Monday, September 14, 2015

Dominican Summer League: 2015 Season in Review

The seasons for the two Astros Dominican Summer League teams could not have played out much differently. The Blue team won their division, ended the season with a 43-29 record and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. (As a side note, it was the first time in 14 years that one of the Astros DSL teams had made the playoffs.) The Orange team, however, ended the season in 5th place (22 games behind the leader) in their division with a record of 28-44. Let's dig a little deeper and look at the team performances and some of the individual standouts.

Miguelangel Sierra - July 2015
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green

Note all rankings are out of 38 total teams

DSL ASTROS BLUE TEAM BATTING
Batting average: .243 (27th)
On-base percentage: .356 (6th)
Slugging percentage: .349 (17th)
Doubles: 129 (3rd)
Triples: 26 (T17th)
Home runs: 24 (T10th)
Walks: 352 (4th)
Strikeouts: 480 (28th)
Stolen bases: 113 (T10th)

DSL ASTROS ORANGE TEAM BATTING
Batting average: .253 (17th)
On-base percentage: .339 (21st)
Slugging percentage: .358 (11th)
Doubles: 125 (T5th)
Triples: 20 (T29th)
Home runs: 30 (T4th)
Walks: 234 (30th)
Strikeouts: 611 (6th)
Stolen bases: 75 (28th)

Based on some of these numbers, it appears that the Orange team had more raw power than the Blue team, but the Blue team was much more disciplined at the plate, but neither team exhibited a lot of speed as a whole.

DSL ASTROS BLUE TEAM PITCHING
ERA: 3.47 (14th)
WHIP: 1.342 (15th)
Walks: 252 (26th)
Strikeouts: 549 (14th)

DSL ASTROS ORANGE TEAM PITCHING
ERA: 4.21 (30th)
WHIP: 1.526 (37th)
Walks: 334 (3rd)
Strikeouts: 532 (20th)

Based on the team standings in the various categories and the fact that the average age of the Orange team was somewhat younger than the Blue team, it appears that the differences between the two teams was mostly by design with the younger, rawer players placed on the Orange team and those who were a little more well-developed in baseball skills being placed on the Blue team. That is just a broad generalization, though, since numerous players were shuttled back and forth between the two teams.

BLUE TEAM BATTING LEADERS (minimum 45 games for BA, OBP and SLG)
Batting Average: Andy Pineda (.293)
On-Base Percentage: Andy Pineda (.417 - 9th in the league)
Slugging Percentage: Christopher Luciano (.402)
Doubles: Christopher Luciano (19 - T7th in the league)
Triples: Wilson Amador (6)
Home Runs: Reiny Beltre (6 - T8th in the league)
RBI: Christopher Luciano (51 - T4th in the league)
Stolen Bases: Andy Pineda (30 - T3rd in the league)
Walks: Christopher Luciano (54 - 3rd in the league)
Runs: Andy Pineda (51 - T11th in the league)

ORANGE TEAM BATTING LEADERS (minimum 45 games for BA, OBP and SLG)
Batting Average: Carlos Machado (.344)
On-Base Percentage: Carlos Machado (.410)
Slugging Percentage: Miguelangel Sierra (.439)
Doubles: Miguelangel Sierra and Randy Vasquez (17 - T13th in the league)
Triples: Angel Tejeda (4)
Home Runs: Marcos Almonte and Felix Lucas (5)
RBI: Randy Vasquez (34)
Stolen Bases: Juan Fuentes (17)
Walks: Randy Vasquez (35)
Runs: Randy Vasquez (34)

As you can see, certain players appear numerous times. Let's look at a few in more detail:

OF Andy Pineda (18)
69 games: .293/.417/.378 10-2B 4-3B 1HR 29RBI 30SB 16CS 46BB 44SO

1B Christopher Luciano (19)
72 games: .266/.409/.402 19-2B 2-3B 4HR 51RBI 11SB 7CS 54BB 51SO

OF Carlos Machado (17)
49 games: .344/.410/.383 2-2B 2-3B 20RBI 10SB 4CS 13BB 17SO

1B/C Randy Vasquez (19)
64 games: .309/.405/.448 17-2B 1-3B 4HR 34RBI 2SB 4CS 35BB 42SO

SS Miguelangel Sierra (17)
45 games: .302/.406/.479 17-2B 2-3B 3HR 19RBI 8SB 5CS 20BB 48SO

Sierra also played in 24 games with the Gulf Coast League Astros after a late July promotion and he struggled at the higher level. However, considering that he won't be 18 until December, I think that was to be expected. IF Marcos Almonte (19) also received a promotion to the GCL in early August. Almonte fared better at the higher level and ended his season hitting a combined .270/.343/.404 between the two venues.

BLUE TEAM PITCHING LEADERS (minimum 30IP+/- or 10 appearances for ERA and WHIP)
Starter ERA: Michel Martinez (1.06 in 34.1IP)
Relief ERA: Dariel Aquino (0.51 in 17.1IP/13G)
Starter WHIP: Hector Perez (0.876 in 29.2IP)
Relief WHIP: Dariel Aquino (1.019)
Strikeouts: Felipe Tejeda (45 in 51.1IP)
Saves: Dariel Aquino (6)

ORANGE TEAM PITCHING LEADERS (minimum 30IP for ERA and WHIP)
ERA: Juan Robles (1.49 in 36.1IP)
WHIP: Jose Ramos (0.970 in 44.1IP - 7th in the league)
Strikeouts: Bryan Abreu (48 in 51.2IP)
Saves: Josue Uribe (7 for Orange team/8 total - T7th in the league)

Also of note for the Orange team was 17-year old RHP Franklin Perez whose 11.3 strikeout per nine rate in 35 innings was the best mark for the Astros DSL teams before his promotion to the GCL in August.

Virtually every one of these team leaders was subsequently promoted to the GCL. Let's look a little more closely:

RHP Michael Martinez (21)
The 21-year old Cuban had a 1.06 ERA and a 1.294 WHIP in 34 innings with the DSL. After his late July promotion to the GCL, he had a 4.82 ERA and a 1.607 WHIP in 18.2 innings.

RHP Dariel Aquino (19)
The converted shortstop had a 0.51 ERA, a 1.019 WHIP and 6 saves in 13 appearances (17.1IP) for the DSL and a 18.90 ERA and a 3.600 WHIP in 7 appearances (6.2IP) for the GCL after his late July promotion.

RHP Hector Perez (19)
Perez was promoted twice (mid-July to the GCL and late August to Greeneville) and was very successful at all levels, ending the season with a 1.64 ERA and a 0.964 WHIP in 55 innings.

RHP Juan Robles (17)
The 17-year old Mexican born Robles also received double promotions (early August to the GCL and late August to Quad Cities) and also did quite well at the higher levels with the exception of one stumble for Quad Cities. He ended the season with a 1.81 ERA and a 1.171 WHIP in 54.2 innings.

RHP Jose Ramos (19)
Ramos, who just turned 19 last month, did not receive a promotion. However, he excelled with the DSL, playing on both the Orange and Blue teams, and ended the season with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.949 WHIP in 65.1 innings pitched. His ERA ranked 13th in the league and his WHIP ranked 7th.

Others of note are RHP Yoanys Quiala, a 21-year old Cuban who had a 1.54 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP in 35 innings for the Blue team; 18-year old RHP Cristian Javier with a combined 2.13 ERA and 0.921 WHIP in 42.1 innings pitched for the Blue and Orange teams (14 appearances/4 starts); and 19-year old RHP Ricardo Castro who had a 1.63 ERA and 0.940 WHIP in 27.2 innings for the Blue team.

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