Earlier this week, I took an in-depth look at the DSL Astros team and the GCL team and how they are faring thus far in the season. Today, it's the Greeneville Astros turn. Coming in to today, the Greeneville team is 23-10 with a 2.51 ERA, a 1.107 WHIP, and a cumulative batting line of .238/.336/.338.
The 2012 team finished with a 36-32 record or a .529 win percentage. As of today, they have a .697 win percentage despite ranking toward the bottom of the league in most offensive categories. How have they accomplished this? Pitching, pitching and more pitching!
But let's talk a little more about that offense first. Yes, the team trails their 2012 counterparts in several categories, but they do shine in a couple of areas. Their OBP is slightly higher than the 2012 number and that can be directly attributed to the fact that they rank first in the league in walks and ninth (out of 10 teams) in strikeouts.
The only Greeneville player who shows up consistently atop the batting leaders is OF Tanner Mathis. Mathis is tied for 10th in the league in batting average (.309) and is second in OBP (.467). That's directly related to the fact that he is tied for first in the league with 22 walks and has only struck out four times in 29 games. 2B Juan Santana is tied for 10th in the league in RBI.
1B Tyler White, with a .357 BA and .536 SLG, and C Ricky Gingras, with a .321 BA and .571 SLG, are actually the team leaders in those categories, but have only played in eight games and don't qualify as league leaders. CF Brett Phillips doesn't lag too far behind with his .291/.394/.418 batting line, but he has only played in 18 games. Despite playing in fewer games, though, he leads the team in doubles with five.
Now, let's look at that pitching. The 2.51 ERA and 1.107 WHIP cited above is substantially better than the 3.76 ERA and 1.301 WHIP that the 2012 squad had at the end of last season. The staff leads the league in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts, while being tied for dead last in walks allowed.
The only pitcher showing up as a league leader as of today is RHP Frederick Tiburcio, but that is primarily due to his having just pitched and having the requisite number of innings to qualify. Tiburcio is currently second in the league in ERA (1.09), fourth in WHIP (0.939) and 11th in strikeouts. LHP Chris Lee (3.04 ERA/1.109 WHIP) is tied for fifth in the league with 32 strikeouts in only 23.2 innings. Bullpen pitcher RHP Krishawn Holley (0.84 ERA/1.125 WHIP) is tied for first in the league with three wins. And J.D. Osborne (0.00 ERA/1.143 WHIP) and Gonzalo Sanudo (2.19 ERA/.0.811 WHIP) are tied for second in saves with six, despite Osborne having already moved on to Tri-City.
There are two other pitchers that are just short of qualifying innings-wise to be league leaders who actually have numbers that would put them in the top ten in ERA and WHIP, RHP Jordan Mills (1.08/0.920) and RHP Jandel Gustave (1.59/1.059). RHP Edison Frias (2.92 ERA/1.095 WHIP) would fall just short. Another pitcher who has been extremely effective has been LHP Sebastian Kessay (0.75 ERA/1.000 WHIP) but he has not pitched since July 12th.
The Greeneville team is currently in first place, leading second place Kingsport by four games, and boasts a 13-game win streak. [As a side note, they did have one suspended game during that streak that is scheduled to be completed on August 12th. If they ultimately lose that game (which they were leading by a margin of one run), their win streak could be disrupted on a technicality.] If the Greeneville team can produce a little more offense with the help of the recently promoted Tyler White, it will go a long way toward helping out a pitching staff who has gone 10-1 in one-run games (h/t to Appy Astros for that fact) and keeping them atop the leader board.
Steve at Appy Astros looked at the pitching in a little more detail earlier today. You can find his post here.