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Roster Notes: Hitters

July 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Nice come-from-behind win last night as the Jammers scored two in the ninth — after being no-hit through 7 — to walk-off with a 2-1 win over Batavia. Still early in the season, but the Jammers are just 2.5 games out of the wild card. They start a four-game set with Mahoning Valley tonight with the next two at home.

I’ve noticed a slight change in the everyday lineups, so let’s take a closer look at what’s been going on with the hitters.

Catchers: Well, after starting 10 of the first 16 games, Jose Behar now looks like the backup down here in Jamestown. He’s hitting .180 (9-for-50) with three RBI and is in a big slump, hitless in his last 19 at-bats. In his place has been Sharif Othman. Othman has started eight of the last 13 and getting back-to-back starts each time out.

After an atrocious start at the plate, he’s 4-for-15 with a triple and a homer in his last five games. Still, he’s hitting .135. Regardless, it looks like it’s Othman’s job for the time being. They’re both fairly similar behind the plate, but I’ve liked Behar a little more from what I’ve seen.

Brian Dice gets a spot start here and there. His .217 average shockingly leads the group.

1st base: It’s been mostly split between Viosergy Rosa and Felix Munoz, but Rosa has really been hitting the ball well lately. Of most importance, he’s vastly improved with plate discipline. He’s walked 14 times versus 16 strikeouts so far this year. Last year in Jamestow, it was 7 vs. 54.

He leads the team with a .297 average and has two homers and 10 RBI.

Munoz was off to a hot start but has cooled down recently, all the way down to .250. Part of that may have been due to Rosa getting 8 out of 9 starts in a recent stretch. Munoz is still a project, but looks like he has some potential. Neither have been all that good defensively.

Second base: It’s been a logjam lately, much as I thought it would be. Anthony Gomez started here but has moved to short since Austin Nola’s promotion. Yefri Perez, Ronny Peralta and Yeison Hernandez have all split time here with nobody really taking a stranglehold of the position.

Perez is hitting pretty well, and at .280, he’s only behind Rosa. Peralta is more of a utility guy and Hernandez needs to figure it out defensively before he gets another promotion.

Shortstop: Gomez is hitting just .229 but is probably the best defender out of the group (with the aforementioned three). I think his bat can still come around and he does a nice job putting the ball in play. He’s only struck out eight times in 83 at bats. Also shown some speed by swiping five bags.

Third base: It’s been a lot of Pedro Mendoza lately and I can’t fault manager Angel Espada for that. Mendoza has been utterly fantastic defensively and is doing a decent job putting the ball in play.

The problem is he has no power. He doesn’t have a single homerun in four professional seasons, but has hit four doubles in a short year this year since being taken off the DL. He’s hitting .274 while usually in the second hole.

The starter was Matt Juengel but he’s had a tough go at it defensively. The rookie already has seven errors this year and has really been relegated to DH and some spot starts at third. He’s hitting .216, but I still think he’s a little better of a hitter than that. Not sure he has the power to make it to the next level, though.

Left field: Kentrell Dewitt has shown some flashes, but he’s still hitting .176 and is striking out way too much (21 in 68 at bats). He has some speed when he can get on, swiping four bags without getting caught. He’s also shown good power with a team-high seven doubles and also a homer. But the average and OBP need to drastically improve.

Center field: Juancito Martinez was off to a hot start, hitting well over .300 for a good portion of the season. With his speed and OBP, I was curious why he wasn’t hitting leadoff, but Martinez has cooled down quite a bit since then. He’s down to .272, but with the CF job all his, he can put together a nice season and earn a promotion if he keeps doing what he’s doing.

Right field: Cameron Flynn has come on of late, bumping his average to .221, which is actually saying a lot from where he was.  Back-to-back three hit nights last week jumped him from .170 to .250. He also fell a triple short of the cycle in one of those games. Still need to see more of him.

Finally, the roamer is Jesus Solorzano, the top-listed prospect here in Jamestown. He’s been playing all three outfield positions and actually doing a pretty good job at each. He’s hitting .240 with a team-high three homers. He’s second in RBI with 11.

Striking out is the main concern. He has 30 in 96 at bats. But, Solorzano still looks like the best prospect down here, even though he’s clearly not ready for a big promotion yet. He has that make of a five-tool player and is probably one of the best athletes down here. He’s been inserted into a bigger role, cleanup or fifth, lately too.

