2013 Season In Review

The Stockton Ports fell short of qualifying for the playoffs in 2013, but some of the players and moments from this past season won’t be forgotten.

Much of the buzz coming into the season was surrounding shortstop Addison Russell, the top overall prospect in the A’s organization. After getting off to a slow start, Russell hit .305 in the second half, including a .333 average in June and a .344 average in July. What fans should remember about Russell’s time in Stockton, which ended with a .275 batting average for the season, is that he put up the numbers he did and made the extraordinary defensive strides he did as a 19 year-old in his first full professional season out of high school.

Stockton’s most impressive bat in the first half was Max Muncy, who was the Ports lone offensive All-Star. Muncy led the league in home runs (21) at the time of his promotion to Midland,

and posted a .285 average with 76 RBI in 93 games.

Max Muncy paced the Ports in home runs prior to his mid-season promotion.

Max Muncy paced the Ports in home runs prior to his mid-season promotion.

Drew Granier was Stockton’s lone All-Star on the pitching side as he was not only selected to the All-Star Game, but was the starting pitcher for the California League. Granier went 6-3 with a 3.25 ERA over 14 starts prior to his promotion at the All-Star break. Granier left as the league-leader in strikeouts (97) and allowed just 71 hits over 83 innings pitched.

The most memorable moment involving a Ports pitcher, however, came from Tanner Peters on August 9th at Banner Island Ballpark. Facing the Modesto Nuts, Peters retired the first 25 batters he faced as he took a perfect game one out deep into the ninth inning.

Peters struck out four batters in a row and was in a 2-2 count with Jared Simon before Simon hit a clean double off the left field wall. Peters left the game to a standing ovation, a moment those who were at the ballpark that night won’t soon forget.

Outside of the perfect game bid, Peters proved to be the Ports’ workhorse in 2013, making 28 starts and tossing 165.2 innings, going 12-8 with a 4.07 ERA.

Tanner Peters was named the Ports top pitcher following the 2013 season.

Tanner Peters was named the Ports top pitcher following the 2013 season.

Stockton’s bullpen featured many live arms and posted a 3.80 ERA on the season. Seth Frankoff improved dramatically as the season went on and would be selected to the Arizona Fall League by season’s end. Frankoff allowed just two earned runs in 16.1 innings pitched in the month of July.

The Ports bullpen got an infusion of fresh arms after the All-Star break, namely Ryan Dull and Tucker Healy. Dull made 15 appearances before being promoted to Midland, posting a 1.59 ERA with 31 strikeouts and three walks in 22.2 innings pitched. Healy posted a 1.86 ERA and had 31 strikeouts and five walks in 19.1 innings pitched before being shut down for the final three weeks of the season.

Among the many memorable games during the course of the season, one might stand out as both the most memorable and most unique. On May 21st, the Ports hosted the Lake Elsinore Storm in a game that went 17 innings and lasted five hours, 44 minutes. Outside of the length of the game, the game was unique in that Stockton tied it twice in extra innings, scoring two runs in the bottom of the 13th and a run in the bottom of the 16th on a leadoff home run by Phil Pohl. Also, Wade Kirkland, Stockton’s utility infielder, pitched the final two innings in the DH spot in the lineup. Kirkland’s first at-bat came with one on and one out in the bottom of the 17th and he hit a two-run homer off Lake Elsinore’s John Hussey to give the Ports a dramatic 11-9 victory. Kirkland not only hit the game winning home run, but was also the winning pitcher.

Wade Kirkland is mobbed by his teammates following his walk-off home run in the bottom of the 17th inning

Wade Kirkland is mobbed by his teammates following his walk-off home run in the bottom of the 17th inning

No matter where the team finishes in the standings, the players, the games played and the memories made always leave a lasting impression. The Ports would like to thank everyone who came through the gates at Banner Island Ballpark in 2013, and look forward to Opening Day 2014, only seven short months away.

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