2022 West Virginia Alleghenies Batter Review

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Updated: January 18, 2016

West Virginia was supposed to do better in 2022 than the 80-82 record they ended up with.  Especially since the season before they made the playoffs, but it wasn’t meant to be in 2022.  The team also got a new GM 3/4’s way through the season which had some people worried.  That GM is Greg Abcarian and former GM of the Dayton Flyers and fans thought that maybe he wouldn’t be too dedicated to the Alleghenies.  Well with the changes he implemented instantly that alleviated the fans concerns.  Here is a review of the players that appeared in the PEBA for the Alleghenies in 2022.

BATTERS (starting with most AB)

Brad Davis – What can one say about Brad Davis?  The man can hit and hit the ball a mile.  This season he finished with a .311/.387/.552 batting line and that earned him a 4 year 50 million dollar extension.  For most of the season he played 1st base, but when the team added free agent Dean Bailey, Brad moved to DH.  Next season it is expected that he will split time between 1b/DH.

Don Mercer – Like Mr. Davis, Don hits the ball a ton.  This season he hit .306/.381/.528 and just missed 100 RBI by 2.  The team though so highly of him they gave him a 4 year 63 million dollar extension.  Don Mercer will be patrolling LF once again.

Barton MaClugash – Barton played in a 143 games this year, but wasn’t in the lineup for his bat which he hit .254/.348/.384.  His specialty is defense and with no real CF in the 2022 season, they needed stability in RF.  His future on the team is most likely as a 4th/5th OF with Moreno almost ready to step into RF.

Fernando Moreno – Fernando was a top prospect entering the season, so the team put him out in the field for 123 games.  He found that hitting in the PEBA is nothing like hitting in the minors as he put up a paltry .227/.247/.363.  As punishment and rookie hazing the team made him watch the first 2 seasons of 227.  The team is expected to let him start again next season unless he has a complete disaster of a spring training.

Luis Gonzalez –  Luis is a very consistent player, showing nothing too fancy, but doing the fundamentals just right.  He did things well enough to appear in 131 games and get 435 AB for the Alleghenies.  In those AB’s he hit .280/.322/.379 while last year in about 80 more AB’s he hit .284/.333/.434.  The team loves his defense and versatility, but with so many OF’s they are not sure where he fits in this season and they may have to send him down to start the year because of the bringing back of Barton.

Justin Smith – Justin was the beneficiary of injuries and cut players and it led to him getting 130 games and 409 AB’s.  He hit .249/.311/.445 which were pretty much about on average for his career.  While he did hit 19 hr’s, 13 of those were in April and May and by the time September came around Justin had found himself on the end of the bench and discontent.  With him being arbitration eligible the team let him leave as a free agent.

Mike Herr – Mr. Herr is the quintessential utility guy.  He can play all 4 IF positions adequately and while he doesn’t hit too well, he isn’t an automatic out either.   In 340  AB, he ended up hitting only .235/.298/.356 which can be blamed on June and July.  Herr played a lot of SS until Prado was signed and given the job as an audition.  This season Mr. Herr is expected to be a utility IF and nothing more, but you never know with him.

Derrick Dwyer – Derrick started the year in AAA, but was called up in mid-July to stay the rest of the season as the starting 2b.  While Derrick didn’t do too poorly in the field, like Moreno he struggled at the plate.  He hit just over the Mendoza line at .208/.285/.280.  While that would discourage most teams from counting on him, the Alleghenies have told him that they are behind him 100% as he is only 23 and they think much better things will come in the near future.

Cisco Rivera – Cisco got into 82 games this year because of injuries to Ray Tuff.  While Cisco is known as a great pitch caller, he has the bat of a minor leaguer.  While in the minors Cisco always did well and most people thought it would translate by now in the majors.  Unfortunately he hit only .187/.249/.318 in 2022 and that is on track from his previous year.  The potential for a break out season is still there and because of that Cisco will once again be the back this year and probably getting 70 starts again.

Ray Tuff – Ray had a season full of injuries which limited him to only 84 games and 281 PA’s.   In that limited time he threw out over 60% of would be base stealers and also hit 17 hr while batting .228/.306/.456.  The team had hoped that Ray could catch 120 games last year and they think that if he had that the Wild Card spot would have been theirs.  This season the team is expecting another good season from Ray and hoping the injury bug stays away.

Brett Curry – Speaking of injuries, Brett was injured in June and never made it back onto the field again.  He was having a decent season at the plate hitting .286/.353/.485 in 68 games and 262 AB’s.  Then on June 18 versus Dayton, he tore his calf muscle running the bases.   If Brett is all healed he is going to be the everyday 3b once again and the team will put a lot responsibility on him at the plate.  The one thing that Brett slacked on was his fielding last year and the team hopes that he works on it in the off season.

Masaki Shimizu – Masaki was the starting 2b for a while and did an awful job at it and when he got hurt again in late August the team cut him.  In 65 games and 222 AB’s he batted .212/.219/.333.  With Masaki getting close to his mid 30’s his time in PEBA may be coming to an end.

