Over the past two weeks, the Jupiter Hammerheads spent time at both ends of the extreme, at one point scoring 18 runs on 25 hits in a game then allowing 14 on 20 hits at another. Ultimately, it spelled out a 6-6 record to keep them at two games under .500 entering the month of May. Here's a rundown of the happenings surrounding the Sharks including team and individual highlights these past 14 days.
|Biweekly Stats||Season Stats|
|3 HR/25 XBH||8 HR/54 XBH|
|4.03 ERA, 1.30 WHIP||3.33 ERA/1.19 WHIP|
|88 K/27 BB||202 K/57 BB|
|57 RF/59 RA (-2 RD)||94 RF/104 RA (-10 RD)|
- On April 21, the Hammerheads walloped the Bradenton Marauders, 18-5, the most runs the team has scored in a single game in franchise history. The 18 runs came on 25 hits, nine of which were doubles, both of which were also club records. Every Jupiter hitter had at least two hits and all but one had at least one RBI.
- Jupiter followed that game up by allowing nearly as many runs six days later in a 14-3 loss to Daytona at Roger Dean Stadium. The 14 runs tied the most ever scored in a Hammerheads' game at the Dean. Jupiter foes scored the same amount of runs one other time in 2015 and on three other occasions in 2014. Twelve of those runs were earned and saw the Hammerheads' team ERA move from 3.02 to 3.43.
- Save the offensive explosion on the 21st, the Hammerheads hit just .202 with runners in scoring position over these last two weeks. On the season, even when you count the 18 run affair, they are a below the Mendoza line team with RISP, hitting just .231.
- After a loss on April 30, one Jupiter player expressed to me how much the Hammerheads struggle in day games. A look at the box scores confirm his claims. In day games this season, Jupiter is 0-3 with a -26 run differential.
- Outfielder Kyle Barrett has stayed absolutely scorching red hot, getting on base in every game these last two weeks and getting on via a hit in all but one. For the season, he's been on base in 20 of 22 games and on via a hit in 18 of 22. His .330 BA is 9th best in the Florida State League and ranks as one of the best career months of April ever for a Jupiter Hammerhead. With the ability to foul off tough pitches, grind out at bats, select a pitch he likes and wait out the break on pitches but still make solid contact due to an extremely quick and snappy swing and some hidden gap to gap power as well as good base running instincts, plus speed and above average outfield coverage prowess thanks to good reads off the bat, good route running and a solid arm, Barrett is conjuring a skill set reminiscent of the likes of a young Chris Coghlan. Florida State League foes are waiting for Barrett to mercifully cool down but their only reprieve all year has been a short 0-7 "slump". If Barrett keeps this type of play up through the month of May, he could/should get a chance to see if it persists after making the difficult jump to AA.
- "Holy Shark!" If you take one look at Angel Reyes' game logs over the past two weeks, you cannot help but exclaim these words of divine shock. Over the span, Reyes has hit very similarly to Barrett, going 18-61 (.295) with hits in 10 of 12 games. Like his teammate, he also shook a short mid-month slump (0-10) to come back and finish his collective April slashing .307/.365/.386 with a BA and OBP that each rank within the top 15 in the FSL. A signee out of Venezuela as an 18-year-old in 2012, Reyes' career until last year had been a bit of a feeling out and adjustment process. He came into 2016 with a career .230 BA and .303 OBP compounded by a 22% K rate all in the rookie ball ranks. However, in Reyes' .349 slugging percentage made up of 30 doubles, 8 triples and 6 homers, the Marlins saw enough to give Reyes a chance in full season ball in 2016. There, he pretty much hit exactly to his career numbers slashing .252/.314/.351 with a slightly improved 19.6 K rate. So here we are in 2017 and after getting another somewhat surprising promotion, the 21-year-old is somehow hitting .307/.365/.386. To quote Danny Glover aka George Knox in 1994, "you can call it fate, you can call it Angels, you can call it whatever you want." But whatever it is, the Marlins are certainly pleased. Reyes appears to have refined his approach by improving his timing trigger and not getting too far out on his front foot, leading to a better transfer of power and a much shorter swing. He has also modified his stance to be much more compact and shifted more towards the back of the batters' box allowing his bigger step into the ball the serve him more advantageously. He is also leading his swing with his back elbow rather than his front, which has kept him from flying open. These refined mechanics and the ability to change positively with his body's growth has led him to much more control over his 6'0" 175 pound frame. Turning just 22 on Saturday and playing his best brand of ball at the highest level of competition he's seen, there's plenty of reason to be high on Reyes, especially if he grows into more power and can nail down the ability to man second base, a position where offense comes at a premium and a process which the Marlins started this season.
- Righty Cody Poteet continued his great work on the mound, making three starts these last two weeks, going at least five innings in each and giving up a total of just three earned runs. Each of his five starts have been of the 5+ inning, two runs or less variety. His 1.33 ERA ranks among the top five in the Florida State League as does his lowly 0.93 WHIP. A Marlins fourth round pick in 2015 after a 2.45 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 8.35 K/9 (by way of the PAC12's ninth most strikeouts), 2.27 K/BB junior season at UCLA, Poteet is starting to enjoy another season similar to first full year in the organization. Last year, he held down the sixth best ERA in the South Atlantic League (2.91) by way of its 20th best WHIP (1.29) and 14th best LOB% (70.7%). Poteet did walk at an 8.7% rate in his first full season in pro ball but so far this year it looks as though he's learned from it and has rectified it while the Ks have persisted. Through his first 27 IP, he has walked just five and struck out 17 (3.4 K/BB). Even though he has three quality pitches including an 88-92 MPH heater with movement down in the zone and two even better secondary offerings, a high-70’s curve with tight arc and late bend and a high-80’s slider which he throws with the same arm speed as his fastball and really confuses opposing hitters. He can throw a changeup but it is very much a work-in-progress pitch which he has yet to perfect the arm action on. Poteet's long-term potential will depend on the development of that changeup. He hasn't been throwing it much so far this year and when he has it has looked uncomfortable for him and usually wound up out of the zone. However, at just 21 and with a long season ahead, there's still plenty of time for him to grow into it. At the very least, already with a fastball/slider combo that is way above his current level and a mix-in knee-buckling curve all of which he throws for strikes with a great knowledge of the zone and all of which project even better as he establishes more command, Poteet is at the very least a future bullpen staple.
- 5/1-4 @ Clearwater
- 5/5-7 @ Daytona
- 5/8-10 vs Bradenton
- 5/11-14 vs St. Lucie