Eugene Emeralds season in review

The Eugene Emeralds had the unfortunate circumstance of playing in the same division as Salem-Keizer, a team that won 23-of-28 in August. Eugene did go 31-2 when leading after five inning, the best mark in the league.

The Emeralds 7-11 mark in one run games, however, was the worst mark in the league. Eugene had a .500 record or better in every month the played, going 18-10 in August, yet losing five games in the division over that time.

Chad Huffman had a 13-game hitting streak – sixth best in the league – where he hit .511 from August 8 through August 21. Mike Epping added an 11-game streak with an on base percentage of .429 from June 19 through July 1. Epping also reached base safely in 26 straight, a feat that was bested by just one player. He hit .305 over the streak with 28 runs scored.

Craig Cooper and Tom King each had 17-game on base streaks while Matt Antonelli added a 16-game on base streak. King also reached base in 19 straight home games, the second best mark in the Northwest League. Huffman, meanwhile, reached base safely in 17 straight road games.

Huffman was among the top hitters in the league in several categories. He placed second in the Northwest League in hitting with a .343 average, first in on base percentage at .439, second in slugging percentage (.576), and fifth in extra base hits (27).

Cooper commanded the same attention, hitting .320 – one of just six players to top .300 among those who qualified in the Northwest League. He also placed fifth in RBI's (46), fourth in doubles (18), and fifth in on base percentage (.418).

Epping led the Northwest League in runs scored with 53 and Antonelli's .426 on base percentage was second to Huffman.

Brooks Dunn may have had six losses but the left-hander placed fourth in the league in ERA at 2.26. Aaron Breit's 3.08 ERA placed eighth.

Rolando Valdez notched seven wins – as a reliever – tying him for third place among all pitchers. R.J. Rodriguez tallied 14 saves, two shy of the league lead.

Nick Tucci and Ernesto Frieri placed in the top five in appearances with 28 and 27, respectively.

Eugene hit .256 as a team, third best in the eight team league. They fell a homer shy of sharing the league lead, settling for a tie for second with 51. Eugene drew forty walks more than the next closest competitor, tallying 299 overall. They did, however, swipe the fewest bags in the league with 43.

On the pitching front, Eugene also placed third with a 3.54 ERA. They hurled five shutouts and registered more saves than any team with 24. The 38 homers they allowed was the second fewest and the 252 free passes yielded was the fourth most.

Five players who saw action in ten games or more hit over .285 with David Freese hitting a blistering .379 with 26 RBI's in 18 games. Those same five players all had an on base percentage over .400. They also had five players score 38 runs or more during the year.

Of the ten pitchers who made three or more starts, seven had an ERA under 3.75 and five under 3.25. Five of their relievers had an ERA under 3.35. Six pitchers averaged a strikeout per inning.

Who did you want up with the bases loaded?

While no player had more than ten at bats, Willy Crafort would have been the best bet. He knocked in nine runs in six at bats, hitting .500. Kody Valverde also plated six in just three at bats. Freese hit .478 in 23 at bats with runners in scoring position while Matt Stocco hit .389.

Who should be on the bump with runners on base?

Valdez stymied the opposition, limiting opponents to a .135 mark in 74 at bats. Orlando Lara was equally sound, holding the opposition to a .138 mark in 65 at bats. R.J. Rodriguez also held the opposition under .200. Justin Mattison took the cake with the bases loaded, yielding one hit in ten at bats. Ben Krosschell was also in the running, allowing one hit in seven at bats. Mattison held the opposition to a .147 mark with RISP and Aaron Breit gave up 12 hits in 67 at bats, a .179 mark. Faris had a .184 average against with RISP and Lara held steady with a .143 mark.


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