The second part of our evaluation of the Tacoma Rainiers season, with this one focusing on the offense. The Pitchers report can be found here.
Brandon Bantz was the backup catcher and played in just 32 games for Tacoma (and 1 for High Desert). As you would expect from a backup catcher, he was not a good hitter, with a .245 OBP (3.5 BB%) and OPS under .600. His GB/LD/FB was not very good and he hit for very little power and stole just 1 base. Adam Moore played in 24 games for the Rainiers before being DFA’d and claimed by the Royals. He struggled with injuries and the bat, with a .619 OPS. He made quite a bit of contact, but didn’t strikeout very much and showed a little power. Since joining the Royals AAA, he has a .811 OPS and is walking more. It is just 34 games, but health helps. Guillermo Quiroz caught the most game for Tacoma, and hit well too, with a .848 OPS and .206 ISO. He walked about once for every 2 strikeouts, saw 4 pitches per a plate appearance, and hit line drives over 19% of the time. It was a good season for him.
Vinnie Catricala was mentioned above as a disappointment and he was. Given an outside shot to make the team out of Spring Training, Catricala posted a OBP of under .300 in his first season in the hitter friendly PCL. He didn’t strikeout too much, but hit a lot of grounders and didn’t hit for near the power he was supposed to. Carlos Triunfel struggled with the bat almost as much, but it isn’t as surprising as it was for Catricala. Triunfel walked just 4.3% of the time and stole just 3 bases with 10 homers. He too hit a lot of grounders. Scott Savastano hit more liners and less ground-balls, but also hit just 2 homers. His strikeouts were more than league average and his walks were below league average. Tacoma really struggled (or perhaps decided to just bench him) to find him playing time late in the season.
Darren Ford was an exciting player, but not a very efficient one. His SB% was mediocre at 65% and his OPS was just .713. He saw quite a bit of pitches (3.89 Pitch/PA), but it didn’t translate into walks (6.9%). Much of his season was robbed by a weird finger injury. Johan Limonta played in 41 games before being released. He didn’t walk much and slugged an okay .401. He showed a little bit of pop with a .122 ISO, but his defense was a real liability. He has since joined the Mexican League where he is walking more and has an OPS over 1.000 thanks to a .461 BABIP (he is hitting grounders nearly 60% of the time, I don’t remember him being blazingly fast, so it may just be the luckiest man on earth).
Nick Franklin began the year in Jackson and hit well (.903 OPS) in 235 plate appearances. He walked quite a bit and didn’t strikeout a lot. When he moved to AAA, he saw a slight dip in power, a huge jump in strikeouts, and a dip in walks. His OPS was .728, well under the league average of .776.When he made contact, it was good, as his GB/LD/FB was very solid. Overall between the two levels, he struck out exactly 20% of the time and walked 9.2% of the time with a 18% LD rate. He also stole 12 bases. Alex Liddi started the year in the Majors, but played roughly replacement level and was demoted to AAA. He didn’t hit much in AAA either, showing his typical contact problems and walking below an acceptable amount. His power was also not quite there either, with 9 homers and .164 ISO. He saw a good amount of pitches (3.87 Pit/PA), but wasn’t able to do anything with it.
Trayvon Robinson played in 83 AAA games before being promoted to the Majors. He walked some (8.9%), but had a little bit of problems with contact (striking out over 22%). He didn’t hit for much power either and hit far too many grounders. Seattle has shown this year that they will promote players despite unimpressive stat lines (Oliver Perez is the other example) and Robinson has been okay in 27 games in the Majors (.717 OPS and 28.2 LD% with virtually the same K/BB). Mike Wilson was DFA’d in the offseason, but stuck around anyway. He was a serious power threat for Tacoma despite not seeing regular playing time (.215 ISO in 69 games). He struck out a lot, but also walked a lot and had a decent .797 OPS. The veteran Luis Rodriquez hit very well for the Rainiers, with a .841 OPS in 102 games. He walked more than he struck out (he struck out less than 10 % of the time). Relying on contact, he had an okay ISO and his Pit/PA was just 3.66. He hit about an average amount of line drives but far less grounders than league average.
The team’s best two hitters were Luis Jimenez and Carlos Peguero. Jimenez hit .314/.396/522, walking nearly 12% of the time. He had an ISO of .208,struck out less than average, and somehow overcame hitting grounders 52% of the time. Peguero had a .928 OPS but it came with a horrible K/BB ratio. His ISO (.277) was better than all but 5 of Tacoma’s batting averages, and he lead the team with 21 homers. He has gotten some time in the Majors this year, and it has not gone well, as he is hitting .178/.196/.378 in 46 plate appearances. He has clubbed 2 homers but is striking out more than half of the time.