Low-A Lakewood BlueClaws
Lakewood started off the season strong, just missing the division title in the first half of the season as their winning percentage was a mere three-thousandths lower than the division winner. They fell off in the second half, posting a 33-36 record after the break. They finished the season with a 73-66 record, 3.5 games back of the best overall team in the division.
Pitching was the strong point of the team as their 3.26 ERA was third-best in the South Atlantic League and they led the league with a 1.15 WHIP. The rotation was littered with top-30 pitching prospects like Sixto Sanchez, Adonis Medina, JoJo Romero, and Ranger Suarez.
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Sanchez was strong in his full-season debut, posting a 2.41 ERA and a team-leading 2.35 fielding-independent pitching among those with more than 50 innings pitched. Romero had a 2.11 ERA and 3.76 strikeout-to-walk ratio before being promoted to Clearwater. Suarez had a minuscule 1.59 ERA with a 27.8 percent strikeout rate. Medina spent all year in Lakewood but was effective, striking out 10 batters per nine innings with a 3.01 ERA.
Will Hibbs was the team’s best reliever, finishing the year with a 1.77 ERA and 0.75 WHIP in 61 innings.
The hitting was far less effective as they finished the year with a collective .661 OPS. The lone bright spot on the offense was Darick Hall, who broke the team’s home run record with 27 in 114 games. He finished the year with a .272/.340/.533 line and 96 RBI.
Last year’s first round pick, Mickey Moniak, had a disappointing season as he finished the year with a .236/.284/.341 line. Daniel Brito also struggled, managing a .615 OPS. However, both were in their age-19 season, so expecting them to blow the top off of the league was probably too much.