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TWitM: José Briceño hits five dingers in final Omaha series

This Week in the Minors: Omaha finished up the MiLB season with a series split at Columbus.

A catcher in light blue and gray chest protector gives a peace sign as he walks on a baseball field.
José Briceño took over as Omaha’s primary catcher down the stretch of the season.
Minda Haas Kuhlmann

‘This Week in the Minors’ is our weekly look at notable performances from all over the system, from big-name prospects and less-heralded guys alike. The mission is to answer this simple question: “Who had a good week?”

This Week in the Minors: Tuesday, September 19 to Sunday, September 24

AAA Omaha Storm Chasers (30-43 in second half; 68-77 overall)

schedule | roster

The Storm Chasers wrapped up their season with a series split on the road against the Columbus Clippers (CLE). The Friday and Saturday losses ended in heartbreaking walkoffs, but the team rebounded with a win on Sunday to salvage the split and end the season on a high note.

The Sunday win came courtesy of a 9th-inning home run by catcher José Briceño. Briceño became Omaha’s primary catcher with Logan Porter’s major league callup, and the thing he did with his increased playing time is hit dingers. Sunday’s homer was Briceño’s 5th in five games.

Utility man Angelo Castellano capped off his excellent season with a strong series. Caste went 6-for-11 with a double and two homers, and only one strikeout. Castellano’s full-season slash line landed at .281/.384/.489 in 107 games.

Nate Eaton played four out of his five games at third base in this series, and one game in left field. At the plate, Eaton piled up eight hits that included a double and a homer. Eaton rotated in at third base a couple times per month throughout the season, but saw more playing time at the hot corner in September.

Right-hander Andrew Hoffmann was the sandwich starter for the series, and did well on both Tuesday and Sunday. Tuesday, Hoffmann picked up the win with six strikeouts and one run allowed in five innings. He went five innings on Sunday as well, with two runs allowed on three hits, with two Ks and one walk.

A handful of relievers had a stellar series to end their 2023:

  • lefty Walter Pennington pitched five innings in two games with zero hits and zero runs allowed. He struck out five and walked two.
  • RHP Jonah Dipoto added 1.2 innings to the nice streak he had been on. In Dipoto’s last six games, he has allowed just one hit and no runs.
  • Will Klein pitched twice, and both times gave the Chasers an inning of no-hit, shutout baseball.
  • RHP Justin Anderson joined the Storm Chasers roster, and allowed no runs in his two games, totaling 2.1 innings. Anderson has battled numerous injuries in the past several years, and had spent 2023 in the complex league and double-A Northwest Arkansas prior to joining Omaha.

This is the final installment of ‘This Week in the Minors’ for 2023. Thank you for following along! It’s hard to look at the final records of all the teams without wondering what it all means, or how much we can tell about the future of the organization moving forward. Those are bigger questions than the post-script of this column, but I would love to hear your feelings.