Visalia Rawhide Improvements?

Ron Holman / Visalia Times-Delta / USA TODAY NETWORK

I was hoping to be able to write up a review of the Rawhide in which I spent time reviewing the improvements we have seen over the beginning of the year. However, last night, they promptly gave up 10 runs in the 1st inning and I was reminded that this team, as a whole, just isn’t very good.

Having said that, and the fact that this has been a well-documented rough beginning to the season, it looks like there is improvements throughout the organization.

Like any solid minor league system, players move constantly, and Visalia is no different. At least 5 of the best players from Visalia have been moved to Hillsboro this year. These players have better numbers in Hillsboro than they had in Visalia. One of those players, Shane Muntz, who started the year in Visalia is now in Amarillo. The players whom have been added to the roster came primarily from their ACL league teams. With this being the case, one would believe that Visalia would have worse stats, or at best, be playing similar ball that they were playing through April and May.

However, that is not the case.

When looking at the season stats, this team has marginally improved.

Here is some improvements we are seeing:


Year to Date - May 22 Stat

League Ranking

Year to Date - July 2 Stat

League Ranking

Month of June Stat

League Ranking

Hitting Batting Average


Worse (8th)





Hitting Walks







Hitting Total Runs







Pitching ERA







Pitching Hits Allowed







Pitching BB







Pitching Runs Allowed







These differences have lead to an overall improvement in their record as shows below:

Visalia Record

Year to Date - May 22


Year to Date – July 2


Month of June


Team Record



24 – 49




While these numbers may not be extreme improvements, they definitely show improvements for a team that started the year so poorly.

Since the minors are playing 6 game series, there are fewer series and the Rawhide have had a tough time winning any series this year. In fact, they just win their first series, 4 – 2, from June 21 through June 26.

Even though there has been some improvements, t

his team truly still has a ways to go to be competitive. However, there are still some bright spots, though, they may appear to be rough at this time.

Visalia is actually doing a really good job on closing close games. For the year, when Visalia has had a closing opportunity, they have actually been successful in 15 of 17 opportunities. The two best closers so far have been Junior Mieses and Christian Monde De Oca, who have been 5 for 5 and 4 for 4, respectively. Over the year, these guys have looked solid in most outings, not just closing opportunities, though, Mieses’ ERA is a high at 7.11.

Carlos Meza has the best record on the team at 6 – 2. This record is actually surprising considering Visalia’s overall record and the fact that he has an ERA of 6.39. However, the record speaks for itself that he appears to be the best starting pitcher on the team.

I know that Jordan Lawlar had some health issues, went on the injured list, and now is back in Visalia. I am still surprised that he is here. He is hitting .365 with 8 home runs to date. It is great to see him in Visalia because he is one of only a few bright spots. However, it is probably time for him to move on.

Deyvison De Los Santos has been in Visalia all year and looks to be one of the most solid fielders / hitters on the team. Deyvison is hitting .315, though, equally important is that he is one of the better fielders on this team. He has proven this all year. It is my opinion that, outside of Lawlar, he is the best prospect that actually has a chance to make some noise over the coming years, though, he is only 19 so he is very raw.

Personally, SP Chen is my favorite Rawhide player this year. This is because every time he steps to the plate he does a little shimmy that reminds me of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson shooting free throws. It is just something that you don’t see every day. Besides this, he has been playing in Visalia all year and only has 2 errors with what appears to be the best fielding percentage in Visalia. This defensive potential is what I really believe will carry him as far as he can go within the organization. However, he is only hitting .245, which will need to improve if he is to move up within the organization.

Though, again these are only the few bright spots in what is turning into another dismal season for the Rawhide. I really do hope that whatever is ailing the overall competitiveness of this team gets remedied in the future.

The top talent on the Rawhide roster is on par with the top talent on any other roster in the California league. As we have seen in years past, some of these players have the potential to really improve and make it to the big league in Arizona. However, the overall display of talent on the team is not near as the rest of the teams in the league. This might even be one of the causes of some of our players having lower numbers in Visalia vs when they are in Hillsboro, etc. Every player that went to Hillsboro from Visalia this year has better numbers in Hillsboro. This is why we should really keep an eye on the players mentioned above.