TigsTown '07 Year in Review: Catchers

What's in a stat? There are more to look at than just home runs and RBI - TigsTown now takes a look back at the '07 season, examining the player's rate stats and their past performance, how they improved, and where they can still make up ground.

(Note: Needed 100 AB's to qualify for evaluation)

Raul Leiva
Age: 17 '07 Team: VSL Tigers
AB: 101
OBP: .246
SLG: .248
ISO: .040
BB/AB: .050
K/AB: .248
SB%: 0%

Comments: The 17-year old Leiva struggled mightily in his first exposure to real competition, hitting for virtually no power and not getting on base too much either. Further, Leiva struck out once every fourth at bat, certainly not a desirable rate. But, at his age, Leiva has plenty of time to turn things around and begin to show some skill at the plate.

Nick Trzesniak
Age: 26 '07 Team: Erie
AB: 107
OBP: .354
SLG: .430
ISO: .131
BB/AB: .085
K/AB: .159
SB%: 0

Comments: Trzesniak has more or less passed the status of being a prospect, and was in largely a backup role for the SeaWolves. Still, Trezesniak was effective as the season wore on, posting an OPS over .900 in both August and September. Trzesniak could be considered solid to average all around, showing some patience and power, but not excelling a ton in any one category.

Devin Thomas
Age: 22 '07 Team: Oneonta
AB: 119
OBP: .309
SLG: .429
ISO: .202
BB/AB: .118
K/AB: .227
SB%: 100%

Comments: In Devin Thomas' debut season, he had some high points and some low points. He showed good patience at the plate, and also put up reasonably strong power numbers. But Thomas lagged behind in making contact, and with a low batting average, his numbers across the board took a dip. If Thomas can increase his contact rate and in turn raise his average.

Joseph Bowen
Age: 19 '07 Team: GCL
AB: 126
OBP: .315
SLG: .381
ISO: .143
BB/AB: .112
K/AB: .302
SB%: 100%

Comments: Joe Bowen showed some improvement over his 2006 campaign, but not what the Tigers were expecting considering he was repeating the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. His walk rate actually took a slight dip (though is still solid), and while his power numbers did increase, his strikeout rate didn't get much better, and is still drastically too high. Bowen will need to work hard to improve contact while keeping his walk rates similarly high.

Jordan Newton
Age: 21 '07 Team: West Michigan
AB: 134
OBP: .315
SLG: .411
ISO: .142
BB/AB: .068
K/AB: .239
SB%: 71%

Comments: From the point of joining the 'Caps, Newton posted some respectable yet unspectacular numbers. He hit for some power, and took a few walks, but could stand to improve in both categories, while at the same time looking to reduce his strikeout rate. The numbers are all improvements over his '06 Oneonta campaign, but when you post a .557 OPS, there's little place to go but up. '07 was an improvement, now he'll need to prove that trend can continue.

Julio Rodriguez
Age: 17 '07 Team: DSL Tigers
AB: 137
OBP: .294
SLG: .329
ISO: .066
BB/AB: .044
K/AB: .088
SB%: 0%

Comments: The 17-year old DSL newcomer went through typical first year struggles, but at only 17, he'll like spend another year in the Dominican before coming stateside. Rodriguez, was for the most part, a free swinger, not striking out too much, but not walking much either, and not hitting for much power. He'll be looked upon to improve on those in '08.

Adrian Casanova
Age: 24 '07 Team: Lakeland
AB: 151
OBP: .278
SLG: .246
ISO: .040
BB/AB: .100
K/AB: .159
SB%: 0%

Comments: Splitting time between Lakeland and Oneonta last year, Casanova continued to struggle in virtually every facet at the plate. The possible lone bright spot is that he reduced his strikeout numbers and improved his batting average, but neither were an overly impressive number, with his average just making it over the Mendoza Line at .205.

