In action from the last day of the Australian Baseball League’s regular season today, Stefan Welch went 1-for-3, with a double, two walks and two RBI’s. Adelaide lost their third straight game to close the season. They came into the weekend needing to sweep the four game series just to give themselves a chance at the last playoff spot.
For the Perth Heat, who made the playoffs with their win today, Sam Kennelly flew out to right field in a seventh inning pinch-hit appearance. It was his only AB of the weekend series.
In the Colombian League finals, the Tigres won 3-2 last night to tie the best-of-seven series at two games apiece. Harold Ramirez came in during the ninth inning as a defensive replacement in left field. The series continues of with game five tonight.
ABL Season Wrap-Up
The regular season portion of the ABL wrapped up today. In total, nine Pirates players took part in the league, ten if you count the brief time Quincy Latimore was in the league before he was traded to the Cleveland Indians. Another player, pitcher Jackson Lodge, spent the whole season on the reserve roster of the Adelaide Heat.
Starting with the only player whose season will continue, Sam Kennelly hit .156 in 13 games for Perth. He went 5-for-32 at the plate, with three runs scored and two RBI’s. Kennelly played all around the infield(3B/2B/SS) as one of the youngest players in ABL history.
While Kennelly is extremely young for the league, he wasn’t the youngest player in the league this season. That honor went to Nick Hutchings of the Adelaide Heat, who was signed by the Pirates shortly after the season started. Still two weeks shy of his seventeenth birthday, Hutchings pitched five times in relief, allowing just one run and two hits over six innings, with ten strikeouts.
As for the guys who have already been in the states with the Pirates, Zac Fuesser was one of the most consistent pitchers all season in the ABL. He made 11 starts, going 4-4, 3.61 in 57.1 innings, with 57 strikeouts. He had some control issues during the year, walking 29 batters and allowing nine homers, but he held batters to a .259 BAA and had a strong 1.44 GO/AO ratio. Fuesser was selected to the ABL All-Star game.
Rinku Singh pitched ten times in relief, posting a 4.82 ERA, with 12 hits and four walks allowed in 9.1 innings. The numbers are a bit skewed by one very poor outing. On December 9th, he gave up four runs on three hits and two walks in one inning.
Wilson Lee had a tough season, seeing limited playing time due to poor performance. He pitched just five times, allowing ten runs on 11 hits and seven walks in 7.1 innings. The 21-year-old lefty also had a tough time last year in the ABL, posting an 8.44 ERA in eight appearances, with 13 walks in 10.2 innings.
Aaron Pribanic had a forgettable ABL season and it lasted just one game. During the second game of the season, he came on in relief and allowed five runs in his only inning of work. He left the team shortly after that game.
On offense, Stefan Welch was the big bat for Adelaide, driving in a team-leading 32 runs. He finished tied for second in the league in RBI’s. Welch was also selected to the All-Star game. He hit .247 in 41 games, with seven homers, eight doubles, 18 walks and a .785 OPS.
Justin Howard started real slow, then caught fire, winning the Player of the Week award, before an elbow injury shutdown his season in mid-December. In his last nine games, Howard hit .429, with five doubles and five RBI’s. He finished the season batting .266 in 22 games, with 14 walks and one homer.
Just like Howard, Dylan Child played his last game on December 15th. The 21-year-old catcher hit .211 in 12 games, with his only extra-base-hit being a home run in his first game.
Quincy Latimore started his ABL season in late-December as a roster replacement for Justin Howard. At the time he was still on the Pirates, though he was dealt to the Indians shortly thereafter. Latimore hit .286, with 13 RBI’s and an impressive ten walks, in just 16 games.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.