Season in Review - Myrtle Beach
Cody Johnson. Johnson led the league in homers and strikeouts, finished 4th in RBI, and finished second in both SLG and OPS. Johnson has not only the best power potential in the Braves system, but some of the best in the entire minor leagues (ISO of .275). It really says something about a player when they hit .242, and are second in the league in OPS. Thats something right there. Johnson became a little more of a complete player this year...his patience drastically increased (walk rate went from 7.9% to 13.2%), and while his strikeouts rose to an unsightly 40.5%, his ISO also jumped by 50 points. You can't succeed at the major league level with a strikeout rate that high, but the improvement in the walks category gives me a little hope for the future.
Third baseman Donell Linares had a pretty solid year. He finished second in the league in RBI, and put up a respectable .772 OPS in the pitcher heavy Carolina League. Linares posted some interesting peripherals...he only walked in 4.2% of his plate appearances, which is really bad, but he struck out on only 8.1%, which is fantastic. He showed decent enough pop with a .156 ISO. The only real negative about him is that he's 26 in the Carolina League...thats uh, way overaged.
One more guy on offense I want to talk about, and thats Gerardo Rodriguez. He was called up from Rome about halfway through the year, and really shined at the Beach. For the season, he put up an .802 OPS with 23 homers and an ISO of .218. Only things are, he walks less than Johnson and strikes out at a 30% clip. He hasn't turned 22 yet, so he's an interesting guy to keep an eye on as next season dawns, and should show up on top prospect lists this offseason.
I really don't want to talk about anymore Myrtle Beach hitters. They're really quite bad. The pitching on the other hand, is pretty decent. The team's ace pitching prospect coming into the year was Cole Rohrbough, and he struggled a good bit. He struggled with injuries last year, only getting into 18 games. This season, he got into 23, but had a lot of issues. His strikeout rate got hit by a bus, dropping from 10.4 to to 7.69. His walk rate actually fell, from 3.9 to 3.69. A number thats high like that is acceptable if you're striking out over 10 per 9, but when your walk rate is low like his was this year, thats not too hot. The ball absolutely flew out of the park this season though, which is odd when you consider how much of a pitchers haven that Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach is. Last season, Cole only allowed 3 homers in 90 innings in Rome & Myrtle Beach, while this year, he allowed 12. Rohrbough also was the beneficiary of some bad defense, with his BAA rising by 37 points. FIP said his ERA should have been in the low 4's, while instead it was nearly 6. Rohrbough grew increasingly frustrated with his performance, and rumors were spreading that he was actually going to quite baseball. If he can keep his head on straight, next season should result in a little bit of a regression to the mean, provided he gets his control under better...control. He's only 22...lots to like here still. Don't hop off the bandwagon just yet.
A guy who did have a nice coming out party this year was Jose Ortegano. After showing some pretty good peripherals with crappy luck last season for Rome, Ortegano's luck got a lot better, and he posted a 3.22 ERA in Myrtle Beach and Mississippi this year. He struck out 3 times as many he walked, and only allowed 6 homers in 117 1/3 innings. Ortegano will be playing in the Venezuelan winter league, so check those boxes for his name this winter.
Tommy Palica had a pretty good year, with the same 2 teams as Ortegano. Palica continued striking out nearly 10 batters per 9 like he did in Rome last year, with a K:BB of around 3 to 1. He was pretty unhittable with a .238 BAA, and only allowed 4 homers.
That pretty much takes care of the Myrtle Beach prospects. There are a lot of guys who did an average job for the team this year, but were a little old for the league, so I didn't cover them. I doubt I'll get another report up until next week as the next couple days are a little chaotic, but I'm gonna try to keep the updates flowing steadily now that the season is over.
Hey guys, remember me? After a horribly hectic 2 weeks of school, I'm gonna get back into the grind a little bit. Today: Myrtle Beach season review.
Myrtle Beach had a really crappy season. The Pelicans finished 53-84 this year, good for a .387 winning percentage, which was one of the worst in minor league baseball. Even with Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward on the team for the first half of the year, they were bad. So...were there ANY bright spots?
The best hitter for the Pelicans was without a doubt