 

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Morning Jam: Friday the 13th

July 13, 2012 Leave a comment

A happy Friday the 13th to all. For the Jammers, it’s been a happy July. They’re now 7-3 in the month and own a 5-2 lead over Auburn for a game that will be continued next Monday, July 23.

• Jamestown won it’s fifth in a row and eight out of its last 11 with a 12-6 thumping of Vermont last night at Diethrick. Jamestown hadn’t scored more than seven runs in any one game this year, but accomplished that before even registering an out in the fourth inning last night.

• A night after falling a triple short of the cycle, Cameron Flynn had another three hit night, including a double, and knocked in two runs. His batting average has now risen 80 points in two days.

• Viosergy Rosa hit his second homer of the year in the first inning, a two-run bomb that started the Jamestown rout. Rosa went 4-for-5 with nine total bases. He also knocked in three runs in what was definitely his best game of the year and arguably in a Jammers uniform.

• Jesus Solorzano went 3-for-5 along with his team-leading third homerun of the year.

• But, it was the top of the order, going 11-for-20 with seven runs scored and seven RBI that defined the night. Also, everybody in the starting lineup had a base hit.

• Pitching wise, starter Blake Logan finally allowed a run — two to be exact — but picked up the win. After not having a single win from their starters over the first 19 games, Jamestown starters now have three in their last four games. Logan’s ERA moved to 1.29.

• Jose Rodriguez made his 2012 Jamestown debut and threw two scoreless innings.

• Hard to believe, but Jamestown’s 3.07 ERA is only good for sixth in the league. Offensively, they’re up to .248, good for eighth in the NYPL.

• They’ll go for their second straight sweep tonight with Matt Milroy on the mound. Milroy is 0-2 with a 4.48 ERA. He hasn’t gone more than four innings in any one start this year. You would have to assume the goal is to get him through five tonight.

All Is Good — Through 4 Games

June 22, 2012 Leave a comment

First of all, we’re four games in, so there’s not too much to be said here about this season yet. But there are actually some positive signs out there, and frankly, not so many negative ones. Sure, 2-2 is nothing to brag about — or to even be overly confident about going forward — but the Jammers have the feel of a contender if four games mean anything.

What I’ve liked:

• Jamestown is fourth in the NYPL in batting average at .264, which actually feels low in regard to how they’ve been hitting. A few regulars are struggling like Austin Nola and Jesus Solorano, but everyone else is hitting. In order, they’ve had 7, 9, 10 and 13 hits in their respective games this year. That will get the job done in this league. Last year, Jamestown hit .246

• They’re also third in ERA at 2.89 and third in WHIP at 1.15. Let’s just put it this way: if both of those stats stay somewhat in that area, Jamestown will be one of the best teams in the league. Again, it’s four games. But, Jamestown — which hasn’t had a starter enter the fifth inning — has shown they have a remarkably good bullpen with plenty of arms that can get outs. Now the question is do they have the starters to go longer than a few innings.

What concerns me:

• The starting pitching. Jamestown is the only team in the league not to have their starting pitcher start the fifth inning. Through four games, 21 starters in this league have gone at least five innings and another five have at least started the fifth. None of them are Jammers. I’m sure it’s a Marlins/Jammers thing since it’s early in the season and there a lot of arms down here, but I’m not so sure that can keep up.

• Of their 39 hits, only 10 of them are extra base hits and only one was a four-bagger. Again, it’s early, but Jamestown is seventh in slugging. This isn’t too big of a concern if they can keep hitting for a high average because this team does have some speed and Angel Espada has shown how much he likes to play small either via the sacrifice or the hit-and-run.

Why it doesn’t matter yet:

It’s four games. They play 76 — weather permitting. But these are some trends to keep an eye on. Does the bullpen need to get 15 or more outs every night? Can this team hit for power? We’ll see.

Coming up on Jampacked blog:

• Our next live game (via Twitter) is Sunday against Batavia at 4:05 p.m.

• Saturday: Breaking down the roster — hitters.

• Sunday morning pitching report.

• Every Sunday night will be a weekly recap around the NYPL. June 24 will be the first look.