The Season in Review – Johnson City

The final installment in the series of year-end reviews of each of the St. Louis minor league teams.

The Season in Review – Johnson City

December 23, 2005

This is the final installment in my series of year-end reviews of each of the St. Louis minor league teams, following my look back at Memphis, Springfield , Palm Beach, Quad Cities and New Jersey. Below are clarifications needed for this report:
- First, the roster used is the last active roster available and is listed by age, youngest to eldest.
- The age given is each player's age as of June 2005, the season's start.
- Next, the positions played are in order of most to least often.
- All stats given are minor league stats only unless otherwise noted.
- The "last month" line in the "Roster" sub-heading covers the final thirty-one games of the season, which for Johnson City also corresponds with the month of August in its entirety.
- In the in-depth look at pitchers I charted how all pitchers' outs were recorded: via a groundball, fly ball or strikeout. Those percentages are listed after "Out Type".
- "Contact Outs" covers those outs made by contact with the ball. Those percentages of either ground- or flyballs were used to determine "Type of Pitcher".
- The ratio of ground-to-fly balls used to determine whether a pitcher is predominately groundball, fly ball or neutral changes from season-to-season, depending on each season's results. Therefore, a range of 1.2-to-1.3 ground-to-fly balls was calculated as the neutral range. This roughly corresponds to 52%-to-58% ground-to-fly balls. Anything outside that range places the pitcher in either the groundball or fly ball category.
- "Type of Pitcher" – a pitcher qualifies for the "strikeout" designation with a ratio of one strikeout per inning pitched or higher which corresponds to 33% strikeouts or more.
- The 2005 levels are listed in order each player experienced them so any promotion or demotion is clear.

This report was the most difficult for me to do and not just because of personal time constraints that delayed it. As I have mentioned previously this report is stats driven and, accordingly, only presents a piece of the overall picture. The rookie level is comprised of the least experienced players. They are just establishing the performance history that allows an educated evaluation to be made. Therefore, while the stats accurately reflect what happened in 2005, they do not serve as much of an evaluation tool for future performance. Like short-season A, the rookie level is a place of adjustment, experimentation and evaluation. The roster rules for maximum allowed do not apply at this level so there are a number of players competing for the available playing time. The prospects with the higher projected upside get more of the playing time. Since playing time is at a premium, the chance for the lower profile players to impress is much smaller. One additional point I want to make is that the hitters at this level tend to be freer swingers than are their counterparts at higher levels. Therefore, a pitcher's K rate is inflated. Wait and see if that continues at higher levels before anointing them a strikeout artist. A final note about Johnson City, in particular. It has been called the "Coors Field" of the Appalachian League. Keep that in mind when looking at the stats here.

Enjoy!

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Rookie Level – Johnson City Cardinals
League Affiliation - ten-team Appalachian League, five-team West division
Regular Season – June 21st through August 30th
Final Record – 28 - 39
Final Standing – Fourth, twenty games behind the Elizabethton Twins

A Look Back At The Season
A great deal of evaluation occurs at the rookie level. The organization gets its first sustained look at players in which a significant amount of money has already been invested. (Colby Rasmus, for example, received a one million dollar signing bonus.) Twenty different position players and twenty different pitchers saw playing time this season in Johnson City. That impacts a team's ability to win. Johnson City ended the season in fourth place, twenty games behind the league champion Elizabethton Twins. From that standpoint, the season was not a success. Like Elizabethton the Cardinals placed three players in Baseball America's "Top 20 Prospects" for the Appalachian League: Colby Rasmus at 2, Bryan Anderson at 10 and Tyler Herron at 20. Another prospect, Donovan Solano, barely missed the cut. However, all of Elizabethton's Top 20 players were in their second season of professional ball. In fact, the Cardinals were the only organization to place three or more players in the Top 20 that previously had neither college nor professional experience. It comes as no surprise to me that both division winners in the Appalachian League, the Danville Braves and Elizabethton Twins, come out of organizations containing teams in the Gulf Coast League, a rookie level below the Appalachian League. The Cardinals work at a bit of a disadvantage, from a competition point of view. But they are not alone in the disadvantage. Only three of the ten teams that comprise the Appalachian League have teams in either of the two lowest levels, the Gulf Coast and Arizona Leagues. The second place teams were twelve and seventeen and one-half games behind Danville and Elizabethton, respectively.

The Johnson City team got off to a horrific start, going 3-10 in their first thirteen games through July 3rd. After that point they played just under .500 ball the balance of the season. Their best stretch came from July 4th through the end of the month when they went 12-11. They played Elizabethton nine times and came out with a 4-5 series record. That is actually fairly impressive as Elizabethton lost just nineteen games the entire season. On the unimpressive side, Danville swept the six-game season series from the Cardinals. Overall, the team finished seventh in the league in batting with a .257 average (the fourth place team had a .266 average) and last by far in team ERA at 5.97.

