The Snappers have played only three games during the 2007 season, due to horrific weather conditions that plague the Midwest League, but they have won all three. While the bats have been anemic at best, the pitching staff has picked up the slack, and currently has an incredible combined earned run average of 2.16. That mark is actually higher than the team batting average, which sits at .191. However the stats may look, 3-0 is 3-0, and the Snappers will take the wins whichever way they come. The Snappers have some big names in their lineup, so they should start swinging the lumber soon enough.
The Snappers have only four prospects batting higher than .275, and that list includes Danny Valencia (.300), Danny Santiesteban (.286), Brian Dinkelman (.286), and Mark Robinson (.286). The rest of the lineup is struggling to bat over .200, which is surprising considering the talent the Snappers have. However, the season is only three games old, and guys like Chris Parmelee, Joe Benson, and Garrett Olson should be back stroking the ball in no time. For now though, Valencia, Santiesteban, and Robinson are the only hot hitters in the lineup.
The Snappers have gotten some great starting pitching early in the season, as Jeffrey Manship, Jose Lugo, and Alex Burnett have all pitched well in their starts. The bullpen has been nearly untouchable, and when a team has a combined earned run average of 2.16, it is hard to find many faults yet. The best part is that they have worked everyone in the pitching staff in only three games, so guys aren't getting restless in the bullpen. The weather is really wreaking havoc on the Midwest League, so it will be interesting to see how the arms hold up in such cold conditions.
Well, most of the Snappers lineup is struggling, though it has been only three games. It is hard to say someone is cold, when the highest number of at-bats for a single player is only 13. As far as pitching goes, only Armando Gabino has an earned run average over 4.50, though Gabino has only pitched 1.2 innings of relief this season. Check back after five games and it will be easier to say who is actually slumping, and who is just in a three-game funk.
What We Know
Baseball is a long season, so the Beloit Snappers hitters should not be judged by how they have played after only three games. The Snappers have some of the best position player prospects in the Twins organization, including Parmelee, Benson, Santiesteban, Olson, Dinkelman, and Yerisch to name a few. They'll get the bats going, and when they do, it should be one of the more feared lineups in the Midwest League.
Fact: The Snappers pitching staff will not end the season with an earned run average under 3.00. However, that is where their team mark sits as of April 12. This is a good pitching staff, though it is filled with prospects who are still making a name for themselves. The Snappers rotation should be solid, as Alex Burnett is an innings eater, and Manship is a proven starter from college. It is too early to tell what the makeup of this team will be, but from three games, it looks like some of these kids are going to have to step up and take a leadership role on this team.