Texas AirHogs Mid-Season Report
Record: 25-44, Third in South Division, 10th Overall in the American Association
During the off-season, Amarillo and Grand Prairie combined to form the Texas AirHogs, and the team looked pretty good early on. They were 6-6 in May, and were 11-17 in June. That wasn’t a stellar record, but the club was very competitive, playing in 15-games that were decided by three-runs or fewer. This was a team that, if a few breaks went their way, they could have been right in the thick of things.
However, July has not been kind to Texas. The AirHogs were 8-21 in July and really struggled to remain competitive. Their pitching staff is 10th in the American Association in ERA and their team fielding is 11th. That is usually a combination that leads to catastrophe and that is exactly what it has meant to the team.
Mid-Season MVP: Burt Reynolds
It would be very easy to say that Devon Rodriguez is the team’s top player and that would be a fair assessment. His .309 average has been very impressive and he has played outstanding at first base. It is just too hard to deny the American Association leader in homeruns his due and that is why Reynolds is the pick.
The Texas outfielder has 21-homers this season, while hitting .276 with 44-RBI and 50-runs scored. Reynolds is first in slugging and has a .365 OBP. He has been a huge bat in this lineup and it is likely that some team will try to pry him away from the AirHogs to make a serious playoff run.
Mid-Season Top Pitcher: David Russo
The bullpen has been a bright spot for the Texas AirHogs, and no more so than Russo. The left-hander has made 29-appearances, posting a 1-3 record and a 2.97 ERA. In 36.1 innings pitched, Russo has allowed 33-hits and 11-walks, with 28-strikeouts. The left-hander has been hot of late, only allowing one-run in his last eight outings.
This is a season that could have been a whole lot different if some of those close games would have been different in June. The losses seemed to snowball and the team really struggled in July. This may be the time to start collecting some players to be named later for next season. This was a tough year as the team had a lot of work to do behind the scenes to get two organizations into one. That most likely had an effect on the product on the field. It was a tough year this year, but don’t be surprised to see this team in the thick of the races next season.
By Robert Pannier