Although this is an evaluation level, the pitching roles were far more defined than in short-season A New Jersey. Four of the five rotation slots were constant: Garceau, Herron, Lane and Wilson. Tyler Leach became a rotation fixture after his delayed signing in July. Therefore, only eight of the twenty pitchers that played this season started a game. Far more shuffling came in the bullpen as four different pitchers recorded saves and an additional six pitchers finished games in which a save was not recorded. Three pitchers were promoted during the season: Ashley Hooks (NJ), Cory Meacham (NJ and QC) and Kyle Sadlowski (NJ), all from the bullpen. Four position players were promoted: Catcher Cody Palmer (QC), third baseman Randy Roth (NJ), shortstop Donovan Solano (NJ) and first baseman A.J. Van Slyke (NJ).

The Roster (by age, youngest to oldest)
Pitchers
Shaun Garceau – 08/28/87 (17) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 44.2 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 5 GS, 1-3, 0 SV, 19.2 IP, 28 H, 26 R, 21 ER, 3 HR, 13 BB, 17 SO, 9.61 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, .329 BAA

Tyler Leach – 09/08/86 (18) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 35.2 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 5 GS, 2-1, 23.1 IP, 33 H, 22 R, 15 ER, 2 HR, 7 BB, 11 SO, 5.78 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, .327 BAA

Josh Wilson – 09/06/86 (18) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 55.1 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 5 GS, 1-2, 25.1 IP, 27 H, 17 R, 15 ER, 3 HR, 10 BB, 18 SO, 5.33 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, .287 BAA

Tyler Herron – 08/05/86 (18) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 49.67 innings pitched
- last month - 6 G, 6 GS, 0-2, 27.34 IP, 22 H, 13 R, 12 ER, 5 HR, 17 BB, 26 SO, 3.95 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, .224 BAA

Jamie Garcia – 07/08/86 (18) – LHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - did not pitch

Jose De La Rosa – 02/23/86 (19) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 18.2 innings pitched
- last month - 8 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 12 IP, 16 H, 11 R, 8 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 5 SO, 6.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, .302 BAA

Alberto Guerrero– 10/07/85 (19) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 27.1 innings pitched
- last month - 6 G, 0 GS, 1-0, 0 SV, 11.2 IP, 19 H, 14 R, 12 ER, 0 HR, 6 BB, 15 SO, 9.26 ERA, 2.14 WHIP, .345 BAA

Kenny Maiques – 06/25/85 (20) – RHP
- role/position - Starter or Reliever unknown
- 2005 level(s) - did not pitch as recovering from Tommy John surgery

David Phillips – 05/21/85 (20) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 14.1 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 5.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 HR, 5 BB, 7 SO, 9.54 ERA, 2.12 WHIP, .292 BAA

Matt Lane – 08/17/84 (20) – RHP
- role/position - Starter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 55.1 innings pitched
- last month - 6 G, 6 GS, 2-2, 30.1 IP, 34 H, 17 R, 14 ER, 3 HR, 11 BB, 34 SO, 4.15 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, .270 BAA

John Powell – 07/30/84 (20) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever (started three games)
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - second season, 38 innings pitched
- last month - 5 G, 3 GS, 0-3, 0 SV, 17.2 IP, 23 H, 21 R, 18 ER, 3 HR, 13 BB, 9 SO, 9.17 ERA, 2.04 WHIP, .307 BAA

Kevin Fitzgerald – 11/27/83 (21) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 28 innings pitched
- last month - 12 G, 0 GS, 1-4, 4 SV, 11.1 IP, 26 H, 22 R, 22 ER, 4 HR, 5 BB, 10 SO, 17.48 ERA, 2.74 WHIP, .456 BAA

Ryan Campbell – 09/02/83 (21) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 27 innings pitched
- last month - 10 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 11 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 0 HR, 10 BB, 19 SO, 6.55 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, .179 BAA

Ryan Dixon – 07/08/83 (21) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever (started twice)
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 25.2 innings pitched
- last month - 4 G, 0 GS, 1-0, 0 SV, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, .211 BAA

Danny Borne – 05/05/83 (22) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 23 innings pitched
- last month - 11 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 15.2 IP, 13 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 8 BB, 12 SO, 2.87 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, .232 BAA

Matt Weagle – 07/11/82 (22) – RHP
- role/position - Reliever (Started four games)
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - second season, 36 innings pitched
- last month - 8 G, 1 GS, 1-1, 3 SV, 12 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 5 BB, 14 SO, 2.25 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .214 BAA

Josh Schwartz – 02/11/82 (23) – LHP
- role/position - Reliever
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 34 innings pitched
- last month - 9 G, 0 GS, 1-0, 0 SV, 15.2 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 16 SO, 2.30 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .194 BAA

Position
Wil Pujols – 09/11/87 (17)
- role/position - designated hitter, left field, right field
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 63 at bats
- last month - .217/.250/.217/.467, 5-for-23 in 11 games, 2 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 12 SO

Daryl Jones – 06/25/87 (18)
- role/position - right field, centerfield, left field
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 182 at bats
- last month - .179/.312/.218/.530, 14-for-78 in 26 games, 16 R, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 8 BB, 22 SO

