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The 2021 Tampa Tarpons are playoff bound (Photo by John Brophy / Pinstriped Prospects)

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Tarpons Notebook: Low-A Southeast Playoffs Bound!

The Yankees’ Low-A affiliate will face the Pirates’ Low-A affiliate in a best-of-5 playoff series this week, with the games on Tuesday and Wednesday are being played in Bradenton, an off-day Thursday, then the games on Friday through Sunday will be played in Tampa, with the Saturday and Sunday games being “if necessary”.  As I get into detail below, it should prove to be a good matchup.

Analyzing Bradenton’s recent performances

In their last 10 games, Bradenton is 4-6 and has lost the last 4 games, which were played in Lakeland.

In the last 30 days, Bradenton led the league in every offensive category (runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, and RBI), except for home runs, which was led by Tampa. Bradenton led the league in walks and they were tied for 9th (essentially last) in stolen bases. Bradenton had a league-best .779 OPS and was ranked 2nd in BA (.263).

Bradenton’s Catcher Endy Rodriguez led the league in OPS (1.101) and runs scored (24), was tied for the most RBI (27) and doubles (9) in 89 AB and had 2nd best BA (.359) and 2nd most hits (33).

Rodriguez was tied with most doubles with his teammate, 3B Jackson Glenn. Glenn is in the top 10 in the league in OPS with .864, and is 4th in the league with hits (28).

Most of the rest of the Bradenton roster is “middle of the pack” and doesn’t show any stand-out performance. That being said, it appears that their recent success is a team effort as opposed to showcasing individual success.

Analyzing Tampa’s recent performances

In their last 10 games, Tampa is 3-7 and has lost the last 2 games, which were played in Fort Myers. Compared to Bradenton however, they only played 4 of the 6 games scheduled as a result of excessive rain in Southwest Florida.

In the last 30 days, Tampa had the most home runs in the league, but had the least amount of hits. They were middle of the pack (tied for 5th) in runs scored and RBI. Tampa led the league in strikeouts and had the 2nd most stolen bases. Tampa had the league worst average (.258), but was 4th best in OPS (.745).

Tampa’s IF/OF (primarily 1B) Anthony Garcia led the league in home runs, which should be no surprise if you’ve been following the team of late.

The following is a video of a blast of a home run that was hit by Garcia on Sept. 15th in Fort Myers

Tarpons SS Trey Sweeney (Yankees’ 2021 1st round draft pick) has been on a tear in the last month, with a .280 avg, a .932 OPS and Sweeney has also hit 4 home runs in 19 games.

Tarpons CF Jasson Dominguez has been struggling a little bit in the past few weeks, but still holds a strong .275 avg and .840 OPS. To give an idea on his performance rut, Dominguez is tied for 5th in strikeouts, and in the last 15 days, Dominguez is 46th out of 56 league players ranked in OPS. It will prove interesting if Dominguez’s performance comes alive in the playoffs.

How the teams matchup

If we were to compare stats like ERA and opposing batting average, I’ll compare stats for the last 30 days to account for promotions made this year. Pitching seems to be relatively well matched between the two teams.

  • Tampa has an ERA of 5.94 (125 earned runs in 189.1 innings pitched) compared to Bradenton’s 5.14 ERA (125 earned runs in 219 innings pitched). Same number of runs given up, but Tampa had less time to do that, likely a result of all the rainouts and shorter games they’ve had. Tampa is 10th while Bradenton is 7th.
  • Tampa has a WHIP of 1.56 versus Bradenton’s 1.47. Tampa is ranked 9th  out of 10 teams and Bradenton is 7th.
  • Tampa’s opposing batting average is .238 versus .245 with Bradenton. Tampa is ranked 4th out of 10 teams and Bradenton is 6th.

Offensively speaking, it’s a little different. Keep in mind that there is a bit of disparity in innings between the two teams. Bradenton batted in 1,044 plate appearances (most in the league) whereas Tampa batted in 869 PA (2nd from last). 151 ABs over 30 days is a considerable difference, so please keep that in mind.

  • Tampa held a .225 batting average (last in the league) compared with Bradenton’s .258 (2nd best).
  • Tampa walked 105 times (6 out of 10 teams) versus 127 times with Bradenton.
  • Tampa’s BABIP (Batting Average Balls in Play) is .310 versus .319 with Bradenton.
  • Tampa held a .745 OPS (4th in the league) compared to Bradenton’s league best .779

This will be a bit more of a pitcher’s duel series than an offensively lopsided series, although Bradenton is a little bit better just looking at stats. Below, I will include a chart of team performances of those on the active roster and expected to play in the playoff series.

In their most recent series played together (which was only a few weeks ago), they split the 6 games, 3-3.

Tues. August 31: Bradenton W 19-7

Thurs. Sept. 2: Bradenton W 9-6

Fri. Sept. 3: Bradenton W 3-1; Tampa W 4-1

Sat. Sept. 4: Tampa W 6-4

Sun. Sept. 5: Tampa W 8-5

Looking ahead to the projected rotations

Tampa has faced several injuries in the weeks leading to the playoffs with Ryder Green getting a broken nose via a hit by pitch and Tyrone Yulie facing a knee injury that has both sidelined during the playoffs. Yulie would be the pitcher I would expect fans to see in the series opener, but instead I would expect it to be either Panacual, who was just promoted from the FCL to slot in for Yulie, or Abeyta who didn’t pitch in the previous series.

Here are the matchups I would expect:

Tuesday in Bradenton – Castaño @ Florencio

Wednesday in Bradenton – Abeyta @ Ortiz

Friday in Tampa – Jones @ Rodriguez

Saturday in Tampa (if necessary) – Hofmann @ Panacual (or Carela)

Sunday in Tampa (if necessary) – Garcia @ Munoz

 

 

Written By

Originally a native of Southern Connecticut, John has lived in the Tampa area since 2010 and has been a Tarpons fan since 2012. John is excited to bring you along as the Baby Bombers work their way up to The Bronx.

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