Splitsville: Zach Kroenke v1.1

Splitsville: Zach Kroenke v1.1

"Splitsville" is a series of articles on the Yankees' prospects that we'll be doing throughout their minor league careers. In version one/chapter one (v1.1) of Zach Kroenke, we'll look how he did against the right-handed hitters versus the lefty hitters, how he pitched on the road versus at home, and more.

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Thrives At Home: Although Zach Kroenke pitched solid just about anywhere he pitched in 2005, he was just a little bit better at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Posting a phenomenal 1.57 ERA in 17 innings pitched, the lefty also held his opponents to a miniscule .211 batting average. However, not to imply that he did poorly on the road, Kroenke also put up a strong 3.27 road earned run average. In fact, if not for back to back sub par road performances early in the season, those numbers may look even more impressive.

Dominates Lefties: One thing demonstrated as well as anything in his first professional season is that he can keep lefty hitters in order. In 32 at bats, Kroenke shut down lefties. They hit only .188 off the southpaw and had only one extra base hit. Not to mention, the former Nebraska ace posted a dazzling 0.93 ERA versus lefties as well. The strikeouts also were much more frequent for Zach in comparison to his showdowns with righty hitters. In fact, he averaged nearly thirteen strikeouts per nine innings pitched

Struggles With Runners On: Not that it is unusual for a pitcher to struggle somewhat with runners on base, but it was certainly an issue for the young lefthander throughout the year. With runners in scoring position with two outs, Kroenke struggled mightily. Opposing batters lit him up for a .313 batting average in those situations. That went along with a bloated 9.82 earned run average. And, more simply, with runners on with two outs, Zach was touched up for a .273 batting average against and he post a sub par earned run average of 6.00.

Too Much Juice In The First Frame: If Zach Kroenke was going to struggle in a game in 2005, it often seemed to happen in the first inning. But, after that, he seemed to roll along for the rest of the game. However, the first frame was another story. Perhaps a little over juiced and leaving pitches up in the zone, hitters batted .278 off him in the first inning, compared to .150 in the second inning. As a pitcher who depends very much on control, it is no surprise that he struggles early on.

Hot Down The Stretch: Before breaking his hand with mere weeks to go in the season, Zach Kroenke was arguably the hottest hand on the Staten Island pitching staff. In six appearances in August, the southpaw was lights out. In 23 innings of work, he held his opponents to a .205 batting average while posting a miniscule 1.57 earned run average.


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