Minor League Ball Gameday, November 15th

Giants right hander Kyle Crick struck out five in three innings. - USA TODAY Sports

Mesa clinches the AFL East division and will take on Surprise for the championship.

Good afternoon everyone. It went down to the wire, but the Mesa Solar Sox barely edged out the Salt River Rafters for the Eastern division title. The Sox finished 19-11-1 while the Rafters came in with a 19-12 record. The championship game will be played Saturday the 16th at 3:10 PM EST at Scottsdale Stadium. Starting pitchers have not been announced as of yet.

Final League Standings

TEAM WIN LOSS TIE GB
AFL EAST
Mesa Solar Sox 19 11 1 -
Salt River Rafters 19 12 0.5
Scottsdale Scorpions 10 21 9.5
AFL WEST
Surprise Saguaros 18 12 1 -
Glendale Desert Dogs 13 16 2 4.5
Peoria Javelinas 12 19 6.5

Game Recaps

Mesa 9 - Glendale 3

Tyler Collins and Zach Borenstein combined to drive in seven of the nine Mesa runs yesterday. Collins was 1-3 with a home run, two walks, two runs, drove in four and struck out once. Borenstein came in a defensive replacement and was 1-2 with a walk, home run, three RBI's and a run scored. Kris Bryant crossed the plate three times, going 1-3 with two walks. CJ Cron kept up his hot hitting going 2-4 with a double, RBI, sac fly and a run scored with an error. In Cron's last 10 games he's been hotter than the desert, hitting .486/.545/.757 with two homers, four doubles, eleven RBI, seven runs, four walks and four strike outs. Brian Goodwin scored once, hit a double and walked with two punch outs. Devon Travis went 2-5, and Addison Russell walked, stole a base and struck out twice. Sammy Solis threw great, winning his league leading fifth game, allowing just a run on six hits with four strike outs and a pick off in five innings. He was followed by two innings from Omar Duran where he gave up two runs on two hits, a walk, wild pitch and two strike outs. Cam Bedrosian worked a clean inning with a strike out and RJ Alvarez worked around two hits and one strike out.

Andrew Heaney put up a solid start as well, working three innings allowing a run on four hits and two walks with three punch outs. Somehow he was still tagged with the loss. AJ Achter walked a man then allowed a two-run homer to Borenstein in an inning. Craig Stem got worked for four runs on four hits with an inning, allowing a three-run shot to Collins. Colby Suggs struck out one and walked one in an inning before Edgar Olmos came in and walked three, allowed two hits and two runs while getting just one out. Jarrett Martin struck out the next two to get out of the inning stranding three men. Nick Wittgren struck out one, setting the side down in order then Trevor May did the same minus the punch out. Brian Cavazos-Galvez knocked three doubles with a run scored and an RBI. Corey Seager and Colin Moran were both 2-4 with Seager scoring once and Moran striking out twice with an error. Eddie Rosario saw some time in left and got on base twice, walking and hitting a single with a run scored, strike out and was picked off. Travis Mattair knocked in one with a sac fly and struck out once.

Salt River 3 - Scottsdale 2

Kyle Crick may have out-pitched opposing starter Aaron Sanchez today, but Sanchez and his Salt River squad took home the W. Sanchez allowed one run on six hits and two walks with three strike outs and a wild pitch in five innings. Mike Montgomery threw two perfect innings, setting all six men down in order with two strike outs mixed in. Lee Stoppelman gave up a run in his inning on a walk and a hit. Jake Barrett earned the save working around two hits with a strike out. The Rafters got the most out of their three hits, also walking seven times. Dustin Garneau hit a solo shot and caught both runners that tried to steal on him behind the plate. Kyle Parker doubled and struck out, and Stephen Piscotty got the other hit with a single, RBI, walk, run scored and a strike out. Kenny Wilson scored on a walk with two strike outs. James Ramsey walked twice and struck out, Jake Lamb walked once and struck out twice, Nick Ahmed walked once and Mike Freeman knocked in one with a walk.

Crick did not allow a hit in three innings with two walks and five punch outs. John Cornely walked two and gave up a hit resulting in a run in his one frame. Brett Gerritse took the loss with a disastrous outing, allowing two runs on two hits, two walks, an error and a strike out with a home run allowed. Zach Thornton, Juan Jaime, and Fred Lewis threw shut out frames a piece. Thornton walked one, Jaime struck out one and Lewis struck out two, neither of the three allowed a hit. Andrew Susac was 2-3 with a walk, Mason Williams was 2-3 with a double, run scored and was caught stealing. Alen Hanson and Addison Maruszak both singled, struck out and drove in one but Hanson also walked and was caught stealing as well. Alex Dickerson and Robby Hefflinger both singled once as well while Dickerson struck out once and Hefflinger went down twice. Gift Ngoepe finished with the second lowest batting average of all position players at .085 by going 4-51. Pratt Maynard took those honors home by going 0-4.

Peoria 3 - Surprise 0

Peoria's pitching staff was on point, striking out 13 with just one walk and four hits allowed to the West division champs. It started with Matt Heidenreich going four innings with just one hit allowed and six strike outs. Joe Wieland and Kyle Hunter worked an inning a piece, both allowing a hit but Hunter also struck out one and walked a batter. Dennis O'Grady put the side down in order before Austin Wright did the same striking out the side. Ken Giles got the save striking out the side as well but with a hit mixed in as well. Cameron Perkins got the only RBI with a double in three at bats. Jonathan Meyer doubled as well with a single and a run scored. Cory Spangenberg scored twice with a walk and a sacrifice. Delino DeShields hit two singles, was caught stealing and struck out once. Chris Taylor also knocked a single with a strike out.

