Vancouver Canadians win fifth Northwest League title in team history
2 months ago
The Vancouver Canadians got the job done on Saturday.
After a heartbreaking loss in the 2022 Northwest League Championship, they have vanquished their demons and defeated the Everett AquaSox in four games.
Let’s look at some major storylines from Saturday’s game four.
Nick Goodwin won every fan an A&W Teen Burger:
The 22-year-old seventh-rounder hit three home runs with the Dunedin Blue Jays but failed to hit his first homer in High-A in the 21 regular season plate appearances he had.
However, that changed on Saturday evening when the middle infielder stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. He hit a mammoth shot that landed in the mug cup, a promotion that won all fans in attendance an A&W Teen Burger.
That made it a 10-2 game, ironically the final score of the game.
Don’t give up on Gabriel Martinez!:
The 21-year-old corner outfielder had a rough year as he repeated the High-A level. In 448 plate appearances, he slashed .242/.300/.374 with 12 homers in 448 plate appearances, along with a 6.9 BB% and a 16.5 K%, the former down from an 8+ BB% in 2022.
But when it mattered most, Martinez showed up, as he went 3-5 with two RBIs. He was a big reason why the Canadians were able to muster a victory, and it’s way too soon to be giving up on the young outfielder.
Cade Doughty is extra:
There was a little bit of good and a little bit of bad in the 22-year-old infielder’s game this season. He slashed .264/.342/.459 with 18 home runs but struck out 29.7% of the time and walked 8.3% of the time. For a 22-year-old in High-A, this isn’t the best.
On Saturday, he looked fantastic though, going 2-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. For the season, Doughty hit 19 doubles, so this was nothing new for the former second-round pick.
The 2024 season will be a big one as he’ll likely move to the upper minors.
The summer of Garrett Spain continues:
Big Game Spain had a big game, could you imagine that?
On Saturday, he went 3-5 with an RBI, two singles, and a double. In the bottom of the second, he drove in Jeffery Wehler to give the Canadians a 1-0 lead, and they never looked back.
The 22-year-old outfielder was the engine that made the Canadians tick in 2023, as he slashed .240/.322/.443 with a career-high 12 homers (previous high: six) in 366 plate appearances. While there is some swing and miss in his game (27.3 K%), he’s someone to monitor over the next few seasons.
Ryan Jennings strikes out five:
Jennings was selected in the fourth round of the 2022 draft and started 30 of the 38 games he appeared in with Louisiana Tech University in 2021 and 2022.
After appearing in five games, but not starting any with Dunedin in 2022, Jennings proceeded to start in 10 of the 12 games he appeared in this season.
Between High-A and Single-A, Jennings posted a 3.98 ERA in 43 innings pitched, along with a 30.9 K% and a 9.6 BB%. On Saturday, he finished with a line of 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, striking out 41.7% of the batters he faced.
The 2024 season will be a big test for the 24-year-old.
Eric Pardinho hits 100 mph?:
It’s been a long journey for the 22-year-old Brazilian. At one point, the right-handed pitcher ranked as the Blue Jays’ fifth-best prospect, behind just Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Danny Jansen, and Nate Pearson (pre-injuries). However, Pardinho spent the early part of his career dealing with injury after injury.
The Brazilian stayed healthy in 2023, a big reason for that is likely because of moving to the bullpen, but he didn’t have a great year. Pardinho posted a 7.15 ERA and a 5.36 FIP in 56.2 innings pitched, along with a 24 K% and a 12.2 BB%.
However, just when you gave up on the 22-year-old, Pardinho was clocked at 100 mph by the Nat Bailey Stadium’s radar gun. Now, I don’t believe he touched 100 mph, but even if it’s five mph off, that’s still a significant velocity increase.
Still only 22, Pardinho still has a few years to figure it out before he becomes a non-prospect.
Sweet, sweet victory:
After clipping so many Vancouver Canadians games last season, it was crushing to see what happened to the team in the 2022 Northwest League Finals. A year later, the feeling of a Canadian-based baseball team winning it all is one of the best feelings I’ve had, probably since the Raptors championship win in 2019.
Thanks for tuning into all the minor league recaps and watching all the late-night clips. It was a blast covering the Canadians this year!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.
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