Cyle Hankerd Highlights Former Crabs Winter Ball Success
(PHOTO: Brian Grening Pitching For The Canberra Calvary BEN SOUTHALL / SMP IMAGES)
Professional Winter League Baseball league have wrapped up throughout the world, and six former Blue Crabs from the 2015 Freedom Division Championship team made their presence felt.
Outfielder Cyle Hankerd, along with pitchers Brian Grening, Wade Korpi, Jake Hale, Sergio Perez, and Daryl Thompson participated in successful winter league seasons and ranked in the top 20 individually in numerous statistical categories in their respective leagues.
Hankerd is coming off a winter league season where finished in the top 10 in batting average (.301), Hits (50), Homeruns (6), RBIs (33), on-base percentage (.379), slugging (.488), and OPS (.867) on his Mazatlan team. He was also responsible for driving in the winning run to send his Mazatlan team to the Mexican Pacific Winter League Championship. In his short stint in a Blue Crabs uniform, Hankerd also ranked in the top five in the Atlantic League for the first two months of last season in average (1st), on base percentage (1st), slugging % (2nd), homers (4th), and total bases (3rd).
RHP Brian Grening, and LHP Wade Korpi both pitched for Canberra of the Australian Baseball League. Grening, he former Cleveland Indians farmhand, went 6-4, striking out the second most batters in the league (83), throwing the third most innings (85.2), and registering the 10th lowest ERA at 3.47 in 15 games pitched. Korpi tossed in just nine games and struck out an impressive 21 batters while walking 11.
Other notable RHPs from 2015 Blue Crabs squad, Sergio Perez, Daryl Thompson, and Jake Hale each participated in the Venezuelan Winter League. Perez finished in the top 10 in the league with 67.1 innings pitched (3rd), and 43 strikeouts (7th) and registered a 2.54 ERA (6th) in his winter campaign. He also helped his Aragua team advance to the league championship series. Thompson meanwhile, made just seven starts, but he finished in the top 20 in the league with 32 strikeouts. Hale, who was the starting pitcher for last season’s Atlantic League all-star game, pitched in just three games for La Guaira, going 1-0 and registering a 2.04 ERA.