The Scrapperbook: 6/17/2013 to 7/4/2013
Overarching trends have come to define the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in 2013. A few include dominant pitching, below average performances at the plate, and walk-off losses.
The offensive woes began right away. The Scrappers wouldn’t add their first run of the season until the third game against the Jamestown Jammers, ending a 33-inning scoreless streak dating back to last year. Since that point, things haven’t gotten all that much better, offensively. In 11 out of their 18 games, the Scrappers have scored three runs or less. Their combined team batting average is .246. They have the third most strikeouts in the New York Penn League. They’ve scored only 64 runs, 14 of which came in one game. While things have improved for the Scrappers in the box, it’s something on which each player continues to work.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Scrappers have been incredible from the rubber. They have the second lowest ERA in the NYPL, a 2.67 mark, which is just behind the State College Spikes. Only 46 earned runs have been allowed from Scrappers pitchers, good for the third lowest number in the league. They also have a pitcher with an ERA below 2.00.
Finally, the Scrappers have been “walked-off” four times, two of which were back-to-back during this past week.
All of these factors have played into the Scrappers 7-11 mark on the season, but that record is thanks to some individual performances as well.
Luis Lugo RHP
4 G, 1-1, 16.0 IP, 0.56 ERA, 11 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO
Lugo has been one of the best pitchers in the entirety of the NYPL. In three starts, (his fourth start lasted only an inning thanks to a rain delay), Lugo has allowed just one solo home run to cross home plate. Although he is a big body- 6’5 200, to be exact - Lugo does not rely on his velocity, but rather on his command and movement. While Lugo is facing Low-A hitters, he is certainly receiving the notice he deserves for his dominance thus far.
Claudio Bautista INF
16 G, .343 BA (23-67), .392 OBP, .552 SLG, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 13 R
Bautista has been a very pleasant surprise for the Scrappers in 2013. He started the year in Lake County, but was moved to Mahoning Valley after struggling to catch on with the Captains. The slugger of an offensively-challenged group, Bautista has helped the Scrappers to stray away from becoming the worst offensive team in the NYPL.
Tyler Booth OF
13 G, .154 BA (6-39), .233 OBP, .154 SLG, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 RBI, 6 TB, 3 R
Booth, the 2012 13th round draft selection of the Cleveland Indians, came to Mahoning Valley in 2013 to become the every-day leadoff centerfielder. Unfortunately, things have worked out in a way that neither would have imagined. In thirteen games, Booth has yet to record an extra base hit, while striking out 11 times. Although he has only reached base a total of nine times, he has made the best of those opportunities by stealing two bases.
Bryan Ruiz OF
11 G, .088 BA (3-34), .158 OBP, .118 SLG, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 RBI, 4 TB, 4 R
A dream come true for the Cleveland-native has turned into a nightmarish start. Ruiz has the worst offensive numbers of any player on the Scrappers roster. While he has scored in 4 out of the 6 times he’s reached base, Ruiz has piled up 13 strikeouts. In other words, Ruiz has failed to put the bat on the ball in 38 percent of his at bats. You can’t help but root for the hometown kid, but Ruiz has certainly merited no applause for his performance thus far.
Robert Whitenack RHP
4 G, 1-2, 18.2 IP, 3.38 ERA, 25 H, 14 R, 7 ER, 6 BB, 8 SO
To be fair, Whitenack’s numbers in the Valley have not been all that terrible, but when you look at where he began, things have been somewhat rough. Whitenack joined the Indians organization as a waiver claim from the Chicago Cubs after coming off of Tommy John surgery. He began his Indians stint in High-A Carolina where he had a decent campaign. In two starts, Whitenack went 9.2 innings and allowed 5 runs on 10 hits. He was then sent to Double-A Akron where his struggles began. For the Aeros, Whitenack posted an 0-2 record while pitching only 6.0 innings. He allowed 15 hits and 18 runs in those six innings and had no command, as he walked 11 batters. His performance earned him a trip to Niles and a new start with the Scrappers. His first couple of starts were decent, but his last outing resembled his Akron performance. In four innings against Williamsport, Whitenack allowed 7 runs (4 earned) on 10 hits, while walking 2. Whitenack has shown improvements, but can’t seem to find the consistency necessary to be an effective starter for this organization.
By the Numbers
1: A single player, Claudio Bautista, is in the league’s top 50 players in terms of batting average. Just goes to show how much of the offensive load Bautista has had to bear.
7: Wins by the Scrappers starting pitchers this season. This number of wins is the fourth worst in the league, despite having the second best ERA.
11: Losses by the Scrappers starting pitchers this season. This can definitely be chalked up to the lack of run support.
Next Week’s Schedule
7/5 Williamsport CrossCutters 7:05
7/6 Williamsport CrossCutters 7:05
7/7 @State College Spikes 6:05
7/8 @State College Spikes 7:05
7/9 @State College Spikes 7:05
7/10 Quad Cities River Bandits 7:05
7/11 Quad Cities River Bandits 7:05
7/12 Quad Cities River Bandits 7:05