Steve Gonzalez – 05/31/87 (18)
- role/position - catcher, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 100 at bats
- last month - .192/.241/.250/.491, 10-for-52 in 21 games, 6 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 21 SO

Christian Lopez – 01/23/87 (18)
- role/position - second base, third base, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 74 at bats
- last month - .196/.302/.217/.519, 9-for-46 in 20 games, 4 R, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 6 BB, 19 SO

Bryan Anderson – 12/16/86 (18)
- role/position - catcher, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 154 at bats
- last month - .397/.435/.641/1.076, 31-for-78 in 25 games, 16 R, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 9 BB, 18 SO

Colby Rasmus – 08/11/86 (18)
- role/position - centerfield, left field
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 216 at bats
- last month - .295/.358/.653/1.010, 28-for-95 in 29 games, 25 R, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 9 BB, 30 SO

Brandon Garner – 08/27/86 (18)
- role/position - second base, shortstop
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 94 at bats
- last month - .174/.240/.217/.457, 8-for-46 in 18 games, 9 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 7 SO

Jose Martinez – 01/24/86 (19)
- role/position - second base, shortstop, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - second season, 150 at bats
- last month - .333/.417/.583/1.000, 28-for-84 in 26 games, 19 R, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 11 BB, 7 SO

Steward Chacin – 12/31/85 (19)
- role/position - second base, first base, third base, pitcher, shortstop, catcher-left field-right field-designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - second season, 144 at bats
- last month - .327/.340/.423/.763, 17-for-52 in 21 games, 7 R, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 10 SO
- last month - 3 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 SO, 7.69 ERA, 2.14 WHIP

Malcolm Owens – 03/23/84 (21)
- role/position - left field, right field, centerfield-designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 93 at bats
- last month - .200/.349/.229/.577, 7-for-35 in 16 games, 4 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 12 SO

Jon Skorupski – 07/13/83 (21)
- role/position - first base, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, Rookie
- experience - first season, 104 at bats
- last month - .255/.269/.431/.701, 13-for-51 in 15 games, 4 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 15 SO

Geoff Desmond – 07/09/83 (21)
- role/position - first base, left field, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 109 at bats
- last month - .135/.233/.216/.449, 5-for-37 in 19 games, 5 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 12 SO

Adam Morris – 12/01/82 (22)
- role/position - third base, designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Short-season A, Rookie
- experience - first season, 165 at bats
- last month - .212/.322/.343/.665, 21-for-99 in 30 games, 15 R, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 15 BB, 25 SO

Jon Mikrut – 11/22/82 (22)
- role/position - third base, pitcher, second base
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 93 at bats
- last month - .171/.194/.371/.566, 6-for-35 in 13 games, 4 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 8 SO
- last month - 2 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 5 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP

Charles Carter – 09/27/82 (22)
- role/position - left field, right field, first base, centerfield
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 180 at bats
- last month - .297/.409/.495/.903, 27-for-91 in 30 games, 16 R, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 20 BB, 16 SO

Billy Becher – 03/08/82 (23)
- role/position - first base
- 2005 level(s) - did not play due to broken hand

Tim Preston – 11/30/81 (23)
- role/position - left field, right field, centerfield-designated hitter
- 2005 level(s) - Rookie
- experience - first season, 63 at bats
- last month - .222/.239/.444/.684, 10-for-45 in 20 games, 5 R, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 1 BB, 9 SO

In-Depth – The Pitchers
Ryan Campbell – RHR
Drafted - Free agent signee, June 2005, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Strikeout, most extreme strikeout pitcher (by % of total outs) in the Cardinals' system
Out Type - 25.64% ground, 19.64% fly, 55.13% strike in 78 outs
Contact Outs - 57.14% ground, 42.86% fly in 35 outs
Comment - Ryan Campbell was signed by the Cardinals after graduating from the California University of Pennsylvania. He appeared in eleven games, starting eight of them. Opposing batters hit only .234 against him in thirty-seven and one-third innings pitched. He struck out forty-one but compiled a 5.06 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. How? Well, he also walked thirty-four and led his team in hit batsman with ten. He was second on team with six wild pitches. This lack of control can be traced to Campbell's "tremendous natural arm strength", per his college coach, coupled with his lack of experience as a pitcher. Campbell began his college career at the Beaver Campus of Penn State University where he was a catcher. He transferred to California University of Pennsylvania before his junior year where he was converted to pitching seriously for the first time in his life. Campbell joined Pittsburgh's Federation League this summer and it was there that he came to the notice of the Cardinals. They dispatched then scout Jim Leyland to observe Campbell and it took him only two innings to decide that he was worth a contract. (Campbell struck out 17 in a complete-game victory that day.)

