The Lookouts won their final series of 2016 but just barely missed the playoffs after Montgomery made a late surge into first place, relegating Chattanooga to the off season. Season over or not, it’s never too late to honor the top performances of the last set of games for the year, specially when the team took a series win from the First Half Champion and playoff-bound Jackson Generals.
Third Star – Aaron Slegers
The Lookouts depended on Aaron Slegers to be a steady force in their rotation all season, and the towering right hander did not disappoint all overall or in his final outing. Slegers threw seven shutout innings and allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out seven. The righty ended the year as the team leader in games started, innings pitched, strikeouts and wins after improving to 10-7 against Jackson.
Second Star – Felix Jorge
Jorge may not have dominated Generals batters with big strikeout totals, but he finished the year with fabulous results anyway. The midseason call-up capped his 2016 with a nine-inning complete game and allowed just one run in the process. In his 11 starts with Chattanooga, Jorge never threw less than five innings and showed supreme command with just 12 walks in 74.1 innings pitched.
First Star – Niko Goodrum
After starting the year on the disabled list and having many ups and downs after returning to game action, Niko Goodrum unquestionably saved his best for last. In the five games against Jackson to close the season. Goodrum hit .556 with 10 hits in 18 at bats. Three of those hits were for extra bases with two doubles and a homer, with Goodrum driving in two and scoring four runs himself as well. If that wasn’t enough, Niko stole a trio of bases without being caught stealing. Just to put it all in perspective, Goodrum entered the series with a .244 season batting average through roughly half of the year. When the season came to an end, he was hitting .275.
Honorable Mention: DJ Hicks plagued Jackson’s pitching staff in nearly every game between the Lookouts and Generals and went out still haunting them with eight hits in 19 at bats, two runs scored and three RBI. Kohl Stewart also came off the Disabled List for a final start in 2016 and threw a six inning quality start.
Just because the season is over doesn’t mean the coverage of the Lookout season at All Aboard is too. Stop back in next week for the 2016 All Aboard Award Series recapping the season while honoring the Lookouts players that truly stood out in 2016 Southern League action.
The Lookouts came up huge in their last series, beating the Montgomery Biscuits three games to two and taking a one game lead in the playoff race between the two teams. Let’s take a look at the three biggest performances in the series that put the Lookouts in control of their own playoff destiny with fourteen games to play in the 2016 regular season.
Third Star – Ryan Eades
Eades began the 2016 season as one of the Lookouts five starters but got reassigned to bullpen duty when the Twins assigned a trio of young arms to the Lookouts rotation early in the second half. Ryan showed that perhaps he’s worthy of a return to starting in a spot start assignment against the Biscuits Saturday. The righty went six innings while allowing just two base runners (one hit, one walk) and no runs while striking out four. Eades is 1-0 with 11.2 innings without an earned run surrendered in August with a 15/2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Second Star – Kohl Stewart
Kohl Stewart showed signs of progression in the Southern League yet again with a strong eight inning outing against Montgomery. The Native-Texan surrendered a lone run on five hits and struck out five batters to improve to 7-6. Stewart has gotten improved results in his latest starts going 5-2 in his last seen with a 2.08 ERA in 43.2 innings during that span.
First Star – Stephen Gonsalves
Stephen Gonsalves’ impressive start to Double-A ball in the second half of the season cannot be overstated so far. The lefty dazzled in the game opener against the Biscuits carrying a no-hitter through six innings before being pulled because of an elevated pitch count. He has K’ed 78 batters in 65.2 innings pitched across 11 starts for the Lookouts, capped by 6 in a quality start Monday, allowed just one earned run in his last 27 innings pitched, and has held Southern League batters to a .163 average in 221 total at bats.
The Lookouts put the finishing touches on a dominant season series against the Birmingham Barons, Monday, winning 5-2. The victory moved Chattanooga to 14-6 against Birmingham in 2016, with series wins in all four five game sets. Let’s take a look at the top performances that put the icing on the cake for the Lookouts in Birmingham this past week.
Third Star – Aaron Slegers
Aaron Slegers improved to 9-6 on the season with a strong outing and a win on Saturday. The righty threw seven innings, allowing just six hits and a run while striking out five and walking none. After his latest start and David Hurlbut’s call-up to Triple-A, Slegers leads the Lookouts in games started (21), innings pitched (119.2), strikeouts (85) and wins (nine).
