Ogden Has a So-So Season

When the Pioneer League season started, the strong point for Ogden appeared to be its pitching. However, the league with cities located at high altitudes is very much a hitters' haven; think of it as sort of a Pacific Coast League, junior grade. So as matters turned out, some people wi/th very good arms suffered while the batters did quite well.

The Raptors got off to a good start, then slumped badly and never did quite recover. They finished 18-20 for the first half, and though there were times when they were in the second half race, they wound up at 19-19 for that part of the schedule. In all, then, 37-39.

They certainly had some well-regarded pitchers- people like Josh Wall, Bryan Morris, Steve Johnson, Jesus Castillo and Javy Guerra. Castillo, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw the ball quite well as a 2.88 ERA would indicate but had no luck at all and wound up 2-5. Johnson at 5-5, 3.89 was the steadiest of them all.

As a group, they posted a team ERA of 4.40, which may not look impressive but still was good enough for third in the league. Garret White, a left-handed reliever of promise, was ripped for a 7.62 mark. Miguel Ramirez turned out to be a respectable closer at 2-3, 3.82 with eight saves.

As for the hitters, they averaged .272, also good for third in the league. Third baseman Josh Bell was almost left off the roster at the beginning as not quite ready for this competition but wound up leading the attack at .308-12-53 to become the only Raptor to make the All-Star team.

Ryan Rogowski, an undrafted free agent, proved to be a stellar leadoff man, hitting .312, stealing 30 bases and collecting eight triples. Second baseman Jesus Soto hit .309 while Carlos Santana came down from Vero Beach late to contribute a great deal, hitting .303 with power (eight home runs). He played both third and the outfield but will be converted to catching in the off-season.

First baseman Rick Taloa, a big Samoan who used to be a football quarterback, also supplied some juice with 11 homers. Outfielders Matt Berezay (.296-8-30) and Tommy Giles ( .291-5-23) also did well while Scott Van Slyke got off to a slow start but came on strongly to finish at .256.

In all, it was a season with mixed results that were somewhat disappointing.
Team Leaders:

Average- Rogowski .312
Hits- Rogowski 82
Home Runs- Bell 12
RBI- Bell 53
SB- Rogowski 30

Wins- Johnson 5
ERA-Castillo 2.88
Innings- Johnson 78.2
SO- Johnson 86
Saves- Ramirez 8

Most Surprising- Lefthander Cody White was ripped in this league a year ago (1-3, 6.92) but this time did much, much better for a satisfying 4-2, 2.68.
Biggest Disappointment- Wall has considerable promise but, boy, he got pounded with regularity with the opposition hitting .305 against him as he went only 3-5, 5.86.
Best Prospect- Righthander Morris, who was a first-round draft pick in June. I know, he wound up only 4-5, 5.13 but he throws consistently in the mid-90's, struck out 79 in 59 innings and has a considerable upside.