Campbell was assigned to the rookie level Johnson City club where he led the team in batting average against (.208) and strike outs per 9 innings pitched (14.33). His 27 innings pitched for the season was third behind Matt Weagle and Alberto Guerrero for those pitchers used exclusively out of the bullpen. He also led the team in walks per 9 innings pitched at 8.00 which was a major factor in his 6.33 ERA and 1.63 WHIP for the season. Campbell also hit three batters of the 124 he faced. He did not throw a wild pitch. Another bit of good news is that his contact outs are in the neutral range tending towards the groundball side of the equation. That translated to only two home runs given up this season or a HR/9 IP rate of 0.667. Campbell was one of six Johnson City pitchers that allowed less that one home run every nine innings pitched. (The others were David Phillips - no home runs in 14.1 innings, Alberto Guerrero – one home run in 27.1 innings, Danny Borne – one home run in 23 innings, Josh Schwartz – two home runs in thirty-four innings and Matt Weagle – three home runs in thirty-six innings.)

Campbell is included in this section as another of my sleeper picks. His strike out numbers are very impressive, even in a league of younger, less experienced hitters. I have no prediction on where he will start the 2006 season but he is a pitcher to keep your eye on.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – 2 G, 0 GS, 1-0, 0 SV, 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 5 SO, 7.71 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2.50 K/BB, 9.64 K/9 IP, 3.85 BB/9 IP
- July – 8 G, 0 GS, 1-2, 1 SV, 11.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 HR, 12 BB, 19 SO, 5.56 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 1.58 K/BB, 15.09 K/9 IP, 9.53 BB/9 IP
- August – 10 G, 0 GS, 2-0, 0 SV, 11 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 0 HR, 10 BB, 19 SO, 6.55 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 1.90 K/BB, 15.55 K/9 IP, 8.18 BB/9 IP

Shaun Garceau – RHS
Drafted - 20th round (620th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Groundball, with strikeout tendency
Out Type - 40.91% ground, 27.27% fly, 31.82% strike in 132 outs
Contact Outs - 60.00% ground, 40.00% fly in 90 outs
Comment - Shaun Garceau was drafted by the Cardinals out of Royal Palm Beach High School in Florida. He previously underwent an elbow operation that wiped out his senior year, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. However, Garceau received an "honorable mention" nod by the Florida Sports Writers Association in their annual All-State awards. He had signed to play for Alabama but bypassed college to sign with St. Louis. Per Baseball America he features a slow curve and a fastball in the 88-91 mph but has hit 93.

Just seventeen, Garceau was the youngest pitcher on the Johnson City roster by eleven and one-half months. He struggled in his professional debut, allowing seven runs, five earned, on five hits and two walks in one and one-third innings. His best stretch came on back-to-back outings at home on July 5th and 12th when he compiled the following: 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 8.00 K/BB, 8 K/9 IP, 1 BB 9/IP. His August stats show a "Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde" quality. From August 1st through 14th he went: 3 G, 3 GS, 1 CG, 1-1, 12.1 IP, 12 H, 10 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 6 BB, 10 SO, 3.65 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 1.67 K/BB, 7.3 K/9 IP, 4.38 BB/9 IP. From August 15th through 30th Garceau went: 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0-2, 7.1 IP, 16 H, 16 R, 16 ER, 2 HR, 7 BB, 7 SO, 19.62 ERA, 3.13 WHIP, 1 K/BB, 8.58 K/9 IP, 8.58 BB/9 IP. Garceau participated in the Florida Instructional League where he posted a 6.97 ERA, 1.94 WHIP and 1.40 K/BB in ten and one-third innings over five games.

Matt Eddy, a writer for Baseball America, called Garceau "the real sleeper" with the best breaking ball of the "Johnson City four" of Tyler Herron, Josh Wilson, Tyler Leach and him during a post-season on-line chat. He struck out forty-two in forty-four and two-thirds innings, which is promising. He may well return to Johnson City next season because of his youth and inexperience. We shall see.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0-2, 4.1 IP, 8 H, 11 R, 8 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 3 SO, 16.63 ERA, 2.77 WHIP, 0.75 K/BB, 6.24 K/9 IP, 8.31 BB/9 IP
- July – 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 1-2, 20.2 IP, 19 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 3 HR, 6 BB, 22 SO, 3.92 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.67 K/BB, 9.58 K/9 IP, 2.61 BB/9 IP
- August – 5 G, 5 GS, 1 CG, 1-3, 19.2 IP, 28 H, 26 R, 21 ER, 3 HR, 13 BB, 17 SO, 9.61 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, 1.31 K/BB, 7.78 K/9 IP, 5.95 BB/9 IP

Tyler Herron – RHS
Drafted - 1st round-supplemental (46th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Strikeout/Neutral with groundball tendencies
Out Type - 37.84% ground, 29.05% fly, 33.11% strike in 148 outs
Contact Outs - 56.57% ground, 43.43% fly in 99 outs
Comment - Tyler Herron was drafted out of Wellington High School in Wellington Florida. Prior to his 2005 Spring campaign Baseball America rated Tyler Herron as Florida's 20th-best player and the nation's 107th best. He subsequently moved up to being their 47th-ranked player. Herron was named to the Third Team All-State by the Florida Sports Writers Association. He passed up a scholarship with the Clemson Tigers to play professional ball.