Second Star – Stephen Gonsalves
One of the Lookouts youngest pitchers continued to be their most dominant when Stephen Gonsalves started and finished the series opener, Thursday. Gonsalves threw a nine-inning complete game with just three hits and one unearned run surrendered. He also struck out eight raising his K totals to 63 in 53.2 innings pitched or a 10.6 strikeouts-per-nine innings. Gonsalves earned his fifth win with his latest gem (5-1) and lowered his Southern League batting average against to .186.
First Star – Stuart Turner
Turner is renown for his talent behind the plate, even getting voted the best defensive catcher in the Southern League by Baseball America this year, but it’s at the plate where he really stood out this series. Stuart went 10-for-16 (.625) with five doubles against the Barons with four runs and five driven in. The performance raised his season batting average by 25 points and his slugging percentage by 37. His .579 batting average since fellow backstop Mitch Garver was called up August 9th has been huge for a Lookouts team left with a lot of questions on offense without Garver’s 60+ RBI or Daniel Palka’s power (both now in Triple-A Rochester).
Honorable Mention: Zach Granite had just six hits against the Barons but half of them were triples and all six did damage on the scoreboard, as the speedy centerfielder drove in seven and scored four times himself. He also stole four bases in Birmingham to raise his season total to 43, just one off the Southern League lead.
The Lookouts dropped a tough series to the Jacksonville Suns three games to two after falling in the series finale 3-0 yesterday. But just because they didn’t win the series, it doesn’t mean the team was short of impressive performances. Let’s take a look at the best of the best in this weeks Three Stars of the Series.
Third Star – Kohl Stewart
The Twins 1st round pick from 2013 has shown growth in each of his Southern League starts, culminating in his eight inning gem in the second game of the series. Stewart gave up seven hits but spread them well over his eight frames, as just two Suns came home to score. Stewart has received a decision in every game since his Lookouts debut, earning his sixth win Saturday (6-5). He is 4-1 in his last five starts with a 1.74 ERA in 31 innings pitched during that stretch.
Second Star – Ryan Walker
Ryan Walker was a force at the plate for the Lookouts in the last series. The infielder accounted for half of the runs Chattanooga scored in the five games against the Suns with two runs scored and three driven in. Walker hit .375 (6-for-16) against Jacksonville, is hitting .290 on the season, .385 in August and .310 in the second half.
First Star – Omar Bencomo
Bencomo has been shuttled back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen and has handled the shifting roles admirably, particularly in his last few outings. The RHP threw seven innings in his spot start against the Suns and allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out five. Adding that to the one run performance he had taking over for Aaron Slegers in a resumed game last series, Bencomo is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in his last two appearances (13 innings pitched, seven hits and one run allowed).
Honorable Mention: Zack Jones continued a dominant return to Chattanooga with 3.1 innings of one run ball out of the bullpen against the Suns, striking out six batter in the process.
10 straight series. That’s how many consecutive series victories the Lookouts have. They haven’t lost a five game set in two months, after winning a pitcher’s duel rubber match against the Mobile Bay Bears 3-1 yesterday. Let’s take a look at the top Lookouts’ performances that led to the wins this week in Three Stars of the Series.
Third Star – Mitch Garver
Garver has been a force behind the plate and at it all year for the Lookouts. Mitch caught two runners stealing in the final game of the series, a feat that looks even more key with the Lookouts sneaking out a two run win. The pair of caught runners raised Garver’s caught stealing rate to 51.4% of all attempted base-stealers. Perhaps equally impressive were Garver’s numbers at the plate during the series and over the year driving runners in. Mitch plated nine runners in the five Mobile games, raising his total to 57 on the year, good for third in the Southern League. Garver has shown clutch hitting to be a strength with a .358 batting average with runners in scoring position.
Second Star – Stephen Gonsalves
Stephen Gonsalves hasn’t seemed intimidated by his promotion to Double-A in the slightest, perhaps even doing some intimidating of his own through five starts. The lefty is 3-1 in five outings with a 2.93 ERA after an impressive seven inning effort Monday in the rubber match of the series. Gonsalves allowed just two hits and a lone run while striking out nine to lead the Lookouts to a win, though he didn’t receive a decision for his efforts. The nine punch-outs raised Gonsalves numbers to 39 K’s through 27.2 innings, or a rate of 1.4 strikeouts-per-inning-pitched.
