It’s post-Labor Day, and the kids are back in school with their report cards months away, but for the Cyclones the school year is over, and the final grades are out. Here’s how this year’s class at Brooklyn’s P.S. 1404 (the Surf Avenue School) performed:
Ike Davis (first base): C–. Davis was headed for a D, but a late-season surge brought up his average to .256. Davis has great bloodlines — he’s the son of former Yankee reliever Ron Davis — and he’s big and strong at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. But the Mets’ first-round draft pick failed to homer for Brooklyn and had only 17 RBI in 58 games. “He wasn’t staying back on the ball earlier in the season, but at the end he was coming around,” said manager Edgar Alfonzo. Still, Davis has terrific potential and when he gets used to wood bats, he could start to climb quickly up the ladder to the majors.
Josh Satin (second base): B–. Satin started slowly, failing to hit in his first 15 at-bats, and when he started to hit better, a leg injury slowed him down. He was upper-cutting the ball too much in mid-season, but he straightened that out and started to exhibit more of his power. He hit four homers in 45 games. He fielded well, making only two errors.
Wilmer Flores (shortstop): A. Flores, at a just-turned 17, is the age of a high school senior. He hit .267 for Brooklyn in eight games and exhibited smooth moves in the field and a fine arm. He looks so young, yet he has a calm maturity needed to quickly climb through the minors. He’s already 6-foot-3 and should put on muscle, so he may grow out of the shortstop position, but he has the skills to play anywhere.
Reese Havens (shortstop): Incomplete. Another Reese at shortstop for Brooklyn seemed to be a good omen, but things didn’t work out. Reese suffered an elbow injury at the start of the season, and later had a groin pull. He played more at designated hitter than at shortstop and appeared in only 23 games all told. He hit .247 with three homers, but the left-handed hitter is much better than that.
Zach Lutz (third base): B. Back for a second try at Brooklyn after a lone game in 2007, Lutz hit .333, but he was plagued by injuries all year and played in merely 24 games.
Eric Campbell (third base/outfield): B. Played third and also left field. Showed flashes of power (four homers) and hit .260.
Seth Williams (left field): B+. Williams became a regular late in the season and hit .295, but failed to homer.
Sean Ratliff (center field): B. Ratliff started slowly at bat, but picked up steam and tied for the club lead with seven homers. He fielded well after being shifted from right to center field, but he hit only .229.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis (right field): A. Nieuwenhuis hit .277 and tied Ian Bladergroen and Caleb Stewart for the all-time Cyclones record for games in a season (74) and tied Ambiorix Concepcion and Dustin Martin for the all-time season lead in hits (79).
Jordan Abruzzo (catcher): A. The switch-hitting catcher hit .275 tied Ratliff for the club lead in homers with seven. He also handled the pitching staff with aplomb.
Brad Holt (starter): A+. Holt finished second in the league with a 1.87 ERA and hit 100 miles per hour on the radar gun in a late season game at Aberdeen. He will be a big league front-line starter someday (soon, we hope!).
Scott Shaw (starter): A. Shaw was 6-3 with a 2.80 ERA and had great command of his pitches.
Jenry Mejia (starter): B. Only 18 years old, Mejia went 3-2 with a 3.49 ERA.
Chris Schwinden (starter): A. All-Star Schwinden has great control, striking out 70 and only walking 12 in 62-2/3 innings. Had a 2.01 ERA.
Pedro P. Martinez (starter): C+. Martinez went 3-2 with a 3.63 ERA. Worse, he gave up 72 hits in 67 innings with only 55 Ks.
Yury Santana (closer): B+. The former Cyclones’ infielder is still learning to pitch, but he had an impressive 2.45 ERA with a team-leading 13 saves.
Jimmy Johnson (reliever): A+. When you go 5-0 with a 1.25 ERA, you deserve a great grade (which he got) — and to be named to the All-Star team (which he did not!). Johnson was used in tough situations all year and came through time-after-time.
Roy Merritt (reliever): A+. Merritt is a side-armer who is particularly hard on lefties as his 3-0 record and 1.49 ERA attest.
Channeling the Bard
And now, the last bit of iambic pentameter from the famed Bard of Avon’s descendent, Ed Shakespeare. This week’s poem is entitled, “In Storage ’Til June”:
The season’s over, the bats put away.
Brooks’ players gone, no more winner or goat.
See you in June, Coney Isle, sunny day.
The pen joins the bats, for that’s all he wrote.