Age-wise, Herron turned 19 in early August so was one of the younger pitchers on the roster. In fact, Tyler Leach, Josh Wilson and Herron were born about a month apart. The only pitcher on the club that was younger than this trio was Shaun Garceau. His professional debut on June 23rd foreshadowed his '05 season. He went two innings and allowed two earned runs, both earned. Both runs scored when Herron gave up a two-run home run in the third inning. His eleven home runs permitted led the Johnson City staff. In fact seventeen of the thirty-one earned runs allowed by Herron were scored because of a home run. That is almost 55% of the earned runs scored against him. What is even more interesting is that Herron tended towards being a groundball pitcher. The neutral range is from 52% to 58% groundball outs and Herron's 56.57% groundball outs in the "Contact Outs" category was in the upper part of the neutral range. Therefore, Herron's contact outs tended towards being on the ground. It appears, however, that when he got the ball up it went out. Herron's last four starts, covering the final three weeks of the season, were strong ones. Opposing batters hit only .191 against him to go with a 1.22 WHIP and he did not allow a home run over his last fourteen and two-thirds innings pitched. Herron was a Florida Instructional League participant where he struck out eleven in nine innings over four games while walking only three. He compiled a 5.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Available stats do not reveal whether any of the nine hits allowed were home runs.

Baseball America ranked Tyler Herron as the 20th best prospect in the Appalachian League this year while another writer on Scout graded his professional debut season as a C because of the home runs allowed. Overall, Herron did more things well than he did things bad. He led the rotation in strikeouts per 9 innings pitched. (Shaun Garceau, Tyler Herron and Matt Lane all struck out over eight batters every nine innings.) He also held opposing batters to a .245 average which also led the rotation. On the down side, he led the pitching staff in home runs allowed with almost two every nine innings and walks with 4.89 every nine innings. The low BAA combined with the shaky control to put his WHIP at second among the rotation. Herron may well start '06 at short-season State College.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0-0, 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 10 SO, 3.86 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3.33 K/BB, 12.86 K/9 IP, 3.86 BB/9 IP
- July – 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 15.1 IP, 21 H, 19 R, 16 ER, 5 HR, 7 BB, 13 SO, 9.39 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 1.86 K/BB, 7.63 K/BB, 4.11 BB/9 IP
- August – 6 G, 6 GS, 0 CG, 0-2, 27.1 IP, 22 H, 13 R, 12 ER, 5 HR, 17 BB, 26 SO, 3.95 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 1.53 K/BB, 8.56 K/9 IP, 5.60 BB/9 IP

Matt Lane – RHS
Drafted - 16th round (500th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Groundball, fifth best among starters in system
Out Type - 44.17% ground, 24.54% fly, 31.29% strike in 163 outs
Contact Outs - 64.29% ground, 35.71% fly in 112 outs
Comment - Matt Lane was drafted out of the University of Louisiana-Monroe, former Cardinal Chuck Finley's alma mater. He pitched in a rotation that included right-hander Matt Green who was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round, forty-ninth overall, of the 2005 draft. Lane's drafting appears to have been another case of stuff over stats because I could not find anything statistically that merited Lane being picked in the top 500 overall. He compiled a 5.36 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and .301 BAA in eighty-seven and one-third innings pitched over seventeen appearances, fifteen starts.

Matt Lane appears to be the forgotten starter among the Johnson City rotation. He engenders the least press/discussion among the rotation. His fellow starters are all in their teens which makes Lane, who turned 21 in mid-August, the old man of the group by nearly two years. Lane began the season fairly well for his first professional season. Through July 15th he was carrying a 3.60 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. A horrific outing on July 25th when he allowed eight earned runs in one plus innings pitched, including a grand slam, sent his stats soaring upwards. Lane alternated excellent weeks with poor but not horrific ones for the rest of the season. His final season stats: 13 G, 13 GS, 0 CG, 2-6, 55.1 IP, 68 H, 40 R, 33 ER, 7 HR, 22 BB, 51 SO, 5.37 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 8.30 K/9 IP, 2.32 K/BB, 3.58 BB/9 IP, 1.14 HR/9 IP, .293 BAA. Those stats ranked him as follows, compared to the other starters: IP – 1st, ERA – 2nd, WHIP – 3rd, K/BB – 1st, K/9 IP – 2nd, BB/9 IP – 2nd best, HR/9 IP – 1st best, BAA – 3rd. Out of curiosity I checked how his college teammate Matt Green did this season. Green, who is two and one-half years older than Lane, also pitched in the entire 2005 season on a rookie-level team. He compiled the following numbers: 15 G, 12 GS, 0 CG, 4-3, 60 IP, 77 H, 41 R, 37 ER, 6 HR, 26 BB, 59 SO, 5.55 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 8.85 K/9 IP, 2.27 K/BB, 3.90 BB/9 IP, 0.90 HR/9 IP, .316 BAA. Pretty comparable numbers to Lane's but I imagine that Lane did not receive a comparable signing bonus to the one the Snakes paid second rounder Green. Lane participated in the Florida Instructional League. He went 1-0 in eleven and two-thirds innings over five games while allowing six runs, all earned, on nine hits and five walks. That worked out to a 4.63 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Better yet he struck out sixteen batters for a K/9 IP of 12.34.

