Arizona Fall League rosters announced

The Arizona Fall League rosters for this year were announced and several current or former Quakes or 66ers were selected to play.

The Mesa Solar Sox, which includes minor leaguers from the Angels, A’s, Cubs, Nationals and Tigers, includes several former or current 66ers. Current 66ers include: league MVP OF Zach Borenstein, P R.J. Alvarez, and P Cam Bedrosian. Former 66ers include: C Jett Bandy, P Mike Morin, 2B Taylor Lindsey and 1B C.J. Cron.

The Glendale Desert Dogs, which includes minor leaguers from the Dodgers, Marlins, Twins, Reds and White Sox, has a few current or former Quakes. Current Quake coach Johnny Washington is on the coaching staff, and current Quakes C Pratt Maynard, C Chris O’Brien and 3B Corey Seager as well as ex-Quake OF Brian Cavazos-Galvez.

66ers have clinched a playoff spot

It may not look like it on the surface but after emails with the league office and some computations, the 66ers have already clinched a playoff spot, entering play on Monday, even though they are only up on High Desert by 6 1/2 games and the Quakes by 7 games with 8 66ers games remaining. The top 2 teams from that group will make the playoffs.

Here’s how. If the 66ers lose their final 8, they are 67-73. Because the Quakes and High Desert play each other three times this week, they can’t both go undefeated. If one of them went undefeated and the Sixers went 0-8, the Sixers would still get in as the 2nd wild card.

If the 66ers went 0-8, the Quakes went 2-1 against High Desert and the Quakes and High Desert won all the rest of their games, there would be a three-way tie for two playoff spots, at 67-73.

What is the tie-breaker? Head-to-head against the other teams. Entering Monday, the Sixers are a combined 31-17 against the other two teams, giving them the tiebreaker advantage and leaving the Quakes and High Desert to play a one-game playoff next Tuesday for the final spot.

While that scenario is highly unlikely, a two-way tie between the Quakes and High Desert for the final spot is a very real possibility. The host team for that one-game playoff is based on head-to-head. High Desert leads the head-to-head 11-9, so the Quakes would have to sweep this week in order to get to host a one-game playoff.

Sixers’ Borenstein is league MVP

Inland Empire outfielder-designated hitter Zach Borenstein, 23, has been named California League Most Valuable Player.

Borenstein is leading the league in hitting (.332) and slugging percentage (.628), is second in home runs (25) and fourth in RBI (87). He was on the disabled list for a month with a hip injury which possibly cost him a shot at a Triple Crown.

He has notched career highs in every offensive category except doubles.
Borenstein is the first Sixer to earn MVP honors since Carlos Santana in 2008, Santana played in San Bernardino when it was a Dodgers affiliate and is now the starting catcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Borenstein led a group of four players from Inland Empire who earned All-Star team. The others are second baseman Alex Yarbrough, first baseman Michael Snyder and pitcher Mark Sappington. All are still with the Sixers except for Sappington who was promoted to Double-A Arkansas three weeks ago.

The lone representative for Rancho Cucamonga is outfielder Scott Schebler who is hitting .307 with a league-high 23 home runs and eighth in RBI (83) and is hitting .274.

Rodney Linares of Lancaster is the Manager of the Year. His team is 75-54 overall. The JetHawks won the South Division first half and have a seven-game lead in the second with 11 games left.

Dan Winkler (12-5, 2.97) of the Modesto Nuts is the Pitcher of the Year.

Here’s the whole list of honorees:

MVP – Zach Borenstein, Inland Empire

Manager of the Year – Rodney Linares, Lancaster

Pitcher of the Year – Dan Winkler, Modesto

Rookie of the Year – Addison Russell, Stockton

Catcher – Ryan Casteel, Modesto

First base – Michael Snyder, Inland Empire

Second base – Alex Yarbrough, Inland Empire

Third base – Matt Duffy, Lancaster

Shortstop – Addison Russell, Stockton

Utility – M.P. Cokinos, Lancaster

Designated hitter – Zach Borenstein, Inland Empire

Outfielder – Scott Schebler, Rancho Cucamonga

Outfielder – Andrew Aplin, Lancaster

Outfielder – Travis Jankwoski, Lake Elsinore

Pitcher – Mark Sappington, Inland Empire

Pitcher – Ty Blach, San Jose

Pitcher – Dan Winkler, Modesto

Pitcher, Andrew Barbosa, Visalia

 

 

 

“Best Tools” singles out top players

Kyle Crick has a 1.58 ERA in 45 2/3 innings for San Jose.

Baseball America has announced the results of its annual Best Tools survey which asks the managers in each league to evaluate the prospects they think are best at each position in each facet of the game.

Inlnad Empire had one player singled out as Alex Yarbrough was named Best Defensive Second Baseman. I think Eric Stamets should have been named Best Defensive Shortstop but Modesto’s Trevor Story was named.

Rancho Cucamonga’s Jon Garcia, who has since been promoted, was named Best Outfield Arm.

