2010 Batavia Muckdogs Team Review

For the second time in three years, the St. Louis Cardinals' New York-Penn League affiliate reached the playoffs but they fell short of another championship.

Final Regular Season Record:  45–29    (Pythagorean 44–30)

Final Standing:  First, Pinckney Division Champions

Three games ahead of Williamsport (Philadelphia) and three and one-half games ahead of Jamestown (Florida)

 

The Team: 

The Muckdogs began the season with a 31-man roster comprised of 15 pitchers and 16 position players.  Their average age was 21 years, 10 months and 17 days which placed them fifth in the six-team Pinckney Division.  It should be pointed out, however, that only five and one-half months separated the youngest team, the State College Spikes (Pittsburgh), and Batavia. 

 

They ended up with an active 27-man roster comprised of 16 pitchers and 11 position players.  In reality it was a 25-man roster since two of the pitchers, Seth Blair and Jordan Swagerty, never took the mound.  Two other Muckdogs were on the Disabled List at the end of the season:  left-handed pitcher Tyler Lyons and outfielder Adam Melker.  Lyons, like Blair and Swagerty, never appeared in a game for the Muckdogs.  The active closing roster's average age was 21 years, 11 months, 12 days old with Blair and Swagerty and 21 years, 11 months, 28 days old without them.  In comparison, the New York-Penn League champion Tri-City Valley Cats (Houston) had a roster whose average age was 22 years, 4 months, 25 days old at season's end.

 

Experience-wise, 11 players made their professional debut at Batavia this season:  second baseman Joey Bergman, outfielder Pat Biserta, catcher Geoff Klein, centerfielder Nick Longmire, outfielder Adam Melker, outfielder Mike O'Neill, first baseman Victor Sanchez, middle infielder Matt Valaika, left-handed starter John Gast, right-handed reliever Chase Reid and left-handed reliever Justin Wright.  Two more 2010 draftees were promoted to Batavia during the season:  outfielder Chris Edmondson and second baseman Colin Walsh.  Edmondson and Walsh join catcher Juan Castillo and pitcher Javier Avendano as in-season additions with prior professional experience at a lower level.  Avendano started one game near season's end after being called up when his GCL Cardinals club's season ended.

 

Further, nine other Muckdogs made their Short-season A debut in 2010:  shortstop Yunier Castillo, catcher Audry Perez, corner infielder Jonathan Rodriguez, left fielder Rainel Rosario and right-handed pitchers Keith Butler, Andrew Moss, Matt North, Jose Rada and Zack Russell.

 

 

Draft Classes: 

Batavia's roster was represented by five different draft classes as well as players signed out of both Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.  The roster also included one minor league free agent signee:  right-handed pitcher Houston Summers who was signed out of the Diamondbacks' organization.  He was originally drafted in the 47th round in 2005 as a catcher.

Draft Year Position P
2010 10 6
2009 3 7
2008 0 2
2007 0 1
2006 1 2
Dominican Republic 5 0
Venezuela 1 2
MiL Free Agent 0 1
Total 20 21

 

The charts below list each draft class' names and draft round along with the position(s) they played this season.  The main position played is listed first and any position played under ten times was omitted, unless it was the primary position.

2010 Draft
Player Position Round
Seth Blair RHP-DNP 1s
Jordan Swagerty RHP-DNP 2
Nick Longmire CF 5
John Gast LHS 6
Tyler Lyons LHP-DNP 9
Colin Walsh 2B 13
Geoff Klein C 15
Pat Biserta LF 24
Victor Sanchez 1B 26
Mike O'Neill LF/CF 31
Joey Bergman 2B/3B 33
Matt Valaika 2B/SS 34
Chase Reid RHR 39
Chris Edmondson LF/RF 43
Adam Melker RF 44
Justin Wright LHR 47

The youngest player in the 2010 draft class was second baseman Colin Walsh (DOB 9/26/89) and the oldest was second baseman Joey Bergman (DOB 2/7/88).

 

2009 Draft
Player Position Round
Nick McCully RHS 9
Alan Ahmady 3B 11
Ross Smith RF 14
Jonathan Rodriguez 3B/1B 17
Keith Butler RHR 24
Justin Edwards LHS 28
Chris Corrigan RHR 30
Travis Lawler RHR 32
David Kington RHR 34
Andrew Moss RHS 35

The youngest player in the 2009 draft class was corner infielder Jonathan Rodriguez (DOB 8/21/89) and the oldest was righty starter Andrew Moss (DOB 10/8/86).

