Inland Empire 66ers : 2015 Recap

Scout.com recaps the 2015 season for the Los Angeles Angels Midwest League affiliate, Burlington Bees. (photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Promotions and demotions, along with injuries, derailed Denny Hocking's bunch with the Inland Empire 66ers over the 2015 season. Though there were some prospects with flair that traveled through High-A this past season, they either failed immediate expectations or were only in San Bernardino for a short time.

Perhaps the highlight of the 2015 season for the Sixers came from a text at 2am to hitting coach, Brenton Del Chiaro that revived the career of Kaleb Cowart. Fans in San Bernardino also saw some of the organization's best prospect, including top prospect, Sean Newcomb.

One of the many high ceiling prospects came the $8 million Cuban signing, Roberto Baldoquin. The 21-year-old shortstop prospect began his season going 0-for-17 with nine strikeouts, not ideal. However, things turned around as he adapted to the culture more, and his numbers improved, hitting .287 over his final 40 games.

Offensively, no one in the entire Angels system had as strong a season as Eric Aguilera. Aguilera missed the system Triple Crown, when his batting average fell in Double-A, but while in High-A, Aguilera posted a .327/.392/.532 slash with 17 home runs and 94 RBI. Aguilera highlighted his season in early August when he collected hits in six straight at bats, two shy of a league record (reached 13 times in 18 plate appearances in three game)

Inland Empire's outfield stood tall through the course of the season as Mike Fish, Bo Way and Brandon Bayardi combined for a .289/.353/.397 slash. Way led the way in multiple offensive statistics, including runs (80), stolen bases (27) and walks (49). Fish stole the show though when he reached in 24 straight games between April 28th to June 18th, where he hit .430/.520/.512.

Inland Empire had one of the most underrated prospects in Kody Eaves. In a mix of speed and power, Eaves hit .248/.308/.387 with 17 doubles, 11 triples, 11 home runs and 21 stolen bases. This all was topped by a three home run game on June 21st.

Returning to the bullpen was sinker specialist, Michael Smith. Smith's 1.98 ERA was tops on the team and earned him a spot on the California League All-Star Team. Smith's season ended early sadly, as he will spend the off-season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Angels found an independent ball pitcher to fill some minor league holes in Geoff Broussard, but would have never guessed he'd perform at the level he did. Broussard led the Sixers in K/9 (14.5) and saves (15), while holding a 2.42 ERA and 0.963 WHIP.


STASTICIAL LEADERS:

HITTING:
G : Bo way, 135
R : Bo Way, 80
H : Eric Aguilera, 151
2B : Eric Aguilera, 38
3B : Kody Eaves, 11
HR : Eric Aguilera, 17
RBI : Eric Aguilera, 94
SB : Bo Way, 27
BB : Bo Way, 49
SO : Kody Eaves, 150
BA : Eric Aguilera, .327
OBP : Eric Aguilera, .392
SLG : Eric Aguilera, .532
OPS : Eric Aguilera, .925
HBP : Bo Way, 10

PICHING
G : Brian Loconsole, 40
W : Ryan Etsell / Victor Alcantara, 7
L : Harrison Cooney, 15
ERA : Michael Smith, 1.98
IP : Harrison Cooney, 136.1
SV : Geoff Broussard, 15
BB : Victor Alcantara, 58
SO : Victor Alcantara, 125
WHIP : Michael Smith, 0.826
H/9 : Geoff Broussard, 6.0
BB/9 : Michael Smith, 1.2
K/9 : Geoff Broussard, 14.5
K/BB : Michael Smith, 7.20


InsideTheHalos Players of the Year for Inland Empire 66ers

Most Valuable Player : Eric Aguilera
Batter of the Year : Eric Aguilera
Clutch Batter of the Year : Eric Aguilera
Pitcher of the Year : Geoff Broussard
Starter of the Year : Victor Alcantara
Reliever of the Year : Michael Smith
Surprise of the Year : Brandon Bayardi



Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.



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