Johnson City 2009 Player of the Year: Part 2

Rich "Rock" Racobaldo, the Cardinals 37th round pick in the 2009 draft and the Appalachian League All-Star third baseman, is our 2009 Johnson City Cardinals Player of the Year.

Link to part one of this article.

Batter Kleininger Teran C.J. Beatty Edgar Lara Hector Alvarez Travis Tartamella Romulo Ruiz Joey Hage Matt Rigoli
Rank 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Age 20.3 21.1 20.6 22.8 21.8 19.9 20.7 23.9
G 32 19 64 40 26 32 20 26
PA 115 64 254 120 90 108 59 69
AB 98 57 224 101 82 97 51 56
R 12 13 22 16 10 8 6 8
H 24 10 53 23 15 13 9 10
2B 7 1 16 4 2 2 5 1
3B 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
HR 0 2 9 1 1 5 0 0
RBI 14 8 36 5 8 17 2 2
2-O RBI 3 2 9 0 2 9 0 0
RLISP w/2O 8 8 27 10 13 18 5 8
2-O EFF 0.273 0.2 0.25 0 0.133 0.333 0 0
SB 0 3 0 5 0 0 0 0
CS 1 0 2 2 1 0 0 0
SB% 0% 100% 0% 71% 0%      
PO 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
BB 15 6 26 13 7 9 5 9
SO 11 14 74 35 18 34 10 19
BA 0.245 0.175 0.237 0.228 0.183 0.134 0.176 0.179
OBP 0.348 0.25 0.323 0.328 0.256 0.204 0.259 0.333
SLG 0.316 0.298 0.429 0.317 0.244 0.309 0.275 0.196
OPS 0.664 0.548 0.751 0.644 0.499 0.513 0.533 0.53
SO/PA 0.1 0.22 0.29 0.29 0.2 0.31 0.17 0.28
PA/HR >115 32 28 120 90 22 >59 >69
TB 31 17 96 32 20 30 14 11
GDP 2 1 5 0 2 1 2 1
HBP 1 0 3 2 1 0 1 4
SH 0 0 0 4 0 0 1 0
SF 1 1 1 0 0 2 1 0
IBB 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0

Fielders – Bottom Half


Fielding Kleininger Teran C.J. Beatty Edgar Lara Hector Alvarez Travis Tartamella Romulo Ruiz Joey Hage Matt Rigoli
Rank 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
G 29 2 62 42 24 15 20 18
PO 27 1 87 30 194 120 15 107
A 48 1 5 84 19 6 0 11
OA   1 5 0     0  
E 6 0 3 13 2 3 0 0
E-F 3 0 2 8 0 1 0 0
E-T 3 0 1 5 2 1 0 0
E-MC 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
E-PO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
DP 2 0 2 9 0 10 0 6
FLD% 92.60% 100% 96.80% 89.80% 99.10% 97.70% 100% 100%
PB         4      
SB         29%      
CS         6      
CS%         17%      


The Rankings Explained – Bottom Half


#9 Kleininger Teran:  Teran, who was signed in March 2006 out of Maracay, Venezuela, was a mid-season replacement for Racobaldo at third base.  Teran, who just turned 20 years old, posted a rather uninteresting .232/.377/.232 line in 26 games with the 2008 GCL Cardinals but improved to a .384/.430/.477 line in 25 games with the 2009 GCL Cardinals. 


The real concern with Teran was his defense.  He posted an 82.4 FLD% in 17 chances at 3B with the GCL.  Teran also played 1B (8 G), LF (4 G), DH (3 G), and RF (1 G) with the GCL this year.  Teran committed only one error in 77 chances (.987 fielding percentage) at 1B in the GCL. 


Teran played a steady 3B with an average to below average arm and range.  Teran posted a 91.3 FLD% (69 chances) at 3B.  Teran (.245/.348/.316) demonstrated good swing discipline with little power or speed.  He recorded the lowest strikeout rate (0.10 SO/PA).  Teran was the only player on the team to have more walks than strikeouts.  He was also the only one who had no HRs in more than 100 PAs.  He can hit line drives to all fields.   


