The season was filled with both highs and lows as the Express experienced numerous streaks, both winning and losing. Unfortunately for Round Rock, losing streaks did them in, as there were six occasions where the Express lost four or more games in a row, including seven in June. Their best winning streak came in August, where they won six straight games and had their best month of the season.
Headlining the Express were pitchers Martin Perez and Justin Grimm. Perez had mixed results as he capped his season at 7-6, starting in 21 of 22 games. He allowed a .258 batting average, giving up only 10 home runs. Perez got the call up to the Texas Rangers, where he went 1-1 for Texas.
Grimm fared better than Perez, going 11-6 with the Express, starting in 22 of 25 games. He also got called up to the Rangers, posting a 1-1 record.
Batting was center fielder Leonys Martin’s forte this season. He appeared in 55 games posting a .359 batting average with 83 hits and 12 homers. His slugging percentage was .610. This impressive average led to him being called up to the Rangers throughout the season. Martin struggled with the Rangers and this could mean more time with the Express next season.
First baseman Brad Nelson (85 R, 24 HR, 81 RBI) and center fielder Julio Borbon (.304 BA, 78 R, 10 HR) provided to be reliable for the Express, as both appeared in the majority of Round Rock’s games.
The season ended in disappointment for a team coming off an 87-57 season in 2011, their best record since they were conference champions in 2006. In fact, the 2011 season was the Express’ only winning season since 2006. The lone winning season since 2006 contrasts the Express’ early years, where they suffered only one losing season from 2000-2006.
Is this a sign that the Express are headed for the bottom of the league, or can they buck their trend? Heading into next season, it will be important for Round Rock to maintain its key players. Martin’s presence in more than 55 games next season will be needed, but he may be found in MLB next season after potential offseason improvement.
The same can be said of the two pitchers, but their youth could allow them some more time to develop. If Perez and Grimm return for a good amount of games, they will provide reliability on the mound. Only time will tell if the Express can recover from a disappointing season.