 

Player Position Draft Rnd DOB
Anthony Ferrara LHP 2008 7 9/2/89
Zack Russell RHS 2007 49 7/27/89
Matt North RHP 2006 9 5/23/88
Jon Edwards RF 2006 14 1/8/88
LaCurtis Mayes RHR 2006 23 8/2/88

Player Position Country Signed DOB
Juan Castillo C DR Jul-06 12/13/89
Yunier Castillo SS DR Jun-08 5/15/89
Luis De La Cruz C DR May-06 5/6/89
Audry Perez C DR Mar-08 12/23/88
Rainel Rosario LF DR Apr-06 3/29/89
Roberto Espinoza C VZ Mar-06 3/8/89
Javier Avendano RHS VZ Jul-07 9/6/90
Jose Rada RHR VZ Aug-05 4/13/88

 

 

 

The Season:

Batavia began the season playing about .500 ball as they had a 6-7 record through June.  By mid-July the Muckdogs were still just about breaking even with a 14-13 record and a third place standing, behind season-long rivals Jamestown (Florida) and Williamsport (Philadelphia).  They then went 8-3 over the last 15 days of the month to finish July with a 24-16 record and a second place standing. 

 

The first-half of August saw the Muckdogs sliding back into mediocrity as they posted a 6-7 record and saw themselves in third place, two games back.  Then came Batavia's big push as the Muckdogs went 12-4 through the end of August to storm ahead of both Jamestown and Williamsport to take first place.  Batavia clinched the best record in the Pinckney division with a win over Auburn at home on Friday, September 3rd.  With staff ace John Gast scheduled to pitch a now inconsequential game on the 4th, his start was taken by Javier Avendano who was called up from the GCL Cardinals after their season ended.  This allowed Gast to start game one of the play-offs on Tuesday, September 7th against the Tri-City ValleyCats, a Houston affiliate.

 

Unfortunately, the worst game of Gast's short professional career occurred on that night as he gave up seven runs, earned, on nine hits, including two home runs, and one walk as Batavia lost 10-8 in 11 innings on the road.  The Muckdogs came back to win game two at home 5-4 behind the pitching of Zack Russell, Justin Edwards and Keith Butler.  Edwards, one of Batavia's best starters, appeared in relief of Russell in what was clearly an all-hands-on-deck game for the Muckdogs.  Third baseman Jonathan Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two runs batted in to pace Batavia's attack.  Andrew Moss turned in the best pitching performance of the post-season by Batavia, by far, when he tossed a four-hit, one-walk, nine-inning gem on September 9th.  Moss only allowed a single run but the team that had 28 hits in the first two games could only manage three in the third game as Batavia fell 1-0 in the deciding contest.

 

Thus ended what may be the Muckdogs' last season in Batavia.  The club continues to be near the bottom of the league in attendance and the team is up for sale.  St. Louis recently renewed their player development contract through 2012 but it remains to be seen just where they will be playing.

 

 

The Hitting:

The Muckdogs were in the top one-third, top four teams, in 10 different categories (see chart below).  They led the league in on-base percentage, runs scored and runs driven in.  Batavia was sixth in plate appearances with 2870, fourth in walks-per-plate appearance average with a 1:10.4 ratio, second in hits-per-plate-appearance with a 1:4.2 ratio and tied for first in fewest strikeouts-per-plate appearance with a 1:5.5 ratio.

Team  AB  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS  R  H 
Batavia 2485 0.273 0.352 0.400 0.752 410 678
Lg Standing - 9th 2nd 1st T-2nd 2nd 1st 2nd
change - U - - U U U -
League Lead 2554 0.283   0.445 0.793   713
Team - Tbay NYM   NYM NYM   NYM
           
  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB 
Batavia 143 25 41 369 276 526 46
Lg Standing - 4th 5th 5th 1st 4th 2nd 13th
change - - U D U - - -
League Lead 151 37 64   340 507 90
Team - Phil FL NYM   Wash Phil TB

 

The qualifier for the league leader board on the offensive side was a minimum average of 2.7 PA/league game.  Qualifying players are:  Joey Bergman, Yunier Castillo, Nick Longmire, Jonathan Rodriguez and Victor Sanchez.  Bergman had a .400 on-base percentage which placed him eighth while Rodriguez and Longmire placed seventh and eighth in slugging with .500 and .483 averages, respectively.  Longmire had an .855 OPS which was good for 11th and Rodriguez' .837 OPS was 14th. 

 

Longmire tied for fifth overall with seven triples while Rodriguez' five triples placed him in a three-way tie for eighth.  Rodriguez tied for third in the home run department with 12 and Longmire was in a five-way tie for fifth with nine.  Longmire had 55 RBI which was good for third place and Rodriguez' 40 RBI tied him for 10th.  Audry Perez is listed as eighth in runs batted in but he averaged only 2.50 plate appearances/games played and does not qualify for this list.  His inclusion does call into question the accuracy of the League Leader listing.

