The Pulaski Mariners finished the 2012 season 29-38 (with an exact same Pythag), missing the playoffs in the Appalachian League. So thus continues our season reviews for the minor league affiliates (technically this begins it for the site, as I posted the VSL and DSL regular season reviews on the forums). These reviews will mainly be statistical in nature. It is more of a “what happened” story than a prospect evaluation (mainly because I wasn’t able to watch this team play). A lot of the advanced metrics leave out the final 2 or 3 games as Minorleaguecentral.com wasn’t updating for some reason. This is all just to paint a picture anyway, the exact numbers aren’t that important. Especially since this is short season ball, the sample sizes are not large.
Darrio Pizzano was the team’s best hitter and was promoted before the season ended. He had a .973 OPS (.528 SLG) with a 11.5 BB% and 15.8 K%. Despite this K/BB, his season was heavily BABIP influenced (.420). Still, he had one of the better line drive rates on the team (although he hit more grounders than fly-balls to the outfield). He hit just 4 homers and had a decent ISO of .164. Phillips Castillo had the worst BABIP on the team (.250) despite a LD/GB/FB similar to Pizzano. His BABIP in the Arizona Summer League last year was an enormous .446 when he had a .848 OPS (this year, his OPS is just .617 with just a .342 SLG). Castillo also carried his poor K/BB to Pulaski.
The best power guy (according to ISO, at .227) was Jabari Henry, this year’s 18th round pick. He is a little bit older league average, but not by more than a year. His BABIP was .303 with a 13.2 LD % (just under league average). He struck out less than league average and walked more than league average. He hit ground-balls about 10 percent less than league average. There is a lot to like in Henry’s numbers this year.
Bryan Brito was the team’s worst hitter. His career OPS is .514 now (and that is counting 2009, where he had a .653 OPS in the DSL). He Slugged just .264 (.076 ISO) despite a .324 BABIP (9.2 LD %). He struck out 64 times, and walked just 6 times. Franklin Diaz made his stateside debut this year after playing in the VSL. It wasn’t very successful with a huge ground-ball rate and OPS of .531. Felipe Burin and Martin Peguero had similarly bad seasons (although Burin had good walk and line drive rates).
The team really had no stolen base threats, with Brock Hebert leading the team with 8 (but 4 caught stealings). Brito did have 7 steals with only 1 caught stealing. Hebert split the season between Pulaski and Everett and while his OPS (predictability) was better in Pulaski but his walk rate was better in Everett (with more strikeouts though). Either way, he didn’t hit for much power, with a ISO of .066 combined between the two levels. Reginald Lawson was a ground-ball machine and struck out more than 28% of the time (although he did have a respectable OPS of .742). Jordy Lara played in 51 games for Pulaski last year, and took a step back offensively this year, losing .079 OPS points (mainly on his SLG, but his OBP fell under .300). One would expect someone who repeated the level to have much more success than this. Lara is already 21, a year older than team average. His slugging numbers were really low in the DSL. One could explain this season in BABIP terms (.316 in 2011 to .259 in 2012), especially since his line drive rate was better this year. He also cut down on his strikeout rate while keeping his walks the same. Perhaps there is always two sides to a story.
Gilmer Lampe split last year in the Dominican and Arizona. This year, he played in 51 games with Pulaski and wasn’t impressive with the bat, slugging just .305. His strikeouts ticked up to 22.6%, but he maintained a good walk rate at 11.1%. You would like to see a higher line drive rate though.
Nate Koneski lead the team in SIERA (limit 10 innings). David Holman lead the team in FIP (2.84 with a 2.80 SIERA) in 33 innings, getting a really high ground-ball percentage and a great K/BB ratio (24.4%/4.4%). He gave up more homers than league average, but it is a big step up for the former 50th round pick (!) from his mediocre showing in the AZL last year. Charles Kaalekahi lead the teams in innings and like last year in the AZL, was roughly league average in FIP and SIERA. Considering that he is about league average in age, that is neither bad nor good. He has a good K/BB, but gave up more homers than league average. 18 year old Dominican native Rigoberto Garcia was 2nd on the team in innings, and was okay. His walk rate was below average, which perhaps shows he is advanced for his age. He showed a decent ability to miss bats, but his GB/LD leaves some to be desired. 2012 27th rounder out of the University of Missouri Blake Holovach was perhaps the worst full time pitcher on the team statistically. His K/BB was just 30/22 in 48.1 innings. He kept the ball in the park, and actually gave up 8 unearned runs, which probably speaks a lot about the quality of the defense in the low minors and Pulaski in particular.
19 year old Ernesto Zaragoza had a frustrating injury filled season where he threw just 10.1 innings. He also tweeted today that he was having another MRI, so it looks like another injury for him. He struggled in the innings he did throw and was the 25th round pick by the Mariners in 2010. 19 year old Nick Valenza had an interesting year. His ERA was 5.68, which looked a lot like his FIP (5.33) but not much like his SIERA (4.16). He had a huge ground-ball percentage but walked nearly as many batters as he struck out. Even with a ton of grounders, it is hard to see how that K/BB is sustainable. Min-Sih Chen is 22 and a half and had a terrible year statistically. I don’t want to speculate on who will and won’t be released next spring, but Chen isn’t doing himself any favors. Domingo Brazoban is sort of in the same boat. He struck out less than 11% of the batters he faced. Isliexel Gonzalez, along with Lars Huijer, was a big ground-ball guy (Gonzalez missed bats much more than Huijer and they had comparable walk rates). Jochi Ogando was interesting according to FIP (3.46) but not so much according to SIERA (4.36). He walked too many batters, had a decent GB%, but kept the ball in the park (which is why there is such a difference between the two metrics, as FIP considers that a skill and SIERA considers that part of luck, which is also why Valenza’s were so different as well).
Levi Dean (29.2 innings) wins unluckiest pitcher on the team, with an ERA of 6.37 but 3.98 FIP and 3.99 SIERA. Nolan Diaz had a similar problem, but not to the same extent. Somehow, he didn’t give up a homer all year despite a really pedestrian GB%. That and his BB% are not good signs. Wander Marte struck out over 10 batters per 9 innings (24.1%), but really struggled with walks (13.1%) and had a slightly better than league average HR/9IP despite a ground-ball rate that is nothing to brag about.
The one year park factor for Pulaski was 98, meaning it was slightly pitcher friendly this year. They scored 4.81 runs a game compared to the league average 4.85. Their OPS was .696 versus a league average .711 and they were right around league average in age. The Mariners pitching was terrible though, with a 5.67 ERA, walking more guys than average and striking out less. The catchers did throw out more potential base stealers than league average but had the 2nd most passed balls.