Early in the season Brennan Boesch looked like he was headed for another disappointing season. It's clear to anyone that watches him that he has all the tools needed to succeed as a baseball player but for whatever reason it's taken him a while to figure out how to put it all together. As he slumped early on he slipped from the third spot in the order, then to the fifth, and eventually fell all the way down to the eighth spot in the order. It got so bad that a member of the organization joked that if he fell any further he'd fall all the way off the roster.
There were glimmers of hope here and there. He seemed to always come up big in the right situations, but his bat was relatively absent over the first two weeks of the season. From the looks of it, those days might be behind him now.
Over the last ten days Boesch has lit up the Harrisburg, Bowie and Altoona staff's to the tune of a .326 average with seven doubles, three homers, and ten RBI.
"I'm a better player when I use the whole field, the consistency is there, I'm really excited for when it all clicks. Toby worked with me a little bit. I don't think it's a coincidence that my numbers on the whole got a lot better than they were. He got me to stay in the zone and when I swing at strikes I'm a pretty dangerous hitter," Boesch said.
That's not to say his woes are completely cured. He's still reluctant to take a pitch any time in the count, he currently leads the league in strikeouts with 30 and has the lowest walk total among hitters with 70 or more at-bats with 2, but at least he's swinging a good bat now.
The Champ is Here
Come to any SeaWolves game and you'll be inundated by a chorus of "Frazier, Frazier, Frazier" whenever Jeff Frazier comes to the plate. Being that he's 26 many people have begun to give up on him as a prospect, but his bat says differently. After hitting safely in 12 of the last 13 games he's now hitting .291 with an .833 OPS on the season, and has hit .390 over the last ten days.
Will the Real Ryan Strieby Please Stand-Up
Ryan Strieby has proved time and again that he can change the game with one swing of the bat, his five home runs place him second in the Eastern League and his 18 RBI place him third, but recently he's been struggling at the plate hitting a slim .192 over the last week.
A few things have become apparent in the early going:
Strieby hasn't hit lefties. In 23 at-bats against southpaws this season he's recorded only four hits, leaving him with a .174 average.
He's struggling on the road. Away from the cozy confines of Jerry Uht Park, where hitters can bounce balls off the 310-foot left field wall with relative ease, he's hit a meager .233 with no homers and only one RBI.
The front half of the pitching rotation has continued to struggle while the back half has excelled. Jonah Nickerson faired a little better in his last outing against Altoona, this time only giving up three earned runs, while walking two and striking out four, but he still currently has a robust 7.66 ERA and has struck out only 13 batters against ten walks.
"Obviously he's not off to as good a start as we'd like to have seen. He's a control pitcher, he's not an overpowering guy, he's got to be sharp. We'll talk a little bit about him not nitpicking so much, attacking guys, and forcing some contact," Brookens explained.
Jon Kibler, last season's organizational pitcher of the year, has started to come around. So far he has a 7.64 ERA and has struck out just four batters over 17 2/3 innings of work, but in his last start he lasted six innings for the first time this year, gave up four runs, and walked three while striking out one.
"Kibler gave us a quality outing, it was his best start yet. He kept the ball down better than he has. He had that one bad inning, but he came back and did a pretty good job. Overall it was a better start and in the direction he needs to move," Brookens explained.
In Browns last start at Altoona he lasted seven innings while giving up only two runs.
On the next night Marte went seven innings, allowed one run, struck out five, and walked one.