Each week this season, Fish Stripes recapped the past week’s performances throughout the Marlins minor league system. We highlighted the players who either had an outstanding week, or one they would like to put behind them. Since the regular season is behind us, we’ll now breakdown the performances from each playoff series for Clinton and Batavia.
All stats updated entering September 16.
Low-A Clinton LumberKings (4-4 Playoff Record)
A very successful season for the Clinton LumberKings, though not the ending they had hoped for. After finishing the regular season 17 games above a .500 winning percentage, the LumberKings were also able to cruise all the way to the Midwest Championship Series. Unfortunately, the South Bend Cubs swept them to elimination.
Productivity from their offense during the playoffs was certainly something the LumberKings didn’t have to worry about until the finals. They exploded for a total of 17 runs through the two games during their first series against the Kane County Cougars. The production continued for the LumberKings through their next series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels (12 runs in three games).
The Clinton LumberKings have been in total command of their playoff game the entire night, including this booming Will Banfield double to dead center field pic.twitter.com/Fl2Ybs90UC— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 6, 2019
It was a different story during the championship against the Cubs, however. Clinton scored three total runs in the series, including being no-hit for most of the elimination game.
As for their pitching, the LumberKings received consistency throughout the postseason. The staff surrendered an average of just 2.5 runs/game despite graduating talented arms like Chris Vallimont, Humberto Mejía and Alex Vesia from earlier in the summer.
Outstanding Player: Jake Walters
A ninth-round selection by the Marlins in 2018, Jake Walters was untouchable in two playoff starts. Walters gave up just one run on six hits and recorded 10 strikeouts through a combined 13 innings pitched. The 23-year-old gave the LumberKings an opportunity to win during both of his outings against elite competition.
If Walters would have been able to receive more than one run of support in his start against the Cubs, then the LumberKings very likely would have stretched out the series to four or five games.
Short Season A Batavia Muckdogs (1-2 Playoff Record)
After winning their division, the Batavia Muckdogs were eliminated from the playoffs following their series against the Lowell Spinners. The Muckdogs opened the series of a 4-1 victory, but lost each of their next two games by a single run to end their season.
We’re hurting for now. But thank you to every fan who supported us this year and every member of our staff back in Batavia. This year was a huge turnaround for us. We won field of the year, had a competitive team and attendance was the best in over a decade. Thank you Batavia— Batavia Muckdogs (@BataviaMuckdogs) September 7, 2019
When you lose by only one, it’s hard to place blame on the offense or pitching staff. That being said, the Muckdogs definitely could have used a little more support from their offense during the second game of their series against the Spinners. All their lineup was able to muster up was a single run during that game, losing by a score of 2-1.
In the decisive Game 3, the Muckdogs needed their pitching staff to perform better. After only allowing a total of three runs through the first two games of the series, they surrendered four runs in their elimination game.
Outstanding Player: Bryan Hoeing
Following an up-and-down regular season, the seventh-round pick by the Marlins in this year’s draft heads into next season on a high note. Coming out of the bullpen during Game 2, Bryan Hoeing recorded 3 1⁄3 scoreless innings and produced a career-high seven strikeouts as well.
While Hoeing didn’t make any starts as a professional in 2019, his performance in this game could make a case for him to be transitioned into a starter next season. The 22-year-old pitched three innings or more in four of his nine appearances during the regular season. Along with his ability to strike batters out at a high rate, Hoeing has also shown the stamina for an expanded role.