#10 C.J. Beatty:  Injuries one, C.J. zero.  Unfortunately, Beatty lost most of the season to injuries.  Beatty (.175, 2 HR) bruised his elbow just a few games into the year.  Beatty was restricted to DH after that.  He appeared at the plate for just 57 ABs and then injured his right hand/wrist on a strikeout in his first AB on August 4.  The injury required surgery.  Beatty missed over 70% of the season due to injuries.  The outfielder looks to have excellent bat speed, good power, and good leg speed.  It is really too early to tell if the 26th round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft can hit for power or average.  Beatty, now 21 years old and swinging a bat again, needs to stay healthy and put up a 200+ AB season next year.   


#11 Edgar Lara:  The clock is ticking loudly on RF Edgar Lara after two complete seasons in Johnson City.  Lara received a $250,000 signing bonus in September 2005 as one of the first big Latin America signees under the direction of Jeff Luhnow.  Unfortunately for Lara, 2009 didn't see any improvement over 2008.  Lara posted a .267/.337/.429 line in 45 G last year and followed that up with a .237/.323/.429 line in 64 G this year.  The strong-armed Lara certainly had his opportunity to make a statement this year as he led the team in G, PA, AB, H, 2B, HR, TB, GDP, RBI, BB, and SO.  His strikeout rate (0.29 SO/PA) was the fourth worst of the 16 batters.  Lara started the season strongly but then saw his BA fade each month as the season progressed (.423 in Jun; .221 in Jul; .202 in Aug).  Lara is still just 20 years old and with a pretty big investment, he may be given more opportunity.  If so, the pressure to produce results will be as high as ever.   


#12 Hector Alvarez:  The former switch hitter was converted solely to a right-handed hitter this year.  A soon-to-be 23-year-old Dominican, Alvarez showed a lot of inconsistency as a utility infielder.  Alvarez, who played 24 G at SS, 12 G at 3B, and 5 G at 2B, recorded the worst combined FLD% on the team (89.8%) while committing 8 E-F.  Alvarez and Travis Tartamella each recorded their only home runs of the year in the same game.  Alvarez (.228/.328/.317) was 0-for-15 (.000) with six strikeouts to end the season.  His batting splits were not very good either with his best performance reserved for "bases empty" and the worst for "runners on".  His 2-O EFF was .000 in ten opportunities and his strikeout rate (0.29 SO/PA) was the third worst on the team. 


#13 Travis Tartamella:  The third string catcher at Johnson City always seems to struggle and this year was no different.  "Tart" (.183 in 82 AB) could never get his bat going in limited plate appearances and finished last in OPS (.499).  His catching was average (17% CS, 4 PB, and 2 throwing errors in 24 G).  Tartamella will soon turn 22 years old and will need to put up some big offensive numbers next year to get noticed.  He showed good leadership qualities and hustle behind the plate and could get more playing time with better offensive output.  Tartamella's only professional home run is a grand slam. 


#14 Romulo Ruiz:  Ruiz, an infielder from Venezuela, was a poster child for all-or-nothing swings this year.  He had 13 H and 5 HR.  That alone wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for his team low .134 BA and .204 OBP.  Ruiz started out hot in his first two games of the year (3-for-9, 3 HR, 7 RBI) but then faded.  He had the second highest strikeout rate (0.31 SO/PA) but the second best HR rate (22 PA/HR).  Ruiz is only 19 years old so it is likely still too early to give up on him (if he is actually healthy).  The 3B/1B/DH missed all of the 2008 season due to labrum surgery on his right (throwing) shoulder.  He missed 12 games this year (about 20% of the season) due to a hamstring injury in early July.  Ruiz returned to play three games at third base in mid July but really struggled with his throws.  He finished the season playing 12 games at first base and 17 games as DH.  Ruiz didn't look good at 1B or DH.


#15 Joey Hage:  Hage posted a .311/.360/.422 line in 16 games (.941 fielding percentage in 17 chances) with the GCL this year.  He was sick in the off season and during extended spring training.  Hage lost a lot of weight while he was sick but returned to the Johnson City team for his third consecutive year.  He posted a .272/.299/.323 line in 37 games for Johnson City in 2008.  He (.176/.259/.275 in 51 AB) had a four game hit streak to end the year and increased his BA 51 points the last week.  Hage, who hasn't demonstrated a strong arm in LF, was the only regular outfielder to fail to record an outfield assist (20 G). 


