The final day of the minor league season for the Detroit Tigers affiliates did not go the way we wanted. Still, it was a pretty strong year of development, with most of the club’s prospects making serious gains. The system is lacking in blue chip prospects, and worse, the blue chippers they graduated haven’t been able to make much of an impact at the major league level. Much work remains. However, there were a lot of good signs for the club’s top ten position prospects, and they continue to sharpen a whole bushel of solid pitching prospects. We’ll have a lot to talk about in our season reviews of the farm system.
A whole new era in Tigers’ baseball is going to get underway with Scott Harris at its head this offseason, and we’re expecting a lot of change. However, it’s already felt world’s different with VP of Player Development Ryan Garko in charge this season. We’ll see if Harris decides to use some of the prospect depth to address major league needs, or if he tries to go about turning the Tigers around in the short-term by other means. Either way, it’s been a fun and very interesting season to cover, and here at its end, let me thank you all for reading these during the week and adding your thoughts and observations as we go.
Somerset Patriots 15, Erie SeaWolves 0 (box)
So, this didn’t end well. Congratulations to the Erie SeaWolves for a strong second half carried by their young starting pitching and strong campaigns from Parker Meadows and several other SeaWolves hitters. Unfortunately, their postseason run came to an abrupt halt with back-to-back shellings from the New York Yankees’ affiliate in Somerset, concluding with a no-hitter in Game 3 as the Patriots closed them out with authority.
After Chance Kirby was rocked on Tuesday, this time it was Ty Madden’s turn. Somerset scored nine runs in the first, knocking Madden out after just 18 pitches with three earned runs against him. After clearing 122 innings in his first pro season, alleviating some of the concerns about his durability, the right-hander just didn’t have it in this one, and manager Gabe Alvarez didn’t wait around for him to find it.
Surging lefty Adam Wolf took over only to allow two inherited runners to score, and then allowed six more runs, with an error on shortstop Corey Joyce keeping all but two of them unearned. Still, Somerset teed off on everything Wolf threw in the inning, capping it with a three-run shot by Jasson Dominguez.
Really there isn’t much else to report, as Yankees prospect Randy Vasquez fired eight no-hit innings with eight punchouts to one walk, and reliever Carson Coleman closed out the no-hitter in the ninth.
This guy was certainly a problem.
The Hens built an early lead and held on until the end, when a three-run ninth inning rally led to a walkoff win for the Cubs on Wednesday. Tough way for the season to end. The Mud Hens furious September rally fell short of the postseason, but they did go 20-7 in September, including their 12 game win streak from September 8 to September 22.
On a bullpen day for Toledo, Joe Navilhon got the starting assignment and tossed a scoreless first inning. Kody Clemens led off the top of the second with a double, and after Zack Short struck out, Brendon Davis drew a walk and Andre Lipcius lined a single to center to load the bases. A walk to Dylan Rosa and then a passed ball forced a pair of runs in, but that was all the offense the Hens could manage.
Navilhon allowed a solo shot in the bottom of the second as the Cubs trimmed the Hens lead in half. Carlos Pena, Zack Houston, Nolan Blackwood, Miguel Diaz, and Cody Sedlock came on in succession to keep the Cubs off the board until the bottom of the ninth.
Josh Lester led off the third with a double, but was stranded there. At that point, the bats went very cold and they wouldn’t record another hit until Daz Cameron doubled in the eighth with Lester already aboard with a walk. That was their last, best scoring opportunity, but Clemens and Short each struck out to squander the chances.
Drew Carlton took over to close this out in the ninth, and immediately surrendered a solo shot to Alexander Canario. Carlton got a ground out, but then hit Narciso Crook and gave up a two-run walkoff homer to Jared Young to lose it.
Lester: 1-3, 2B, BB, SO
Cameron: 1-4, 2B, SO
Lipcius: 1-3, BB