Lane's strikeout numbers generally improved as the season wore on and were above his '05 college totals of 7.73. His Florida Instructional League strikeouts are particularly encouraging. His control is fairly good for this level as well. He stands 6'8", 225 pounds so has the frame to fill out as he matures. Lane bears watching to see whether he can improve on his power numbers.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 8 SO, 3.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 4.00 K/BB, 13.51 K/9 IP, 3.38 BB/9 IP
- July – 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 0-3, 19.2 IP, 30 H, 19 R, 17 ER, 2 HR, 9 BB, 9 SO, 7.78 ERA, 1.98 WHIP, 1.00 K/BB, 4.12 K/9 IP, 4.12 BB/9 IP
- August – 6 G, 6 GS, 0 CG, 2-2, 30.1 IP, 34 H, 17 R, 14 ER, 3 HR, 11 BB, 34 SO, 4.15 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 3.09 K/BB, 10.09 K/9 IP, 3.26 BB/9 IP

Tyler Leach – RHS
Drafted - 39th round (1189th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Borderline Groundball/Neutral
Out Type - 42.45% ground, 30.19% fly, 27.36% strike in 106 outs
Contact Outs - 58.44% ground, 41.56% fly in 77 outs
Comment - Tyler Leach was drafted out of Kings Mountain High School in Kings Mountain North Carolina. Baseball America rated him as the 15th best prospect in North Carolina. Leach expected to be drafted the first day and was looking for sixth round money. He told a local newspaper that he would be attending Virginia Tech unless he could come to terms with the Cardinals. He signed on July 6th for "sixth or seventh round" bonus, per a local newspaper account. .

Leach missed the first sixteen games of the season due to the delay in his signing, from the season's start through July 6th. That was 24% of the season. His professional debut came on July 12th when he pitched a scoreless inning in support of Shaun Garceau's first professional win. Overall, Leach appeared in ten games, starting eight of them. Statistically, very little stands out regarding Tyler Leach's season. Most of that is a direct result of his abbreviated season. The Appalachian League's season is short to begin with and Leach missed a quarter of that period. To put this into perspective, Leach pitched nineteen and two-thirds fewer innings and faced eighty-six fewer batters than did Matt Lane, the Johnson City "innings eater". That is 35.5% fewer innings and 33.7% fewer batters. His season's totals ranked as follows among the Johnson City starters: 6.31 ERA-fourth, 1.68 WHIP-fourth, 7.32 K/9 IP-fourth, 2.23 K/BB ratio-second, .311 BAA-fifth. A tantalizing glimpse of Leach's potential came in the Florida Instructional League. He pitched nine and one-third innings over five games and compiled a 0.96 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. More importantly he struck out fourteen batters while walking only three for a 4.67 K/BB ratio and 13.51 K/9 IP. He led his fellow teammates Shaun Garceau, Tyler Herron, Matt Lane and Josh Wilson in K/BB ratio and K/9 IP and barely trailed Wilson in ERA and WHIP.

Tyler Leach was the second youngest pitcher on the Johnson City roster. That fact combined with his lack of professional experience may well send him back to Johnson City next year.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – did not pitch
- July – 5 G, 3 GS, 0 CG, 1-2, 12.1 IP, 14 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 3 HR, 6 BB, 18 SO, 7.30 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 3.00 K/BB, 13.14 K/9 IP, 4.38 BB/9 IP
- August – 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 2-1, 23 IP, 33 H, 22 R, 15 ER, 2 HR, 7 BB, 11 SO, 5.87 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, 1.57 K/BB, 4.30 K/9 IP, 2.74 BB/9 IP

Josh Wilson – RHS
Drafted - 2nd round (70th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Type of Pitcher - Groundball, fourth most extreme groundball starter in the Cardinals' minor league system
Out Type - 51.28% ground, 28.21% fly, 20.51% strike in 156 outs
Contact Outs - 64.52% ground, 35.68% fly in 124 outs
Comment - Josh Wilson was the Cardinals' fifth draft pick in the 2005 draft. He hails from Tyler Texas and was named to the 2004 Class 4A All-State Team after his junior year in high school. Wilson passed up the opportunity to play for the powerful University of Texas program to play professional ball instead. As part of his contract the Cardinals will pay for Wilson's college education which he plans on pursuing during the off-season. Jason Scott's excellent recap of the first day of the 2005 draft gives further details on Wilson. Here is a link to that article.