Hage, who is still just 20 years old, will begin a 60-game schedule with the Miami Diamantes on October 30 in the Florida Winter Baseball League.  Hage will join two of his 2008 Johnson City Cardinal teammates in Miami:  IF Alex Castellanos (Palm Beach) and P Jose Mateo (Frontier League, Rockford River Hawks).  Also pitching for Miami will be 2006 Johnson City Cardinal Armando Carrasco (Golden League, Orange County Flyers) and 2007 Johnson City Cardinal Omar Javier (released in 2009 from GCL Cardinals).  The extra ABs for Hage in the FWBL will be an important metric to gauge his overall development and health. 


#16 Matt Rigoli:  Rigoli (.179 in 56 AB), who also played for Johnson City last year (.205 in 83 AB), could never get the bat going in limited plate appearances.  He doubled for his first and only extra base hit (.196 SLG) the last week before being hit by a pitch in his left forearm/wrist/hand on August 27.  The injury forced Rigoli to miss the last five games of the year.  He actually had an above team average OBP (.333) thanks to 4 HBP and 9 BB in 69 PA.  Rigoli, who will soon turn 24 years old, was one of three players without a HR and one of three players without a two-out RBI.  Rigoli was released from the Cardinals organization following the completion of the season.  Rigoli was a 21st round pick out of Pace University (NY) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. 


Batter and Fielder Team Statistics and Summary


As a group, the 16 batters averaged 21.1 years old, 64 SB%, .251 BA, .323 OBP, .402 SLG, .725 OPS, 0.24 SO/PA, and 40 PA/HR.  The 16 fielders combined for a 95.7 FLD%.  The batters in the top four were pretty easy to ascertain.  The relative ranking of the top four and the rankings of the other 12 batters were not nearly as straightforward.   


Batters (Top Ten) League Leaders


Edgar Lara:  1st in G (64), 7th in 2B (16), 5th in HR (9), 10th in BB (26).

Ross Smith:  8th in G (61).

Audry Perez:  5th in HR (9).


Swinson and Adams Injuries and Statistics


Swinson (.338/.425/.541/.966 in 74 AB), an outfielder, had a wrist injury that forced him to miss 14 games (just over 20% of the season) in early July.  Swinson cooled-off after his promotion to Batavia, where he posted a .196/.279/.272/.551 line in 92 AB. 


Adams (.365/.406/.574/.980 in 115 AB), a first baseman, missed one game in mid-July due to chest pains suffered during warm-ups prior to the game.  A precautionary hospital visit presumably addressed all the medical concerns since he was back in the starting lineup the next night.  Adams continued his good batting performance in the New York-Penn League (.346/.394/.523/.917 in 130 AB). 


Glossary (Statistical Acronyms Defined) 


2-O EFF is two out RBI efficiency.  This can be an indication of how well a batter hits in "clutch" (high pressure) situations.  If a batter has a 2-O EFF that is equal to or greater than BA, you will think of them as coming through with "big" (important) hits or as being a "clutch" batter.  If a batter has a 2-O EFF well below their BA, then you will think of them as being a poor batter in critical situations.  The Cardinals' 16 batters averaged .234.  2-O EFF = (2-O RBI)/[(2-O RBI) + (RLISP w/2-O)]. 


2-O RBI is a two-out run batted in (RBI).  The more the better.  This can be an indication of how well a batter hits in "clutch" (high pressure) situations. 


2B is a double (batter) or second base (fielding). 


3B is a triple (batter) or third base (fielding). 


A is an assist.  A fielder is credited with an assist if they throw successfully to a base to record a PO. 


AB is an at bat. 


Age is the number of years old the batter currently is (October 2009). 


BA is batting average.  The higher the better.  A BA of .300 or above is very good.  The Cardinals' 16 batters averaged .251.  BA = H/AB. 


BB is a walk.  The fewer the better. 


CS is the number of times a base runner was caught stealing.  The fewer the better for a base runner.  The more the better for a catcher (fielding statistic). 


CS% is a calculation of the percent of base runners caught stealing by a catcher.  The higher the better.  The Cardinals' three catchers averaged 20%.  The league average was 32%.  CS% = 100*CS/(SB + CS). 


DH is a designated batter.  All teams in the Appy League use a DH so that the pitcher's can concentrate solely on pitching.


DP is a double play.  For a fielder, it is the number of times they recorded either an A or a PO during a single play when two outs were recorded.  POS 1B, 2B, and SS have the most. 


