When the 2012 season was getting ready to begin Charleston looked like the team to watch, as their roster was full of some of the Yankees’ most promising prospects. Players like Mason Williams, Tyler Austin and Gary Sanchez gave the RiverDogs a potent lineup, but as they all moved up to Tampa and Dante Bichette, Jr. and Cito Culver struggled, Charleston fell short of the South Atlantic League playoffs with an overall record of 73-63, good for second in their division. Of course, in the strange way the playoffs are formatted in Single-A, the Southern Division actually saw the Rome Braves, owners of a 62-76 season-long record, make the postseason as they won the division in the second half. Charleston also played host to the 2012 SAL All-Star game. Pitchers Pedro Guerra and Bryan Mitchell represented the RiverDogs, along with Sanchez, Austin, Williams and Francisco Arcia.
The RiverDogs pitching put them a little above league average this season, with an overall ERA of 4.22 and a 1.40 WHIP. They only gave up 75 homers, tied for third lowest in the SAL and struck out 1117, which was good for fourth in the league. Starting pitching was not Charleston’s strong point, as the hurlers who made the most starts, Scottie Allen, Bryan Mitchell and William Oliver, each had ERA’s well over 4.00. The RiverDogs did see some strong performances out of the bullpen, including Nick Goody who had a 1.09 ERA over seventeen relief appearances.
While Charleston did not dominate the Sally League, as many expected, they still were a force to be reckoned with. As a team, Charleston hit .268/.334/.394. The RiverDogs’ lineup only struck out 979 times (third lowest in the league), however, they were not particularly adept at taking the free pass (412 walks). The impressive offensive performances were plentiful, with some of the Yankees best prospects spending time in Charleston this year. Unfortunately, just as glaring were the disappointing seasons had by Bichette and Culver. The latter continues to impress scouts defensively (despite his 22 errors), but it is hard to find anyone with much positive to say about his bat.
(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Looking back at the 2012 Charleston RiverDogs