Batavia Finishes Disappointing Season

The Batavia MuckDogs struggled through a 28-46 record in the New York – Penn League this season. The ‘Dogs weren't able to find much offense, but there were some young pitchers who progressed nicely in the late summer sun of upstate New York. The Phillies will need some of those young pitchers to replenish an organization that dealt away some pitching prospects.

Batavia's starting rotation was led by Joe Bisenius. The right-hander out of Oklahoma City University went 0-1, 1.43 in 11 starts for Batavia. The Phillies took Bisenius in the 12th round of the 2004 Draft and believe that he'll move through the ranks fairly quickly. Bisenius doesn't really have any one pitch that he dominates hitters with, but he throws a fastball, change-up and slider that all do pretty well for him. The Phillies are working with him to develop his slider and hope to get a little more velocity on his fastball.

James Happ is a young left-hander, who has gone somewhat overlooked from this past June's draft. Happ was taken in the third round out of Northwestern University and was impressive at Batavia, going 1-2, 2.02 in 11 starts. Since Happ had already thrown 94 innings at Northwestern this season, they didn't want to overuse him at Batavia and limited him to just 35 2/3 innings, in which he struck out 37 hitters and held opponents to a .185 average. It will be interesting to see Happ at Lakewood next season and to see how he'll progress in a full season of professional ball with the Phillies.

Derek Griffith (1-7, 4.38) and Andrew Baldwin (4-6, 5.17) struggled at times for Batavia and need a little work, but don't count either of them out. Baldwin was a fifth round pick from Oregon State, while Griffith was the Phillies' 17th round pick in 2003 out of Birmingham Southern College.

In the bullpen, Batavia relied heavily on Kevin Rose (5-3, 3.63), who struck out 45 in 44 2/3 innings. Lefty Kyle Allen pitched 13 games out of the bullpen and saved two games, posting a 2-3, 3.46 mark. Michael Mihalik pitched in just four games for Batavia, but did a nice job, going 1-0, 3.60 with a save.

Offensively, Ryan Frith showed some decent power, hitting 11 homeruns in 255 at bats. Frith hit 22 homeruns at Southern Mississippi in 2004 and has the potential to develop more power as he continues to mature and adjust to professional pitching. Frith was a 17th round pick this year and the Phillies think they got him at a good spot, although some scouts were a little surprised that he didn't go a little earlier. Frith hit .243 at Batavia, but hit .341 in his final college season and the Phillies believe he can likely hit in the .270 range with good power. Frith easily led Batavia in homeruns and RBI (41).

Sean Gamble led Batavia in hitting with a .304 average. The son of former Phillie Oscar Gamble is a left-handed hitter with a lot of potential. The Phillies will work with Gamble to improve his plate discipline a little and believe that he can become a solid prospect in the not too distant future. Gamble hit .293 at Auburn and hit as high as .319 in the Cape Cod League in 2003, so the Phillies weren't at all surprised at his numbers with Batavia.

Catching prospect Jason Jaramillo hit just .223 at Batavia after signing late in the process. The Phillies took Jaramillo in the second round and figure on him emerging as the top catching prospect in the organization and the heir apparent to Mike Lieberthal. His debut professional season was a little disappointing, but since he hit .350 and .385 in his last two seasons at Oklahoma State, the Phillies are figuring on this first season just being a period of adjustment for Jaramillo. The pessimists among us may point to Jaramillo's .210 and .217 averages in the Cape Cod and Northwoods Leagues and worry about his ability to hit with a wooden bat. Odds are that Jaramillo will just need a little more time and work to adjust.

John Hardy, Sam Orr and Nicholas Shimer deserve some mention. Hardy and Orr split time at short and Orr also played a good amount of time at third base for Batavia. Hardy hit .272, but made 19 errors at short. The Phillies will concentrate on his defense as he continues to progress. Orr hit 5-21-.228 for Batavia and the Phillies believe that he will continue to progress nicely. Orr also struggled defensively, making 23 errors in his time at short and third. Shimer was second on the team with six homeruns and hit .244 while spending most of his time as an outfielder. Batavia also put Shimer at first base for 11 games this season and he showed very good defensive skills and instincts.

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