Players of the week named in Cal League

Both California League honors went to players from North Division teams this week.

Jonathan Gray of Modesto is the Pitcher of the Week. He had two starts and gave up just five hits and two runs (one earned) with one walk and a whopping 18 strikeouts in 10 innings.

  After four so-so Pioneer League outings, Gray jumped to the Cal League, where he has been utterly dominant. The 21-year-old Oklahoma product gave up 15 hits in 13 1/3 innings with Grand Junction; in 24 innings with Modesto, he’s allowed just 10 hits while striking out 36.

This was his second Pitcher of the Week honor in the Cal League.

Mac Williamson of San Jose is the Player of the Week. . The third-round pick out of Wake Forest in 2012 hit .481 (13 for 27) with three doubles, four home runs, 12 RBI and 10 runs scored.

Williamson has found his stride in the second half of his first full season. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound outfielder is batting .329 with with 15 homers and 49 RBI in 61 games since the All-Star break and has powered San Jose to nine straight wins.

Williamson homered four times in six games last week, has an extra-base hit in eight straight games and multiple hits in five of seven contests. The surge has pushed Williamson into third place in the Cal League homer race with 24 blasts.

 

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

 

 

 

Quakes outlast Mavericks 18-16 in 13 innings

Even in a place that is prone to crazy games, this one was especially crazy.

The Quakes rallied from an eight-run deficit, blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning, before scoring four times in the top of the 13th and held on for an 18-16 victory over the High Desert Mavericks before 738 fans in Adelanto late on Wednesday night.

The victory moved the Quakes (59-69) to within a half game of the Mavericks (59-68) for the South Division’s final playoff spot. The runs and the hits (22) were both season-highs for the Quakes. The game took 5 hours, 8 minutes.

Continue reading

Colvin goes to disabled list

Right-handed pitcher David Colvin of the High Desert Mavericks has been place on the disabled list by the parent Seattle Mariners.

Colvin, 24, had appeared in 31 games, 30 of those out of the bullpen. He had a 5-0 record and 2.38 ERA in 56 2/3 innings. Those are pretty impressive numbers given the hitter-friendly California League venue in which he pitches.

Colvin has not pitched since July 27 but was only recently placed on the disabled list.

Colvin was a 27th round draft pick by the Mariners in 2011.

His loss is big for the Mavericks who are trying to hold off Rancho Cucamonga and Lake Elsinore for the final South Division playoff spot with the season over in less than two weeks.

Velasquez knocked out in fourth inning of Cal League debut

Vincent Velasquez, a Garey High product who was the 58th overall pick by the Houston Astros in the 2010 draft, made his California League debut on Tuesday for Lancaster.

After allowing three baserunners and no runs in the first three innings, the right-handed Velasquez ran into trouble against host Lake Elsinore.

In the fourth, he allowed 10 men to come to the plate as the Storm scored five runs on a home run, two walks, five singles and a wild pitch. He was replaced with two outs.

His final line: 3 2/3 innings, seven hits, five earned runs, three walks, four strikeouts, one hit batter and one wild pitch. He threw 79 pitches. He also took the loss in a 5-4 Lake Elsinore win.

Players of the week named

Stockton and Lake Elsinore boasted recipients of this week’s Cal League Player of the Week honors.

Player of the week honors went to the Ports’ Tony Thompson, who hit .429 (12 for 28) with three home runs, 15 RBI and seven runs scored.

The 24-year-old Kansas  plated nine runs on a 4-for-5 night Friday. He added another blast and four more RBIs on Saturday, pushing him into second place in the Cal League with 87 on the season.

The Storm’s Johnny Barbato, 21, claimed Pitcher of the week honors, giving up three hits in six scoreless innings in his only outing of the week against Rancho Cucamonga. He struck out seven.

 

Players of the week named

High Desert's Patrick Kivlehan drove in 16 runs over six games last week.

Tanner Peters of Stockton and Patrick Kivlehan of High Desert earned weekly accolades in the California League this week.

Kivlehan, a 23-year-old third baseman out of Rutgers, went 13 for 25 (.520) with three doubles, three home runs and 16 RBI.  Kivlehan’s week was highlighted in a 5-for-7 showing in a 30-8 win over Lancaster on Friday. The Mariners prospect, who was the MVP of the Northwest League last summer, is hitting .328 with 39 RBI in 49 games since joining the Mavericks.

Peters, 23, came within two outs of throwing a perfect game on Friday against Modesto. He retired the first 25 batters he faced before yielding a one-out double in the ninth. Peters struck out a career-high 14 batters to give him 132 on the season — second-most in the A’s organization and third-most in the Cal League. He has won his last four decisions to improve to 11-5..

Tanner Peters ranks among the Cal League leaders in wins, ERA and strikeouts.

“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