"My s*** doesn't work in the playoffs" -Billy Beane in "Moneyball" by Michael Lewis
So far that quote has rang true. This season in the minors, the Corpus Christi Hooks embodied it. In a season where they wen 89-51 which led the league, they also failed to make it out of the first round.
The team relied primarily on the teams hitting ability much like Fresno did. Luhnow's philosophy relies on high on-base percentage players and has filled the system with them. CC tied for league lead in OBP at .356 with Midland. And, not by coincidence, those two teams led the league in runs. Here is an interesting point though, the Hooks were third in slugging percentage yet ranked ahead of Midland (league leader in OBP and SLG) in runs. What they lacked in power to Midland, they made up with in stolen bases as they were two bases from the lead and fifty-eight more stolen bases than Midland.
This team was interesting in how they achieved their stats. They had four players who played at least 100 games and only one of those posted an OBP over the average and that was Jon Kemmer. Kemmer was a relatively unknown prospect coming into the season given his lack of high draft status and age relative to league. Yet, his .414 OBP and near .250 ISO makes him statistically intriguing.
They relied on several guys who spent partial season in Corpus to elevate their team OBP.
Tyler White: 59 Games, .415 OBP
Tony Kemp: 50 Games, .457 OBP
A.J. Reed: 53 Games, .405 OBP
Colin Moran: 96 Games, .381 OBP
Then there was Chan Moon who played 81 games with exactly team average OBP at .356.
The guy that received a lot of playing time but didn't really contribute to the OBP is Teoscar Hernandez. However, that stolen base total is largely thanks to him as he had thirty-three of the teams 148.
The pitching staff had their share of big names this season but they also lacked consistency from those big names as Josh Hader was traded away, Lance McCullers and Vincent Velasquez were hopped up to the majors a few times, and Joe Musgrove didn't spend a full season there.
Yet, they had the least amount of walks in the league and had the second best ERA. However, they were pretty much the middle of the pack in hits allowed, WHIP, and strikeouts.
Two pitchers on the team exceed one hundred innings and those were Kyle Westwood and Chris Devenski. It's interesting that the third leader in innings was Aaron West who spent the majority of the season as a reliever. He did make four starts and was used in extended relief appearances frequently.
There were thirty-five pitchers used on this team this season. Which makes it difficult to find a player that really stands out except the two stable starters in Devenski and Westwood. Devenski was the only one to eclipse 100 strikeouts. Only Velasquez, LMJ, Edison Frias, Juan Minaya, and Josh Hader had strikeout rates of 9 K/9.
Jandel Gustave served as the closer and accumulated 20 saves. He had a 7.5 K/9 and a 3.8 BB/9.