California League 2023: Season Recap and Player Awards

California League 2023: Season Recap and Player Awards

A number of clubs competed for the title in the 2023 California League, and a number of notable prospects turned in standout performances.

With a 91-69 record during the regular season, the Modesto Nuts won the North Division ahead of the San Jose Giants (89-71) and the Stockton Ports (87-73).

With a record of 93-67, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes won the South Division, ahead of the Visalia Rawhide (88-72) and the Inland Empire 66ers (85-75).

The 66ers, Giants, Ports, Quakes, Nuts, and Giants all earned postseason berths. In the North Division Championship Series between the Nuts and Giants, the Nuts prevailed in five games.

The Quakes defeated Rawhide in the South Division Championship Series after winning all six games.

In the California League Championship Series, the Nuts defeated the Quakes in four games to win the title.

Here is a more thorough breakdown of the regular season and postseason:

Regular Season

In the regular season, the Modesto Nuts dominated the California League. The Nuts ended with the best record in the league and won the North Division thanks to a strong pitching staff and dynamic offense.

Both the Stockton Ports and the San Jose Giants had successful regular seasons. In the North Division, the Giants came in second place and the Ports in third. The playoffs were secured for both teams.

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes won the South Division with a 93-67 record, taking first place. A talented pitching staff that led the league in ERA powered the Quakes to victory.

With a record of 88-72, the Visalia Rawhide placed second in the South Division. A well-rounded offense that included many players who had over 20 home runs lead the Rawhide.

With an 85-75 record, the Inland Empire 66ers placed third in the South Division. The 66ers were led by a youthful, skilled team that had a number of promising possibilities.

Playoffs

All six teams played hard baseball during the entertaining and intense playoffs.

The San Jose Giants were defeated by the Modesto Nuts in five games of the North Division Championship Series. The Nuts’ offense, which scored 28 runs in the series, was the team’s driving force.

The Visalia Rawhide were defeated by the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the South Division Championship Series after six games. The pitching staff of the Quakes carried the team, limiting the Rawhide to just 19 runs over the course of the series.

Series of championships

The Modesto Nuts prevailed in a rematch of the 2022 series in the California League Championship Series.

The Nuts defeated the Quakes in the 2023 series in four games to claim their second straight title. With 24 runs scored in the series, the Nuts’ offense was the team’s driving force.

Notable Players from the 2023 California League Season

Here are some of the notable players who played in the California League in 2023:

  • Kyle Harrison (Giants)
  • Logan Webb (Giants)
  • Cade Cavalli (A’s)
  • Cole Winn (Rangers)
  • Bobby Miller (Dodgers)
  • Corbin Carroll (Diamondbacks)
  • Jordan Walker (Cardinals)
  • Gunnar Henderson (Orioles)
  • Ezequiel Tovar (Rockies)
  • Noelvi Marte (Seattle Mariners)
  • Luis Campusano (Padres)

These players are all considered to be top prospects in their respective organizations. They are all expected to compete for Major League Baseball jobs in the near future.

California League Player Awards 2023

The California League announced its annual player awards on September 26, 2023. The winners are:

  • Most Valuable Player: Ryan Ritter, SS, Fresno Grizzlies
  • Pitcher of the Year: Daniel Espino, RHP, Lake Elsinore Storm
  • Rookie of the Year: Ezequiel Tovar, SS, Colorado Rockies

Modesto Nuts’ Ryan Ritter

Shortstop Ritter, who is 23 years old, had a breakthrough year in 2023. In 121 games, he hit.312 with 25 home runs and 88 RBIs. He also had a.975 fielding percentage and swiped 18 bases.

In June and August, Ritter received the California League Player of the Month award. Additionally, he was chosen for the California League All-Star squad.

Ritter is a powerful and quick switch-hitter. He makes a superb defender as well. He is regarded as one of the Colorado Rockies organization’s top prospects.

Lake Elsinore Storm, Daniel Espino

Espino, a right-hander who is 20 years old, had a strong season in 2023. In 17 starts, he had a 10-2 record with a 2.25 ERA. In 91 innings, he struck out 138 batters.

Pitcher of the Month honors for the California League went to Espino in July. Additionally, he was chosen for the California League All-Star squad.

Espino possesses a fastball with a top speed of 100 mph. He also possesses an excellent changeup and curveball. He is regarded as one of the Cleveland Guardians organization’s top pitching prospects.

Rockies of Colorado’s Ezequiel Tovar

The 2023 season was a good one for shortstop Tovar, who is 21 years old. In 120 games, he hit.275 with 15 home runs and 66 RBIs. He also had a.975 fielding percentage and swiped 12 bases.

In May and July, Tovar received the California League Rookie of the Month award. Additionally, he was chosen for the California League All-Star squad.

Tovar is a powerful and quick switch-hitter. He makes a superb defender as well. He is regarded as one of the Colorado Rockies organization’s top prospects.

Other Notable Award Winners

  • Cy Young Award: Daniel Espino, Lake Elsinore Storm
  • Reliever of the Year: Nick Martinez, Stockton Ports
  • Manager of the Year: Darren Bush, Modesto Nuts

Conclusion

The best players in the league are honored with the California League Player Awards. Outstanding baseball players who are expected to immediately make an impact in Major League Baseball are all the recipients of these awards.

Observing these young athletes grow and realize their full potential is exciting. The California League is a fantastic spot to watch baseball’s up-and-coming talents.

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