Over the past two weeks, things have been pretty gloomy, dark and dreary -- not in the skies above it which have been almost exclusively perfect but rather on the baseball diamond where the Jupiter Hammerheads have gone 4-9, paving their road to an overall 15-22 record, making them the worst team in the Florida State League. Despite the collective dismal performance though, there have been a few bright spots. Here's a look at those few highs and the more numerous lows in this rendition of Sharks Recap.
- During a six game losing streak the Hammerheads had a 10-22 run differential. They've lost 9 of their last 13 overall.
- Including a 4-31 record in their last two games, the Hammerheads are hitting a tumultuous .177 (67-379) with runners in scoring position this year.
- Jupiter is hitting .234 second worst in FSL, .627 OPS also second worst, .319 SLG dead last. They've tallied the league's second most Ks (339).
- Despite not much in the way of protection in the lineup behind him recently, Kyle Barrett continued to see ball, hit ball leading him to the 14th best OBP (.377) and BA (.306) in the FSL. He has also continued to place the ball well after showing the ability to barrel up any pitch by way of excellent plate coverage. Barrett is on pace for 19 doubles. His previous career high 12 in senior year of college. Barrett has a scrappy base hit first approach but is shaping a knack for finding gaps on top of surprising pop. There's tons to be excited about here especially in pitchers haven Roger Dean and the FSL. With similar production which doesn't seem to be letting up for more than a game or two, Barrett, who has hit in 26/33 games via a patient visionary approach should find himself promoted to Jacksonville by the break.
- Lefty Jeff Locke on rehab from the Marlins after injury in spring training has made two rehab starts in Jupiter. He's allowed 1 ER on 7 hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks in 9 IP. He will make 1-2 more rehab starts before rejoining the Marlins who have recently lost two of their starters to injury and demoted two others to the minors.
- Infielder Angel Reyes went 2-4 with an RBI double on the 6th after a monster game Thursday in which he hit his first homer and tallied three hits en route to Hammerheads breaking their six game skid. However excluding those two games Reyes has just 3 hits in 36 May ABs. Reyes had a .307 April but with a .358 BABIP, it appears as though he was fortunate to post that mark. The Ks have kept coming for Reyes who struck out at a 19.6% rate last year and has done so at a 21.8% this year but his walk rate has improved from 7.3% to 9.6%. Despite a .311 career OBP which includes his most fortunate .350+ mark so far this year, the Marlins seem committed to Reyes' future as a top of the order guy. At 22 with an extremely long swing, I can't imagine Reyes as anything but a boom-or-bust bench player at the next level.
- Starter Trevor Richards was shelled for 6 runs on 10 hits in 2.2 IP on April 27 but he rebounded on May 2 with a 6 IP, 4 H, 9 K, 2 BB, shutout start and then built on it with 11 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 12/2 K/BB over his last two starts. His 2.55 ERA is 15th best in FSL as is his 1.13 WHIP. His 5.00 K/BB is 11th best. Undrafted out of Drury University where he had a two year career that consisted of a 2.96 ERA and 230 Ks both that ranked second all-time in Drury's history, Richards put in two years of combined 3.30 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 2.81 K/BB ball with the Indy league Gateway Grizzlies before being discovered by Miami. He comes to Jupiter after an impressive year out of the pen in Greensboro last year (43.2 IP, 2.68 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 2.71 K/BB). Richards begins his windup from a energetic pace, rocking back on his back leg to build up velo but as he comes forward he adds a hitch to his step downhill, throwing the opposition's timing off. He further keeps hitters off balance with his arsenal that holds a good velo mix and includes a 92-94 MPH fastball, an 82-85 MPH changeup and a 71-74 MPH late breaking slow curveball. At 24, he's one of the eldest of the single A Hammerheads but with more command consistency, he has stuff that plays up to the next level and the makeup of a back end starter. A free and easy thrower, nothing seems highly strenuous, giving him a good innings eating background. With the organization's pitching depth at an extreme premium, pay close attention to Richards who could be placed on the fast track to the Show, beginning with a promotion to Jacksonville fairly soon.
- 5/15-18 @ PMB
- 5/19-21 @ CHA
- 5/22-25 vs TBY
- 5/26-28 vs BRD
- 5/30-6/2 @ DUN