The Hooks had a decent year, but never really got it going. Here is a review of the season Corpus Christi’s 2019 season.
2019 Record: 66-73, Last Texas League South
The Hooks got off to a rough start going 12-13 in 25 games in April. They continued to play mediocre baseball finishing with a 14-14 record in the month of May. The Hooks struggled in June going 11-15 as they finished last in the Texas League South in the first half (33-36). They started off the second half better going 15-13 in July. They finished the month of August going 14-16. You could see the trend with the team, never great, never terrible. They just floated around .500 for the majority of the season. They lost their only 2 games in September and finished 66-73, last in the Texas League South Division.
The Hooks had some standout players this season and also funneled talent up to Houston again. Josh Rojas was one of the better players for the Hooks this year, but he was shipped out in July to Arizona in the Greinke trade. Seth Beer was another good player for the Hooks, who was also traded for Greinke. Abraham Toro was the best player for the Hooks though. He played in 98 games and hit .306 with .906 OPS and 16 HR, 70 RBI. Bryan De La Cruz and Chas McCormickboth had solid season hitting .283 and .277 respectively. Matijevic returned from suspension and had a .738 OPS with 21 2B, 9 HR in 78 games.
The pitching was bette however. Tyler Ivey only pitched in 11 games due to injury but pitched really well posting a 1.57 ERA with 61 K in 46 innings. Cristian Javier dominated his time in Corpus Christi this year. He posted a 2.07 ERA with 114 K in 74 innings before getting promoted to Round Rock. Brandon Bailey was also solid posting a 3.30 ERA with 103 K in 92.2 innings. Joe Urqiudy also made quick work of AA posting 5 BB/40 K in 33 innings before being promoted to Round Rock and Houston. Abreu, Paredes, McKee showed promise posting nice strikeout rates this season. Here are the team leaders (min 200 AB or 40 IP):
Hits - Abraham Toro (115)
Home Runs - Ronnie Dawson (17)
Runs Batted In - Abraham Toro (70)
Average - Abraham Toro (.306)
Stolen Bases - Stephen Wrenn (24)
OPS - Seth Beer (.950)
wRC+ - Seth Beer (162)
Innings Pitched - Brandon Bailey (92.2)
Saves - Colin McKee (7)
Strikeouts - Cristian Javier (114)
Earned Run Average - Tyler Ivey (1.57) - minimum 40 IP
Abraham Toro, 3B
Toro has been a favorite of mine for a while, but he really broke out in 2019. He started the year in AA and was phenomenal hitting .306 with a .906 OPS and 22 2B, 16 HR, 70 RBI in 98 games. He was eventually promoted to Round Rock where he hit .424 with 9 2B, 1 HR, 10 RBI in 16 games. He was then promoted to Houston where he played in 25 games and had 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI. Really great season for the 22 year old.
Cristian Javier, RHP
Just as Toro had a breakout season, Javier did too. Javier has posted great numbers before but he did so this year at high levels. He started the year in High-A and had a 0.94 ERA with 40 K in 28.2 innings. He was then promoted to AA where he struck out 114 in 74 innings with a 2.07 ERA, while allowing just 31 hits. He earned another promotion to AAA where he made two starts allowing 2 runs in 11 innings. Overall he had 170 K in 113.2 innings with a 1.74 ERA.
Tyler Ivey, RHP
Ivey had a really nice 2018 season and I was looking forward to him building on that. Unfortunately, he dealt with a lot of injuries, but that didn’t stop him from showing his talent in his limited innings. He inly pitched in 46 innings for the Hooks but posted a 1.57 ERA with 16 BB/61 K. If he is healthy in 2020, it could be a big year for him.
The story this year in the system was the strikeout rates of pitchers. Yohan Ramirez, Enoli Paredes, Bryan Abreu, Colin McKee, Carlos Sanabria, and Tommy DeJuneas all had a K/9 over 11.0. Thats not including Javier and Ivey with rates well above that as well.