Will Roberts gave up three runs (only one earned) on five hits, two walks and seven strike outs in five innings. It was his third loss but lowered his ERA to 6.67. Jason Gurka followed with a scoreless frame, striking out one. Kevin Shackelford worked around a walk and a hit but didn't allow a run. Nick McBride also threw an inning, striking out one. DH Joe Wendle led the offense with two singles and a strike out. Brett Nicholas doubled in three at bats, and Jason Rogers singled with a strike out and threw out a runner at home. Short stop Tony Wolters worked the only walk, struck out and was caught stealing. Third baseman Ryan Rua and second baseman Jonathan Schoop both came up empty two of three times up and both made a throwing error. Rua also booted a ball for his fifth and sixth errors of the fall.

Final League Leaders

HITTERS (min 40 PA)

CATEGORY PLAYER TEAM POS
AVG .413 CJ Cron LAA/MSS 1B
OBP .507 Andrew Susac SF/SCO C
SLG .774 Michael Ohlman BAL/SUR C
OPS 1.250 Michael Ohlman BAL/SUR C
wOBA .535 Michael Ohlman BAL/SUR C
wRC+ 225 Michael Ohlman BAL/SUR C
H 39 Tyler Naquin CLE/SUR CF
R 22 Tyler Naquin CLE/SUR CF

22 Kris Bryant CHC/MSS 3B
2B 9 Kyle Parker COL/SRR 1B
3B 3 Stephen Piscotty STL/SRR RF

3 Cory Vaughn NYM/SCO RF
HR 6 Kris Bryant CHC/MSS 3B
RBI 24 Mitch Haniger MIL/SUR RF
SB 12 Kenny Wilson TOR/SRR CF
BB 17 Garin Cecchini BOS/SUR 3B
17 Richie Shaffer TB/SRR 1B
K 4 Tommy La Stella ATL/SCO 2B
ISO power .484 Michael Ohlman BAL/SUR C

PITCHERS (min 10 IP)

CATEGORY PLAYER TEAM POS
ERA 0.00 Derek Law SF/SCO RHRP

0.00 Fred Lewis NYY/SCO LHRP

0.00 Chasen Bradford NYM/SCO RHRP
WHIP 0.59 Nick Wittgren MIA/GDD RHRP
WINS 5 Sammy Solis WAS/MSS LHSP
IP 32 Bo Schultz AZ/SRR RHSP
H 6 Shawn Armstrong CLE/SUR RHRP
6 Chasen Bradford NYM/SCO RHRP
6 Nick Wittgren MIA/GDD RHRP
6 Shae Simmons ATL/SCO RHRP
ER 0 Derek Law SF/SCO RHRP
0 Fred Lewis NYY/SCO LHRP
0 Chasen Bradford NYM/SCO RHRP
BB 1 Chasen Bradford NYM/SCO RHRP
1 Dominic Leone SEA/PEO RHRP
K 29 Sammy Solis WAS/MSS LHSP
BB/9 0.75 Dominic Leone SEA/PEO RHRP
K/9 13.94 Ken GIles PHI/PEO RHRP
K/BB 15.0 Dominic Leone SEA/PEO RHRP
FIP 1.08 Nick Wittgren MIA/GDD RHRP
BAA .130 Nick Wittgren MIA/GDD RHRP
HR 6 Will Roberts CLE/SUR RHSP
SV 6 Dominic Leone SEA/PEO RHRP
LOSS 5 Aaron Northcraft ATL/SCO RHSP
GP 13 Jarrett Martin LAD/GDD RHRP
13 Nick Wittgren MIA/GDD RHRP
K% 38.8 Nick Wittgren MIA/GDD RHRP
BB% 2.0 Dominic Leone SEA/PEO RHRP

Links

****Behind the paywall at BP, Doug Thorburn is continuing his Bush League series, highlighting Noah Syndergaard of the Mets.

****Over in the fanposts, Dalman is handling the Community Ratings of this past year's rookie class. #2 went to Yasiel Puig and #3 is up for voting now.

****The Internet Baseball Awards coincided with the official Cy Young voting with Max Scherzer winning the AL and Clayton Kershaw taking home the hardware for the NL.

****In the MVP category, the IBA also announced their winners. Mike Trout edged Miguel Cabrera out for the AL crown and Andrew McCutchen bested Paul Goldschmidt for the NL award.

****Jim Callis broke down the Crick v Sanchez match up in more depth.

****Mark Sheldon looked at Billy Hamilton and his trip to the Puerto Rican winter league.

****MiLB.com did a Q&A with defensive specialist Austin Hedges of the Padres.

****The Aberdeen Ironbirds will be changing their uniforms and dropping the blue for a straight orange and black look like their parent club.

Top Prospect Lists

****The Miami Marlins were the subject of FanGraph's next Top 15 prospect list. They also did a Q&A with #1 on their list, left hander Andrew Heaney. Carson Cistulli brought the STEAMER projections for the Top 15 to the party.

****The guys over at Bullpen Banter revealed their Top 10 Indians ProspectsFrancisco Lindor leads the pack and they also note six other players to keep an eye on.

****Baseball America released the Milwaukee Brewers Top 10 Prospects. In a system bereft of any impact talent, Jimmy Nelson takes the top spot. A chat with list maker Tom Haudricourt and detailed reports are after the paywall.

****Baseball Prospectus let their Top 10 for the Chicago White Sox out of the bag. Prof Parks and company tabbed Erik Johnson as the #1 prospect in the system.

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