Hitter of the Week
2019 Season: 18 G, 66 AB, .318/.373/.636, 21 H, 6 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 5 BB, 19 K, 1/1 SB, .364 BABIP
Week: 6 G, 23 AB, .348/.375/.739, 8 H, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 0 BB, 6 K, 0/0 SB, .400 BABIP
Joe Genord was drafted in the ninth round of the 2019 MLB Draft and signed for $10,000, meaning that the rest of the $154,600 slot value could be allocated to Matthew Allan. He was drafted out of the University of South Florida, where he holds many of the Bulls’ records for offense. In his four-year career there, he had a cumulative .291/.382/.528 in 204 games. He was solid in his first freshman and sophomore years, but really picked things up starting in his junior year. He hit .306/.394/.633 that year, leading the team in batting average, doubles, and home runs and was eventually drafted by the Dodgers, in the nineteenth round of the 2018 MLB Draft. He ended up not signing with them and returned to the University of South Florida, where he hit .333/.446/.618 in his senior year, leading the Bulls in batting average, doubles, and home runs for a second consecutive season.
Genord is currently is leading the Cyclones in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, doubles, and home runs- basically every possible offensive category. I have no doubt that he ends the season leading the team in slugging and home runs- he’s really the only power hitter the team has- but I’m not so sure about batting average and on-base percentage. I feel that the bat speed is a bit slow. “Slider bat speed” combined with his long, uppercutty swing is not a recipe for success. When he connects with a pitch on the sweet spot, he can send it a long way, I don’t know how much longer he’ll be able to keep making regular contact. It might not become a problem this season, since he’s still facing New York-Penn League competition, which in some ways is probably below the competition level he faced in the NCAA ACC conference, but almost definitely next season, when he presumably is promoted to Columbia or maybe even St. Lucie. The pitchers there are going to be throwing harder and are going to be spinning better breaking balls. Genord was never a big strikeout guy, but I think better pitchers will be able to exploit his swing. He was never a player that drew an outrageous amount of walks, either, so if he does start striking out at a high rate, he may not be able to mask it by drawing walks at a comparatively high rate.
Pitcher of the Week
2019 Season: 15 G (15 GS), 74.1 IP, 75 H, 28 R, 28 ER (3.39 ERA), 20 BB, 87 K, .372 BABIP
Week: 1 G (1 GS), 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
Smith was drafted by the Mets last season, selected in the seventh round of the 2018 MLB Draft and given an overslot $222,300 bonus to sign with the team. He was drafted out of the University of Georgia, where manager Scott Stricklin used him as a starter and reliever. In his three years there, he posted a cumulative 4.17 ERA in 170.0 innings, allowing 165 hits, walking 77, and striking out 186. He was assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones after signing with the Mets last year and posted a 0.76 ERA in 23.2 innings there, mostly out of the bullpen. The Mets decided to see how he’d fare as a starter this year, and the results have been excellent. His 3.39 ERA for the season is seventeenth in the league and his 87 strikeouts are seventh. Along with Tony Dibrell and Kyle Wilson, the trio have formed a very potent 1-2-3 combination for St. Lucie this season.
A lot of Smith’s success comes from his arm slot. He throws from a very low, almost sidearm angle, which is tough on right-handers, and death on left-handed hitters. He’s not all smoke-and-mirrors, either, as the fastball sits in the high-80s-to-low-90s and has touched as high as 94 MPH in the past. He complements it with a big, sweepy slider that sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s that’s a weapon against left-handed hitters- though he is able to command it well enough to backfoot it to righties as well- and a changeup in the mid-70s-to-low-80s that is mainly used against right-handed hitters, giving him a solid three pitch mix.
The starter experiment has worked out pretty well so far, but in the end, Smith is probably better suited as a left-handed specialist. This season, left-handers are hitting .234/.289/.273 against him, as opposed to right-handers, who are hitting .284/.333/.403. Last season, he was used in a different role and pitched about a third as many innings as he has so far this season, but the results were similar: left-handers hit .083/.080/.083 off of him while right-handers hit .189/.267/.264.
Past Players of the Week
Week One (April 4-April 13): Travis Taijeron/Chris Flexen
Week Two (April 14-April 20): Ronny Mauricio/Harol Gonzalez
Week Three (April 21-April 27): Danny Espinosa/Anthony Kay
Week Four (April 28-May 4): Will Toffey/Tommy Wilson
Week Five (May 5-May 11): Carlos Gomez/Harol Gonzalez
Week Six (May 12-May 18): Patrick Mazeika/Anthony Kay
Week Seven (May 19-May 25): Mark Vientos/Anthony Kay
Week Eight (May 26-June 1): Travis Taijeron/Harol Gonzalez
Week Nine (June 2-June 8): N/A
Week Ten (June 9-June 15): Ronny Mauricio/Chris Mazza
Week Eleven (June 16-June 22): Dilson Herrera/Michel Otanez
Week Twelve:(June 23-June 29): Luke Ritter/Thomas Szapucki