 

Individual performances will be discussed when the Player-, Starter- and Reliever-of-the-Year awards are revealed.

 

 

The Pitching: 

Batavia began the season on June 18th utilizing the tandem rotation with the following ten pitchers:  Justin Edwards, Chris Corrigan, Andrew Moss, Kevin Siegrist, Matt North, Anthony Ferrara, Nick McCully, LaCurtis Mayes, Zack Russell and Travis Lawler.  This rotation was very fluid with no set five pairings except for Zack Russell-Nick McCully  By early July both Andrew Moss and Justin Edwards were getting the bulk of the innings during their starts and the Russell-McCully pairing was split apart on July 6th when Russell started McCully started the July 8th game.  The tandem rotation was officially discarded on July 14th which happened to be John Gast's professional debut.  (Gast pitched an inning out of the bullpen that game with his next appearance coming in an August 1st start.)

 

Batavia's pitching was not nearly as competitive as its hitting.  The Muckdogs' staff was solidly mediocre in most categories, placing in the top third only in strikeouts-per-nine-innings pitched with an 8.27 average. 

Team  ERA  FIP F GAP IP WHIP 
Batavia 3.85 3.40 -0.45 650.7 1.32
Lg Standing - 8th 7th   10th 8th
change - D D   - D
League Lead 3.05 3.09   672.2 1.23
Team - NYM NYY   Hou NYM
           
  H/9 IP HR/H BB/9 SO/9 K/BB
Batavia 8.35 1:16.3 3.53 8.27 2.35:1
Lg Standing - 8th 10th 6th 3rd 6th
change - D D - U -
League Lead 8.09 1:25.2 2.76 8.97 2.9:1
Team - NYM NYY TB Tor Hou

 

Looking at individual stats, a pitcher had to average 0.8 IP/league game to qualify for the league leader chart.  Therefore, Justin Edwards, Nick McCully, Andrew Moss and Zack Russell were the only Muckdogs pitchers that met the criteria.  Russell's 2.93 ERA placed him ninth in the league and his 61 strikeouts (61.1 IP) tied him with teammate Andrew Moss for eighth.  Moss tossed 75.1 innings.  Justin Edwards' 66 strikeouts (77.1 IP) was good for fourth place, behind the Yankees' Zachary Vance who led the league with 74 K's in 71.1 innings.  Russell tied for tenth in the league with a 1.17 WHIP. 

 

 

Individual Recognition:

Batavia had five players named to the 2010 NY-Penn League All-Star squad:  left-handed starter Justin Edwards, right-handed reliever Chase Reid, catcher Audry Perez, outfielder Nick Longmire and second baseman Joey Bergman.  Bergman was named as the National League squad's designated hitter.  Brian Walton's write-up.   It was subsequently learned that Jose Rada, Batavia's former closer, was also named to the All-Star squad but could not participate due to his promotion to class A Quad Cities.

 

Batavia had two pitchers that received a Pitcher of the Week honor:  Andrew Moss for the period 06/28/10 through 07/04/10 and John Gast for the period 08/09/10 though 08/15/10.  Nick Longmire was named Player of the Week for the period 06/21/10 through 06/27/10. 

 

Jordan Swagerty has been selected by the Cardinals to make his professional debut in the Arizona Fall League.

 

 

Roster Moves: 

Thirty-eight players played for Batavia this season.  Some players, like third baseman Alan Ahmady, began at Batavia but were not there very long.  Others, like second baseman Colin Walsh, were there for a time during their rise from rookie to full-season ball.  Yet others came and went repeatedly like catchers Luis De La Cruz and Roberto Espinoza. 

 

The following players were promoted from Batavia during the regular season:  third baseman Alan Ahmady, reliever Chris Corrigan, catcher Luis De La Cruz, catcher Roberto Espinoza, reliever LaCurtis Mayes, closer Jose Rada, left fielder Rainel Rosario, right fielder Ross Smith and second baseman Colin Walsh.  Both centerfielder Nick Longmire and catcher Juan Castillo were promoted to Quad Cities after Batavia's season ended.

 

The following players were promoted to Batavia where they remained for the regular season:  catcher Juan Castillo, left fielder Chris Edmondson and pitcher Javier Avendano.  The only player to be re-assigned to a rookie level team was pitcher Kevin Siegrist.

