Brian O’Grady had a rough seven week stretch to begin the 2016 season with the Daytona Tortugas. The outfielder was hitting just .162/.326/.306 on May 28th. His batting average on balls in play to that point in the season was a low mark of just .211. Couple that with the fact that he had 26 walks and 39 strikeouts and we could likely believe that a turn around was coming.
Sure enough, it has. Since May 29th rolled around Brian O’Grady has hit .380/.484/.680 with as many walks, 10, as strikeouts. He’s gone out and hit six doubles and three home runs in that span. He’s also stolen two bases. Overall, his average is just at .230. Obviously you would like to see that climb, but his .374 on-base percentage is very high (the Florida State League average on-base percentage is just .316) and his slugging percentage on the year is sitting at .422 (league average is just .350).
Daytona infielder Blake Trahan has followed a similar path this season. In April he hovered around the .100 mark in the average column, finishing with a line of .128/.198/.186 in 22 games. Like O’Grady, a big part of the reason was a low BABIP. His was an insanely low .141 for the month of April.
When the month of May rolled around everything changed for Blake Trahan. The shortstop hit .327/.403/.442 with as many walks as strikeouts in the month. He also added in five steals in six opportunities. That turn around has carried into June as well. In 16 games so far in the month he’s hitting .297/.366/.469 with six walks and eight strikeouts. His overall line is still a bit low, but after an absolutely poor April he’s pushed things up to .252/.325/.362 on the season in 66 games.
Tough start for Nick Hanson
Cincinnati Reds 3rd round pick Nick Hanson made his professional debut last night out in Arizona. Here’s the statline: 0.1IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 5 runs, 4 earned runs, no strikeouts.
On the surface, that’s really, really rough. But if we look at what actually happened, it just was a perfect mess of bad luck. Here’s how his start broke down by batter:
- Single on a ground ball to the pitcher.
- Single on a ground ball to right field.
- Single on a ground ball to shortstop.
- Ground ball to third base – throwing error.
- Ground out to second.
- Single on a ground ball to third base.
One ball left the infield.
Taylor Sparks makes a quick impression
Taylor Sparks was promoted to Double-A yesterday. He joined the team in Tennessee and made a quick statement. The first pitch that he saw came in at 88 MPH and he hit it over the fence for a 2-run homer. In the 6th inning he came to the plate again, and this time he saw a pitch come in at 85 MPH and he went down and hit that one over the fence as well.
It’s been an interesting season for Sparks. After walking eight times in April over the span of just 94 plate appearances he’s watched his walk rate seemingly disappear. Since May began he’s come to the plate 175 times and he’s walked three times to go with 38 strikeouts. That strikeout rate is way down from where it was last year, just 21% this year. The walk rate is going to have to make improvements moving forward as well, though.