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Monday Morning Minors

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Well here we are. The Texas League ended regular season play on Sunday and most other Leagues end in the next few days. Kane County and Midland will be our only representatives in the post-season, and if the past has been any indication, we have a good chance of taking something home.

The Vancouver offense went bananas on Sunday, scoring 20 runs on 17 hits in their big 20-7 win. Coming into the game having hit just 27 home runs in 73 games, The C's smashed six dingers including two each by Jermaine Mitchell and Ramiro Mendez. Mendez is hitting just .173 with six homers in 127 at-bats this season. He hit four home runs in 2004 in the Domincan Summer League and none in 51 Arizona at-bats last season. Mitchell's longballs were numbers two and three on the season and he is now batting .336 with a .459 OBP and .504 SLG.

Midland had an opportunity to secure a playoff berth on Friday. Dallas Braden, in his first game back with the club this season, gave up six runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings. The offense had his back though as the `Hounds punched their post-season ticket with an 8-7 win. Brian Stavisky and Dan Putnam each went deep the clincher.

Both Putnam and Stavisky have been on hot streaks as of late. Putnam hit five home runs in a span of four games early in the week and has driven in 11 runs in his last 10 games. Since rejoining the team on August 17 he has raised his average from .217 to .247 and been one of the main reasons the `Hounds have won 10 straight. Brian Stavisky has been the offensive leader this season and has also been a big part of the recent winning streak. Over his last 10 games the outfielder has hit .371 with eight RBI and has a .429 OBP this season for Midland. The regular season concluded on Sunday and the playoffs will soon begin. Dallas Braden is scheduled to start game five, if necessary.

Also wrapping up their season, albeit with no playoff hopes, is Sacramento. Jason Windsor threw what is likely his last Triple-A this season on Sunday and picked up his 17th minor league with against two losses. He concludes the season with 123 strikeouts against 32 walks in 118 Triple-A innings. The right-hander has emerged as our top pitching prospect, and looks to figure into Oakland's plans for next season.

Also having a fine season in Sacramento is Scott McClain. The 34 year-old third baseman, in his 17th season of professional baseball, smashed 27 home runs and drove in 106 RBIs and was named the Pacific Coast League MVP for 2006. Before anyone starts calling for him to head to Oakland, consider this: McClain's OPS is under .800. .313 OBP, .462 SLG. While his season was solid, and he did help the River Cats win several games, it isn't realistic to think he could be of much use to the A's.

I promised myself that I wouldn't do it, but I just can't help it. I've decided that next Monday I will do some sort of "award" thing. Most improved, biggest disappointment and whatever else. Fun will be had by all. Or not.