9/10/17

Tom Brennan - SEASON RECAP: COLUMBIA FIREFLIES

6 comments

Tom Brennan - SEASON RECAP: COLUMBIA FIREFLIES

This recap is simple:

In the season's first half, the tandem of Jordan Humphreys and Merandy Gonzalez were Koufax and Drysdale circa 1965, winning vitually every one of their starts. As a result, the Flies rolled to a 40-28 first half.

In the season's second half, both were promoted, along with terrific relievers Adonis Uceta and Austin McGeorge, and the impact was predictable: a 28-42 last half to the season.

68-70 overall; one of the 6 out of 7 minor league teams to have a losing record in 2017.

Hitting-wise, the Fireflies didn't hit well all season long.  
13th out of 14 teams in runs scored, and last in average at .234.  Their 67 homers were well off the league leader's pace of 115.

Andres Giminez joined the team weeks into the season, and the 18 year old dazzled until late when he slumped and then went on the DL, proving his Mets pedigree, as the Mets have more injuries than there were in Hacksaw Ridge.

Tim Tebow hit around .220 for half a season there, but led the league in drawing fans in his rookie debut.  Charisma or circus, it is to his advantage both in 2017 and going forward to be a fan magnet.

Dash Winningham put in his 2nd season for the Flies at 1B, led the team with 70 RBIs, but sadly the 21 year old's .237/.304/.369 split was virtually identical to his 2016.  Hopefully, a breakthrough will occur in 2018.

Brandon Brosher caught a lot of games after Ali Sanchez got hurt in late July, and flashes plus power, but strikes out far more than Travis Taijeron ever did.  Fix that, or the career will be short, Brandon.  

Ali on the other hand struck out drastically less than Brosher, but with no power and a .231 average.  Hopefully, the young man who gets an A+ in throwing out runners can add (a lot of) offense in 2018.  We need good catchers.

Just when he was heading up after a frigid season start, 2nd rounder Des Lindsay went down with a season-ending injury.  His 23 games in June and July were quite impressive (.320/.375/.550, roughly), so my hopes are high for a very healthy and extremely productive 2018.

Glove man Luis Carpio at 20 had a solid season, but not great, hitting .232 with 17 steals.  

The rest of the team's offense?  Missing in action.

Starting pitching wise, after the magnificent two noted above were promoted, Harol Gonzalez pitched well after a really tough season's start (23 earned runs in 26 innings over his first 5 outings). Overall, 23 starts, including 3 for St Lucie, and he ended up at 9-9, 3.53, with 100 Ks in 138 IP.  Starters were down hill from there:

Soft tossing Gabe Llanes ended up 6-11, 4.48, with just 67 Ks in 142 IP.

The heralded lefty Tom Szapucki went 6 starts and succumbed to TJS - doesn't everyone?  Blake Taylor's forgettable 1-9 hard luck season ended in another severe injury (yes, TJS).

The bullpen, though, was this team's shining light.

Matt Blackham (4-2, 1.43, 40 G, 57 IP, 82 K, 0.99 WHIP) did not allow an earned run in July and August while winning the league's reliever of the month award both months.  What a return from TJS he had in 2016!! 



Before their mid season promotions, pen pals Adonis Uceta (pictured) and Austin McGeorge were equally lethal, too.  I'm sure Adonis won one or 2 reliever of the month awards before he was promoted to St Lucie mid season; he went months without allowing an earned run, too.

Joe Zanghi (2.19 ERA), Matt Pobereyko (featured by me in an article on Wednesday), and recent arrival Ryder Ryan all acquitted themselves well - a few others were good out of the pen too - so the pen, and Humphreys (TJS) and Merandy Gonzalez (traded for AJ Ramos) were the highlights for the Flies in 2017.

That pretty much tells the tale of Columbia.  
Matt Blackham gets my nomination for "Lord of the Flies".

6 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

Just 2 at bats for Phil Evans so far, but 2 vicious line drives. Terry, let him start today.

Thomas Brennan said...

Binghamton out of playoffs. Yanks spanked them 3 games to one. I would like to see some call ups if possible: Oswalt, Peterson, Bashlor, Molina.

Alonsohit well...no one else did.

Mack Ade said...

All this proves what I have always said... solid rotation pitching makes for great teams

Thomas Brennan said...

With the Mets' bottom 5 pitching this year, Mack, we need an infusion of talent next season in that regard for sure, Mack.

My brother and I had a scary conversation this AM...is Tim Tebow a top 3 outfielder in their minors right now?

Mack Ade said...

Tebow will go on to Binghamton and, if the Mets dump 2018 (as I expect them to), I think there is a good chance he could wind up in Flushing by the end of the season

Thomas Brennan said...

My personal guess on Tebow is not so much that baseball caught up with him, but that he was like a marathoner who hit the wall in August. Having never endured such a long season, and then having to work his way thru the hit-the-wall dip, he will now be better prepared to last the whole season in 2018 without a similar drop off.

So yes, I do think he will arrive in Citifield later in the season, because at least in good part, he will put fannies with wallets into otherwise empty seats by the thousands. But only if he continues to reasonably grow and perform. Which I think he will.

Mack's Mets © 2012