Ricardo González – Ricardo got his break in 2022 when Brett Curry was injured running the bases.  When he first came up he hit the ball with authority to the tune of a .916 OPS, but when September came he could only muster up a .509 OPS.  In the end he hit .230/.281/.396 and finds himself at a crossroads.  If he has a good spring training he will be the first IF off the bench to give the starters a rest, but if he doesn’t he is most likely destined back to AAA for a little more seasoning.

Júlio Olivares – Olivares was penciled in as the teams starting 1b when Brad Davis was either DH’ing or on the bench for a rest (which did not happen in 2022).  While he did get a bulk of time in May and June and put up average numbers then, he only has 13 AB in July and August.   With GM Abcarian coming in he decided to cut Olivares and when he the team signed Dean Bailey.

Ed Jones –  Ed was the Alleghenies starting SS for the first 3 months of the season.  He didn’t bat so well hitting a measly .219/.287/.296, but he was more than above average on the field.  The team decided to cut ties with Ed before GM Abcarian took over as the rumor was had GM Abcarian taken over sooner, Ed would have finished the year with the Alleghenies.

Dean Bailey – Dean had been a free agent all season until the last days of August when GM Abcarian got him to agree on a 2 year contract for a very cheap price considering his past history.  During Dean’s 27 game tryout with the Alleghenies, Dean showed why he is one of the most respected hitters in the PEBA, putting up a .324/.373/.618 line.  That line has the fans and the team very excited for the team to have Dean for the complete season.

Kevin Arnold – Kevin like Dean was signed late in the season for a tryout to see what he could do.  Kevin in his earlier years (2017-2020) at Lupin showed great promise and potential, but in 2021 he hit a wall and in 2022 he couldn’t gain traction and was released.  After coming to the Alleghenies, Kevin didn’t do too much to bring in excitement to his future with the team, but management still wanted to bring him back and have told him this spring training is very key to him and to his future.  If he fails to impress he is out of options and maybe out of chances to show that he can be a useful part of a PEBA team.

Héctor Prado – Héctor was claimed off waivers from Amsterdam in early September with the idea of him stepping in at starting SS (see a theme about that position?).   While in the past he never was much of a hitter, in 2022 Héctor it seemed learned to finally hit.  He ended up with a .309/.354/.364 batting line and was pretty even for both places he played last year.  The problem was his defense at SS was a bit below average and that doesn’t fit into GM Abcarian’s vision it would seem.  It also appeared that his time would be at an end for the Alleghenies when he wasn’t offered arbitration, but then the team decided to then give him a 2 year deal  for $1,718,000 (2nd year being team option).

En-guo Guao – En-guo career took a downward spin when he broke his elbow in 2019 and by the time 2022 started the only reason he was on the team was due to his enormous contract and the team not wanting to pay him for being a free agent.  There isn’t much else to say except one day he should thank the Alleghenies for 30 million dollars he got in 3 years for 366 AB’s.

Lowell Peterson – Lowell was another late free agent signing with the concentration if he did well he would be brought back to help out in 2023.  His performance didn’t nothing to impress (.194/.242/.387) and the fact that he is older in years, the team decided to let him go.   While there is very little chance he comes back to the Alleghenies, the team would be very surprised if he doesn’t sign on with another team.

Will Dupre – Dupre was a late season addition due to injuries and is thought of as nothing much of a bench backup.  The team hopes to keep him around as a backup and a starter in AAA, but only time will tell.

Mike Martin – Mike was brought up in August from the minors for a trial for the future.  He had been with the Alleghenies for a few years, but GM Abcarian wanted to see what he could do on the field.  So the team put him in the starting spot at 2b and within the first month while hitting well, but ended up tearing his thumb ligament.  The team decided that even though he did well in his 8 games, it just wasn’t enough to keep him on and ended up releasing him.  His future may be just as minor league fodder now.

Bryan Fairholme – Bryan is a former first round pick would probably wish that 2022 never happened.  He had a horrendous showing in AAA (.185/.263/.275) and when he finally got to the Alleghenies he could only get into 11 games and had 21 AB (.286/.400/.333).  This might be his last chance to show what he has for the Alleghenies and the new manager seems to think he has some ability too.  With 1 option year left though and a lot of OF’s on the Alleghenies, even a great Spring Training doesn’t guarantee a spot.

Reid Wood – Reid Wood only had a few at bats and is considered nothing more than a minor leaguer, but the team keeps him around due to his loyalty and consistency.   The team does think in the future that Reid will make a great coach.

The Rest:  Lou Martin, Mike Arnopp, Karl Fuller – None of these guys are still around and combined they had 18 AB total.

So what will happen in 2023?  No one knows, but team has been said to be trying to upgrade CF and SS with even a remote possibility in finding a new RF.  The Alleghenies might not have all the pieces in order to be a 100 win team, but they definitely think with these players that they can definitely make the playoffs.

 

Stay Tuned for the review of the 2022 Pitchers from the Alleghenies.