Savannah Sand Gnats week in review
The Savannah Sand Gnats are already establishing themselves as a streaky team early in the season. After winning the season opener, they promptly lost five in a row, but now find themselves in the midst of a four game winning streak and a .500 record.The Sand Gnats have utilized 7 starters in 10 games and should continue to have two or three pairs who pitched on the same day and swap between starting and relieving for the foreseeable future. Yohan Almonte has put together two good performances thus, while Greg Peavy was fantastic in his first start, but not quite as good in his second. However, the guy that has stood out the most has been Chase Huchingson. The 6’5’’ lefty has been a pleasant surprise, giving up no runs while striking out 12 and walking 1 in over 8 innings of work this season. After some hype Erik Goeddel has been mediocre, but for a guy with his caliber of stuff, results 3 appearances into his professional career shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Ryan Fraser and Taylor Whitenton have also faired well, and Ronny Morla has been a pleasant surprise coming out of the bullpen.Offensively, Sam Honeck has come out of nowhere to steal the show from the top prospects in the Savannah lineup. While 10 games is still a small sample size, Honeck is hitting .500 and slugging .763, while driving in 11 runs. During the offseason, I identified over 100 prospects in the organization worth keeping an eye on, and Honeck was not one of them, so this is truly surprising, and should be exciting to see if it continues. Cory Vaughn is second behind Honeck in average at .286, but he is also averaging a strikeout per game. The rest of the team has struggled to get going offensively so far. Javier Rodriguez already has 5 extra-base hits, but is still only batting .200. Wilfredo Tovar has an identical average, although surprisingly the little guy has hit 3 doubles, more than anyone else besides Honeck. Robbie Shields remains below the Mendoza line. The athletic Alonzo Harris has struggled to hit in his second go around in the South Atlantic League, but he should see consistent playing time with Darrell Ceciliani hurt. Most disappointing of all is Aderlin Rodriguez, the top power hitter in the farm system behind Lucas Duda, who has 10 strikeouts and 3 hits this season, giving him a .086 average. Luckily, this is just a small sample size, and with the current four-game winning there are signs from a few guys of breaking out.