09/17/2018 5:49 PM -
Kansas City, Kan. – On Sunday July 8th the Kansas City T-Bones decided to shake up their roster before a three-game series at Lincoln that opened on July 9th. The team had just left Texas on Saturday the 7th with a series win and during the off-day T-Bones Manager Joe Calfapietra was able to work out a deal with St. Paul Manager George Tsamis. The deal would move IF Zach Walters to St. Paul in exchange for another infielder Noah Perio Jr and would be announced first thing Monday morning.
It was a trade that raised eye brows and perhaps may have raised a few questions. Where would KC get their power and their RBIs? For the broadcaster and Traveling Secretary it created a bit of an issue. Those duties fall into my lap. I had stayed behind in Texas to attend my youngest daughters’ final musical performance of the summer season. I would fly to Omaha and meet the team Monday before they arrived. I would land in Omaha and shuttle the hour or so and be ready for the series. What I did not know was that my 6:45 am flight would depart with a quiet email box and empty text message folder. With my arrival time around 9:30 or so it meant upon landing in Omaha that “all you know what” had broken loose. My choice to sleep on the plane and not use wife might not have been a good one.
I remember being in the terminal waiting for the driver with my laptop balanced on my lap, trying to type a release and also trying to get some of my staff rounded up to get the media angles covered on this move. It also meant calling at the last minute to the hotel in Lincoln to give them a new rooming list for the stay. In hindsight what it should have done is sounded the alarm for some good things ahead for Kansas City and maybe the best call I made all season.
Fast forward to nine weeks later. In a total team effort in the T-Bones three games to one series win over the St. Paul Saints, Noah Perio Jr. was named the MVP of the American Association Championship Series after the final out Saturday night.
Going into the Championship Series the numbers below show how the duo of Perio Jr. and Walters stacked up head to head. The numbers seem to show that the trade was good for both clubs. The pair were nearly identical in every category. Walters had a three double edge over Perio Jr, but Perio Jr. walked eight more times with two more stolen bases than Walters. Where the numbers really jump out on the stat line and what might have for told what the future might bring, was the difference in RBIs. Perio Jr. would finish with 57 with KC a total that was 19 greater than Walters.
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG
Perio regular 52 209 31 62 12 1 8 57 21 32 3 .297
Walters regular 51 207 33 62 15 0 9 38 13 40 1 .300
The T-Bones first sacker would have a crazy last two weeks of the season that helped Kansas City go 6-3 on the final home stand and would secure the second playoff spot in the Southern Division. It was all part of a late season run that saw the California native finish on a two-week high. He had 18 RBIs in the penultimate week then closed out the final week with 10 RBIs, totaling 28 to close out the last two weeks of the season. Perio Jr. had seven RBIs in the second to the last home series against Sioux City then in the Southern Division series, he worked two big walks and scored in both at bats of a 5-2 game three win over the Explores.
The final trade comparisons came down over the weekend when Noah Perio Jr. was named Finals MVP after going 6-for-18 at the plate with three doubles, two home runs and five RBIs in the series. He helped the club get off to a crucial fast start in the series opener going 3-for-6 with two home runs including two-run shot first inning blast in the T-Bones 11-4 win in game one of the series. That win would force St. Paul to start lefty Chris Nunn on short rest and tilt the series heavily in the favor of Kansas City. In game three Perio Jr. had two doubles and he added another double and an RBI in KC’s 5-3 win over the Saints in the clincher.
The final post season numbers were in favor of Perio Jr. over Walters despite a small sample size. In a series that was so close with two come backs for KC, every little number adds up and looking back that day in July the team had no idea just how good of shape they would be in on September 15th, that morning they team checked into the hotel with Perio Jr. on the rooming list in Walters place. It goes down as the best rooming list changes I ever made and made scrambling last minute on that bench in the Omaha Airport terminal one of the real highlights of this past season.
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG
Perio Post 9 36 4 9 4 0 2 6 4 2 0 .250
Walters Post 8 34 2 7 1 0 1 4 0 7 1 .200
Noah Perio Jr was acquired by Kansas City via trade on July 8th in a one-for-one deal with St. Paul for fellow infielder Zach Walters. Perio Jr. had a strong first half of the season with St. Paul. While with the Saints, Perio Jr batted .311, with 17 RBIs and 57 hits. The California native was drafted in the 39th round in the 2009 June amateur draft by the Florida Marlins. He spent parts of six seasons with the Marlins organization, reaching AA Jacksonville. He then played 2015 with Sioux City before joining the Dodgers system in 2016, again reaching AA. He would once again wind up with Sioux City in 2016. In 2017 he spent the entire season at AA San Antonio in the Texas League with the San Diego Padres before returning to “Indy” ball in 2018, signing with St. Paul. He hit .297 for the season with KC, with eight home runs and 57 RBIs, tying for the team lead with Keith Curcio.
The T-Bones were crowned Champions of the American Association with a 5-3 win over St. Paul on Saturday night at T-Bones Stadium. It was the club’s first title in the league. The franchise won two previous championships as members of the Northern League, the last coming in 2008.
For additional information or interview requests, members of the media may contact the T-Bones Media Relations Department at (817) 739-3693. Stay tuned to www.tbonesbaseball.com. and the T-Bones Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the off season.