 

Below are all of Batavia's transactions -

11/05/09 - St. Louis (Batavia) - Announced the 2010 season field staff:  Manager Dann Bilardello, Pitching Coach Arthur Adams, Hitting Coach Joe Kruzel, Trainer Eric Bauer

 

05/05/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - Hitting coach Joe Kruzel re-assigned from Short-season A Batavia to A Quad Cities (GCL hitting coach Roger LaFrancois re-assigned to Short-season A Batavia)

 

06/21/10 - Batavia (Johnson City) - RHP Cale Johnson re-assigned to Rookie League Johnson City; RHP Zack Russell called up from Rookie League Johnson City

 

07/03/10 - Palm Beach (Batavia) - C Luis De La Cruz called up from Short-season A Batavia

 

07/03/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - 3B Alan Ahmady called up from Short-season A Batavia;  C Roberto Espinoza activated from the 7-day Disabled List and re-assigned to Short-season A Batavia

07/03/10 - Batavia (Johnson City) - 2B Colin Walsh called up from Rookie League Johnson City

 

07/04/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - C Roberto Espinoza recalled from Short-season A Batavia

 

07/07/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - OF Ross Smith called up from Short-season A Batavia

07/08/10 - St. Louis (Batavia) - LHP John Gast (6th Rd) assigned to the Short-season A Batavia Muckdogs

 

07/14/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - C Roberto Espinoza re-assigned to Short-season A Batavia

 

07/21/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - OF Rainel Rosario called up from Short-season A Batavia

07/22/10 - Batavia (Johnson City) - LHP Kevin Siegrist re-assigned to Rookie League Johnson City

 

07/25/10 - St. Louis (Batavia) - LHP Tyler Lyons (9th Round) came to terms with and assigned to Short-season A Batavia

07/25/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - C Roberto Espinoza recalled from Short-season A Batavia

07/25/10 - Batavia - LHP Anthony Ferrara placed on the 60-day Disabled List (groin)

 

07/30/10 - St. Louis (Batavia) - RHP Seth Blair (1s Rd) came to terms and assigned to Short-season A Batavia

 

07/31/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - C Roberto Espinoza re-assigned to Short-season A Batavia

 

08/01/10 - Batavia (Johnson City) - C Juan Castillo called up from Rookie League Johnson City

 

08/03/10 - Batavia - LHP Tyler Lyons placed on the 60-day Disabled List (tendonitis)

 

08/04/10 Quad Cities (Batavia) - INF Colin Walsh called up from Short-season A Batavia

 

08/04/10 - Batavia (Johnson City) - OF Chris Edmondson called up from Rookie League Johnson City

 

08/05/10 - Palm Beach (Batavia) - C Luis De La Cruz re-assigned to Short-season A Batavia

08/05/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - RHR Jose Rada called up from Short-season A Batavia

 

08/10/10 - Palm Beach (Batavia) - C Luis De La Cruz re-called from Short-season A Batavia

 

08/11/10 - Batavia - C Geoff Klein, C Audry Perez:  placed on the 7-day Disabled List (sometime week of 08/02 - 08/11/10, per Baseball America)

 

08/12/10 - St. Louis (Batavia) - LHP Justin Wright (47th Round) came to terms and assigned to Short-season A Batavia

 

08/15/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - RHR LaCurtis Mayes recalled to class A Quad Cities

 

08/17/10 - St. Louis (Batavia) - RHP Jordan Swagerty (2nd Rd) assigned to Short-season A Batavia

 

08/18/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - RHP Chris Corrigan called up from Short-season A Batavia

 

08/19/10 - Batavia - C Geoff Klein, C Audry Perez:  activated from the 7-day Disabled List

 

08/23/10 - Palm Beach (Batavia) - C Roberto Espinoza re-called from Short-season A Batavia

 

08/26/10 - Batavia - LHP Anthony Ferrara activated from the 60-day Disabled List

 

08/27/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - OF Ross Smith activated from the 7-day Disabled List and re-assigned to Short-season A Batavia

 

08/31/10 - Batavia (GCL Cardinals) - RHP Javier Avendano called up from Rookie League GCL Cardinals


08/31/10 - Batavia - OF Adam Melker placed on the 7-day Disabled List, per Baseball America (exact date unknown but during the week of 08/25/10 to 08/31/10)

 

09/01/10 - Quad Cities (Batavia) - OF Ross Smith re-called from Short-season A Batavia

 

09/03/10 - Palm Beach (Batavia) - C Geoff Klein called up from Short-season A Batavia

 

09/07/10 - Palm Beach (Batavia) - C Geoff Klein re-assigned to Short-season A Batavia

 

 

Injuries:

It is difficult to accurately assess just who was injured and for how long at this level since league rules allow a team roster to carry 30 players with 25 being active at any given time.  Therefore, players are not necessarily placed on the official 7-day disabled list as readily as those on a tight 25-man roster.  Among the injured this season were:  pitcher Anthony Ferrara, catcher Geoff Klein, right fielder Adam Melker, left fielder Mike O'Neill and catcher Audry Perez.  Additionally, reliever Tyler Lyons was placed on the 60-day Disabled List without appearing in a game.  Finally, reliever Matt North saw action this season after missing all of 2009.

 

 

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