by OSC Special Edition
March 23, 2017 - California League (CalL)
Last year's performance for the California League was better than most, some of the teams (like Salem-Keizer who finished the year 32-42) sported an offense that finished best five in team history with the best batting average since 2011.
The most impressive game of 2016 occurred away from home on July 14 at, Spokane, Washington where three Volcanoes players hit home runs, and the team scored at least one run in seven of the nine innings. Not to mention, all batters had a hit, and four batters had three-hit nights. The 20th season was a great year for the Volcanoes as they recorded masterful pitching performances, extra-inning, walk-off grand slams and multiple-game hitting streaks for multiple players.
The California league is expected to return to its roots for a single-league All-Star Game. For a few years, the all-stars have played the League All-Stars with the games changing between the west and east coasts. Going back to the initial formula help feature the most prayerful prospects of the MLB teams in the west coast and in California who are associated with the League. The Visalia Rawhide will be hosting the 2017 California League All-Star Game.
Side note for the CAL, Luis Urias was named the 2016 Most Valuable Player of the Year while Josh Sborz won the Pitcher of the Year honors.
Several players have been signed to the minor league in preparation for the upcoming season as of November 11th. The right-handed reliever, Aaron Kurcz, who dominated in Double-A Midland competition with a 4-O record and 1.26 ARA in 11 games, will be looking forward to assisting the Oakland to emerge the top. Other players signed include, OF Ryan Braiser, RPH Chris Smith, INF Josh Rodriguez, LHP Felix Doubront, RPH Cesar Valdez, OF Jaff Decker, C Ryan Lavarnway among others. Several new managers have been assigned for the various teams in the California League. With many teams under new management, it will be competitive year indeed.
Charlie Blaney, President of the California League, said the league is expected to show more improvement from last year. Although both pundits and the Las Vegas odds don't portray the California League as a title contender this season, a lot is expected from the league due to the outstanding results in the previous season which will be boosted by the new signings made this year.