Triple A Oklahoma City
Michael Busch‘s hot September continued for Oklahoma City:
108 mph off the bat, 444′. That’s alright, if you’re into that.
For the week, the former North Carolina Tarheel slashed .360/.407/.720, with two homers and three doubles. That brings his September slash line to .339/.414/.581, as he is capping off a successful run at Triple A that saw him struggle out of the gate (.625 OPS in his first three weeks), followed by a solid performance the rest of the way (.874 OPS thereafter).
Ryan Pepiot had another strong outing for OKC:
Pepiot has little left to prove at the Triple A level, though he could still benefit from further refining his command, as his 17.4% walk rate at the big league level will attest. His 2023 Spring Training will be an interesting one to watch, as it will be his age-25 season, and offseason improvement coupled with a strong showing could determine whether he battles for a rotation spot and breaks camp with the big club, or remains an up and down/bullpen piece long-term.
Double A Tulsa
Emmet Sheehan cruised in his second outing at the Double A Level:
Since June 15th, Sheehan has an ERA of 1.53, a FIP of 2.01, and a K-BB% of 30.6%, an all-together impressive three-month run of dominance.
Catcher Chris Betts had the strongest performance of the week with the bat for the Drillers:
It was basically one game, but Betts slashed .333/.538/1.111 for the week with a pair of homers, a double, and five RBI.
Though 2022 has been a struggle for the Long Beach native, every now and then he flashes the talent that prompted him to be picked in the 2nd round by Tampa Bay back in 2015.
Great Lakes’ season came to an end on Friday, September 16th, after they were eliminated in the postseason by the Lake County Captains in game three of the best of three series. There were still a handful of standout performances, first on the pitching side:
- River Ryan – 3.2 scoreless innings, one hit, no walks, seven strikeouts
- Ryan Sublette – 4.0 scoreless innings, three hits, no walks, six strikeouts
- Ben Harris – 3.2 IP, five hits, one run (earned), no walks, six strikeouts
- Jeff Belge – 2.1 perfect innings, four strikeouts
The lone offensive standout was Damon Keith, whose 1.018 OPS led the club by nearly 300 points.
One last roster note for the season from Great Lakes — immediately following the series, Jeff Belge was promoted to Double A Tulsa to bolster their bullpen for the playoffs. Belge posted a 2.95 FIP for the Loons, with a solid K-BB% of 24.3%, good enough for third on the club, and 15th out of 190 pitchers in the Midwest League (min 30 IP).
As for the Drillers, they are beginning a their three game playoff series on Tuesday, September 20th, against the Wichita Wind Surge. If that opponent sounds familiar, it might be because Tulsa had a memorable celebration against the Wind Surge after winning the 2022 Propeller Series, back on July 24th:
First pitch is at 5:05 Pacific, and the game will be streamed at MiLB.tv (subscription required).
Enjoy your taco Tuesday, folks.