By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your MLB highlights for the week of September 23-29, 2019, the final week of the regular season:

Mazel tov

  • CF Kevin Pillar, playing in his first season with San Francisco, won the 2019 Willie Mac award. The honor is given to the Giants’ most inspirational player, as voted by players, coaches, trainers and fans (see article).

Other news

  • The Los Angeles Angels fired manager Brad Ausmus on September 29. The team’s 2019 record was its worst in 20 years (see article).

Stats to share

  • Max Fried, who finished the 2019 season with a 17-6 record, is just the seventh jewish player in MLB history to win at least 17 games in a season. The last one was Scott Feldman, who went 17-8 for the Texas Rangers in 2009.
  • At least four Jewish players – Alex Bregman (Astros), Ryan Braun (Brewers), Max Fried (Braves), and Joc Pederson (Dodgers) – are playoff-bound. If Garrett Stubbs were to make Houston’s roster, he would be the fifth.
  • Alex Bregman, who finished the season with 41 HRs, is only the fifth Jewish player in MLB history to reach that mark — and the first to do so since Ryan Braun hit 41 in 2012. The other three are Shawn Green (three times), Al Rosen (once), and Hank Greenberg (four times).
  • Bregman drew an MLB-best 117 walks in 2019, and he did so while striking out just 83 times, a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 1.43. He is only the second player since 2010 to have more than 100 walks and a walk-to-strikeout ratio of more than 1.4. The other was Joey Votto, in 2017.
  • Meanwhile, yet another columnist – this one from USA Today – is arguing that Bregman should be named American League MVP over Mike Trout (see article).
  • Rowdy Tellez hit his 20th and 21st home runs on September 25 to become the record 5th Jewish player with more than 20 HRs in 2019. Amazingly, each of the four Jewish players with enough at-bats to win the batting title this season had at least 20 HRs. Tellez — who is just the 4th rookie in Blue Jays history to hit at least 20 HRs — fell just short of the minimum.
  • Those last two home runs Tellez hit, on September 25? They came after a 6-year-old child told him he had to hit one (see article).

 At the plate

  • LF Ryan Braun (Brewers) hit .667 (4-for-6) with 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, and a .750 on-base percentage. Braun enjoyed his best season since 2016, hitting .285 with 22 HRs, 75 RBIs, a .343 on-base percentage, and a .505 slugging percentage.
  • LF Joc Pederson (Dodgers) hit .375 (6-for-16) with 4 HRs, 6 RBIs, and a .421 OBP. Pederson set multiple career highs in 2019, hitting .249 with 36 HRs, 16 doubles, 3 triples, 74 RBIs, a .339 OBP, and a .538 slugging percentage.
  • 3B Alex Bregman (Astros) hit .368 (7-for-19) with 2 HRs, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, and a .538 OBP. Bregman reached career highs in multiple categories in 2019. Overall, he hit .296 with 41 HRs, 37 doubles, 2 triples, 5 stolen bases in 6 tries, a .423 OBP, and a .527 slugging percentage.
  • 1B Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays) hit .348 (8-for-23) with 2 HRs, 3 doubles, 5 RBIs, and a .423 OBP. For the season, the rookie first baseman hit .227 with 21 HRs, 19 doubles, 54 RBIs, a .293 OBP, and a .449 slugging percentage.
  • CF Kevin Pillar (Giants) hit .182 (4-for-22) with a triple, 3 RBIs, and a .240 OBP. For the season, he hit .259 with 21 HRs, 37 doubles, 3 triples, 88 RBIs, 14 stolen bases in 19 tries, a .287 OBP, and a .432 slugging percentage.
  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros) hit .000 (0-for-3). The rookie catcher finished the season with a .200 batting average, 3 doubles, 2 RBIs, a stolen base, a .282 OBP, and a .286 slugging percentage.
  • 2B Ian Kinsler (Padres) missed the final six weeks of the season with a herniated cervical disk. Kinsler finished 2019 with a .217 batting average, 9 HRs, 12 doubles, 22 RBIs, a .278 OBP, and a .368 slugging percentage.
  • C Ryan Lavarnway (Indians) spent the final two months of 2019 in the minors. In 5 games with the Reds before being traded, he hit .278 with 2 HRs, 2 doubles, 7 RBIs, and a .316 OBP.

On the mound

  • Max Fried (Braves) pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief on September, yielding a hit and a walk while striking out 5. Fried finished the 2019 season with a 17-6 record, 4.02 ERA, 1.33 walks/hits per inning, and 173 strikeouts.
  • Richard Bleier (Orioles) went 0-0 across 3 games, yielding 3 hits over 3.1 combined innings while walking none and striking out 4. For the season, Bleier went 3-0 with 4 saves, a 5.37 ERA, 1.32 walks/hits per inning, and 30 strikeouts.
  • Robert Stock (Padres) missed the final three months of 2019 with a right bicep strain. For the season, he went 1-0 with a 10.13 ERA, 2.06 walks/hits per innings, and 15 strikeouts.

Arizona Fall League

  • Orioles prospect Dean Kremer tossed 3 innings for the Surprise Saguaros in a September 27 start, yielding one earned run on a hit and a walk while striking out 5.
  • Mariners prospect Sam Delaplane pitched an inning of scoreless relief on September 28, yielding no hits and one walk while striking out 3 for the Peoria Javelinas.

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