Six Dodgers Part of Honu's Title Run

No Dodger farm team won a championship this past summer but for the second straight year, some of their players participated in winning the title in a post-season league. In 2005 it was Phoenix in the Arizona Fall League; this time around, it was the North Shore Honu in the revived Hawaii Winter League.

The Honu, which had six Dodgers on their squad, defeated the Waikiki Beach Boys 5-1 in the one-game playoff for the crown in a league that generally was evenly matched and quite competitive. The champs were only 19-17 during the season but won their division anyway.

The top performance by a Dodger was that of righthander Zach Hammes, who became the team's closer. Although he dropped his only decision, he recorded a 1.23 ERA with five saves, striking out 18 in 14.2 innings. His fast ball reached 98 mph and so effective was he that he pitched his way onto L.A.'s 40-man roster.

Lefthander Wesley Wright also did well with a 2-2, 1.55 mark. Wright is not draft-eligible nor were any other of the players sent there so none of those had to be protected.

Among the hitters, second baseman Blake DeWitt had his troubles, finishing at .216 with just one home run and only four RBI. Still, he was ranked as the league's seventh-best prospect in a Baseball America poll of the league's managers proving once again that stats don't always measure a player's promise. (Hammes finished 15th in the poll as the only other Dodger to make the top group.)

First baseman Cory Dunlap posted the best marks among the Dodgers - .262-2-12. Outfielder Xavier Paul declined badly as the season wore on, winding up at .213-2-11. Catcher Kenley Jansen wasn't used much and finished at .121-0-2

The league itself lost money but not nearly to the extent it had in its first try so it may well be around again in 2007.