Welcome back to Crawdads Corner! The ‘Dads season came to a close on Friday night after a hard-fought battle in the South Atlantic League Championship. While they didn’t come out of the series with a title, there is a lot of positives to take from the season. The team was always resilient and posted dominant stats on the mound and in the batter’s box. In this week’s edition, we wanted to dive into some of the numbers that helped propel the 2019 Crawdads team to a franchise best winning percentage and their fourth trip to the championship.
The Crawdads showed time and time again this season, they were always in the fight, winning an outstanding 12 ballgames on walk-offs. The ‘Dads had the highest batting average in the league in the ninth inning and crushed 14 homeruns in the ninth, which was also league-best. The team hit a league-leading .453 in extra innings, which led the South Atlantic League by over 100 points and was second in all of Minor League Baseball. The pitching staff was also lights-out in extras, posting a 0.45 ERA, giving up just one earned run in twenty innings pitched. Their ERA in extras was fourth best out of all full-season clubs, although the ‘Dads pitched more innings than the three teams ahead of them.
After a loss, the ‘Dads didn’t stay down for long. They had a .750 winning percentage in games following a loss (39-13 overall). The team also hit a league-best .261 in those games. The Crawdads didn’t lose a series until their tenth of the year, which they lost two out of three games to Asheville.
Things heated up in the second half for the Crawdads. The team batting average rose 12 points from .245 to .257 after the all-star break. The ‘Dads lead the league in slugging percentage in both halves, slugging .412 in the first half compared to .421 in the second. The pitching staff also clicked following the break, lowering a fifth ranked staff era of 3.46 down to a third-best 3.24 ERA.
The ‘Dads were dominant no matter where they played. The team posted a 41-25 record at home and a 42-27 record on the road. The Crawdads did get the benefit this season of traveling the third fewest miles out of the 14-team league. The team traveled 8,442 miles across the 140-game season compared to Lakewood’s 13,335 miles.
The Crawdads had a winning record on every day of the week except Fridays, which they went 8-12 on. They thrived on Tuesday’s, posting a 14-5 record and a 2.33 team ERA, both of which lead the SAL. On Mondays the team was 10-7, on Wednesdays 12-5, Thursdays 13-9, Saturdays 15-7, and Sundays 11-7. Wednesday’s was the offense’s best day, leading the league with a .284 batting average, 272 total bases, 23 homeruns, 102 runs, .363 on base percentage, a .477 slugging percentage, and fewest strikeouts with 139.
The team certainly ruled the day, collecting the highest batting average in day games. The Crawdads hit .286 compared to second-place’s .257.
The ‘Dads showed that more homeruns don’t necessarily mean more strikeouts. While Major Leaguers are slugging more homeruns than ever before, they are also striking out at a record pace. The Crawdads proved this year that the two don’t have to go hand-in-hand, hitting the most homeruns in the league (140) while also striking out the fewest number of times (1106).
We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of Crustacean Nation who packed the stands every night and helped to make 2019 a magical season. The countdown is on until baseball returns to the Frans! The Crawdads home opener is set for Thursday, April 16th against the Lexington Legends. We’ll see you out here on Opening Night in 212 days!