In many ways Lakewood was the forgotten affiliate in 2015. It didn’t get much help to start from a 2014 draft devoid of high school players (though it did get 4th round pick Chris Oliver and 5th round pick Rhys Hoskins), and for the most part it was full of under the radar players. Those players did not disappoint to start the year as Malquin Canelo, Rhys Hoskins, and Ricardo Pinto put themselves on the prospect map and Carlos Tocci finally put together the season many were looking for. The rotation was mostly unheralded, but it carried the team from start to finish with Austin Davis and Will Morris stepping in admirably for the traded Chris Oliver and Josh Taylor. The team got a boost from the 2015 draft as Scott Kingery and Kyle Martin joined the squad.
Standing: 6th in Northern Division 1st half (33-35) /2nd in Northern Division 2nd half (40-30) – Missed Playoffs
Hits – Herlis Rodriguez (131)
Doubles – Damek Tomscha (32)
Triples – Jiandido Tromp (6)
HR – Herlis Rodriguez (10)
Walks – Damek Tomscha (39)
Strikeouts – Jiandido Tromp (117)
Stolen Bases – Herlis Rodriguez (16)
Batting Average – Rhys Hoskins (.322)
On Base Percentage – Rhys Hoskins (.397)
Slugging – Rhys Hoskins (.525)
ERA (SP) – Will Morris (1.64)
ERA (RP) – Joey DeNato (1.24)
Innings – Tyler Viza (143.2)
Home Runs – Tyler Viza (11)
Walks – Austin Davis (44)
Strikeouts – Tyler Viza (104)
WHIP (SP) – Will Morris (1.00)
WHIP (RP) – Joey DeNato (0.90)
The Killer Ballpark:
We talk a lot in Phillies’ prospect circles about the effects of the Reading park on hitters, but we don’t often focus enough on what Lakewood can do to power hitters. Rhys Hoskins before he is promotion to Clearwater hit 8 home runs on the road in 33 games as compared to 1 home run at home in 35 games. Here is how it affected other notable hitters.
As we can see there are minor overall differences in doubles, triples, walks, and strikeouts with larger variances on a per player basis. However, the home runs more than doubled when the BlueClaws were on the road. There are some power encouraging parks on the road in the South Atlantic League so we can’t really say that the road numbers are true talent (though they are closer), but when judging players who played in Lakewood it is important to note that there power numbers certainly took a hit based on their ballpark. Those to watch closest are players like Cord Sandberg, Scott Kingery, and Deivi Grullon who face questions about their future power production, but it is worth noting that we may be underrating the power of first base sluggers like Rhys Hoskins and Kyle Martin.
Photo by Baseball Betsy