With every league besides the short season teams now completing their All-Star classics we will take a level by level look at how the players we have featured have fared in the first half of the season.
After signing with Baltimore just as the season was set to begin, Wheeler quickly took the reins as the Frederick Keys closer and has been closing the door on Carolina League opponents all season long. Wheeler leads the entire Carolina League in saves and has converted 15 of his 16 save opportunities. In his 33 appearances he also has picked up 3 victories and currently holds a 2.88 ERA to go along with a 1.24 WHIP. Wheeler is also holding batters to a .188 average while striking out 47 in his 40.2 innings of work.
Wheeler’s teammate in Frederick has not had the success Wheeler has had this season, building off a successful 2014 season mostly with Delmarva, Rheault started the 2015 season in the Frederick Keys bullpen. In his 25 appearances he has served as a multiple innings reliever on most occasions pitching in 49.1 innings. Opposing hitters have hit the 6’9 right hander hard this season to the tune of a .306 average and Rheault has struggled with his command at times walking 29 while only striking out 17.
Conway returned to his college stomping grounds in 2015 when the Chicago Cubs assigned him to Myrtle Beach to start the 2015 season. Conway who starred as a starter just a few miles away at Coastal Carolina would have a new role in 2015 as the Cubs moved him to the bullpen to kick off the season. Conway struggled a bit to his new role to start the season but has since settled in and has improved as the year has progressed. He has made 22 appearances out of the Pelicans bullpen and is 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA. Over his last 10 appearances, Conway owns a 1.20 ERA and has only allowed two earned runs to cross the plate in those 15 innings. Conway has struggled a bit with his command throughout the season walking 21 batters in 33 innings of work.
Joining Conway in the Myrtle Beach bullpen to start the 2015 campaign was right-handed reliever James Pugliese. In 27 appearances, Pugliese has compiled a 4-2 record and also recorded five saves for the Pelicans. The New Jersey native has shown great control only walking 11 batters in 47.1 innings of work while also striking out 41. Until a recent appearance against Winston-Salem on July 8th, Pugliese had a 1.61 ERA to go with his current 1.16 WHIP. He allowed five runs in 2/3 of an inning which hiked up his ERA which currently sits at 2.47.
Its been an up and down season for the Pirates prospect. Dickson has put together some plus starts throughout the year but also has followed them up with some starts where he has been hit hard and has allowed four or more runs. Dickson has started 18 games this season and currently has a record of 8-5 with a 3.98 ERA. The lefty starter has struck out batters at a 6.1/9 inning rate which is the lowest number so far in his three-year career. Dickson has had a solid July so far only allowing two earned runs in his two starts covering ten innings.
The St Louis Cardinals signed Rowland before the start of the 2015 season and Rowland has pitched exclusively as a reliever in the Cardinals system. The Cardinals assigned Rowland to their Midwest League affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs to start the season. Rowland earned a trip to the Midwest All-Star game and was one of the best relief options in the entire league. In 28 games Rowland picked up 9 saves in his 41.1 innings of work. He held runners off the bases as opposing hitters hit just .208 against him and he also had an impressive WHIP of just 0.92. Shortly after making the final out on his teams side of the All-Star game Rowland was promoted to the Florida State League where he has just two appearances for the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Like Rowland, Rhoades also earned All-Star game honors for his first half performance with the Burlington Bees in the Mid-West League. In 15 starts, Rhoades went 5-5 with a 2.69 ERA while striking out 78 in 87 innings of work. Rhoades showed good control as evidenced by his 19 walks in 87 innings of work and kept the opposition off the bases with a WHIP of just 1.08. Rhoades earned a promotion shortly after the All-Star break and is now pitching in the hitter friendly California League. Rhoades is off to a good start as he went 6.1 innings of one hit baseball to earn his first win in a new league.
In his first full season of at the Advanced-A level of baseball Romero has put together some hot stretches followed by some cold ones. He currently sits on a hot stretch picking up 12 hits in his last 35 at bats (.343 AVG). Over the course of the season, Romero is hitting .267 but has not shown much power. Of his 89 hits only 11 have been for extra bases thus his OPS only sits at .663. Romero has continued to show good strike zone management and has still been a tough guy for opposing hitters to strike out. Romero has always hit for a high average so it will be interesting to see if he can turn his latest hot streak into a consistent streak.
Similar to Romero is his fellow Marlins prospect Mason Davis who has had some streaking hitting stretches as well. Davis is currently hitting .258 and like Romero shows a strong eye at the plate and is tough to strike out. Davis has also not flashed much extra base power this season as 13 of his 58 hits have went for extra bases. Davis OPS currently sits at .661 almost equal to that of Romero. The speedy Davis has picked up 15 steals on the year and is the threat to run anytime he gets on base.
The Former number one pick of the Texas Rangers has struggled to find his offense during his professional career. In 57 games with the Double-A Frisco Roughriders, Skole hit just .218 and over the course of his time at AA has just a .217 career average. Skole has always shown great plate discipline and strike zone awareness but has never hit for a high average. Midway through the first half of the season the Rangers dealt Skole to the Yankees in a minor trade. Skole was assigned to the Yankees Advanced-A team and has continued to struggle finding his stroke. In 14 games with the Tampa Yankees, Skole is just hitting .200 in his 40 at bats.
In 2014, Marra put together a solid season showing the ability to hit for average and some power as he learned his craft behind the plate at catcher. 2015 has been a different story for the Canadian backstop who has struggled throughout the season. Marra started the 2015 season at South Bend in the Midwest League but struggled with the bat to a tune of a .161 average also he did continue to show power hitting four home runs in his 14 hits. Marra was demoted back to the Cubs new short season team, the Eugene Emeralds and has continued to struggled at the plate hitting just .204 in his 17 games.