Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Gulf Coast League: 2015 Season in Review

With a lowly .317 win percentage (19-41) for their 60-game season, the Astros rookie level Gulf Coast League Astros team had a pretty forgettable season. Keep in mind, however, that the GCL is generally populated with the youngest, rawest players that the Astros field domestically. Let's dig a little deeper and look at the team performance within the league and some of the individual standouts.

Edgardo Sandoval - June 2015
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green

Note all rankings are out of 16 total teams

Batting average: .200 (16th)
On-base percentage: .287 (16th)
Slugging percentage: .262 (16th)
Doubles: 63 (15th)
Triples: 10 (14th)
Home runs: 10 (T12th)
Walks: 201 (6th)
Strikeouts: 511 (2nd)
Stolen bases: 60 (T11th)

I think one can easily see what went wrong with this team. A .200 team batting average? Ouch.

ERA: 3.83 (12th)
WHIP: 1.408 (13th)
Walks: 216 (5th)
Strikeouts: 376 (16th)

That may not look a whole lot better than the team batting, but overall there were more standout performances among the pitchers than among the hitters.

GCL ASTROS BATTING LEADERS (minimum 40 games for BA, OBP and SLG)
Batting Average: Bryan de la Cruz (.242)
On-Base Percentage: Bryan de la Cruz (.313)
Slugging Percentage: Wander Franco (.341)
Doubles: Wander Franco (11 - T9th in the league)
Triples: Kyle Tucker and Joan Mauricio (tied with 2)
Home Runs: Wander Franco (3)
RBI: Wander Franco (26 - T6th in the league)
Stolen Bases: Daz Cameron (13 - T10th in the league)
Walks: Connor MacDonald (20)
Runs: Wander Franco (23)

Only one name appears with any frequency, that of 18-year old 1B Wander Franco. He finished the season hitting .236/.296/.351 with 12 doubles, four home runs and 32 RBI including his seven-game stint with Quad Cities at the end of the season. Rising stars Daz Cameron and Kyle Tucker hit much better after their promotions to Greeneville.

ERA: Moreno Polanco (0.60)
WHIP: Moreno Polanco (0.967)
Strikeouts: Enrique Chavez (40 in 48.2)
Saves: Lachlan Madden (3)

RHP Moreno Polanco (21)
Polanco led the way with his 0.60 ERA and 0.967 WHIP in the 30 innings he pitched for the team prior to his August 1st promotion to Greeneville.

LHP Starlyng Sanchez (21)
Sanchez had a solid tenure out of the bullpen for the GCL team (3.60 ERA and 0.800 WHIP) prior to his late July promotion to Greeneville where he had mixed results.

RHP Edgardo Sandoval (19)
Sandoval spent the bulk of the season with the GCL, putting up a 2.45 ERA and a 1.030 WHIP in 33 innings (9 games/5 starts) prior to his mid-August promotion to Greeneville where he was instrumental in that team's playoff run. He ended the season with a 2.02 ERA and a 1.041 WHIP in 49 innings.

Other pitchers of note include 20-year old Diogenes Almengo (2.78 ERA and 1.103 WHIP) and RHP Lachlan Madden (2.00 ERA and 1.111 WHIP) prior to their promotions to Greeneville, as well as RHP Juan Robles (1.80 ERA and 1.067 WHIP) and RHP Hector Perez (1.16 ERA and 1.114 WHIP) who were written up in the DSL Season Review. RHP Enrique Chavez received a late callup to High A Lancaster to help out and acquitted himself nicely at the (much) higher level; he ended the season with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.309 WHIP between the DSL, GCL and Lancaster.

Previous Season Reviews:
Dominican Summer League

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