As I often say, for those of us who live in short season towns, spring training is just a tease. Our seasons don't begin until the middle of June. So to keep me occupied until then, here are some of the questions I am going to be looking for from former Greeneville Astros to answer in full season ball. I will be listing them by position. Included in the player's write up is year(s) they played in Greeneville along with their age at the start of the season and the highest level they played at last season.
Luis Alvarez - (2009/2011 - 21 - Rookie) - Last year he made a solid comeback from missing 2010 with a knee injury. Can he progress quickly this year to make up for the lost 2010 season?
Rene Garcia - (2008 - 22 - Hi A) - Last year he hit .242 at Lancaster and threw out 30% of base stealers. Can he bring those numbers up any?
Ernesto Genoves - (2011 - 20 - Rookie) - He showed a solid bat and improving defense in Greeneville last year. How will he look against more advanced talent at higher levels?
Ryan McCurdy - (2010 - 24 - Low A) - Last year he showed a solid bat at Tri Cities hitting .324 but he is much older than the competition. Will he make it out of spring training?
Roberto Pena - (2010 - 19 - Low A) - After allowing 10 passed balls in 38 games in 2010, he only allowed 11 in 82 games in 2011. He threw out 39% of base stealers last season, can he keep that number up? Can he improve from the .217 he hit in Lexington last year?
J. R. Towles - (2004 - 27 - MLB) - Towles signed with the Twins organization as a free agent this off season. If the Twins injury luck at catcher continues, this might prove to be a very wise move for J R. Will the change of scenery help J. R. make it back to the show?
Chris Wallace - (2010 - 23 - AA)
- Last year Wallace jumped from low A to AA. His average took a hit
(.285 to .244) but his caught stealing rate took a bigger hit, dropping
from 39% down to 10%. Can he show he made adjustments in his approach
at the plate and behind it?
Bubby Williams -
(2009-10, 22 - SS A) - I said last year that it was an important year
for Williams to show improvement. Not much was seen. He only caught 11
games and threw out only 13% of potential base stealers. He lead the
team in Home Runs but only hit .206 in 36 games. Will he make it out of
Placement Predictions when full season rosters are announced:
(Last season, I predicted 5 of 6 catchers' correct starting teams)
Corpus Christi (AA)
Lancaster (Hi A)
Lexington (Low A)
Extended Spring Training
What are your thoughts?