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Report on the Lowell Spinners

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A look at how the first place Lowell Spinners are having success in 2016.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Lowell Spinners, New York-Penn League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, are in first place in the Stedler division of the New York-Penn League, as of July 28th. They are a game in front of Tri-City and two in front of Connecticut. Also, they are tied with Hudson Valley for the second best record in the NYPL. Let's take a look at how they are doing it.

Offensively they are being led by Tyler Hill and Roldani Baldwin with some reinforcements coming in. Hill will not be found on any top prospects list for the Red Sox, but he is leading the team in hitting, batting .369 with three home runs and 23 runs batted in. His on-base percentage is .422 along with a .566 slugging percentage. Hill has had success on the base paths as well with nine stolen bases in 14 attempts. Roldani Baldwin was promoted to the Greenville Drive of the South Atlantic League on July 18th after a solid start to his 2016 season. Baldwin had a slash line of .305/.358/.442 and behind the plate had a caught stealing percentage of 25% (Baldwin also has the ability to play third base as well.)

The main reinforcement coming into Lowell is Bobby Dalbec, a fourth round selection in this years draft. Dalbec's power is the best part of his game, but in turn it hurts his hitting overall. Due to his propensity to hit for power, Dalbec will swing and miss at a higher rate. This caused him to struggle this season with the University of Arizona, but he has the potential to provide a great deal of power, always a plus while playing a position like third base. In only three games with Lowell, Dalbec is hitting .364 with three of his four hits being extra bases. He is 21 and will be a key player down the stretch for the Spinners.

The pitching staff has been the key element of the Spinners' success this season. In the early portion of 2016 they were led by Emmanuel De Jesus and Daniel Gonzalez, both of whom have now been promoted to Greenville. De Jesus went 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 22.1 innings and Gonzalez went 4-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 36 innings. Also, Gonzalez had a 33-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Now that they have been promoted there are three other young arms left to lead Lowell.

First is Josh Pennington, 24th in MLB.com's Red Sox rankings, who is 2-1 with a 3.10 ERA and opponents are only hitting .202 against him. He has a plus-plus fastball with a curveball that is still developing. There is a chance in the long run he winds up in the bullpen, but for now he is having success as a starter. Darwinzon Hernandez is 3-2 with a 3.47 ERA in only 23.1 innings. One aspect of his game the left-hander can work on is his walks - he leads the team with 19 walks, tied with Kevin Steen.

The next pitcher on the Lowell staff is one that is yet to make his debut and that is 2016 fifth round selection, Mike Shawaryn. In my draft analysis, Shawaryn finished 8th among collegiate pitchers in BB% and finished his collegiate career the University of Maryland all-time leader in wins and strikeouts. Shawaryn has a fastball with good sinking action that keep his balls in play on the ground. I think he has a future starting because of his build, but if he falters there he can be successful in the bullpen due to his effective slider.