|© 2010 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Marlins, Yanks duel in GCL semifinals08/31/2009 8:00 PM ET
By Josh Jackson / Special to MLB.com
As the 2009 season winds down, follow along with MiLB.com as the Minors' best teams face off in an attempt to take home their league's crown.
Yankees at Marlins
The Marlins, who owned the league's best regular-season record, are set for what should be a postseason pitching duel with the Yankees. Neither team put together a team batting average above .250, and both teams' pitching staffs finished in the top five in ERA.
Neither team is without its share of game-changing bats, however.
The Yankees' Kelvin De Leon, who's playing his first season stateside, was third in the league with seven homers and collected 31 RBIs through 56 games. He'll try to provide a spark for the visiting offense.
Marlins outfielder Brent Keys, a 17th-round pick in this year's Draft, has stolen 13 bases in 17 attempts and hit .288 in the regular season. Marcell Ozuna had a shot at the Triple Crown -- his .313 average and 39 RBIs are among the best in the league, but his five homers were four fewer than league leader Alberto Oderman of the Braves.
The winner advances to the best-of-3 Championship Series.
Nationals at Twins
The Nationals were an offensive juggernaut this season. They scored 334 runs, 57 more than the next closest team, while hitting a collective .274. Eury Perez, who signed with Washington in 2007 and spent the last two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, dominated GCL pitchers with a league-leading .381 average. Brett Newsome, a non-drafted free agent, hit just .189 last year but batted .327 with 35 RBIs in 51 games this season.
The Twins boast arguably the best pitching staff in the Gulf Coast League. Right-hander B.J. Hermsen was selected by Minnesota in the sixth round of the 2008 Draft but signed late and did not make his pro debut until this year. He's shown the front office everything it could have hoped for by going 6-1 with a 1.35 ERA that ranked fourth in the GCL.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.