It was another disappointing season for Low-A Lexington, as they had a losing record (52-87, worst in the South Atlantic League).
My choice for Player of the Year is catcher Xavier Fernandez. In 92 games, he hit .259 with 15 doubles, nine home runs, and 42 RBIs in his first full season (he spent his first three years in rookie ball). Outside of his batting average, all of his offensive numbers were career highs.
The thing I like best about Fernandez is that he puts the ball in play: just 51 strikeouts in 328 at-bats (compared to 30 walks).
While Chase Vallot was the big name expected to catch more, Fernandez took advantage of the extra playing time due to Vallot’s injuries and defensive issues behind the plate. Fernadez threw out 37% of base stealers, though he did commit eight errors and had ten passed balls. However, he caught 597.2 innings, about 300 more innings than he had previously caught in a season.
None of the Legends starting pitchers finished with a winning record and four had ten or more losses.
Lefty Emilio Ogando led the Legends in innings pitched with 132.2 innings, starting 20 of his 25 appearances in his second straight season in Lexington. He had a respectable 3.80 ERA at hitter-friendly Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
Ogando allowed less hits than innings pitched (126 hits and a .249 opponents batting average), but 14 left the ballpark (tied for fifth in the South Atlantic League in home runs allowed). However, he walked just 35 and struck out 130 (tenth most in the SAL).
Both Fernandez and Ogando are participating in instructional league in Arizona.
*Tomorrow I will reveal my Players and Pitchers of the Year for the three rookie level teams.