Here is the rundown:

Best Batting Prospect – Addison Russell, Stockton

Best Power Prospect – Mac Williamson, San Jose

Best Strike Zone Judgment – Nolan Fontana, Lancaster

Best Baserunner – Travis Jankowksi, Lake Elsinore

Fastest Baserunner – Travis Jankowski, Lake Elsinore

Best Pitching Prospect – Kyle Crick, San Jose

Best Fastball – Kyle Crick, San Jose

Best Breaking Pitch – Clayto Blackburn, San Jose

Best Changeup – Tanner Peters, Stockton

Best Control – Ty Blach, San Jose

Best Reliever – Jake Barrett, Visalia

Best Defensive Catcher – Austin Hedges, Lake Elsinore

Best Defensive 1B – Max Muncy, Stockton

Best Defensive 2B – Alex Yarbourgh, Inland Empire

Best Defensive 3B – Juan Silverio, Bakersfield

Best Defensive SS – Trevor Story, Modesto

Best Infield Arm – Trevor Story, Modesto

Best Defensive OF – Travis Jankoswki, Lake Elsinore

Best Outfield Arm – Jon Garcia, Rancho Cucamonga

Most Exciting Player – Addison Russell, Stockton

Best Managerial Prospect – Webster Garrison, Stockton

 

 

 

Quakes, Sixers back in action

After a day off both local California teams are back in action.

Rancho Cucamonga will host Lake Elsinore while Inland Empire will be traveling to High Desert. Both games are set for 7:05 p.m.

The Quakes (52-62) will send (4-6, 5.03)Lindsay Caughel to the mound while the Storm (50-63), a Padres affiliate, will counter with John Barbato (2-4, 5.19.

Meanwhile the Sixers will start Orangel Arenas (6-5, 4.98), who has been nearly unhittable at home but struggled in road games.  Jordan Pries (6-6, 5.07) is slated to start for the Mavericks.

It’s Sixers day at Angels Stadium

 

All 10 teams in the California League have the day off. The Inland Empire 66ers will be at Angels Stadium where the parent team will be hosting the Texas Rangers in a 7:05 contest.

 

Players will be under the big hats at the main gates signing autographs starting at 5:30 .m. and will be introduced on the field before the game.

Special ticket prices available for 66ers fans and tickets are still available! Grab your tickets here: www.angels.com/redclub.

 

The Sixers (60-54 overall, 23-21 second half) resume California League play on Tuesday at High Desert.

Top Sixer pitcher moves up

The Inland Empire 66ers will go the rest of the way without the anchor of their pitching staff as ace Mark Sappington  has been promoted to Double-A Arkansas of the Texas League.

Sappington, 22,  was 11-4 with a 3.37 ERA that ranked him second in the California League. He was on track to match a team record for wins in a season of 14, last accomplished by Ryan Ketchner in 2003.

In 22 starts (130 2/3 innings) the 6-foot-5 right-hander had recorded 111 strikeouts while allowing 49 earned runs, 103 hits and 62 walks.  He ranked third in the Cal League in ERA, tied for second in wins and led it in innings pitched. He was voted to the mid-season All-Star team.

He is the No. 9 ranked prospect in the Angels organization by Baseball America.

Inland Empire outfielder shooting for rare Triple Crown

Winning a Triple Crown is tough in the majors, but it’s almost as tough in the minors. Inland Empire outfielder Zach Borenstein has a shot.

Borenstein, a 23rd round draft pick out of Eastern Illinois, leads the California League in batting (.341). The next two players behind him in that category have been promoted and won’t have enough at-bats by the end of the year to qualify.

The other two categories might be tougher. Borenstein has 21 home runs, trailing only Rancho Cucamonga’s Scott Schebler (23) and Sixers teammate Michael Snyder (22).

In RBI Borenstein (76) trails just Andrew Aplin (84) and Matt Duffy (77), both of Lancaster. That might the toughest deficit to overcome because the two frontrunners have a decided advantage playing in the most hitter friendly venue in the league. It’s actually amazing the Borenstein is that close in RBI with Aplin having played 23 more games.

The last player to win a Triple Crown in the Cal League is Ruben Gonzalez who did so with the then San Bernardino Spirit in 1989. His numbers weren’t exactly overwhelming – a .308 batting average with 27 home runs and 101 RBI.

Borenstein also seems to have a legitimate shot at Cal League Player of the Year honors. He leads the league in slugging percentage (.649).

If nothing else, Borenstein has put himself on the Angels’ organization’s radar. He wasn’t listed in the top 30 prospects this year but it would be hard for Baseball America to leave him out next year given those numbers.

Quakes pitcher moves up

The Los Angeles Dodgers promoted RHP Carlos Frias from High-A Rancho Cucamonga to Double-A Chattanooga on Tuesday, forcing a Quakes manager Carlos Subero to alter his rotation.

Frias, 23,  had been schedule to pitch against Inland Empire tonight at San Manuel Stadium but Subero handed the ball to Gustavo Gomez instead.

Frias was 2-3 with a 4.11 ERA in eight starts with the Quakes. He started the season at Low-A Great Lakes and made his first start with Rancho on June 15.