E is an error.  There are four types of Es:  fielding, throwing, missed catch, and pick-off.   


E-F is a fielding error.


E-MC is a missed catch error. 


E-PO is a pick-off error. 


E-T is a throwing error. 


FLD% is fielding percentage.  The higher the better.  Each POS has a different value that is considered to be very good.  POS 1B and C typically have the highest since they record most of their POs by catching a thrown ball in the air.  The Cardinals' 16 fielders averaged 95.7%.  FLD% = 100*(PO + A)/(PO + A + E).


G is the number of games a batter had at least one plate appearance (batter) or the number of games a fielder played defense for at least one inning (fielding).   


GDP is grounded into a double play.  The fewer the better.  Slower runners who tend to hit more ground balls will have more GDPs. 


H is a hit.  There are four types of Hs:  single, double (2B), triple (3B), home run (HR).


HBP is hit by pitch.  Typically, a batter that crowds the plate (sets their stance close to home plate) will have several HBPs. 


HR is a home run.  The more the better. 


IBB is intentional walks.  They are not very common in the Appy League.   


OA is an outfield assist.  Several OAs can be an indication of a "good arm" on an outfielder. 


OBP is on-base percentage.  This is a measure of how well a batter gets on base.  The higher the better.  An OBP of 0.400 or better is very good.  A lead-off batter should always have a high OBP.  The Cardinals' 16 batters averaged .323.  OBP = (H + BB + HBP)/(AB + H + BB + HBP). 


OPS is on-base plus slugging percentage.  An OPS of 0.950 or better is very good.  The Cardinal's 16 batters averaged .725.  OPS = OBP + SLG. 


PA/HR is plate appearances per home run.  The lower the better.  High is not necessarily bad.  High PA/HR should be coupled with high OBP or some other good average.  The Cardinal's 16 batters averaged 40. 


PB is a passed ball.  This is a fielding statistic specific for a catcher.  The fewer the better.  The official scorer gives a C a PB when a runner advances one or more bases due to not catching or stopping a pitch that the official scorer thought should have been caught or stopped with an "ordinary effort". 


PO (Fielding) is a put-out.  The number of times a fielder recorded an out.  Catchers get a PO for catching a SO and 1B get a PO for catching a throw.


PO (Batter) is picked-off.  The number of times a base runner was picked-off (caught stealing) by a pitcher with no pitch involved.


POS is position played in the field:  pitcher (P), catcher (C), first base (1B), second base (2B), shortstop (SS), third base (3B), left field (LF), center field (CF), right field (RF).  If more than one POS is listed for a fielder, the first one listed was the primary (most frequently played) position.  Only positions that were played 15% or more of the time are listed.  C and SS are considered advanced and difficult to play positions.  1B is arguably the easiest position to play. 


R is a run scored.


RBI is a run batted in.  The more the better. 


RISP is runner in scoring position (second or third base).  


RLISP w/2-O is a runner left in scoring position with two outs.  See RISP and 2-O RBI.  The fewer the better. 


SB is a stolen base.  The more the better for a base runner.  The fewer the better for a catcher (fielding statistic). 


SB% is a calculation of the percent of time that a base runner was successful at stealing a base.  The higher the better.  The Cardinals' 16 base runners averaged 64%.  The league average was 68%.  SB% = 100*SB/(SB + CS). 


SF is a sacrifice fly.  Batters capable of hitting fly balls with a runner on third and less than two outs will have more SFs.  It can be a measure of good bat control.


SH is a sacrifice hit (bunt).  Depending on the score, batters with good bat control, good hand-eye coordination, and good speed will often be asked to "sacrifice" their AB in order to exchange an out for advancing a runner one base. 


SLG is slugging percentage.  The higher the better.  The more extra base hits (2B, 3B, and HR), the higher the SLG.  A SLG of .550 or better is very good.  The Cardinals' 16 batters averaged .402.  SLG = TB/AB. 


SO is a strikeout.  The fewer the better.


SO/PA is strikeouts per plate appearance.  The lower the better.  A value of 0.25 or greater, when coupled with below average SLG, is a concern.  A value of 0.15 or below, when coupled with above average SLG is very good.  The Cardinals' 16 batters averaged 0.24. 


TB is total bases.  TB = singles + (2 * doubles) + (3 * triples) + (4 * HR). 



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