The team was plagued by inconsistent pitching and a lack in run production all year, which were the two leading causes in the club's 6th place finish. However, despite the difficult season the ‘Wolves did have several special players, and I do mean several, play between the lines at Jerry Uht Park.
What a Catch
Catcher Rob Brantly was a standout player for the SeaWolves this year. While in Erie, Brantly was a solid defender behind the plate and helped provide offensive production for the team. Brantly would go on to be transferred to the Tigers Triple-A affiliate Toledo mid season. The young catcher was in Toledo for only a short time before he was part of a trade between the Tigers and Marlins. Shortly after the trade, Brantly signed with and became a member of the Miami Marlins in early August. With Miami, Brantly has done fairly well by posting an average of .278 with 15 hits and four runs batted in, in 16 games.
Going to the Show
Another player who had a stint in Erie before being called up to the Major Leagues was Avisail Garcia. The mild mannered outfielder displayed amazing fielding abilities and an offensive presence when at the plate for the SeaWolves. Garcia was best known for his good offensive numbers while in Erie and that trend has followed him to Detroit. Playing n seven games for the Tigers, Garcia is batting .364 with one run batted in and four hits. As the Tigers fight for a playoff spot in the American League, the club hopes that Garcia can add a boost to the club's lineup and get Detroit into the post season.
An Ace in the Hole
The ‘Wolves had one of the best arms in the Tigers farm system on their roster for a majority of the season, that being the arm of Bruce Rondon. Rondon has a cannon for an arm, often times throwing speeds into the triple digits. As a member of Erie, the flame throwing right hander earned 12 saves for the club and held opponents to a batting average of just .195. Late in the year, Rondon was called up the Toledo Mud Hens where he continued his dominance from atop the mound for the remained of the season.
Sparking the SeaWolves
When one of the top prospects in baseball in Nick Castellanos came to Erie he brought a swagger and positive attitude to the howlers. Castellanos played third base and right field for the club and exceled at both positions. The Florida native was willing to do whatever it took to put the team in position to win and accepted his various rolls with a smile on his face. While being a firm defender,
Castellanos also carried his weight at the plate. He end the year hitting .264 with 35 runs scored and five stolen bases for Erie.
An Emerging Player
One player who had a strong season this year was Niuman Romero. Romero could not have asked for a better year both at the plate and in the field. The great year by the Venezuelan shortstop did not go unrecognized; he was named to represent the West Team in the Eastern League All-Star and then later named as part of the All Eastern League's 2012 All-Star team at the end of the year. Romero played the entire season with Erie and finished with a .300 average and came up just short of the single season hit record for a SeaWolves player ending the year with 157 hits.
There were also several memorable moments for the Erie Seawolves during the 2012 season. Tony Plagman was responsible for two such moments; the first being when Plagman hit for a cycle in late May. Not only did Plagman hit for the cycle but he also hit a grand slam en route to doing such a feat. The second memorable moment Plagman provided was hitting three homeruns in a single game earlier in the month of May.
Another special moment in the 2012 season came when Bruce Rondon and Nick Castellanos were named to the MLB All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City. Castellanos stole the Futures Game stage by having an excellent night at the plate and going on to receive the game's MVP award.
Pitcher Ramon Garcia provided some late season heroics for the SeaWolves organization when he tossed a complete game shutout against the New Hampshire in early August.
The 2012 season was not the best season for Erie but the club had many memorable moments and was graced by the play of multiple top caliber players. The club looks to rebound in the 2013 season and build on the positives from this season. The howlers begin their 2013 campaign at Jerry Uht Park against the Altoona Curve on April 4th.