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Fishing for Mudcats part 1: Anderson and Lindor shine

Fishing for Mudcats part 1: Anderson and Lindor shine
June 2, 2013
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Holy Cow, the Carolina Mudcats had a winning week.

That’s been a rarity this season, and it’s unfortunately a dollar short for the Mudcats in their quest for a first half title.

Now, please sit down, because I’m about to throw down some rocket science. The Mudcats went 3-2 because they did two things well. They hit the ball well, and they pitched the ball well.

Alright, you can resume your normal brain functioning.

Offensively, the Muddies hit .257, and only hit two homers, but  five regulars managed to hit over .300, and seven regulars managed to come in with a .333 OBP or better. They also managed to score 23 runs for the week in their five games played.

The team really made advancement in week seven with regards to their starting rotation, and pitching overall. The starters were outstanding from top to bottom. Only one starter gave up more than one run in any start, and that was just two runs. Overall, their ERA was a sterling 1.33 on the week, which is certainly not the norm.

The Muddies overall ERA was 3.57, with the bullpen ERA coming in at 6.873. It wasn’t THAT bad though, as a couple of guys had horrific outings, which bloated that number.

Let’s get fishing.

Week #7 Games:

19 @ Lynchburg, W 6-2 (WP: C. Anderson; LP: J. Miller)
21 @ Myrtle Beach, L 2-3 (WP: R. Harvey; LP: J. Reichenbach)
22 @ Myrtle Beach, L 2-3 (WP: J. Eickhoff; LP: R. Whitenack; SV: J. Monegro)
23 @ Myrtle Beach, Postponed: Rain
24 vs. Winston-Salem, W 5-3 (WP: S. Morimando; LP: R. Buch)
25 vs. Winston-Salem, W 8-7 (WP: J. Reichenbach; LP: T. Marin; SV: O. Dew)

The Offense:

Offensive Player of the Week: Francisco Lindor:

Lindor once again showcased a plus bat in week seven, which still remains a bit of a surprise. It’s not really shocking that he has the ability, but the fact that he was able to turn it on in a league notorious for pitching in only his second year is what is the head scratcher. His continued ability to not only hit the ball, but get on base, has been icing on the cake for his development.

Lindor’s slash on the week was an impressive .429/.529/.571. He led the team in doubles, tied for walks and OBP. He only struck out twice, which continues his trend this year of showcasing a plus approach.

Lindor is heading towards the 200 at bat threshold, which he should pass next week. Last season, he saw his first dip in production at 200 at bats, before another stretch of solid hitting. He actually started struggling at the250 at bat mark last year, so it will be curious to see if his stamina has improved at the plate in 2013. If it has, he will be a quick mover in 2013, and perhaps beyond.

Hitter of the Week 1: Bryson Myles
Hitter of the Week 2: Joseph Wendle
Hitter of the Week 3: Charlie Valerio
Hitter of the Week4: Francisco Lindor
Hitter of the Week5: Jordan Smith
Hitter of the Week6: Tyler Naquin

The best of the rest:

Tyler Naquin has really started to come into his own. While Lindor has been the poster boy for outstanding play this year, Naquin has been a bit under the radar. He’s older than Lindor, and he is starting to show that consistent hit tool that everyone has been talking about. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he ended up the best hitter on this team. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he moved up to Akron before Lindor.

Jordan Smith hasn’t been as consistent as he was in 2012, but he has been more on the plus side offensively over the past six weeks. He struggled in week six, but picked things back up in weeks 7. He tied with the team lead with four runs scored with Naquin, but has still struggled with extra base hits. He hit a triple this week.

Tony Wolters is back, and he had a nice full week offensively, hitting .300, with an .864 OPS. If he can hit, and proves to be the consummate professional that everyone sees him as while re-learning the catching position, you could see quick movement for the kid starting in 2014. There are good catchers in this organization, but none with the upside of Wolters. If he has the skills, he’ll be a major leaguer behind the plate.

Luigi Rodriguez hit .300 on the week, and Yhoxian Medin hit .294, showcasing the type of skills this team has in getting hits. If they could just translate that into runs.

In the Mud:

Charlie Valerio, who’s really been the power for the Mudcats, pulled out an oh-fer-the-week. He went 0-for-14, with two RBI and one walk. Joey Wendle is back, but his bat must still be on the mend. He hit went 3-for-17 on the week, but did hit a triple and hit a home run, bringing his OPS to a respectable .734. Can’t wait to see him heat up over the summer. Bo Greenwell also returned from Akron, going 3-for-16. His career really hit a wall thanks to injury, and his career appears to have plateaued.

The Pitching:

Pitcher of the Week: Cody Anderson

Cody Anderson is head and shoulders above the rest of the staff for the Mudcats in 2013. He has dominated the pitcher of the week category here at FFM, and as long as he’s on staff, he likely will be in the running from week-to-week.

He made one dominant start in week seven, going 6 1/3 innings without giving up a run. He continued to dominate Carolina League hitters, striking out seven against only two walks. That’s really been the area in which he’s improved over the past year.

As Anderson continues to get stronger, he’s finding a bit more velocity and a bit more movement to his pitches, which has allowed him to really attack hitters this year.

I’m not sure we’ve even scratched the surface with this kid. While he was a curiosity to me at the start of the season, he’s looking legit at this point, with the ability to get even better. He could be an ace.

Pitcher of the Week 1: Cody Anderson
Pitcher of the Week 2: Shawn Morimando
Pitcher of the Week 3: Cody Anderson
Pitcher of the Week4: Owen Dew
Pitcher of the Week5: Cody Anderson
Pitcher of the Week6: Cody Anderson

The best of the rest:

Shawn Morimando has been solid for the most part in 2013, but has had a couple of setbacks along the way. He rebounded in week seven with a solid start, going five innings, with five K’s and only two walks. There’s potential there, but while there may have been some question as to who was better between Morimando and Anderson at the beginning of the year, there’s no question now. Morimando is good, and has upside, but he’s clearly the #2 in this rotation.

Nick Pasquale rebounded from his rough start last week to gain a bit of balance in the Carolina League. I’m not sure if he has a bunch of upside, but he has always seemed to be a guy that has good solid control, even if he doesn’t have that out pitch. I think it’ll be hard to translate that into the upper levels, but we shall see. This was a positive sign.

Robert Whitenack took a loss this week, but looked promising in the start. He struggled a bit with his control, which has been a trend of his over the years since the Cubs drafted him. It’s never a good sign when you are 24 years old, pitching in High A ball.

Enosil Tejeda, Francisco Jimenez and Rob Nixon didn’t give up a run out of the pen in their five total appearances. Jacob Lee also rebounded from a rough start to have a decent showing this week, although he still can’t seem to get it all together.

In the Mud:

Grant Sides just continues to get shelled. I’ve not heard of injury, but something has to be up. He showed signs of dominating in 2012. In 2013, he’s not even been average. He has a plus arm, so hopefully he can figure it out. J.D. Reichenbach has been one of the best pitchers out of the pen for the Mudcats, so hopefully this is a blip on the radar. Jeff Johnson had a rough week as well, giving up two runs in two innings.

Tune in at 6:30 for Part 2 of Fishing for Mudcats...

Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at

User Comments

June 2, 2013 - 5:04 PM EDT
Interesting to see Anderson really stepping forward. He's a guy I think could be ready mid / late next yr.

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