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10.08.2010

Season Wrap-Up 2010: Mahoning Valley Scrappers

Nino Colla | Friday, October 08, 2010 | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
MAHONING VALLEY SCRAPPERSLevel: Short Season Class A
League: New York-Penn League
Finish: 30-46 (6th Place Pinckney Division)
Playoffs: Missed Playoffs

POTY Feathers: SP Alex Kamisnky


Kaminsky: 6-5, 14 GS, 69 IP, 2.48 ERA, 58/18 SO/BB, 1.06 WHIP

The pride and joy of the 2010 Mahoning Valley Scrappers has to be Alex Kaminsky. He is one of the success stories of not just the Scrappers, but the entire Indians organization. Kaminsky came to the club as an undrafted free agent out of Wright State and produced for a team that had no one else really produce.

The pitching wasn't as good as it was last year (and how could it have been with all those performances?) but the offense was downright abysmal. Kaminsky still managed to win six games and was the rock of the Scrappers rotation. Without Kaminsky's performance, who knows what The Valley would have done. What's even better is that Kaimsnky is an Ohio product and he's put himself somewhat on the map as at least an organizational arm.

OVERVIEW

It would have been hard to repeat their 49-win, NYPL runner-up season of 2009, but the Scrappers of 2010 were downright bad. It is a crap shoot from year to year, because you never know what the roster is going to comprise of until June's first year player draft.

Because the Scrappers and Arizona League are both made up largely of recent draftees and with a few players who've spent the year in extended spring training, next year they could be a totally different team record wise. This year though, there was a reason for the lack of production.

The Indians took a big chance in their draft and selected a lot of high-upside talent seeking high signing bonuses. That resulted into late signings, if they signed at all, and that resulted into a few games at Arizona. When you break it down, this is what the Scrappers team looked like in terms of players that had at least 75 ABs and 15 IP.

Top 15 Picks from 2010: 6
Top 15 Picks from Other Drafts: 3
Undrafted Free Agents: 7
2010 Draftees 16-50: 5
Other Draftees 16-50: 6
International Free Agents: 5

So you had 9 players drafted within the first 15 rounds of a draft, 11 others that got drafted period, 7 who didn't get drafted and 5 signed out of the international market. Overall that looks like a lot of filler, so you can understand why the team produced what they produced.

The team did have Drew Pomeranz and Kyle Blair hanging around, but they both signed late and were simply there to get time in with the organization and observe. Nick Bartolone and Cole Cook were both late additions, with Bartolone spending time at Arizona before Mahoning Valley.

Their top five players with at bats: Burnette, Moncrief, Fontanez, Urshela, and Heere. Undrafted Alex Kaminsky led them in innings pitched and Jordan Cooper, the highest pick that spent the most time with the club wasn't all that good.

So that's the Scrappers this year. Not much, but not much expected.

PITCHING

Here are some of the more prominent names that took the mound for the Scrappers this season. As a whole, as mentioned earlier, it wasn't as good as last year's staff, but that staff was fantastic. This year's pitching was at least keeping the club afloat because the offense certainly wasn't.

Mike Rayl

Behind Kaminsky was Mike Rayl, a 15th round draft pick out of Palm Beach Community College last season. Rayl was dynamite but wasn't getting the support that Kaminsky did. If Kaminsky was 1, Rayl was 1A.

Jordan Cooper, Owen Dew and Kirk Wetmore

The other rotation members consisted of Wetmore, Dew, and Cooper. Dew and Cooper were drafted this season, Cooper in the 9th round and Dew in the 21st. Dew had the better season, recording a 1-2 record with a 2.64 ERA in just nine starts. His impressive 0.84 WHIP led the  team and he struck out 25 hitters in 47 innings before moving up to Lake County.

Wetmore pitched for the Rookie League team last season and this year had a rougher go of it this year in Mahoning Valley. In 52 innings pitched he started 10 of his 15 games pitched in.

Casey Gaynor, Clayton Ehlert and JD Reichenbach

The club drafted a lot of pitchers that came in late and did some pitching, but they brought in a few guys early on along with Kaminsky on undrafted free agent deals. Gaynor came out of Rutgers, Ehlert from Texas A&M while Reichenbach came out of Elon.

All three gave the club some valuable innings. Gaynor made five starts out of 16 games and won five games. He struck out 37 hitters in 49 innings and carried a 4.04 ERA. Reichenbach and Ehlert were some of the better relievers for the club, saving a combined 12 games.

