State College Spikes 2011 Season Recap: Hitters

The hitting in State College was weak for the first half of the 2011 season.  Then in the second half the team added Alex Dickerson, and saw Wes Freeman take off, giving them two power bats in the middle of the lineup.  The rest of the lineup was mostly built around speed, with a lot of the outfielders from the 2011 draft making their pro debuts at the level.  Here is a rundown of all of the players in State College this year, broken down by age group.

2011 State College Spikes: Hitters
2011 State College Spikes: Pitchers
2011 State College Spikes: Top 10 Prospects

This is normally the list where you find the top prospects at the level.  A lot of these guys were promoted from the Gulf Coast League at the end of the year, and didn’t spend much time in State College.  I’d expect Jose Osuna, Alen Hanson, Willy Garcia, and Gregory Polanco will be full time starters in State College next year.

Exicardo Cayonez and Jorge Bishop were both highly regarded international prospects at the start of the year, coming off good seasons in the GCL.  Cayonez was completely overmatched at the plate in State College, and the results for Bishop weren’t much better.  Both players ended up being demoted back to the GCL early in the season.

None of the other players really stood out.  Junior Sosa had some speed, but is a free swinger at the plate.  Ashley Ponce showed some good defense at shortstop, along with some speed, but didn’t do much with the bat.  Walker Gourley struggled on both sides of the game.  Dan Gamache was a sixth round pick this year, and was coming off an injury, so there’s a chance that his stats don’t reflect his talent level.  He was moved to second base, where his bat plays better when healthy.

Alex Dickerson hit for a .313 average in State College.

The standouts from this group were Alex Dickerson and Wes Freeman.  Dickerson joined the team in late July, after signing in the middle of the month as a third round pick in the 2011 draft.  He displayed some nice power, mostly with doubles, although I did see him crush a home run at State College to right field which would have probably been a river shot at PNC Park.  It will be interesting to see if he moves up to Bradenton next year.

Wes Freeman started off slow, with a .169/.197/.237 line and a 35.6% strikeout rate prior to July 23rd.  He changed his approach, attacking the fastball whenever it was thrown, and the approach obviously worked, as he had a monster second half, including a .381 average in August, with a 1.006 OPS and a 22.7% strikeout rate.  His hot streak was self fulfilling.  He started off attacking the fastball, and once pitchers found they couldn’t throw him a fastball, they started relying on breaking pitches, which led to him seeing more favorable breaking balls, which led to him hitting more breaking balls and keeping his numbers up.  His walks were low, but that was because he was hitting anything that was thrown close to the zone.

Taylor Lewis didn’t have the best numbers, but he’s got a lot of speed, which he displayed in the form of seven triples and 16 stolen bases.  His arm might not cut it for center field, but he has the range for the position.  He would be a nice top of the order prospect if he can improve his hitting skills.  His K/BB ratios show that he wasn’t really overmatched at the plate, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a better average out of him going forward.

Rodarrick Jones joined the team late in the season after signing as a 37th round draft choice.  He didn’t have the best numbers, but he was impressive at the plate from what I saw, making good contact and hitting the ball where it was pitched, which allowed him to hit to all fields.  He fell seven at-bats shy of being eligible for our top ten list in State College, a list he would have made.

Samuel Gonzalez had a good year at the plate, which is always nice to see from a catching prospect.  He doesn’t have the best defense, but he’s definitely a prospect, showing some nice plate patience.

Alex Fuselier didn’t have the best year at the plate, but showed some nice skills with a good arm out of right field, and some nice speed and base running skills.

The only player from this group that is still in the organization is Carlos Mesa.  He was signed out of Cuba just prior to the season, and put up decent results considering his background and lack of pro ball experience.  He’s got a big frame and a strong arm, making him an interesting right field prospect.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Wrapping Up the 2011 West Virginia Power Season

Next Story »

State College Spikes 2011 Season Recap: Pitchers

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    18 hours ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    2 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    3 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    5 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    6 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    7 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles