2019 Minor League Championships Recap

Image credit: Ka'ai Tom (Photo by Carl Kline)

The MiLB postseason came to a close over the weekend with the conclusion of the Texas League, Southern League and Pioneer League championship series.

Only the Triple-A National Championship Game is still to be played. Sacramento (Giants) will face Columbus (Indians) at Memphis’ Autozone Park on Tuesday.

Here are all of the minor league champions of 2019 and some top performers who helped them get there.

All championship series are best-of-five unless otherwise noted.


International League Championship Series: 
Columbus (Indians) def. Durham (Rays), 3-0.

Standout Performer
: Columbus outfielder Ka’ai Tom went 5-for-12 (.416) with a double, two home runs, five RBIs and four runs scored in the series and was named playoff MVP.

Pacific Coast League Championship Series: Sacramento (Giants) def. Round Rock (Astros), 3-0.

Standout Performer
: Sacramento shortstop Abiatal Avelino hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to win Game 1 and then delivered the go-ahead, two-run single in the eighth inning of the series-clinching Game 3.


Eastern League 
Championship Series: Trenton (Yankees) def. Bowie (Orioles), 3-1.

Standout Performers
: Trenton righthander Rony Garcia pitched five no-hit innings with one walk allowed and six strikeouts in the series-clinching Game 4. Second baseman Hoy-Jun Park stole home in the seventh inning for the winning run in Game 3.

Southern League Championship Series: Jackson (D-backs) def. Biloxi (Brewers), 3-2.

Standout Performers
: Jackson catcher Daulton Varsho won playoff MVP honors after going 6-for-15 (.400) with four runs and three RBIs in the series. Righthander Emilio Vargas pitched seven innings with five hits and one run allowed, no walks and nine strikeouts to win the decisive Game 5.

Texas League Championship Series: Amarillo (Padres) def. Tulsa (Dodgers), 3-2.

Standout Performer
: Outfielder Taylor Trammell hit the go-ahead grand slam in the top of the ninth inning of Game 5 with Amarillo down to its final three outs.


California League 
Championship Series: Visalia (D-backs) def. Lake Elsinore (Padres), 3-1.

Standout Performer
: Outfielder Alek Thomas hit a walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the 10th inning to win Game 4 and clinch the championship. It is Visalia’s first championship since 1978 and snapped a streak of 11 straight championship series losses.

Carolina League Championship Series: Wilmington (Royals) def. Fayetteville (Astros), 3-2.

Standout Performers
: Catcher M.J. Melendez hit .333 (5-for-15) with a home run and three RBIs in the championship series and was named playoff MVP. Lefthander Rito Lugo pitched six scoreless innings with six hits and no walks allowed and six strikeouts in the deciding Game 5.

Florida State League: Postseason cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian.


Midwest League
 Championship Series: South Bend (Cubs) def. Clinton (Marlins), 3-0.

Standout Performer
: Righthander Riley Thompson pitched five hitless innings with no walks allowed and 10 strikeouts in the clinching Game 3. The only baserunner Thompson allowed reached on at throwing error in the fourth inning. Two batters later, Thompson picked him off.

South Atlantic League Championship Series: Lexington (Royals) def. Hickory (Rangers), 3-1.

Standout Performer
: Lexington first baseman Reed Rohlman hit a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the 13th inning to win Game 4 and clinch Lexington’s second-straight league championship.


New York-Penn League 
Championship Series (best-of-three): Brooklyn (Mets) def. Lowell (Red Sox), 2-1.

Standout Performers:
Outfielder Antoine Duplantis hit a game-tying RBI triple and Yoel Romero followed with a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Brooklyn a 4-3 win in the winner-take-all Game 3. 

Northwest League Championship Series: Hillsboro (D-backs) def. Tri-City (Padres), 3-2.

Standout Performer
: Righthander Ryne Nelson pitched three scoreless innings with six strikeouts to preserve a slim Hillsboro lead and earn the win in the deciding Game 5.


Appalachian League
 Championship Series (best-of-three): Johnson City (Cardinals) def. Burlington (Royals), 2-1.

Standout Performers:
Outfielder William Jimenez delivered the tie-breaking, two-run double in the seventh inning to lift Johnson City to an 8-6 victory in the deciding Game 3. Third baseman Malcom Nunez had seven RBIs in six playoff games.

Pioneer League Championship Series (best-of-three): Idaho Falls (Royals) def. Ogden (Dodgers), 2-1.

Standout Performers
: Idaho Falls outfielder Tyler Tolbert went 3-for-5 with two doubles, three runs scored and an RBI in the deciding Game 3. Righthander Jonah Dipoto, the son of Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, stopped an Ogden rally with two scoreless innings for the save.

Arizona League Championship Series (best-of-three): AZL Rangers def. AZL Indians Blue, 2-0.

Standout Performer
: Outfielder Heriberto Hernandez homered in both games of the championship series and opened the scoring in Game 2 with an RBI double in the first inning.

Gulf Coast League Championship Series: Postseason cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian.

Dominican Summer League Championship Series: DSL Royals 1 def. DSL D-backs 2, 3-2

Standout Performers
: Lefthanders Luis CepedaDaniel Vitriago and Luis Villar combined for a four-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts in the decisive Game 5. The Royals won the deciding game, 1-0, on Jaswel De Los Santos’ bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning.

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