Reds Minor League Player of the Year?
Monday marked the end of the regular season for most of the minor leagues. Bakersfield will play in the Cal League playoffs after finishing with the league's best first-half record. Meanwhile Billings holds a one-game lead for second half division championship with three left to play.
Monday marked the end of the season for most of the Reds affiliates. Louisville, Pensacola, and Dayton completed their schedules. Bakersfield played their last regular season game and await the California League playoffs after winning its North Division first half of the season. Rookie league Billings has three games remaining and currently holds a one-game lead for the Pioneer League north division second half championship.
Louisville ended their finale with a 2-0 home loss to Indianapolis in a game shortened by rain in the eighth inning. The Bats’ offense was limited to only three hits on the evening. Joey Votto got another rehab appearance and struck out twice before lining out to the shortstop. Tim Gustafson got the start and allowed four hits/two walks in four innings. He only gave up one run, but that was enough to hang the loss on him, finishing his AAA record at 5-7 this season.
In some on-the-field antics, Indianapolis player Jeff Larish was supposed to play all nine positions. He only got eight of them in before the rain ended the game. The Indians 316# reliever Jose Diaz ultimately stole the show. In a rare at-bat he hit a ground ball and advanced to second on an errant throw. Not satisfied to stay there, he then stole third before scoring one of the game’s two runs on a single. The Bats finished their season at 51-93.
Pensacola ended their season with a 8-1 home loss to Tennessee. Brodie Greene went 3-4 and drove in their only run. Billy Hamilton and Josh Fellhauer added two hits apiece. Wirfin Obispo allowed only a single unearned run on two hits in four innings, but that was enough for the loss. He had a 2.23 ERA for the Wahoos this season. There was high turnover on the fish roster this season from promoting players to last-place Louisville and inheriting new ones from a strong first-half at Bakersfield. They finished the with an overall record of 68-70.
Billy Hamilton Theft Watch:
Hamilton doubled to lead off the first and was picked-off second. He led off the sixth with a single and came around to score the Blue Wahoo’s only run without stealing a base in the inning. He finished the minor league season with 155 stolen bases in 192 attempts in 132 games split between Bakersfield and Pensacola. He is high on the list of candidates for Reds minor league player of the year after hitting .311/.410 OB% overall and setting the minor league SB record.
Bakersfield ended their regular season finale with a win over Rancho Cucamonga at Sam Lynn Field. The Blaze broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and pulled away for a 7-4 final score. Travis Mattair was moved to ninth in the lineup and responded with three hits including his nineteenth home run. Dominic D’Anna added two hits with a homer. Steve Selsky broke the fifth inning tie with a two-run homer which was his fifteenth in 69 Cal League games. Tim Crabbe allowed one run on four hits/one walk while striking out five over five innings for the win. Michael Dennhardt came in to retire the final batter of the game for his first save.
The Blaze will next play in the California League playoffs as the first-half North Division champions. Their roster has been overhauled as many of the top first-half performers have since received promotions to Pensacola. They finished with an overall mark of 72-68 including a 31-39 second half.
Dayton ended their season with a 7-3 win at West Michigan. Jefry Siera had three hits and drove in a run. Sean Buckley had two hits including his fourteenth home run. Four other Dragons added two hits each: Sammy Diaz, Taylor Wrenn, Junior Arias, and Yovan Gonzalez. Ismael Guillon got the win by allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits/one walk with nine strikeouts. He finished at 2-0/2.55 with Dayton and 6-1/2.38 overall in fifteen games split between them and Billings. The Dragons finished the year with an overall record of 60-78.
Billings moved a step closer to the Pioneer League second half north division championship with a 5-2 win at Helena. The run differential came from a Mustang rally in the ninth for three which capped off with a two-run double by Jon Matthews. Beau Amaral was 2-4 with a walk and scored twice. Robert Maddox was 2-2 with two walks and an RBI. Robert Ramirez added two hits and Jesse Winker drove in the go-ahead run. Dan Langfield allowed two runs on five hits/two walks/two strikeouts in four innings for no decision. Jose Amezcua relieved him with four scoreless, one-hit innings with seven strikeouts for the win. Jesus Adames tossed a scoreless ninth for the save.