Wilson pitched exclusively at Johnson City this season. His June peripherals of .269 BAA and 1.29 WHIP are much better than his 5.14 ERA would indicate. Wilson hit his stride with an improved July overall. He lowered his ERA for the month to 2.57 and held opposing batters to a .197 average. However, his walks went up as his strikeouts went down. Wilson's heaviest workload of the season came in August when his numbers jumped. Opposing hitters batted .287 against him and his WHIP went from a low of 1.24 at the end of July to 1.46 for August. Wilson's strikeouts, however, went back up while his control improved. Like the rest of the Johnson City rotation, he participated in the Florida Instructional League. He pitched eleven and two-thirds innings over five game appearances. Wilson allowed four runs, one earned, on three hits and four walks for a 0.77 ERA and 0.60 WHIP. He struck out ten batters for a 7.71 K/9 IP and 2.50 K/BB ratio.

Josh Wilson is two days older than Tyler Leach so barely qualifies as the third youngest pitcher on the Johnson City roster. Matt Eddy of Baseball America responded to a question about the upside of Garceau, Leach and Wilson thusly: "I'd rank them like this: Wilson, Garceau, Leach. Wilson experienced some of the growing pains Herron did with fastball command and getting ahead of hitters. He's 88-92 mph with his fastball and has an advanced feel for his change for a guy just out of high school." The future looks promising for Wilson.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – 2 G, 2GS, 0 CG, 0-0, 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 5 SO, 5.14 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 2.50 K/BB, 6.43 K/9 IP, 2.57 BB/9 IP
- July – 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 21 IP, 15 H, 16 R, 6 ER, 3 HR, 11 BB, 9 SO, 2.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 0.82 K/BB, 3.86 K/9 IP, 4.71 BB/9 IP
- August – 5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 1-2, 25.1 IP, 27 H, 17 R, 15 ER, 3 HR, 10 BB, 18 SO, 5.33 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 1.80 K/BB, 6.40 K/9 IP, 3.55 BB/9 IP

In-Depth – The Hitters
Bryan Anderson – bats L, throws R
Drafted - 4th round (140th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Comment - Bryan Anderson was drafted out of Simi Valley High School in California where he was ranked the 83rd best high school prospect in the nation. Anderson's parents are life-long devoted fans of the St. Louis Cardinals. He told a local paper that his parents' reaction to his being drafted by their favorite team was to retreat to their bedroom, don full Cardinals paraphernalia and march proudly back out of the room. You could almost hear the teenager's embarrassment ringing in his words.

Baseball America ranked Anderson as the tenth best prospect in the Appalachian League for 2005. He was the second youngest player named in that publication's top ten. Anderson averaged 2.63 plate appearances a game which was fourth on the team behind Colby Rasmus, Charles Carter and Daryl Jones. He was one of ten players on Johnson City's final roster with one hundred or more plate appearances. Comparing that group of ten Anderson had the third best plate discipline as he struck out only once every 5.31 at bats or 6.07 plate appearances. He walked an average of once every 11.73 plate appearances, good for eighth place. However, sixth through eighth place were within 0.60 of each other. Anderson's .331 batting average and .513 slugging percentage led the squad and his .383 on-base percentage was good for third place. Overall, he led the team with an .896 OPS. Anderson went 10-for-42 in fourteen games for a .238 batting average in the Florida Instructional League. Bryan Anderson turns nineteen on December 16th which makes him the fifth youngest player on the Johnson City final roster.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – .263/.263/.263, 6 G, 19 AB, 2 R, 5 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 1:6.33 K/AB, 1:6.67 K/PA, 2.00 PA/Game
- July – .263/.344/.421, 20 G, 57 AB, 10 R, 15 H, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 8 SO, 3 SB, 0 CS, 1:7.13 K/AB, 1:10.67 BB/PA, 1:8.00 K/PA, 2.46 PA/Game
- August – .397/.435/.641, 25 G, 78 AB, 16 R, 31 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 9 BB, 18 SO, 3 SB, 1 CS, 1:4.33 K/AB, 1:10.22 BB/PA, 1:5.11 K/PA, 2.97 PA/Game

Daryl Jones – bats L, throws L
Drafted - 3rd round (110th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Comment - Daryl Jones was highly recruited in both football and baseball. Football luminaries like Nebraska and Florida were interested in him as a wide receiver. He eventually committed to play baseball for powerhouse Rice University. Jones was considered such a strong commit to Rice that teams did not bother to draft him in the June 2005 draft. The Cardinals not only drafted him but ended up signing him as well.

