The Greeneville Astros enjoyed a winning season and finished third in the Appalachian League West division with a 36-32 record. The team was an exciting one to follow as the trio of Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr., and Rio Ruiz all saw time in Greeneville along with high upside guys like Kevin Comer and Joe Musgrove that were added via the Blue Jays trade. Adrian Houser and Chris Lee were also high upside guys from the Astros 2011 draft that spent the season with the Greeneville Astros. This was an exciting team to follow.
Pitching-wise the Greeneville Astros ranked in the top half of the Appalachian League in most statistical categories. The team had the third best overall ERA in the league at 3.76. They led the league in strikeouts with 642, and were 53 strikeouts ahead of the second place Elizabethton Twins. The staff allowed 233 walks which put then seventh overall, but they only allowed 543 hits which ranked them fourth overall, which helped them finish fourth in the league in walks and hits per inning pitched with a 1.30 WHIP. The team only racked up 15 saves which was the third lowest in the league, but they were the best in the league in holds with 20.
The Greeneville Astros had a total of 12 different pitchers take the mound for the team this year. We will take a look at Adrian Houser, Lance McCullers Jr., and Daniel Minor in more detail later in the week, but that still leaves us plenty of interesting guys to talk about here. We will get things started with Frederick Tiburcio who outside of Minor threw the second most innings on the team.
Tiburcio is a 21-year old righty who pitched 54.1 innings for the GCL Astros last season and posted a 4.47 ERA. This season with Greeneville he also posted a 4.47 ERA with a slightly better FIP of 3.92. He struck out 55 batters in 58.1 innings while also allowing 27 walks. He was able to generate groundballs at an above average rate of 52.90%. Opposing hitters only hit .229/.316/.392 against him this season. Over his career those numbers have stayed about the same against righties at .226/.301/.352, but rises to .268/.362/.405 when he’s facing left-handed hitters.
Ramirez is a 20-year old righty who pitched 53.1 innings for Greeneville this season and posted a 3.88 ERA and a 3.69 FIP. He averaged more than a strikeout per nine innings with a 9.96 K/9, but also struggled with his control and allowed 4.89 BB/9. Opposing hitters hit .250/.362/.378 off of him this season. He has struggled more with left-handed hitters over his career (.254/.365/.410) than he has against right-handed hitters (.226/.331/.371).
Comer made eight starts this season in rookie ball but only one of them came with Greeneville. He pitched a combined 51.2 innings and posted a 4.56 ERA with a 4.25 FIP. While he only struck out 34 batters in those 51.2 innings he also only allowed ten walks. Though he only faced 71 left-handed batters this season he was able to control them better than righties. He averaged an 8.44 K/9 and a groundball rate of 57.1% against lefties while only averaging 5.13 K/9 and a 42.9% groundball rate against righties.
The 22-year old righty only pitched 32.1 innings for the Greeneville Astros, but he was pretty effective posting a 3.90 ERA and a 3.14 FIP. He had a very impressive strikeout to walk ratio this season as he recorded 41 strikeouts while only allowing ten walks. He looks to be more of a flyball pitcher than a groundball pitcher as his groundball percentage has sat around 37.8% throughout his career so far. This year batters only hit .221/.287/.331 against him.
Feliz was 18-years old this season and spent the majority of the season with the GCL Astros before getting called up to Greeneville for 26.1 innings. In the GCL he posted a very impressive 1.52 ERA and struck out 36 batters while only allowing nine walks. Though his ERA jumped up to 5.13 in Greeneville he posted a much better FIP of 3.16. He averaged more than a strikeout per nine innings in Greeneville (28 in 26.1 IP), but also walked 4.78 BB/9. Overall on the season he pitched 67.2 innings and posted a 2.93 ERA with a 2.95 FIP while averaging 8.51 K/9 and 3.06 BB/9. Opposing hitters hit .216/.283/.324 against him this season.
Greeneville had five relief pitchers throw 30 or more innings this season in Christian Garcia, Zachary dando, Jordan Jankowski, Mike Hauschild, and Michael Dimock. Both Jordan Jankowski and Michael Dimock recorded four saves apiece to tie for the team lead, and Mike Hauschild was one behind him with three.
Garcia, the 21-year old righty was drafted in the 28th round of this year’s draft from Florence-Darlington Technical College. He posted a 4.32 ERA and a 4.22 FIP in 34.1 innings while striking out 30 batters and walking 14. He had a decent groundball percentage allowing groundballs 49.5% of the time. It appears that he was used more in a long relief role as he appeared in 18 games and recorded almost twice as many innings at 34.1. He showed reverse splits this season as he allowed a .222/.300/.333 against lefties, and a .280/.352/.439 against righties.
Dando is a 21-year old righty who was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2011 draft from Central Arizona College. Dando turned in a very good season this year while repeating the level with the Greeneville Astros. Dando posted a 2.48 ERA with a 2.04 FIP in 34 innings pitched while averaging 8.54 K/9 and a 2.48 BB/9. He did not allow any homeruns this season. Opponents hit .220/.266/.331 against him this season.
Jankowski is a 23-year old righty who was drafted in the 34th round of this year’s draft from Catawba College. Jankowski threw 32.1 innings for Greeneville and posted a 2.37 ERA, but a much more impressive 1.19 FIP. He had a solid groundball rate of 48.4%, and only allowed 2.37 BB/9. That wasn’t the most impressive part of his stats though. He averaged a ridiculous strikeout rate of 15.43 strikeouts per nine innings. Opponents only hit .209/.270/.287 against him this season.
Hauschild is a 22-year old righty who was taken in the 33rd round of this year’s draft from the University of Dayton. Like Jankowski, Hauschild was equally as dominating and posted a 1.48 ERA and a 1.91 FIP in 30.1 innings pitched. It would appear that he has a heavy sinker as he posted a groundball percentage of 75%. He also struck out 39 batters while only walking nine batters this season. He only allowed 22 hits all season, and of those 22 hits only 5 (all doubles) went for extra bases. He did not allow a homerun this season. Opponents only hit .202/.287/.248 against him this season.
Dimock is a 22-year old righty that was drafted in the 37th round of this year’s draft from Wake Forest University. He pitched 30 innings and had a 4.50 ERA, though he posted a much shinier FIP of 1.81. He struck out 10.61 K/9 while only allowing a 2.89 BB/9. Opponents hit .229/.287/.381 against him this season.
Overall the Greeneville pitching staff had a very good season. For the most part they were younger on the starting side, while being older and college heavy on the relief side. There were several other interesting guys on the team that were not mentioned here due in large part to injury. Joe Musgrove only pitched a total of 17 innings this season, and Chris Lee only pitched 8.2. There’s also Tanner Bushue who struggled with the Legends to start the season before getting demoted and returning primarily in relief for Greeneville. Greeneville had an exciting pitching staff and it should be interesting to see where some of these young arms are placed next season.