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2013 Nashville Sounds Season In Review

September 4, 2013

The Nashville Sounds finished the 2013 season with a 57-87 record, finishing fourth in the PCL American Conference Northern Division, 13 games behind division champion Omaha. The Sounds recorded the PCL's worst overall record. It was just the franchise's 14th losing season in 36 years of competition and the worst record in team history.

Nashville drew 355,003 fans to 70 home openings at Greer Stadium in 2013, an average of 5,071 per contest, placing 11th in the Pacific Coast League. It was an attendance increase of 11 percent from the previous season (321,042) and the club's best seasonal attendance in six years. The largest crowd to watch a game at Greer was an attendance of 10,079 on May 8th, when the Sounds hosted Fresno.

Right-hander starting pitcher Johnny Hellweg was named the 2013 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year in a vote of league managers and media representatives as well Sounds team MVP in voting by team players and coaches. The fireballer -- playing his first season at the Triple-A level -- ranked 2nd in the PCL in wins (12) and ERA (3.15) while posting the top winning percentage (.706) and lowest opponent average (.228) among all league hurlers.

First baseman Hunter Morris - who led the Sounds in home runs (24) and RBIs (73) - was voted the 2013 Sounds Fan Favorite in an online poll of Sounds fans.

Nashville compiled a .255 team batting average, which was the 14th-best mark in the PCL. Among player with enough at-bats to qualify for the league leaderboard, Sean Halton posted a team-leading .273 batting average.

Sounds hitters produced two grand slams (Cole Garner, Halton), zero pinch-hit home runs, zero five-hit games, and four four-hit games. Sounds hitters registered nine multiple-homer games, including a team-high three by Morris. Nashville pinch-hitters batted .213 (17-for-80) with no home runs and 10 RBIs; Hainley Statia led the club with a .417 pinch-hit average (10-for-24) and had the most PH opportunities on the club.

Infielder Eugenio Velez, signed as a free agent in late July, finished the year as one of the league's hottest hitters, batting .377 in 38 games to conclude the year. The veteran closed the year with a pair of impressive streaks: a PCL-best 36-game on-base streak and a 22-game hitting streak, the 2nd-longest in the league in 2013 and the best effort by a Nashville player since 2008.

The Sounds stole 88 bases on the year to rank 12th in the PCL. Josh Prince tied for 5th in the circuit with a team-best 25 thefts.

Caleb Gindl moved up the Sounds' career leaderboards throughout the year, finishing 8th in hits with 253 over three seasons and tying for 7th with 71 doubles.

Sounds hurlers posted a 4.51 ERA, which ranked 10th in the circuit and was the club's highest team mark in six seasons. Nashville pitchers racked up 1,059 strikeouts on the year, reaching the 1,000 K plateau for the tenth time in the last 12 seasons.

Fifteen different pitchers started a game for the Sounds in 2013 and five different pitchers recorded a save, led by All-Star Rob Wooten's 20. Eleven different starting pitchers on the staff threw a quality start, totaling 36 on the year (seven fewer than the previous season).

For the season, Jimmy Nelson, who split the year between the Sounds and Double-A Huntsville, led the Brewers organization and ranked 5th in the minors with 163 strikeouts. The 24-year-old represented the Milwaukee system in July's All-Star Futures Game at Citi Field in New York City.

Kyle Heckathorn ranked 1st among league relievers in opponents batting average (.212). Zach Kroenke led the circuit with a club-record 16 losses, marking the second straight year that a Sounds hurler paced the PCL in defeats (Seth McClung with 15 in 2012).

Sounds fielders registered a .974 fielding percentage, 2nd-lowest in the PCL. Nashville catchers threw out 25.2% of potential basestealers (53 of 210), the 13th-best percentage in the PCL, and allowed a league-high 157 stolen bases. Sounds backstops committed a franchise-record and league-leading 31 passed balls. Sounds pitchers registered eight pickoffs.

Nashville tallied 105 transactions during the 2013 season. Eight players spent the entire season with the Sounds (pitchers Heckathorn, Kroenke, Jesus Sanchez, and Travis Webb, and infielders Blake Davis, Morris, Stephen Parker, and Statia). Nashville used 19 different position players and 27 pitchers.

Seventeen members from the Sounds also appeared as a Brewer this season. Ten players from the Opening Day roster were promoted to the major leagues at some point during the season. Ten Sounds players - pitchers Hiram Burgos, Donovan Hand, Hellweg, Nelson, and Wooten, infielders Scooter Gennett, and outfielders Khris Davis, Gindl, Halton, and Prince - made their Major League debut during the campaign. Four different Milwaukee Brewers players made rehabilitation assignments with the Sounds.

Wooten was named to the PCL squad in the mid-season Triple-A All-Star Game at Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nevada. He was selected as a reserve by the PCL office and retired his lone batter faced in the PCL's 4-3 loss.

Hellweg was selected as the RHP on the 2013 All Pacific Coast League Team, the Sounds' first selection since Taylor Green in 2011 and Nashville's first pitching selection since R.A. Dickey and Adam Pettyjohn in 2007.

For only the second time in 16 seasons since joining the Pacific Coast League, the Sounds did not have a player or pitcher recognized for a weekly honor during the year (previous shutout was 2010).

Most Common Batting Order
Scooter Gennett, 2B
Josh Prince, LF
Caleb Gindl, CF
Sean Halton, RF
Hunter Morris, 1B
Blake Lalli, C
Stephen Parker, 3B
Blake Davis, SS

Batting Leaders

Batting Average Sean Halton .273
Games Played Hunter Morris 134
At-Bats Hunter Morris 497
Hits Hunter Morris 123
Total Bases Hunter Morris 227
Runs Scored Josh Prince 68
Runs Batted In Hunter Morris 73
Home Runs Hunter Morris 24
Triples Blake Davis & Scooter Gennett 5
Doubles Sean Halton 29
Stolen Bases Josh Prince 25
Walks Josh Prince 60
Strikeouts Hunter Morris 123

Pitching Leaders

Earned Run Average Johnny Hellweg 3.15
Games Travis Webb 56
Games Started Johnny Hellweg 23
Wins Johnny Hellweg 12
Losses Zach Kroenke 16
Saves Rob Wooten 20
Complete Games 4 pitchers 1
Strikeouts Jimmy Nelson 91
Innings Pitched Zach Kroenke 129.2
Hits Allowed Zach Kroenke 134
Runs Allowed Zach Kroenke 73
Walks Allowed Johnny Hellweg 81
Home Runs Allowed R.J. Seidel 12