The 2014 RiverDogs season was a success, finishing with a 71-69 record but missing out on the playoffs. Success in the minor leagues isn’t just based on winning games, it’s developing talent and the RiverDogs had a ton of that this summer.
First off one of the Yankees 2013 first round picks played the first half of the season with Charleston. Outfielder Aaron Judge was named a Sally League All-Star and put up huge numbers in 65 games. Judge swatted nine home runs and drove in 45 with a .333/.428/.530 slash line. Judge was promoted to High A Tampa after the All-Star game.
Another fast riser that spent some time in Charleston this summer was Luis Severino. Severino made 14 starts and pitched to a 2.79 ERA in 67.2 innings pitched while striking out 70. Severino was 3-2 in those games and had a 1.14 WHIP. Severino was promoted to High A Tampa and then again to Double A Trenton.
Another player who ended up being promoted after starting with the RiverDogs was Mike Ford. The undrafted free agent signee out of Princeton was the middle of the order force playing first base and was another All-Star on the RiverDogs. Ford powered 11 home runs out of the park with Charleston and had a .283/.381/.443 slash line in 93 games. He had 92 hits on the year and on a May evening he had four home runs in one game making history for Charleston before he was sent to Tampa.
Brady Lail was the teams third All-Star and started 18 games and threw 97 innings. Lail went 8-4 with a 3.71 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and struck out 95 batters for the 2012 18th round draft pick out of a Utah High School. Lail like his All-Star counterparts was promoted and joined Tampa and continued his good season.
The last of the teams All-Star’s was Caleb Smith, a 2013 14th round prospect out of Sam Houston State. Smith threw 18 starts and threw 78.1 innings while going 5-7 with a 3.10 ERA. Smith struck out 80 and had a 1.21 WHIP before, like his counter parts, was promoted to Tampa.
Michael O’Neill spent the whole season in Charleston and did not disappoint. The 2013 third rounder out of Michigan led the team with 42 stolen bases. O’Neill, the nephew of Yankee great right fielder Paul O’Neill, also hit a bit this year having a good all around season. O’Neill played in 129 games and claimed a .256/.333/.384 slash. He also jacked 10 home runs and batted in 57 while scoring 80 runs.
2013 second round infielder prospect Gosuke Katoh spent the whole season in Charleston after spending 2013 in the GCL where he was an All-Star. Katoh, who was 19 this season finished the season strong after a rough start which included a 15 game hit streak and a 23 game on base streak. Katoh had a .222/.345/.326 slash with three homers and 37 RBI in 121 games and 383 at bats.
Miguel Andujar had a great season on the infield. The 19 year old hit .267/.318/.397 with 10 home runs and 70 RBI in 127 games. Andujar had 129 hits in 484 at-bats and scored 75 runs.
Other notables were Tyler Wade who played a good short stop for 129 games while Abi Avelino battled injuries and only played 53 games. Conor Mullee dominated in a small sample, 16.2 innings at the end of the season, out of the bullpen after being promoted from Staten Island.
They may not have made the playoffs but the players who came through Charleston this season have a great chance of doing big things in the very near future. With so many youngsters on the team this year, a couple of which were 19 years old, it was really fun to watch them work and get through a full season for the first time.