Rooting for a Triple-A team is simply not fair. You get used to players doing such awesome things for your team, then WHAM!, they’re gone.
With the calling up of Devin Mesoraco yesterday, the Louisville Bats lost their 2011 Team MVP. They also lost Juan Francisco, Jeremy Hermida, and Chris Valaika yesterday. With these four players have a combined batting average of .293 and a combined slugging percentage of .470. These four combined for 453 hits, 105 of which were doubles, and 54 were HRs. These four also combined for 213 RBI. Mesoraco and Hermida were tied for the team lead in hits with 126. Speaking of which, 35% of the Bats total hits have left the team, 38% of doubles, and 37% of HRs.
Look even further, and you will find the eight main players called up/released this year by the Reds this year (Mesoraco, Hermida, Francisco, Valaika, Zack Cozart, Yonder Alonso, Dave Sappelt, and Todd Frazier) combined for 834 hits, 189 doubles, 95 HR, and 376 RBI. That equates to 66% of the Bats hits, 68% of doubles, 66% of home runs, and 63% of RBIs. So, it’s probably safe to say these last four games agaisnt Indianapolis are not going to be pretty, right?
In the words of ESPN College Football Analyst Lee Corso, NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND!
Enter Fred Lewis (who hit .300 in 8 games earlier this season with the Bats), Neftali Soto (.272/.329/.575, 30 HR 76 RBI in 109 games with Carolina), and Quinten Berry (.297/.399/.409, 6 HR, 41 RBI in 93 games with Carolina). These guys probably won’t do what the previous guys did, but they won’t do too bad either. I like the Bats chances to win at least 2 of these last four games to finish above .500 with these guys.
Oh yeah, then there’s this Yasmani Grandal guy. Originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 Amateur Draft, Grandal decided to go to college (Miami, the same place Alonso played). Good decision. The Reds drafted him with the 12th overall pick in the 2010 Amateur Draft. He started the year with High-A Bakersfield where he hit .296/.410/.510 with 10 HR, 14 doubles, and 40 RBI in 56 games. He was then promoted to Carolina where he kept up his hitting, posting a line of .301/.360/.474 with 4 HR, 15 doubles, and 26 RBI in 45 games. So, in 101 overall games this year, he’s hitting .298/.390/.494 with 14 HR, 29 doubles, and 66 RBI. And I’ve heard he’s much better defensively than Mesoraco, which is always a good thing.
So, in all actuality, the Bats should not miss a beat these final four games of the year–heck, they might even reach their goals. In all actuality, what really isn’t fair is how stacked the Reds’ farm system really is. And with these guys most likely landing in Louisville next year, I cannot wait for April 2012 to get here!
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