This is the second installment of our minor league team reviews. Today features some of RRs favorite prospects, as well as some under the radar guys you might not be familiar with.
The Mudcats finished the second half of the season in last place at 28-40, giving them a full-season record of 58-79, good for last in their division. Carolina was a victim of a shortage of good pitchers and frequent promotions, as few of the good prospects who started the year with the team ended it there too.
The transient nature of the team this year meant few league leaders. Sean Henry was 11th in BA at .298. Kris Negron finished 5th in the league with 34 stolen bases.
The pitching side of things saw a bit more success, as Tom Cochran finished 3rd with a 2.69 ERA and 9th with 137 IP. Scott Carroll was 9th in ERA at 3.68. Matt Klinker didn't pitch enough innings in AA to officially qualify, but he would've been 5th with a 2.89 ERA.
Follow the jump for our team awards....
'creds: Dave Sappelt
BK: Devin Mesoraco
This was kind of a pick 'em situation. Devin hit 13 homers in just 56 games in Carolina to lead the team. He was no slouch otherwise at the plate, hitting 11 doubles and 3 triples, propelling him to a team-leading .594 SLG%. Behind the plate he was solid if not spectacular, committing 8 errors but throwing out around 40% of attempted base stealers.
Dave Sappelt benefits from having played 89 games at the level, where he posted a slash line of .361/.416/.548 and clubbing 19 doubles, 8 triples, and 9 homers while playing a solid CF. He also stole 15 bases, although he was caught 13 times. He walked 31 times to only 46 strikeouts.
'creds: Dave Sappelt
BK: Dave Sappelt
This was an easy choice. How many of you thought Sapp could post a .964 OPS at AA this year? Consider that upon his arrival in Carolina his highest OPS at any level was .850 in rookie ball. This was quite the breakout performance, leading to him getting a 25-game stint in Louisville where he kept raking to the tune of an .847 OPS.
(Honorable mention goes to Jordan Smith who was suddenly plucked from AA to the big league bullpen in July. That was pretty damn surprising.)
Most Disappointing Player
'creds: Dallas Buck
BK: Dallas Buck
This one goes to the player voted Most Likely to Have a Pornstar Name. (He was also in the running for Player Whose Name Has The Most Pun Possibilities) BK reminded me that the young Buck was supposed to have the ceiling of a #2 starter when we got him for Dunn two years ago. (Man, what a useless trade for the Reds. I'm quite sure I'd have rather had the draft picks) Well, here we are 2 years later and this Buck looks shot. He can't stay healthy, and when he is healthy, isn't very effective. It's time for him to Buck up and pitch better or get out.
'creds: Scott Caroll
BK: Tom Cochran
Tom Cochran is already 27, but he had one hell of a year in AA, appearing on a number of pitching leaderboards for the season. If he can pitch this effectively in AAA next year, he could be added to the category of Sam LeCure and Matt Maloney as possible spot starters for the big club.
Scott Caroll missed most of last year due to a drug suspension, but bounced back this year with a solid 3.36 ERA in 24 starts between A+ and AA. He's an extreme groundball pitcher with solid K and BB totals. He'll be 26 next year, so he's in the same boat as Cochran in that a solid showing in Louisville makes him another viable spot starter or long man candidate.