First Star – Trevor Hildenberger
Trevor Hildenberger’s performance this season can not be over-praised, as his numbers read like someone playing a video game on a cake-walk difficulty setting. The closer has been unbelievable for the Lookouts this season with only three runs in 34 innings pitched, a .161 batting average against, a 0.79 ERA, 16 saves in 17 opportunities, and a 39/5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hildenberger’s season dominance showed against the Bay Bears as he went a perfect 3-for-3 in save situations, allowed just three hits, walked no one and struck out four in three innings and games against Mobile.
With an 11-1 victory in the rubber match of the series against the Smokies, the Lookouts clinched their NINTH straight series win. To celebrate, All Aboard is recognizing yet another top three stars of the series in this week’s special all-pitching edition.
Third Star – Kohl Stewart
Stewart came up huge for the Lookouts in the deciding game five of the series, twirling seven one-run innings to earn his third win Wednesday. He allowed seven hits but spread them and kept runners from scoring. beyond the solo run. Stewart also struck out three batters and is now 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA in his three starts this month.
Second Star – David Hurlbut
Much like Kohl Stewart, David Hurlbut allowed a decent number of hits (8) but he spread them out just as well if not better, dealing eight shutout innings in the series opener. He struck out four and walked just one to set up Travis Harrison’s game winning home run in the 9th. Hurlbut has now thrown nine quality starts in his last 11 outings and is 5-2 during that span.
First Star – Stephen Gonsalves
Gonsalves may have only gone six innings but they were a dominant six. The lefty struck out a season team high 11 batters without walking anyone and allowed just four hits. He’s now thrown 12 consecutive scoreless innings with back to back wins and 16 punch outs in those two games. Additional Fun Fact: Southern League batters are 0-for-5 against Gonsalves with the bases loaded with three Ks.
Honorable Mentions – Stuart Turner had just one hit in each of the three games he played against the Smokies but two of them were homers and he extended his active hitting streak to 13 contests. Obligatory Three Star Zack Granite mention: The speedster went 7-for-18 (.389) with four runs scored and two driven in.
The Lookouts opened up the the second half with a series victory over the Jackson Generals, their sixth straight series win. Let’s take a look at the top three performances by Lookouts players that played a major role in the team’s success.
Third Star – Stuart Turner
Catcher Stuart Turner had at least one hit in all four games he played against the Generals and hit .357 in the series. He also scored a run and drove in two, starting the second half hot at the plate, much like he did at the beginning of this year, when he hit .360 through the first eight games.
Second Star – Zack Granite
Zack Granite continues to be a staple in All Aboard’s three stars articles. Granite with 7-for-18 against the Generals with two multi-hit performances while scoring and driving in three runs. Through 210 career at-bats before 2016, Granite had just one home run, but after hitting one against Jackson during the series, he has four in 67 at bats this season. He’s already set a new career high in stolen bases this season (30), and is just 7 RBI behind his highest previous total with 65 games to play.
First Star – Aaron Slegers
Throwing eight innings with five hits and just one run against is more than enough to earn the first star spot for Aaron Slegers, but his performance becomes even more impressive when you add it to his recent starts. Slegers won his fourth straight game Sunday, threw his seventh straight quality start and lowered his ERA to 2.39 during that seven game span (6-4 with a 3.38 overall).
Honorable Mentions: Kohl Stewart took a hard-luck loss in the series finale, cruising through six innings before allowing three runs in the seventh. He fell to 1-3 with the Lookouts but threw a quality start. Ryan Walker was 6-for-18 with three runs scored and Daniel Palka continued displaying impressive pop with another three home runs.
The Lookouts dropped last night’s game against the Montgomery Biscuits, 5-3, but still won their fifth straight series and clinched a record over .500 for the first half. Let’s take a look at the three players that stood out above the rest during the latest series victory in this week’s Three Stars of the Series.
Third Star: Zack Granite
Zack Granite just missed out of a three star selection last series after making two and a row, but we couldn’t pass him up this week. The speedy outfielder hit .333 against the Biscuits while scoring four times and driving in a run. Granite also stole his 30th base of the season in the series and extended his active hitting streak to seven games. With two multi-hit performances in the five games in Montgomery and hits in 17 of his last 19 starts, Granite has raised his season average to .287 at the close of the first half.
