Now that we are starting the second half of the season at all levels of full season baseball we would like to take this time to get caught up to date on what all the players we have featured are up too. We have been updating readers all season long on top pitching and offensive performances on twitter and will continue to attempt to recognize these performances during the second half as well. In the mean time we wanted to recap each of our featured players first half performances.
The Pirates second baseman is one of the few infielders we have featured that has stayed healthy all year-long. Prior to being drafted by the Pirates, Gamache was used primarily as a 3rd baseman however the Pirates transitioned him to 2nd base during spring training. “Its a big adjustment” Gamache said earlier this season on the transition “Getting your footwork down, working on throws and positioning is the tough part but I’m learning each day”.
At the plate Gamache has been consistent all season long. He is currently hitting .270 and has been a big extra base hit producer for the West Virginia Power. Gamache has 24 doubles and four triples on the year and has also hit two home runs. As he continues to develop as a second baseman his consistency at the plate will play a key role in his development and advancement in the Pirates system.
Leonard started out this season in Arizona’s extended spring training program. With the start of the short season leagues he was once again assigned to the Missoula Osprey. Since his season began Leonard has struggled at the plate. In 26 games (83 At Bats) the infielder has only hit .181 and over his last ten games has only hit .080. His playing time has been reduced as he works on some adjustments.
As mentioned in this articles headline, injuries have been a problem for many of the infielders we have featured. Red Sox prospect Tony Thomas has spent two stints on the disabled list this season and he currently remains on the injured list. When Thomas has been healthy he has produced when given the opportunity. Over the course of his 154 at bats Thomas is hitting .240 and has hit seven home runs while driving in 21 runners. For the season Thomas has a .737 OPS but has not played since June 26th.
Colon has had a very solid season with the AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Over the course of the season the shortstop has played consistent baseball in the field as well as at the plate. With the bat Colon was hitting .290 with five home runs and 24 RBI’s when an injury struck. This injury caused Colon to miss the Texas League All Star Game. On July 16th, Colon began a rehab assignment with the Arizona League Royals and is currently hitting .364. It is only a matter of time before Colon is back with the Naturals and if his solid play continues may find himself in Omaha before the season is over.
The Braves have found themselves a true super utility man in Kleinknecht. He can literally play everywhere and he proved that this season before falling victim to an injury. With the AA Mississippi Braves, Kleinknecht has been called upon all over the diamond, including on the mound. “I honestly didn’t think I would get the opportunity to pitch in pro ball, it definitely has crossed my mind a few times but I never thought I would actually get the opportunity”. Kleinknecht said when we caught up to him a few days after the game. “Earning the win was a pretty cool feeling but honestly it was just nice to win after a 5 hour baseball game against a really good team whether I was pitching or not”.
Besides making if debut on the mound, Kleinknecht also made his debut behind the plate in a game, another position he had not experienced in professional baseball. Even though he never knows where he might be penciled in on the line up card Kleinknecht is always ready. Unfortunately he recently took a fastball of his hand during an at bat and has missed some time due to the injury. Before the injury he was hitting .219 on the season but was starting to swing a hot bat to go along with his solid play all over the field.
Wilson who was also injured during the first half of the season got off to an extremely slow start with the Tampa Yankees. After an aggressive promotion to the Yankees Advance A affiliate Wilson struggled to adjust with the bat. Since returning from his injury he has just done that. He has raised his average with sat around the mendoza line to .258 and over his last ten games is hitting at a .370 clip with a 1.152 OPS to go with it. Wilson looks to be putting together a strong second half of the season.
The Brewers 1st Baseman is yet another player who was injured during the first half of the season. Near the end of spring training he broke his hamate bone which kept him sidelined for the early part of the 2012 season. A broken hamate often saps power from a hitter and if that is the case with Ramirez, look for big things in the future. The Brewers prospect has hit for 11 home runs since his return while hitting .256 in 242 at bats. If Ramirez can increase his power production moving forward into the future look for him to be mentioned more often as the Brewers future starting 1st Baseman.
This concludes our look back at the first half of the 2012 season. Look for more great features on prospects from all around baseball including upcoming features on Texas Rangers prospect Luke Jackson and new Chicago Cubs draftee Josh Conway. You can follow us on twitter at @CTD_Sypien