The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers wrapped up their 2015 campaign with an overall record of 50-89 under fifth year manager Matt Erickson. The Rattlers winning percentage of .360 was second-to-last in the Midwest League, ahead of only the Clinton LumberKings.
Starting the season with a talented but inexperienced roster featuring players like 2014 top draft picks Kodi Medeiros, Jake Gatewood and Monte Harrison, Wisconsin went just 23-47 in the first half of the year. After much roster shuffling, they showed slight improvement in the second half, posting a record of 27-42.
Despite hitting just .224, third baseman Sthervin Matos led the team in home runs, runs batted in and runs scored while Elvis Rubio was the team leader in hits, doubles and games played. On the pitching side of things, reliever Luke Curtis led the team in both wins and saves while Zach Cooper had a club best 1.88 earned run average.
The Rattlers struggled out of the gate, dropping their first six games of the year while going just 8-13 over the season’s first month. May was even worse for the team as they sputtered through a 12 game losing streak from May 1st-13th and finished up the month at 8-23. June wasn’t much better, as the T-Rats were five games under .500 at 10-15 on the month. The team went 12-17 in July, showing signs of life late in the month with a season high five game winning streak that included a sweep over Clinton, and August saw the Rattlers play close to .500 ball for the month with a record of 13-15 before dropping six of seven September contests to round out the season.
The Timber Rattlers had a pair of representatives at the 2015 Midwest League All-Star Game in Peoria, Illinois, as catcher Carlos Leal and pitcher Cy Sneed were selected to participate for the Western Division.
Leal was unable to compete in the game due to injury, but Sneed saw action, pitching to a pair of batters in the sixth inning. He allowed a single to Claudio Bautista of the Lake County Captains, then got Fort Wayne outfielder Nick Torres to ground back to him for an out before being lifted as the East All-Stars went on to top the West by a score of 5-0.
Games Played: Elvis Rubio (124), Sthervin Matos (117), Tucker Neuhaus (104)
Runs: Sthervin Matos (61), Brandon Diaz (44), Elvis Rubio (42)
Hits: Elvis Rubio (109), Tucker Neuhaus (92), Sthervin Matos (91)
Doubles: Elvis Rubio (27), Tucker Neuhaus (19), Greg McCall (18)
Triples: Mitch Meyer (5), Sthervin Matos (5), Tucker Neuhaus (4)
Home Runs: Sthervin Matos (8), Brandon Diaz (6), Dustin DeMuth (5)
RBI: Sthervin Matos (45), Tucker Neuhaus (40), Elvis Rubio (38)
Walks: Brandon Diaz (46), Alan Sharkey (43), Sthervin Matos (42)
Stolen Bases: Sthervin Matos (23), Brandon Diaz (23), Gregory Munoz (12)
Batting Average: Carlos Leal (.309), Dustin DeMuth (.285), Blake Allemand (.272)
OPS: Carlos Leal (.764), Dustin DeMuth (.749), Brandon Diaz (.719)
Wins: Luke Curtis (8), Angel Ventura (7), David Burkhalter (5)
ERA: Zach Cooper (1.88), Cody Ponce (2.15), Cy Sneed (2.68)
Appearances: Luke Curtis (40), Tyler Linehan (39), Gian Rizzo (36)
Saves: Luke Curtis (7), David Burkhalter (6), Gian Rizzo (3)
Innings Pitched: Angel Ventura (122.1), David Burkhalter (101), Kodi Medeiros (93.1)
Strikeouts: Angel Ventura (126), Kodi Medeiros (94), David Burkhalter (93)
WHIP: Zach Cooper (1.00), Zach Hirsch (1.06), Scott Lieser (1.08)
Player of the Year
Carlos Leal: After making the move from the pitcher’s mound to behind the plate, Leal impressed all season long at Wisconsin, hitting a team leading .309 in 76 games. The 24-year-old from Puerto Rico posted a .764 OPS, amassing 15 doubles to go along with two triples and a pair of home runs. He knocked in 29 runs while also scoring 29 and committed just five errors behind the plate all season.
Pitcher of the Year
Angel Ventura: Flying under the radar for most of the season, the 22-year-old Ventura finished 2016 with a record of 7-6 and a 3.09 earned run average as one of the Timber Rattlers most reliable pitchers. He led the team in both innings pitched (122.1) and strikeouts (126) while also collecting a pair of saves and holding opposing hitters to a .235 batting average.