Statistically, Jones did not do much to merit attention this season. Going .209/.311/.286/.597, 38-for-182, he barely hit above the Mendoza line. Jones averaged 3.16 plate appearances per game which was third on the roster. Again, compared against the rest of the group of ten players with one hundred or more plate appearances this season, Jones had the fourth best plate discipline as he struck out once every 4.44 at bats or 5.17 plate appearances. He walked an average of once every 14.13 plate appearances, good for ninth place. Jones fared better on the Florida Instructional League where he went .282/.364/.410, 11-for-39 with two doubles and a home run in 15 games. He walked five times and stole six bases while being caught only once. Jones turned 18 in late June which made him the third youngest player on Johnson City's season-end roster.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – .179/.194/.321, 10 G, 28 AB, 3 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 1:5.60 K/AB, 1:31.00 BB/PA, 1:6.20 K/PA, 3.10 PA/Game
- July – .250/.352/.342, 25 G, 76 AB, 17 R, 19 H, 4 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 14 SO, 2 SB, 3 CS, 1:5.43 K/AB, 1:14.67 BB/PA, 1:6.29 K/PA, 3.38 PA/Game
- August – .179/.312/.218, 26 G, 78 AB, 16 R, 14 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 8 BB, 22 SO, 7 SB, 1 CS, 1:3.55 K/AB, 1:11.63 BB/PA, 1:4.23 K/PA, 3.00 PA/Game

Jose Martinez – bats R, throws R
Drafted - signed as a non-drafted free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals on October 2, 2004
Comment - Jose Martinez was signed out of Venezuela. He was brought to the Cardinals' attention by Enrique Brito, the Cardinals' Scouting Director for Latin America. Mr. Brito has had ten players he has signed make the big leagues, chief among them being Miguel Cabrera.

Martinez's 2005 season qualified him as the 30th-best prospect in the Cardinals' system, per The Birdhouse. Baseball HQ ranked him at #7. Overall he went .300/.387.500/.887, 45-for-150 in 56 games. That was good for second in batting average, on-base percentage and OPS, and third in slugging in the aforementioned "Group of Ten". Martinez had 2.60 plate appearances per game which was fifth. The category in which Martinez absolutely shone was plate discipline. Martinez struck out fifteen times in one hundred fifty at bats for a 1:10.00 K/AB ratio. His K/PA ratio was 1:11.60. That was good for first place by a wide margin. (Charles Carter came in second with a 1:6.21 K/AB or 1:7.62 K/PA ratio.) He walked once every 8.70 plate appearances which was third best. Martinez did not participate in the Florida Instructional League. Martinez will turn 20 in January 2006.
Numbers By The Month -
- June – .143/.250/.214, 8 G, 14 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 1:7.00 K/AB, 1:8.00 BB/PA, 1:8.00 K/PA, 1.60 PA/Game
- July – .288/.377/.442, 22 G, 52 AB, 9 R, 15 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 7 BB, 6 SO, 2 SB, 1 CS, 1:8.67 K/AB, 1:8.86 BB/PA, 1:10.33 K/PA, 2.38 PA/Game
- August – .333/.417/.583, 26 G, 84 AB, 19 R, 28 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 11 BB, 7 SO, 6 SB, 1 CS, 1:12.00 K/AB, 1:8.73 BB/PA, 1:13.71 K/PA, 3.10 PA/Game

Colby Rasmus – bats L, throws L
Drafted - 1st round (28th overall), 2005 draft, St. Louis Cardinals
Comment - Colby Rasmus is a five-tool player from Baseball America's top-rated team in the nation, the Russell County (AL) Warriors. He was named Mr. Baseball and Gatorade Player of the Year in Alabama. He bypassed playing baseball for the Auburn Tigers to start his professional career.

Baseball America rated him the second best prospect in the Appalachian League as well as the second best prospect in the Cardinals' minor league system. Baseball HQ placed Rasmus at an identical second place ranking in the Cardinals' system. Rasmus went .296/.362/.514/.876, 64-for-216 in 62 games this past season. He was third in batting average and OPS, fourth in on-base percentage and first in slugging when compared to the "Group of Ten". He tied Charles Carter for the club lead in stolen bases with 12. Rasmus had fifteen attempts and Carter had fourteen. His 3.64 plate appearances per game average led the team. As has been well documented, Rasmus also led the team in K/AB with a 1:2.96 ratio. That equated to a 1:3.34 K/PA ratio. His 1:1162 BB/PA ratio placed him in seventh, although fifth through eighth place were closely bunched together in this category. Rasmus went .175/.353/.175, 7-for-40, with eleven walks and fourteen strikeouts in sixteen games in the Florida Instructional League. I chalk up his performance in the FIL to likely fatigue. He was the only player on the Johnson City roster to rack up more that 200 at bats. When you take factor in his high school season, Johnson City at bats and his youth (He turned 19 in late August)), Rasmus likely ran out of gas by the time the Florida Instructional League rolled around.

Numbers By The Month -
- June – .270/.325/.378, 9 G, 37 AB, 4 R, 10 H, 4 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 14 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, 1:2.64 K/AB, 1:13.33 BB/PA, 1:2.86 K/PA, 4.00 PA/Game
- July – .310/.383/.417, 24 G, 84 AB, 18 R, 26 H, 7 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 9 BB, 29 SO, 3 SB, 0 CS, 1:2.90 K/AB, 1:10.44 BB/PA, 1:3.24 K/PA, 3.62 PA/Game
- August – .295/.358/.653, 29 G, 95 AB, 25 R, 28 H, 5 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 9 BB, 30 SO, 8 SB, 2 CS, 1:3.17 K/AB, 1:12.00 BB/PA, 1:3.67 K/PA, 3.55 PA/Game

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