Here's the first of our rookie ball affiliates, the beloved short-season affiliate in the Pioneer League.
The Mustangs were pretty mediocre this season, going 38-37 for a 3rd place finish in their division. This team inherited a couple of really interesting guys from the AZL team, and had a bunch of guys from the 2010 and 2009 drafts as well.
The hitters here weren't really impressive, but Billy Hamilton made the top 10 in a couple of categories, including 5th place finishes in hits with 90 and runs scored with 61, but the most impressive stat was on the basepaths, where he finished with 48 stolen bases to lead the league. He more than doubled the second place entry on the list. Jefry Sierra also was in the top 5, finishing 3rd with 22.
The pitching was even less impressive, with Tanner Robles making a top 10 with 66 strikeouts, in 10th. Porfirio Martinez was 6th in the league in saves, with 6.
'credsfan: Billy Hamilton
BK: Billy Hamilton
I think this is pretty much a no-brainer. Hamilton hit .318/.383/.456 with 48 stolen bases. He's a leadoff hitter in the making, but is still a ways away. Expect to see him tearing up Dayton next year.
Most Surprising Player
'credsfan: Tanner Robles
BK: Tanner Robles
Another unanimous selection, as Robles kept on putting up huge numbers. He started 14 games for the 'Stangs, going 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA, and struck out 66 hitters in 60.1 innings. He's still got to get the walks down, but he put up a solid season for a 9th round pick.
'credsfan: Juan Duran
BK: Juan Duran
Yep. Even though his season was better than last year, he's still not really earning that huge signing bonus yet. Duran hit .244/.309/.393, with the most disappointing number there being the last one. For a guy who was advertised as a future power bat, he's sure not cutting it yet. Luckily he's only 19 and we're short on outfield prospects, but if he doesn't start to put up number, other prospects are going to start passing him up.
'credsfan: Kyle Lotzkar
BK: Theo Bowe
Remember him? Lotzkar was mentioned with the top prospects in the system a few years back, before he started having arm trouble, and sat out the entire 2009 season due to injury. He started all the way from rookie ball to end this season, and despite only 4 starts, put up some really impressive numbers. He went 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA in 20 innings of work this year, with 33 strikeouts and 2 walks. Two. If this is any indication that he's back on track, he'll be one to watch in Dayton next year (and he turns 21 on Sunday, so he's not ancient yet).
Bowe is a 21st round pick, and looks to be a classic leadoff hitter type. He hit .300/.384/.362, and while the power isn't there, the difference between his AVG and OBP indicates good plate discipline, especially for a 20-year-old. He also has good speed with 12 SB this year, and assuming his defense comes along, he could be quite an asset for this Reds team in a few years.