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.
The Gahr, High School graduate started the 2015 season in the Florida State League and dominated hitters from the first pitch he threw to his final offering before his mid-season promotion. Faria was named starter of the Florida State League All-Star game and shined in his one inning of work just like he had during the first half of the 2015 season. Faria went 10-1 during the first half of the season with an ERA of 1.33 and WHIP of .98. Faria showed excellent control only walking 22 batters while striking out 63 in 74.1 innings of work. After being promoted to Double-A Montgomery, Faria has continued to shine. In 5 starts he is 2-2 with a 2.32 ERA and a WHIP of 1.06. Faria has struck out batters more frequently in AA, striking out 42 in just 31 innings of work. It had been truly a special season for Faria who hopes to continue to perform at a high level through out the rest of the 2015 season.
Like Faria, McKinney started his 2015 campaign at the Advanced-A level in Myrtle Beach. The outfielder whom was acquired by the Cubs along with Addison Russell caught fire at the plate. In the 29 games he spent at Myrtle Beach, McKinney hit .340 with a .976 OPS as he hit the ball to all fields hard. McKinney’s time at the beach did not last long as he was promoted to Double-A at only 20 years old. McKinney has continued to hit well, doing whatever it takes to help his team win games. In 58 games with the Tennessee Smokies, McKinney has hit .275 with a .741 OPS. He continues to be a tough player to strike out and has got on base at a .336 clip throughout his time in AA.
In his second season at the Double-A level, Ramirez has continued to improve all aspects of his game. Currently Ramirez is hitting .273 on the year up over .40 points from his first taste at this level. Ramirez continues to show power hitting 13 home runs on the season and is on pace to equal or match the 19 he hit in 2014. Ramirez earned a Southern League All-Star nod with his strong first half as he continues to work on his overall game and reduce his strike outs at the plate. The first baseman has got on base at a .353 clip and has an OPS of .807 on the season.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed Tony Thomas before the start of the 2015 season. The infielder has spent parts of the last seven seasons playing at the Double-A level and has been searching for the right opportunity to reach the major leagues. Assigned to Reading to start the season, Thomas struggled to find his stride and only hit .225 in 80 at bats. The Phillies let go of Thomas but just a few days later he found another opportunity just a few hours away in Erie, Pa. The Detroit Tigers signed Thomas and he has made the most of his opportunity. Penciled in the line up on a regular basis with the Seawolves, Thomas has hit .271 since coming to the team and has shown some power in his swing. In 133 at bats, Thomas has slugged seven home runs and has an OPS of .803.
A broken hamate bone sidelined Vettleson for a good portion of the first half of the 2015 season. Vettleson has only appeared in 48 games with the Harrisburg Senators this season and got off to a slow start. Recently Vettleson has began to swing the bat, hitting .270 in last 37 at bats. Vettleson is a plus defender in the outfield and in a recent game on July 20th against New Hampshire threw out two runners trying to score at home. Over the course of the season Vettleson is only hitting .214 with a OBP of .258 and OPS of just .568. Vettleson is looking for a solid second half as he continues to work back from the hamate injury which often causes a loss of power until fully healed.
The Pirates infielder got off to an extremely slow start in 2015 with the Altoona Curve. Gamache struggled to find his glove and bat to be in the lineup everyday with a crowded infield of prospects fighting for playing time. After a slow first month of the season, Gamache bat caught fire and has not cooled off. Gamache has seen time all over the diamond including third, second and first. When he is not in the field, Gamache has also seen his bat play at the DH spot. The infielder earned Double-A All-Star accolades and even won the Eastern League Home Run Derby at the event. Gamache is hitting .335 on the season and .444 in his last ten games. He has been getting on base at a high rate of .381 and his OPS sits at .845 on the season. Gamache has hit at every level he has been at and has a career .281 average in his five-year career.
Dodson got off to a hot start with the Altoona Curve to start the 2015 season. In one stretch he did not allow a run in over 18 innings of work. Dodson has improved his overall game during his second full year in Double-A. The left hander has attacked hitters and improved his control reducing the number of walks allowed to 1.8/9 innings. The reduction in walks has led to a WHIP of just 1.258 during the first half of the season. Dodson has gone 4-7 on the year while posting a 4.02 ERA on the season and needs to have a strong second half of the season to help the Curves current drive to the playoffs.
Like Gamache, Wood has been apart of a crowded infield in Altoona. Wood has appeared exclusively in the field at third base and has struggled to a .220 average in his first taste of Double-A action. At just 22 years old, Wood is young for the level and will most likely repeat Altoona next season. Wood has only got on base at a .283 rate and has not hit for much power, hitting just two home runs in 241 at bats.
Frankoff started his 2015 season at the Double-AA level in the Athletics organization. The reliever dominated while being a part of the Midland RockHounds bullpen. His dominating numbers earned a first half promotion to Triple-A Nashville. While with the sounds, Frankoff appeared in nine games and pitched in 10.2 innings. While holding batters to a .171 average, Frankoff allowed seven earned runs and was returned to Midland where he continued his domination in the bullpen. During his opportunities in Midland, Frankoff has a 1.19 ERA and has only allowed four earned runs in 30.1 innings out of the bullpen. Frankoff has also picked up 5 saves and has an impressive WHIP of just 0.89.
The Rockies acquired Ybarra near the start of the 2015 season in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. The left-handed reliever got off to a quick start but has struggled out of the bullpen in recent opportunities. In 23 games, Ybarra has struggled with his control walking 21 batters in 26.2 innings of work. He has struck out 29 hitters but the bases on balls has led to trouble for the southpaw. Hitters are hitting .308 against him while the walks have led to a 2.03 WHIP.
Bostick was in demand once again before the 2015 season began. The second baseman was dealt for the second off-season in a row and joined his new team the Washington Nationals. To begin the 2015 season, Bostick was assigned to the Potomac Nationals at the Advanced-A level. Bostick got off to a strong start in his second stint in the Carolina League, hitting .274 and getting on ba
se at a .344 percentage. Bostick’s strong play at the plate and in the field earned him a mid-season promotion to the Harrisburg Senators. In 34 games with the Nationals Double-A affiliate Bostick is hitting .223 as he adjusts to the new level of play.
The Mariners promoted Unsworth to the Jackson Generals their Double-A Southern League affiliate to start the 2015 season. The South African, looking to become the first player from his country to make the major leagues struggled out the gate with the Generals and was demoted back to the Advanced-A level. Unsworth got back on track heading back to the California League and pitched well in a league known for making pitchers look bad. Unsworth went 1-3 with a 3.32 ERA showing his excellent command and control and was promoted back up to Jackson in July. In his three starts since his promotion, Unsworth has only walked one batter in his 17 innings of work.