Second Star: David Hurlbut
The lone lefty in the Lookouts rotation shined in his start against the Biscuits throwing six shutout innings and striking out three. David Hurlbut improved to 3-0 in June with a win in Montgomery, and has thrown quality starts in every game this month, twirling out a 1.42 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched during said stretch.
First Star: Ryan Eades
Ryan Eades has proved to be a near sure thing in throwing strong outings on the road, going seven shutout innings and allowing just three hits in his latest contest away from AT&T Field. Eades is now 3-1 with a 0.58 ERA in five road starts allowing just 17 hits (.167 BAA) and two runs in 31 innings pitched as the visiting starter. Since returning from the Disabled List, June 6, Eades has given up only a single run in 17 innings (3 GS).
Honorable Mentions: Engelb Vielma went 6-for-19 against the Biscuits with a big 3-for-5, three runs scored performance on June 18, while Daniel Palka continued to be a huge force in the Lookouts lineup going 6-for-17 at the plate with two double and a triple, two runs scored and four driven in.
The Lookouts dropped today’s game against the Tennessee Smokies, 4-1, but still won their fourth straight series and moved over .500 this week. Let’s take a look at the three players that stood out above the rest during the latest series victory in this week’s Three Stars of the Series.
Third Star – Engelb Vielma
Engelb Vielma just continues to hit in the Southern League, raising his season average with the Lookouts to .333 after a strong series against the Smokies. Vielma went 6-for-16 against Tennessee (.375) with a run scored and two driven in, and, after a scoring correction last night changed an error to a hit, his hitting strike remained alive and is now at eight games.
Second Star – Mitch Garver
Garver finished the series with a modest .286 average in four games, but the 2016 Southern League All Star hit a key three run home run to power the Lookouts to 6-2 win in the series opener. Garver drove in four and scored twice himself against the Smokies as well. Mitch was also named the starting catcher for the North Division All Star Team last week, so hopefully the second star is an added congratulatory bonus.
First Star – Ryan Eades
After throwing four innings of one run ball in his first start off the DL, Ryan Eades took another huge step forward with a lights out start in game two of the series. Eades needed just 70 pitches (throwing 51 of them for strikes) to get through six shutout innings. He allowed just three hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter. The performance earned Eades his third win of the year.
Honorable Mention: All Aboard offers our sincere apologies to Zack Granite, who got hit by the Michael Jordan-Lebron James “tired of voting for them for MVP” effect. Granite made appearances in the last two Three Stars articles and did enough to deserve a third straight honor against the Smokies. Granite hit .333 in five games with a triple, his third HR of the season, three stolen bases, four runs scored and three driven in.
The Lookouts took four of five against the Barons in Birmingham this past weekend, and as such, weren’t short of impressive performances. Let’s take a look at the three players that stood out above the rest in this weeks Three Stars of the Series.
Third Star: INF Leo Reginatto
Leo Reginatto added five games to his impressive current hit streak with a hit in every contest against the Barons over the weekend. Leo went 7-for-25 (.280) with four runs and 7 RBI (at least one in every game as well) without striking out in four of the five days the team was in Birmingham. Reginatto’s streak is still alive and well at 13 games upon the writing of this article.
Second Star: OF Zack Granite
Zack Granite held on to the second star spot of this series for back-to-back weeks by being a multi-hit machine against the Barons. Granite finished with multiple hits in four games against the Barons with at least one in all five. He finished 9-for-23 (.391) overall in the series while scoring five runs, driving in two and walking three times compared to just four strikeouts. Granite also stole four bases in the series and is currently second in the Southern League with 25 swiped bags. Zack is currently on pace to finish in the top five in all time single season stolen base totals in Lookouts history.
First Star: OF Daniel Palka
Daniel Palka earns the first star by grace of a monster power display against the Barons. Palka had back to back two home run games, finishing the series 6-for-18 with five home runs, scoring six times and driving in nine. His performance vaulted him into first in the Southern League and the Twins organization in long balls (12), while also moving him into first in the system in RBI (40).
Honorable Mentions: A trio of Lookouts starting pitchers had noteworthy games against the Barons, but the hitters took the cake in the three stars debate. Nick Greenwood went seven innings with two runs and four hits allowed without walking anyone June 1, while David Hurlbut and Aaron Slegers both went at least six innings in their starts and gave up just one run a piece.