My IronPigs Season-In-Review


Eickhoff is a reason to be hopeful for Phillies fans. Photo by Richard Wilkins Jr.

Photo by Richard Wilkins Jr.

The IronPigs season has been over for almost two weeks, but in truth it was over months ago. The product the Pigs put on the field to start the season was as ugly as the product the parent club put out in the early going. They didn’t hit much, couldn’t pitch, and the fielding left a lot to be desired. Up through Memorial Day, it looked like a team that would break records for losing. Then it stopped. The team got better. They played some good ball at times, and became competitive. Along the way prospects came through. What looked like another lost season ended up being a very fun Summer of baseball.

Lehigh Valley finished 63-81, which isn’t so good. They finished fifth in the International League’s North Division, only ahead of Pawtucket. They had just one All-Star, Tyler Henson, but also sent Brian Bogusevic to the Pan-Am Games this Summer. Attendance wise, they were outdrawn by Charlotte, Columbus, and Indianapolis, but the team did surpass 600,000 fans again. It’s also worth noting that some of those teams have more seats than the Pigs too.

Now though, the good news- real prospects passed through the Valley on the way to Philadelphia. It began with Maikel Franco, and obviously continued with Aaron Nola. Adam Morgan, Jerad Eickhoff, David Buchanan, and Alec Asher are all pitching for the parent club now in the rotation, and Severino Gonzalez has also this season. Hector Neris, Adam Loewen, Nefi Ogando, Delier Hinojosa, and others have pitched in the Phillies bullpen. Aaron Altherr, Kelly Dugan, and Jesse Biddle all got call-ups from Reading to the Pigs, and Altherr was so good that he’s in Philadelphia now, playing. There were some very impressive performers that played in Allentown this Summer, some of who could be a major part of the next Phillies team to contend. As the season progressed, and Reading players started to come up, the product on the field got a lot better to watch. They were a competitive team.

Next season should be an even more fun year. Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin, and others will come through Allentown on their way up. The Reading and Clearwater playoff teams will start to show up in AAA. In other words, we’re hoping the wins will come. Either way, it will be another fun Summer of watching talent come by.

Awards-

  • Best Player- Brian Bogusevic
  • Most Impressive Prospect- Maikel Franco
  • Fan Favorite- Russ Canzler
  • Best Pitcher- Aaron Nola
  • Best Pitching Prospect- Nola
  • JMJ Goodbye and Good Riddance Awards- Dom Brown, Phillippe Aumont

The last piece to touch on was the ballpark, which remains a true regional treasure. The food remains great, with my favorite being the dog stand in center field. The Beer Garden, and beer selection in general was great. I tried the bacon on a stick this year, and yeah, I was amazed. I love the new left-field seating in front of the bullpen, but still hate that they are ticketing for the “trough” seats along the right-field high wall. They should drop the “Dancing Dirt Dudes,” and maybe revamp a few of the promotions, but they still have a solid, family setting for the in-game experience. My seats behind the plate remain awesome. I basically approve of the ballpark experience in general, and recommend that more of you come up and check it out.

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