The Eugene Emeralds had a highly successful season, finishing with the best record in the Northwest League, with a record of 47-29. Despite that record, the Emeralds missed the playoffs. The Everett Aquasox and the Vancouver Canadiens won the first and second half titles, leaving Eugene out.
The Emeralds were a very exciting team, as they won several games in dramatic fashion. It started with Em’s first baseman Clark Murphy’s two homer game on Opening night. Unfortunately, it ended with a loss in their final game, but the Emeralds have plenty to celebrate.
The Emeralds pitching staff led the Northwest League in ERA, at 3.00. Eugene pitchers also struck out a league-high 647 batters. The offense only hit .241, but the Em’s did lead the league in walks, with 329. The team did not feature a ton of power, but some individuals did have solid years.
Second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum finished sixth in the league with a .296 average. He showed remarkable plate discipline, drawing 27 walks against just 14 strikeouts. Tissenbaum was the Padres 11th round pick in June’s draft, out of Stony Brook University. Jeremy Baltz led the team in homers, with five. Baltz was drafted in the second round in 2012, out of St. Johns. He is an intriguing prospect, and could end up at Lake Elsinore in 2013.
On the pitching side, the Em’s had a variety of standouts. Justin Hancock was perhaps the most impressive. Hancock, a 2011 draft pick, went 5-2, with a 1.61 ERA, good for 3rd in the Northwest League. Roman Madrid went 7-0 out of the bullpen, and tied for the league-lead with 13 saves. He also averaged more than a strikeout an inning.
The Emeralds have always been a fascinating team to me, because most of the guys who play for the team are getting their first shot at professional baseball. Despite missing the playoffs, the future is bright for many who called Eugene home in 2012!