Tigers select Muncy with No. 1 pick

The Toronto Tigers selected Max Muncy with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 PGBL Draft.

Catching prospect Joey Bart went second to Memphis, followed by starting pitchers Shane Bieber to Compton, Miles Mikolas to Boston, Anibal Sanchez to Twin City and Clay Buchholz to St. Louis.

This full 10-round draft wound up heavily weighted toward the South League.

The SL made 136 picks to just 64 for the North. By division, there were 71 picks in the Cactus and 65 in the Confederate, compared to just 34 in the Maple Leaf and 30 in the Norris – only six more than Dublin alone.

After Dublin’s 24 selections, the next four teams in number of picks were the all from the Cactus Division: Las Vegas 17, Oakland 16, Tijuana 15 and Flagstaff 13. Twin City wound up with 10 choices.

All but two of the SL teams made 10 or more picks, with Louisville and St. Louis only making nine. Vancouver was the only NL team with 10 picks, while Ottawa and Pittsburgh had nine.

Find the complete draft results here.

Roughnecks win first World Series title

The Calgary Roughnecks won their first PGBL Championship in an epic wild seven-game World Series over the Louisville Long Rifles, with Kyle Hendricks outdueling Max Scherzer in a 1-0 thriller in Game 7.

Marwin Gonzalez’s third-inning homer off Scherzer accounted for the only run in the finale, capping a series that opened with a wild 21-inning win by Louisville. Gonzalez hit .448 for the series to win MVP honors.

Calgary advanced to the finals by beating Vancouver in a four-game first round North League series and outlasting Ottawa through five games of the NLCS. Louisville won the South League pennant with playoff wins over Dublin and Oakland.

In the deciding game, Hendricks held the Rifles to three hits while striking out 11 in seven innings, while Scherzer had 10 Ks and scattered eight hits in 6 2/3.

After Adam Warren allowed a one-out single to Elvis Andrus in the eighth, Brandon Morrow got the final five outs for the Roughnecks with Jonathan Schoop lining out to right fielder Chris Owings to trigger the celebration at Minute Maid Park.

 

 

 

 

FIRST-TO-WORST-TO-FIRST FOR OAKLAND

The Oakland Athletes became the first club to clinch its 2018 postseason berth, wrapping up the Cactus Division title on Aug. 29.

Oakland locked up the title after Rhys Hoskins’ three-run first-inning homer led to a 6-5 win over Louisville. Coupled with Twin City’s 10-inning 7-6 loss to Dublin, the win erased the Athletes’ magic number as they improved to 89-41 and extended their lead over the Truckers to 34 games.

With the top record in the PGBL, Oakland is on pace to complete a complete bounce-back after falling from a league-best 123-39 record in 2016 to a league-worst mark of 54-109 a year ago.

The division title is the Athletes’ third in four seasons following a run of three straight last-place finishes. Oakland also posted the league’s best record in 2015 (116-46).

Early blockbusters add drama to Confederate Division

The Louisville Long Rifles struck the first major deal of the 2018 season by acquiring star pitcher Max Scherzer from Toronto.

But the Dublin Guinness responded immediately and acquired Paul Goldschmidt in a blockbuster nine-player trade with Cactus Division leader Oakland.

Dublin, the reigning SL champion on a 10-game win streak that has forged a five-game lead over Louisville and St. Louis, sent Christian Yelich, Rhys Hoskins and Brett Gardner along with three draft picks and two prospects to Oakland.

The Athletes, up seven games in their division and tied with the Guinness for the SL’s best record at the time of the deal, included Michael Brantley, Trevor Rosenthal and Dominic Leone along with Goldschmidt.

Dublin’s response came after the Long Rifles struck their big deal, getting Scherzer along with Felipe Rivero and Chris Ianetta from the Tigers for a package of young talent that included Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and two-way Japanese star Shohei Ohtani as a player to be named later.

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