When the 2012 season was just opening, you may remember I thought the outlook for the Trenton Thunder was not particularly good. After a disappointing 2011, Trenton looked to have many of the same faces, with the bulk of the Yankees’ best prospects slated to spend the year in Single-A and the loss of some of their big pitchers to Empire State. Boy was I wrong. Trenton put together a very strong 2012 season, and as those key prospects will be working their way up the next couple years, they could be in for a few good years. The Thunder went 79-63, winning the Eastern Division in the Eastern League and securing a playoff spot. They beat the Reading Phillies in the first round, but lost to the strong pitching of the Akron Aeros in the Finals.
Interestingly, few aspects of Trenton’s play really stood out in the EL. They had some decent pitching, owning a 3.74 ERA, good for fourth in the EL but well below Akron’s 3.03 ERA. Meanwhile, Trention had a 1.39 WHIP, one of the highest in the league. Trenton could strike out batters, getting 1030 Ks and walking 463. Brett Marshall, Shaeffer Hall and Vidal Nuno were crucial in the starting rotation, while various pitchers came through out of the bullpen for the Thunder. Trenton was the only team without a complete game this season, though they came close on a couple occasions.
Trenton’s overall offensive numbers generally put them in the middle of the pack this season, but they were virtually untouchable when it came to power. Their team slash line of .260/.327/.423 showed the disparity, as their average and on base percentage were decent, but their slugging percentage was the best in the league. They hit 162 homers, far more than the 125 Bowie hit for second in the league. Of course, as is often the case with power hitting teams, the Thunder often fell victim to the strikeout, with 1050 Ks on the season. They were also not particularly adept at drawing walks, taking just 445 free passes. Zoilo Almonte and Luke Murton were a big part of the Thunder power surge, with the latter hitting a system-leading 25 homers. Addison Maruszak had a strong year for Trenton, despite widely being considered nothing more than an organization guy.
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