The Peoria Chiefs first half came to an end on Sunday with Chiefs falling short of a playoff spot by four games. First here’s a rundown of how the Midwest League playoffs work…
First Half Qualifiers (4)
- 1. Team finishing in first place in the Western Division (“Western First Half Champion”)
- 2. Team finishing in first place in the Eastern Division (“Eastern First Half Champion”)
- 3. Team finishing in second place in the Western Division (“Western First Half Wild Card”)
- 4. Team finishing in second place in the Eastern Division (“Eastern First Half Wild Card”)
Each half determines playoff teams, so the Chiefs just missed being the wild card team for the first half. The fact that the Chiefs finished so close to a playoff spot is amazing given their start to the season. The Chiefs went 11-3 in June to close the gap on second place Beloit but they came up just short, here’s a recap of the first half.
First Half Stats:
The addition of 2011 first round draft pick Javier Baez was a big reason for the Chiefs resurgence. Baez appeared in 18 games and hit .317 with 4 HR’s, and 11 RBI’s, he also had 7 stolen bases in 7 attempts. Midwest League pitchers had a hard time keeping Baez off base as he finished the first half with a .419 OBP, and a .975 OPS. Dustin Geiger, and Anthony Giansanti were also late additions to the Chiefs team that had big impacts.
There were a number of standouts on the mound for the Peoria Chiefs as the entire pitching staff seemed to find a groove down the stretch. PJ Franceson who has since been promoted to double A was outstanding early on the help the Chiefs stay afloat amid a rough start. Franceson was 5-1 with a 1.86 ERA in nine starts before his promotion. Another pitcher who paced the Chiefs wasn’t even a pitcher for his entire career. Kyler Burke was an outfielder before making the change to become a pitcher, so far that decision seems to be the right one. Burke finished the first half 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 15 appearances (10 starts). Jeffrey Lorick, Hunter Cervenka, Sheldon McDonald, Luis Lira, and Michael Jensen all had great first half performances on the mound.
I’m expecting a big second half for the Peoria Chiefs. Continued progression from Baez, Geiger, Giansanti and an already talented pitching staff should only mean good things for Peoria. Not to mention the possible influx in talent from any 2012 draft picks that might be making the jump towards the end of the season. Add this all up and the future of the Peoria Chiefs and Chicago Cubs for that matter is very bright.
1B – Paul Hoilman
INF – Zeke DeVoss
LHP – Kyler Burke
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Here are the standings for every level that is currently playing in the Cubs system (Low A – Triple A) — Boise kicks off in a few weeks, enjoy.
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The Chiefs continue to play better baseball as they finished this week going 4-3 and have a record of 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Chiefs are winning despite their lack of power up and down the lineup as the Chiefs only have 15 home runs as a team through 44 games. Home runs are definitely not everything and the Chiefs have proven that by closing in on the .500 mark, a big reason for that is the pitching. Patrick Francescon leads the way as he boasts a 1.86 ERA and a 5-1 record over nine starts.
The Chiefs have turned it around, they have won three straight and have climbed out of the basement of the Midwest League Western Division. Peoria’s pitching has been lights out of late which is a big reason why they have turned it around, they currently sit 7 games out of first.
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The Chiefs got off to a slow start this season, but are hovering right around the .500 mark. They should get a boost from the addition of Geraldo Concepcion to the roster. Full stats and standings after the jump.