Perth took on host Sydney in a best-of-three series for the right to face Canberra in the finals. Friday's contest was rained out which necessitated a double-header on Saturday, February 2nd. The Heat advanced by taking both, 4-1 and 8-6.
Perth Heat –
Since Adam Melker is no longer with Perth, no further reporting will be done.
- Adam Melker: Melker's time with the Heat went from their season opener on November 1st through December 15th, the first 22 of Perth's 46 regular season games. While mainly the starting left fielder, Melker, who turned 25 on January 31st, started in center nine times. He made an excellent first impression in the opening series with five singles, a double and a home run in 12 at bats, three walks, six runs scored and an RBI. He was with the team when they journeyed to Busan, Korea in early November to participate in the Asia Series. Upon his return to Australia Perth's number two batter then slumped in his next two series, posting an OPS of .288 and .243 before rebounding with a .971 and .912 OPS in his last two series. Melker was placed on the Inactive Reserve list for the series starting December 21st where he remained for the balance of the season.
Regular Season: .247/.354/.358/.712, 81 AB, 20 R, 20 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 11 BB, 17 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 3 HBP, .297 BABIP
Sydney Blue Sox –
- Geoff Klein: Klein caught both of the first round games, batting in his usual five slot in the order. He singled three times in five at bats with a strikeout in game one, caught one trying to steal and got a hit each time he came to bat with runners on base. In the second game Klein worked a base-on-balls to begin the second, eventually scoring Sydney's first tally. Otherwise, he was hitless in three at bats with two strikeouts. Heat runners were successful in two of three stolen base attempts, including one of home.
For the season, Klein started 42 of 45 for the Blue Sox: 40 at catcher and two as the designated hitter. He began batting clean-up but dropped to sixth or seventh in the line-up because of a hitting slump early in the season. Klein finished in the five hole where he was for 20 starts. Offensively, his performance splits between roughly the first third of the season and the balance. Klein, who turns 25 on at the end of the month, went .190/.227/.206/.434 with three free passes and 15 strikeouts in 66 plate appearances for a walk rate of once every 22 plate appearances, a strikeout every 4.4 plate appearances and a .250 BABIP. He turned that around over his final 115 plate appearances by going .316/.417/.469/.887, .403 BABIP, with 17 walks and 24 strikeouts. His average strikeout rate remained pretty steady at once every 4.79 plate appearances but he improved his walk rate dramatically to once every 6.76 plate appearances. Klein's power increased as well from only one extra-base hit, a double, in his initial 66 plate appearances to 11, nine doubles and two long balls, over the latter period, which brought his ISO from 0.016 to 0.153.
Regular Season: .267/.348/.366/.715, 161 AB, 21 R, 43 H, 10 2B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 20 BB, 39 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 0 E, .342 BABIP, .099 ISO
Play-offs: .375/.444/.375/.819, 8 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 SO, .600 BABIP,
Caneros de Los Mochis/Yaquis de Obregon –
- Jermaine Curtis: Curtis spent the regular season with the Caneros de Los Mochis, starting in 53 of 67 contests. His season began with six starts at second in the Caneros' first 10 games but in five of his six starts he was replaced in the late innings by Dodgers' prospect Jesus Arredondo who eventually replaced him as the starting second baseman. Curtis was on the Inactive List and did not play from October 20th through November 5th. From November 6th on, Curtis started at third in all but one of the Caneros' remaining 47 contests. He bat second 27 times and led off in 18 games. Curtis began slowly at the plate, going .188/.206/.219/.425 with a base-on-balls, five strikeouts and a .214 BABIP in his first 35 plate appearances over eight games through November 7th. The 25-year-old broke out after that point, batting a torrid .368/.471/.456/.927 with 24 free passes, 15 strikeouts, and a .405 BABIP in 156 plate appearances over 35 games through December 18th. He slumped badly in his last 10 games, managing just five hits in 34 at bats (45 plate appearances) with seven walks and an equal number of strikeouts for a line of .147/.310/.176/.486 with a ..185 BABIP. Defensively, Curtis was charged with four errors.
Although the Caneros did not qualify for the post-season, Curtis was selected by the Yaquis de Obregon in a post-season draft. His late-season offensive woes continued in a Yaquis' uniform as he went hitless in six games and 11 at bats. Obregon sat him after a pinch-hitting appearance on January 13th and he did not play in any of his team's last seven games through January 26th. Curtis is not of Obregon's roster for the Caribbean Series.
Regular Season: .306/.405/.372/.777, 180 AB, 27 R, 55 H, 9 2B, 1 HR, 22 RBI, 30 BB, 25 SO, 9 SB, 2 CS, .344 BABIP, 4 E, 1:8.74 K/PA, 1:7.38 BB/PA
First-round Stats: .000/.250/.000/.250, 9 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 3 BB, 1 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS, 1 E
Second-round Stats: .000/.500/.000/.500, 2 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 1 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 0 E
- Anthony Ferrara: Ferrara's time with Los Mochis covered a relief appearance and three starts in his squad's final 17 games. The southpaw got his feet wet with a scoreless frame on December 11th then made his first start three days later, fanning six while issuing two free passes and hitting a batter in four shutout innings. His first tallies allowed came on the 19th when he allowed three, earned, on four hits and three base-on-balls and a wild pitch in 4.2 innings. His only decision was a win in his final start on December 26th although it was a product of his least effective results. Ferrara gave up four runs, three earned, on seven hits, four walks and a hit batsman in five plus. He averaged 9.8 strikeouts/9 IP but also averaged 5.5 walks for the same period. Ferrara recorded 16 ground outs and 7 fly outs.
