth in BA and second in SLG in the Appy League, and was also second in doubles and tied for tenth in hits despite not finishing the season with Greeneville. The 20-year old switch-hitter has played about half of his games at 1B with the remainder split between 2B and SS.
2B Brian Blasik, team MVP, finished the season with a .318/.346/.424 batting line, fifth in the league in BA and RBI and tied for third in hits. The 22-year old Blasik was signed as a non-drafted free agent this year.
RF Ariel Ovando won't be 19 until September 15th which makes his .287/.350/.444 batting line even more impressive. He was in the top three or four on the team in virtually every offensive category except for stolen bases. Unfortunately, he led the team in strikeouts as well.
CF D'Andre Toney was fifth in the Appy League in runs scored and was tied for sixth in stolen bases, and he led the Greeneville team in those two categories as well as in walks. The 20-year old Toney had a .252/.351/.326 batting line.
SS Carlos Correa only played in 11 games at Greeneville, but the 17-year old did quite nicely as he hit .371/.450/.600 with three doubles, a triple and a home run. His 11 doubles with the GCL tied him for 13th in the Gulf Coast League, despite having not played there since early August. His final combined line was .258/.305/.400 with 14 doubles, two triples, three home runs and six stolen bases.
18-year old 3B Rio Ruiz didn't make the adjustment from the GCL to Greeneville as well as Correa did. He hit .271/.361/.412 in 23 games with the GCL and .220/.291/.380 in 15 games at Greeneville.
RHP Daniel Minor was an absolute standout with Greeneville, leading the league in ERA (2.75) and WHIP (1.034). The 21-year old had a SO/BB ratio of 4.80.
20-year old RHP Francis Ramirez led the team in wins and was tied for third in the league in that category. He was team leader and fifth in the league in strikeouts. His 10.0 SO/9 was good. His 4.9 BB/9 was not.
19-year old RHP Adrian Houser was 12th in the league in ERA (4.19), ninth in the league in WHIP (1.310) and was tied for tenth in the league in strikeouts.
RHP Lance McCullers was under strict pitch/innings limits so we didn't see that much out of the 18-year old top prospect. He made four starts with the GCL (11 total innings) with a 1.64 ERA, 1.091 WHIP and 9.8 SO/9. He also made four starts with Greeneville (15 total innings) with a 4.80 ERA, 1.333 WHIP and 10.2 SO/9.
RHP Jordan Jankowski, at 23-years old, was one of the greybeards on the team, but he dominated. His 14.8 SO/9 easily led the team. He compiled 53 strikeouts in 32.1 innings, only six fewer than the team leader who needed 21 additional innings to get that extra six. Jankowski also led the team in appearances.
22-year olds RHP Mike Hauschild and LHP Scott Zuloaga (prior to his promotion to Tri-City) both had successful seasons in the bullpen at Greeneville as well. Hauschild had a 1.78 ERA, 1.022 WHIP, and 11.6 SO/9 in 19 appearances. Zuloaga had a 2.13 ERA, 1.105 WHIP and 11.4 SO/9 in 10 appearances; he has not allowed a run in seven appearances with Tri-City and has a very modest 0.800 WHIP.
No more season recaps until more seasons are over starting next week. I'm hoping a few of the remaining five teams can keep us waiting a while as they pursue Championships!