Dusty Ryan
Age: 22 '07 Team: Lakeland
AB: 161
OBP: .296
SLG: .330
ISO: .131
BB/AB: .137
K/AB: .355
SB%: 0%

Comments: Dusty Ryan continues to be one of the more frustrating players in the organization – having so much potential, but struggling to put it together at the plate. Ryan posted very good walk numbers, but his contact rate was very poor, striking out more than once every three at bats, and hitting less than .200. He did hit for some power, but given his frame and potential, more is expected out of him. He'll need to continue to post his walk rates while improving contact if he hopes to truly be effective.

Jeff Kunkel
Age: 24 '07 Team: West Michigan
AB: 174
OBP: .245
SLG: .311
ISO: .092
BB/AB: .035
K/AB: .207
SB%: 100%

Comments: Working in largely a reserve role, Kunkel has never been expected to be great with his bat, and his first full season, that materialized. Kunkel didn't hit for a high average, didn't take many walks, and didn't hit for too much power. Kunkel works well with pitchers and is strong defensively, which will have to continue to be his calling card unless he makes notable improvements across the board at the plate.

Samir Rijo
Age: 16 '07 Team: DSL Tigers
AB: 185
OBP: .290
SLG: .222
ISO: .033
BB/AB: .141
K/AB: .341
SB%: 0

Comments: Another DSL first year player, Rijo was just 16 years old for the '07 season, and in turn had his share of struggles, facing plenty of more experienced competition. Rijo walked plenty, but struck out plenty, and struggled making regular contact with just a .185 average. Like Rodriguez, Rijo will look to improve on his actual hitting numbers in '08.

Joel Roa
Age: 23 '07 Team: Erie
AB: 186
OBP: .167
SLG: .221
ISO: .054
BB/AB: 0
K/AB: .269
SB%: 0

Comments: Joel Roa has long been relied upon by the organization as a utility catcher that could be moved around to help fill a void where needed. That remained the case in '07 as he split time between Erie and Lakeland, and struggled mightily at the plate in both locations. Roa hit just .167, took no walks all season, and hit for little power.

Orlando Gonzalez
Age: 21 '07 Team: VSL Tigers
AB: 251
OBP: .379
SLG: .423
ISO: .104
BB/AB: .096
K/AB: .064
SB%: 50%

Comments: In this third year for the Tigers' VSL club, Gonzalez appeared to finally put things together. While he still didn't hit for a ton of power, he hit for a very solid average, took a good number of walks, and very rarely struck out. For a player with his size, the Tigers would likely still like to see more pop out of his bat, but solid numbers all around are a great start.

Steve Torrealba
Age: 29 '07 Team: Erie
AB: 298
OBP: .292
SLG: .366
ISO: .135
BB/AB: .084
K/AB: .212
SB%: 100%

Comments: The 29-year old Torrealba isn't viewed as a prospect, but more of a veteran minor leaguer around to provide experience and help fill in gaps where the organization had holes. For that part, he did his job well, with mediocre numbers across the board, those typical of someone that can hold his own, but likely won't have a big league future in front of him. He hit for a decent amount of power and took some walks, but a low average limited his numbers somewhat.

James Skelton
Age: 21 '07 Team: West Michigan
AB: 353
OBP: .402
SLG: .448
ISO: .139
BB/AB: .156
K/AB: .151
SB%: 78%

Comments: Skelton had possibly the best season of any prospect in the organization, putting up great raw and peripheral stats. Skelton was patient at the plate, made good contact, took plenty of walks, didn't strike out too much, and hit for a decent power number (which is enhanced considering his home park is pitcher-friendly). Not only were his numbers good, but they were across the board improvements on everything from 2006, leading the team to believe Skelton may have even better in store for '08.

Dane Sardinha
Age: 28 '07 Team: Toledo
AB: 381
OBP: .257
SLG: .326
ISO: .124
BB/AB: .074
K/AB: .258
SB%: 100%

Comments: Sardinha was signed as an emergency option in the event the Tigers needed a catcher, as there was no one else in the organization that could handle catching at the big league level – but as he was never needed, he made due with Toledo, serving them fairly well. Sardinha's numbers weren't especially impressive, but again, his job was simply to hold his own, which he did.


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