The Woodpeckers had some ups and down in 2023, but still had some noteworthy performances. Let’s take a look.
2023 Record: 60-72, Carolina League South Division
The Woodpeckers got off to a rough start going 9-11 in 20 games in April. May was rough mong as they went they went just 9-17 in 26 games. Things got better in June as they went 14-12 for their first month above .500. July was a little worse as they continued to play around .500 going 11-12 in 23 games. August was a tough month as they suffered some promotions and went 11-17 in 28 games. They finished the month of September strong going 6-3. The pitching was great most of the season but the offense had some struggles.
Here are the team leaders (min 150 AB or 40 IP):
Hits - Luis Encarnacion (98)
2B - Sandro Gaston (19)
3B - Zach Cole (5)
HR - Zach Cole (11)
RBI - Zach Cole (46)
BA - Zach Cole (.265)
SB - Jackson Loftin (60)
OPS - Zach Cole (.892)
wRC+ - Zach Cole (150)
IP - Trey Domrboski (119.0)
W - Trey Dombroski (7)
SV - Jeremy Molero (8)
SO - Trey Dombroski (148)
ERA - Nolan DeVos (2.24)
Zach Cole, OF
Cole was drafted by the Astros in the 10th round of the 2022 draft. In the off-season I wrote a piece on him being a steal and he proved that this season. In 70 games for the Woodpeckers, Cole had 15 2B, 11 HR, 46 RBI and 25 SB while posting a .892 OPS. The offense had struggles, but he was the constant. He was later promoted to Asheville where he had a .829 OPS in 41 games. Overall he finished with 19 HR, 37 SB in 111 games.
Trey Dombroski, LHP
Dombroski was a 4th round pick in 2022 after a dominant college career. He made his pro debut this year and pitched the full season in Single-A. Dombroski was great setting a Fayetteville record for strikeouts in a season with 148 in just 119 innings. The left-hander finished with a 3.72 ERA and an impressive 4.11 strikeout to walk ratio. He will be one to watch next season and he goes to the upper levels.
Jose Fleury, RHP
Fleury was an interesting name going into the season. He was dominant in the DSL in 2022 and the Astros moved him right to Single-A this season. The right-hander showed off his dominant changeup racking up 139 strikeouts in 98.2 innings, good for 12.7 strikeouts per 9 innings. At just 21-years-old, he posted a 3.65 ERA and showed to be one of the more high potential arms in the system.
Tyler Guilfoil, RHP
Guilfoil was another pitcher selected in the 2022 draft. The right-hander was a dominant reliever in college but made the transition to starter this year. In 62.1 innings for the Woodpeckers, he posted a 2,74 ERA with 91 strikeouts, good for 13.1 strikeouts per 9 innings. He was promoted to Asheville where he finished the season striking out 32 over 21.2 innings giving him 123 K in 84 innings this season.
Nolan DeVos, RHP
Another arm drafted in 2022, DeVos had a great first full season. The right-hander was dominant for the Woodpeckers striking out 74 in 52.1 innings while allowing just 33 hits. He was promoted to Asheville where he had a 4.27 ERA in the hitter friendly environment. Overall, he finished with a 3.19 ERA and 117 K in 98.2 innings.
Jackson Loftin, INF/OF
Loftin was another selection in 2022. His season was up and down some but he showed off one elite trait in his speed. Loftin set the single season record for the Woodpeckers stealing 60 bases in 116 games. He finished the year hitting just .207 with 9 homers but hit .254 with a .770 OPS over the final 55 games. Loftin showed off his versatility playing centerfield and shortstop.