The Peninsula Oilers have been eliminated from the Alaska Baseball League pennant chase heading into a season-ending homestand against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.
That homestand starts tonight at 6 p.m. at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
But losing out on the pennant doesn’t mean the Oilers will be closing the season empty-handed.
The Oilers have put up some great stats this year, leading the league in ERA at 2.36 and being second in the league with a .261 batting average.
Those stats haven’t translated into wins and losses largely because of troubles hitting with runners in scoring position.
But scouts did recognize the talent on the team at the ABL Scouts Showcase last weekend.
Michael Coates left the team Wednesday after signing with the Kansas City Royals organization.
Coates pitched 23 2-3 innings for the Oilers in league play, striking out 37 and compiling a 2.66 ERA.
Oilers head coach Kyle Richardson said the Coates’ signing shows the value of the Scouts Showcase, now in its third year.
“Just going off the numbers, scouts may wonder why he has had that many strikeouts,” Richardson said. “Then they show up and go, ‘This is why. He sits 90 to 92 (mph) and has a curveball that’s from hell.’”
Coates is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound righty from Cal State Northridge. He was set to go back for his senior year, but that’s not happening anymore.
Coates had not been drafted, but Oilers pitching coach Brian Baisch knew the Royals scout coming to the showcase, so that scout knew to keep an eye on Coates.
“He goes to one of the smaller state schools in California and scouts probably didn’t get out to watch him,” Richardson said. “It’s just getting exposure at the right time. This is a good league. It carries clout.”
Brody Greer, a 6-1, 185-pound righty, and Logan McAnallen, a 6-3, 210-pound lefty, also earned the attention of the scouts.
Richardson said McAnallen, who has pitched 34 1-3 innings with a .78 ERA, most likely will not sign.
Greer, who has pitched nine innings and has an ERA of 6.00, is fielding offers from multiple teams.
Greer came to Alaska as a shortstop with little experience on the hill, but Richardson and Baisch decided to use him at pitcher when they found out he threw in the mid-90s.
Even though he is still rough around the edges, as his ERA attests, the Oilers coaches were right that Greer’s raw potential would jump out at scouts.
Richardson said one other player helped out by the showcase is infielder Dillon Dobson, who is 6-1, 220.
His numbers don’t pop — he has hit .250 in league play. But seeing the big, athletic freshman move in person does turn some heads.
“The scouts were all saying, ‘Holy cow. He’s a freak of nature,’” Richardson said. “You wouldn’t know that just looking at the numbers.”
Even though the Oilers are out of the pennant chase, Richardson said the team would still like to close strong.
He said a handful of players even showed up for optional batting practice on a sunny Wednesday — the last day off the players will have in Alaska.
Sam Moore starts today at 6 p.m., A.J. Quintero starts Friday at 6 p.m. and McAnallen gets the start in the season finale Saturday at 6 p.m.
“They all wanted to win the ABL, but at the same time they’re all still in get-better mode,” Richardson said.