The 2011 Peoria Chiefs were not a very good baseball team, and based in part on that I did not expect much from Daytona in 2012. Unfortunately, I was apparently right. The Cubs’ High A franchise finished the year with an overall record of 58-74, the second worst in the league.

Surprisingly, however, the Cubs stacked up fairly well against the rest of the league in several key categories. They were right at the league average in terms of average age, so we can essentially dismiss that as being a significant factor for or against the Cubs. Their team OPS of .712 was good enough to finish fifth in the twelve team league, and their team WHIP of 1.354 ranked seventh.

So, if the Cubs were league average in age and ranked in the middle of the pack in both pitching and hitting, how did they finish near the bottom? In short, I don’t know. Their 64 home runs ranked next to last in the league (although their .381 SLG ranked fourth), but their league leading 201 steals and 50 triples should have largely offset that. And the Cubs were fourth in the league in terms of runs per game with 4.54. The pitching did allow 4.55 runs per game (ninth in the league), but even that should have resulted in a winning percentage close to .500. In fact, if we do the math for Daytona’s Pythagorean Winning Percentage based their 599 runs scored and 600 runs allowed we find they should have finished with a winning percentage of .499. That would have left the Cubs ranked sixth in the league, not next to last.

I think we can blame some of the Cubs’ struggles on the weather; they played in a lot of doubleheaders this season, and they had a lot of long breaks due to consecutive rain outs. That is not something any team will handle easily. Toss in a dose of bad luck and a sprinkling of bad defense (third most errors in the league), and I think we can make some guesses about what happened to those missing wins. Still, this team performed better than their final record showed. Despite anemic number in the wins column, Daytona actually had a decent year.

Scores From Yesterday

Tennessee – This game was tied at three at the end of the seventh, and it stayed tied at three until the top of the 15th. The Smokies won the marathon by a final of 7-3.
Daytona – Daytona wrapped up their season with a 3-2 home win.
Peoria – The Chiefs’ scored first but ultimately lost in ten innings by a final of 5-4.
Boise – Boise had Sunday off. They open the 2012 playoffs today at home against Yakima.

Performances of the Day

  • [Tennessee] Dae-Eun Rhee gave up a single run over six innings in his final start of the season, but a rough day by Tony Zych cost him a chance at the win.

  • [Tennessee] Fortunately for the Smokies, the bullpen was there to save the day. Brian Schlitter went to the mound late and did not leave for three innings. Casey Harmon followed that effort up with four shutout innings of his own.
  • [Tennessee] Junior Lake managed just one hit in this extra long game – a three run homer in the top of the 15th that gave the Smokies the lead for good. It was his tenth homer of the season.
  • [Tennessee] Matt Cerda does not get enough credit in this column. The smallish infielder had another three hit game on Sunday after which his average was .264. His OBP, on the other hand, was an impressive .394. In the second half of the season that number climbs to .408.
  • [Daytona] Javier Baez wrapped up his 2012 regular season by hitting two home runs. His fifth inning shot put the Cubs on the board and his seventh inning bomb tied up the game. He finished the season with four High A homers.

  • [Daytona] Ryan Searle allowed four hits over six innings and the Daytona bullpen threw three no hit innings to lock up the Cubs’ win.
  • [Peoria] Starling Peralta walked three, allowed three hits, and struck out eight in 5.1 innings of work.
  • [Peoria] Jorge Soler led the Chiefs with three hits, including his third home run … which you can see here, courtesy of BN’er Jeremy.
  • [Peoria] Pin-Chieh Chen stole two more bases and now has 36 for the season.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Ronald Torreyes‘s 2012 season could be subtitled ‘A Tale of Two Halfs.’ In the the first half of the season he hit a very disappointing .221/.284/.302. In the second half, however, we got to see the impressive hit tool that has made him a prospect worth following. His second half line finished at .302/.364/.459.
  • Two Daytona Cubs made the 2012 Florida State League All-Star Team. Right handed starting pitcher Matt Loosen joined speedy center fielder John Andreoli on the roster. Loosen currently projects as a possible No 3 starter in the majors, and Andreoli has potential in center or as a fourth or fifth outfielder. Both players should advance to Tennessee to start next season.

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