Saturday, September 8, 2012

MINOR details: 2012 recap edition - Rookie Billings Mustangs

All of the Reds minor league organizations are through with baseball for this season except for Bakersfield (starting the playoffs tonight) so it's time to start recapping each team's season. Statistical leaders were chosen among those who played significant time. It's not limited to a certain number of ABs or IPs, really. I just picked who I thought played enough to warrant being mentioned as a stats leader. Melky Cabrera will not be included.

We continue with Rookie-level Billings.

Billings Mustangs
The Mustangs finished 42-34 overall, 1st place in the Pioneer League North standings and 1.0 game ahead of the Missoula Osprey. In the first half they finished 21-17, 2nd place in the division and 3.0 games behind the Great Falls Voyagers. For the second half, they went an identical 21-17, which was also good for 2nd place, and 2.0 games behind the Osprey, who got the last laugh.

They finished in first place overall and aren't going to the playoffs? Huh? Well unfortunately manager Pat Kelly and his Mustangs were unable to win either the first-half or second-half title. They went all the way down to the final game of the season, where they lost to the Osprey to be officially eliminated. So they had the best overall record and lost out on the postseason on the last day, eh? I bet that's never happened before. Oh wait, it happened to Billings last season as well. Surely, 2013 will be much kinder to the Mustangs.

The statistical leaders among the Mustangs were as follows:

AVG: Jesse Winker (.338)
HR: Robert Maddox (13)
RBI: Carlos Sanchez (55)
R: Beau Amaral (55)
SB: Amaral (20)

W: Sal Romano (5)
ERA: SP - Robert Stephenson (2.05) RP - Sean Lucas (2.25)
SV: Matt Wiley (9)
SO: Ismael Guillon (63)

It was the 60th season of play for Billings. One of the best moments for the Mustangs came from Seth Mejias-Brean, the Hitting Machine, as he was able to rack up a 22-game hitting streak at one point in the season. He hit .408 during the streak, but fell short of the club record of 32 straight games set by Chris Valaika in 2006.

The obvious heartbreak for the ball club was missing out on the playoffs after being in first place for most of the second half. Even more painful was the fact that they had the second-to-last game all but wrapped up before losing on a walk-off two-run homer before dropping the season finale as well.

Go Mustangs!

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