Charleston Overview

Pitching

Charleston Starters ERA FIP IP K/9 BB/9 K:BB
Kevin Decker RHP 3.79 4.28 73.7 7.3 3.9 1.9
David Peterson RHP 5.03 4.27 82.3 6.9 2.0 3.5
Christian Powell RHP 6.63 5.35 76.0 7.3 4.3 1.7


(FIP = fielding-independent ERA. Thanks to College Splits.)

Kevin Decker is Charleston's typical Friday starter and figures to get the ball against NC State tomorrow, though I haven't been able to find anything on the tubes to confirm it.  If it's not Decker, it's Peterson, who has pitched just as well as Decker despite what their respective ERAs say to the contrary.  Those guys can run their fastballs in the low 90s but aren't especially formidable from a stuff/strikeout standpoint.  Decker's control issues could prove a big problem against a patient Wolfpack offense.

Right-hander Heath Hembree provides the heat out of the pen: he strikes out 13+ hitters per 9 innings and his fastball has been clocked as high as 99 mph.  But he either doesn't command the heater very well or doesn't have much in the way of secondary pitches; he walks six guys per 9 innings and Aaron Fitt calls him "surprisingly hittable."  Kinda sounds like Carlos Marmol.  We're most likely to see Hembree in a save situation.

Charleston manager Monte Lee says middle-relievers Tom Schiller (RHP) and Owen Brittle (LHP) aren't overpowering but "make you swing the bat." The latter contention is debatable--neither has a good walk rate.  Schiller has made the most appearances and pitched the most innings out of the pen this season

Casey Lucchese (RHP) is a power guy like Hembree and probably will be counted on to get his team through the 8th should they have a slim lead at that point.  His control is a lot better than Hembree's, which makes him arguably the scarier power arm of the two. 

Hitting

The bulk of the heavy lifting is done by these four guys:

Greg Blake: .341/.442/.704 (15 HR and 14 2B)
Matt Leeds: .325/.430/.697 (20 HR and 23 2B)
Rob Kral: .342/.479/.618 (14 HR and 11 2B)
Jose Rodriguez: .346/.424/.627 (15 HR and 17 2B)

That's a terrifying middle of the order, Leeds and his 20/20 numbers especially.  Blake and Kral are lefties, Rodriguez hits from the right side, while Leeds is a switch hitter. (Of course he's a switch hitter.)  It looks like there are going to be four lefties total in the lineup, so I'm wondering if that's enough to have Avent leaning towards Alex Sogard.

Cole Rakar, Joey Bergman, and Baker Knox have accounted for 65 of the team's 114 stolen base attempts; they're the only guys with double-digit steal attempts.  Opponents have had little trouble running on NC State all season, and while I'm sure Charleston will test us, at least their options are somewhat limited.

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