The Clearwater Threshers wrapped up the 2022 season, falling in three of the final four games against the Bradenton Marauders on Sunday afternoon at BayCare Ballpark. The Threshers finished up the latest campaign with a record of 57-71 and in sixth place in the Florida State League's West Division, after
The Clearwater Threshers wrapped up the 2022 season, falling in three of the final four games against the Bradenton Marauders on Sunday afternoon at BayCare Ballpark. The Threshers finished up the latest campaign with a record of 57-71 and in sixth place in the Florida State League's West Division, after seeing three games cancelled due to inclement weather in the final two weeks.
After getting off to a 1-8 start in the first two series of the year against the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels and St. Lucie Mets, both of whom went onto win the first half of their respective divisions, the Threshers bounced back with what would be their longest winning streak of the season. Clearwater won eight straight from April 20-27, including sweeping a six-game set from the Tampa Tarpons to get back over .500 at 9-8. It was the only sweep of the season for the Threshers.
The Threshers were plagued with injuries in the early portion of the season, losing key outfielders Yhoswar Garcia and Jadiel Sanchez (later traded), infielder Alexeis Azuaje and closer Tommy McCollum. Garcia, despite not playing in a game since June 2, finished first on the team in stolen bases with 29. McCollum, who was placed on the Injured List on July 2, finished first in saves with five and an impressive 1.45 ERA in 23 games.
Clearwater finished the first half of the season above .500 at 35-30 but were unable to catch the Mighty Mussels, before opening the second portion of the year against the Tarpons. The Threshers finished 15-9 against the Tarpons, making it their best winning percentage against any FSL opponent in 2022. The Threshers worst winning percentage against any team was their 2-10 record against the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
The first half of the season also featured the professional debut of right-hander Andrew Painter, the Philadelphia Phillies 13th overall selection in the 2021 MLB Draft. In his first several starts with the Threshers, Painter led the FSL in ERA (0.00), strikeouts (30), WHIP (0.58) and batting average against (.100). In a start against Tampa on April 23, the 6-foot-7 righty fanned 13 straight hitters and found himself in only one three-ball count. Painter was later promoted all the way up to double-A Reading in the 2022 season.
Before late-season promotions to high-A Jersey Shore, outfielder Marcus Lee Sang as well as infielders Hao Yu Lee and Kendall Simmons led the charge offensively for the Threshers. Lee Sang finished his 2022 tenure with Clearwater hitting .276 with 76 hits and 37 RBI, he also scored a team-high 45 runs. Lee, 68 games, finished in the top-10 in the FSL in RBI with 50 while hitting a team-high .283 with seven home runs. Simmons, a versatie infielder, hit .204 with Clearwater and led the team in homers with nine.
While the Threshers finished the second half of the season with a 22-41 record, the largest crowd of the 2022 FSL season filed into BayCare Ballpark on July 3 as 8,017 packed the ballpark against the Flying Tigers. For an 11th consecutive season, the Threshers finished first in the league in attendance, averaging 1,77 per game and welcoming a total of 151,982 fans to 63 home games.
The second half of the season also saw the additions of 2022 draftees including the 17th overall selection in OF Justin Crawford as well as C Caleb Ricketts, INF Chad Castillo and outfielders Cade Fergus and Troy Schreffler.
In 16 games with the Florida Complex League and Threshers, the 19-year old Crawford hit .241 with 5 RBI and stole 10 bases. Ricketts, a 7th round draft pick from the University of San Diego, finished with three homers and 10 RBI while Fergus, a 13th round selection from George Washington, crushed four home runs including Clearwater's only grand slam of the season on August 20 in Daytona.
The Clearwater Threshers look forward to an exciting 2023 season. Stay tuned to threshersbaseball.com for the latest news on next year's slate.