Michael Goodnight and Tony Dischler

Two of those players that signed late were Goodnight and Dischler and both made small debuts. Goodnight made four starts but only totaled 13 innings while Dischler made two starts and pitched five shutout innings.


Nick Kirk

Last year's 19th round pick pitched in 21 games for the Scrappers last season, but his 4.15 ERA in 34 innings left much to be desired. Kirk returned and was great, giving the Scrappers a 2.53 ERA in 21 innings. He struck out 32 hitters and only walked six hitters. He was then shifted up to the Captains where he gave up 9 runs in 14 innings.

POSITION PLAYERS

This may be the shortest position player section of all the teams because there is just not much here worth talking about. The offense wasn't very good and often times it was downright scary.

Chase Burnette


Might as well start with the positives... Okay probably the very few positives. Chase Burnette was selected in the 18th round of the draft this year out of Georgia Tech and he was a pleasant surprise and a great source of power for the club. Burnette clubbed a team-leading eight home runs and knocked in 28 runs. He got a call-up to Lake County and helped them out in the playoffs and at the tail end of the regular season.

Burnette is more of a power guy from the left side of the plate and he'll probably move between first and the corner outfield spots.

Giovanny Urshela

If there is one player (and there probably is only one player) that is going to be on a major league radar in this organization, it would be Gio Urshela. The infielder knocked in a team high 35 runs and hit .290 in 58 games with the Scrappers. He did make eight errors on the season but he is one of the young Latin prospects the organization has moving up the ladder.

Carlos Moncrief

You might recognize the name and say to yourself, wait, didn't we have a pitcher by the name of Moncrief? Yep, this his him making the transition to the outfield as a position player. Moncrief didn't hit all that well, but he showed some pop with five home runs and 11 doubles. Moncrief was picked in the 2008 draft in the 14th round, but he is still on the younger side.

Brian Heere and Jordan Casas

The Indians selected Casas and Heere in the 40 and 41st rounds of the draft. Of the two, Heere got more playing time and shows a little promise with a high on-base percentage of .399 in 204 at-bats. Casas meanwhile played in half the games Heere did, but he too showed some good plate discipline with a good on-base percentage and just as many walks as strikeouts.

Nick Bartolone

Tony Wolters will get all the hype, but Nick Bartolone was a sixth round pick this year and he actually got onto the field. Bartolone hit .303 in 32 games for the Arizona League team and stole 15 bases. Then with the Scrappers, his average and on-base percentage dipped, but he stole eight bases and got some valuable experience.

Kevin Fontanez and Dan DeGeorge

These two have been utility players for the club for the past few years, Fontanez since 2008 after he was selected in the 24th round of the draft out of Puerto Rico. Fontanez has spent all his time in rookie ball so far but he just turned 20 years old this past June. DeGeorge meanwhile was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Princeton and he spent some time at Lake County last year.

DeGeorge it .252 in 43 games for the Scrappers while Fontanez collected a disappointing .199 average in 226 at-bats, third most on the team.

Diego Seastrunk

What's not to love about the catcher out of Rice with the awesome last name of Seastrunk?

Well okay he didn't hit as well as you would expect a college player of his age to hit in his first taste of professional action. He did club four home runs though.

Kevin Rucker

Rucker has been in the organization longer than anyone that was a part of this team, aside from Wyatt Toregas who started at catcher for a few games of course. Rucker has been around playing in the Gulf Coast League and last year in Rookie ball. This year he got his shot to play for Mahoning Valley and well.. Yeah.


Jesus Aguilar

I made a mistake earlier when I said Gio Urshela is probably the one guy on this team offensively that could be on the major league radar. Jesus Aguilar hit seven home runs with the Arizona team before getting moved up to Mahoning Valley for 32 games. he only hit two home runs with the Scrappers, but nine home runs in 61 games isn't bad at all. For an organization looking for power sources, a 20-year old Aguilar may be one worth watching.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Travis Fryman's group had a banner year last season. They made it to the New York Penn League finals and a lot of those pieces helped Lake County and Kinston make the playoffs and some even contributed to the Aeros .500 record.

But this season's club is a reflection on how many chances the organization took on drafting high upside talent, especially when it came to position players. Because the team did just that, they didn't sign a lot of their picks until late, which meant the Scrappers had to be filled with undrafted free agents, late round picks, and organizational players.

The team's performance isn't a true indicator of what the club drafted this season, because a very heavy portion of the high upside guys didn't even venture off to Niles.



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