Season: 3.68 ERA/3.27 FIP, 4 G, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 HB, 9 BB, 16 SO, 1.50 WHIP, .250 BAA, .342 BABIP
Venados de Mazatlan –
- Nick Additon: Additon was the Venados' Opening Day starter on October 13th, remaining part of their rotation until he was shut down on December 6th. Additon made 10 starts during that span. The lefty got off to a good start in October, sporting a 3.68 ERA/2.65 FIP in 14.2 innings over three starts. He walked under two batters every nine innings on average with a 3.3:1 K/BB ratio. While the opposition hit .298 against him, Additon's BABIP was .354. The 25-year-old's October 30th start was pushed back until November 1st due to flu-like symptoms and that may have been a harbinger of things to come as his pitching over his subsequent three starts could make one a bit queasy. Over his next 15.1 innings through November 14th, Additon's ERA ballooned to 5.28 with a 4.18 FIP as his control deserted him to an average of 4.7 base-on-balls/9 IP. Although he averaged more strikeouts as well, 8.2 versus 6.1, he compiled a 1.75:1 K/BB ratio. Additon's batting average against dropped to .267 with a .333 BABIP. Although he garnered mixed results in his last four starts, his numbers improved significantly from the first-half of November's stats. Additon amassed a 2.74 ERA/3.59 FIP in 23 innings with a 1.13 WHIP that was largely driven by the 16 hits he yielded. That translates to a .195 BAA with a .250 BABIP. The Florida native's control improved somewhat, 3.91 BB/9 IP, as did his strikeouts, 9.8 SO/9 IP for a 2.5:1 K/BB ratio. Overall, Additon induced 48 ground outs to 35 fly outs.
Season: 3.74 ERA/3.50 FIP, 10 G, 10 GS, 53 IP, 49 H, 30 R, 22 ER, 3 HR, 2 HB, 21 BB (2 IBB), 49 SO, 1.32 WHIP, .246 BAA, .309 BABIP, 2.33 K/BB
Puerto Rico is the only participating team with a St. Louis-affiliated player on the roster, Luis Mateo. Hence, they receive the spotlight.
Puerto Rico (Criollos de Caguas)
Puerto Rico dropped their first three contests, losing 3-0 to host Mexico in the opener, 6-2 to the Dominican Republic and 3-1 to Venezuela. They rebounded to triumph 6-4 against the Dominican Republic and 4-1 over Venezuela. Their tournament ended with a 10-0 drubbing at the hands of Mexico.
- Luis Mateo: Mateo started at short for Puerto Rico, batting at or near the bottom of the order. He notched two of his squad's five hits in the first game but went hitless in three at-bats with an error the next game. Mateo went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts in game three's loss but doubled, singled and scored a run in game four's victory. Game five saw him single and drive in one of Puerto Rico's four tallies but going 0-for-3 in the final game. Mateo committed three errors, two fielding and one throwing, while striking out seven times in 22 at bats.
Regular Season: .313/.345/.403/.748, 134 AB, 19 R, 42 H, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 15 RBI, 8 BB, 28 SO, 7 SB, 0 CS, 8 E, .380 BABIP, .082 ISO, 5.4% BB/PA, 19.0% K/PA
Round-Robin Stats: .250/.311/.375/.686, 40 AB, 5 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 8 SO, 0 SB, 2 CS, 2 HBP, .303 BABIP
League Finals Stats: .273/.360/.409/.769, 22 AB, 2 R, 6 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 1 HBP, 1 E, .353 BABIP
Overall Post-season Stats: .258/.329/.387/.716, 62 AB, 7 R, 16 H, 4 2B, 2 3B, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 13 SO, 1 SB, 2 CS, 3 HBP, 1 E, .320 BABIP
Caribbean Series Stats: .273/.273/.313/.591, 22 AB, 1 R, 6 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 7 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 0 HBP, 3 E, .400 BABIP
Magallanes hosted Lara on January 30th in game seven of the league championship. The hosts triumphed 11-9, winning the right to represent Venezuela in the Caribbean Series.
Cardenales de Lara –
- Richard Castillo: Castillo entered the third with three runs already across, his team down 4-2 and a runner on first with one out. He sandwiched a fly out and ground out around a single to strand the runner but was not as effective in the next frame when he coughed two long balls for three more tallies.
During the post-season, Castillo's chief value was his ability to douse potential flames due to inherited runners. He inherited 15 in eight appearances and only three scored, those coming in two appearances. Eight of the 15 were in scoring position, including all three that ended up crossing home. Castillo also exhibited excellent control, issuing only one free pass with 10 strikeouts. He recorded 15 ground outs and 16 fly outs.
Season: 4.50 ERA/5.34 FIP, 26 G, 0 GS, 24 IP, 28 H, 14 R, 12 ER, 2 HR, 1 HB, 14 BB, 13 SO, 1.75 WHIP, .286 BAA, .313 BABIP
Post-season Stats: 4.69 ERA/5.68 FIP, 12 G, 0 GS, 15.1 IP, 12 H, 8 R/ER, 5 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0.85 WHIP, .226 BAA, .200 BABIP, 15 IR/3 IRS
Navigantes del Magallanes –
- Victor Marte: Marte did not pitch on January 30th and is not on the Navigantes' Caribbean Series roster. He came in with runners on in five of his six appearances for Magallanes. Five of the nine runners were in scoring position and three of the five touched home, covering two appearances. Marte had four ground outs to 11 fly outs.
Post-season Stats: 4.65 ERA/2.17 FIP, 6 G, 0 GS, 9.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 11 SO, 1.24 WHIP, .243 BAA, .333 BABIP, 9 IR/3 IRS
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