Beating the Bushes: Top Farm Teams in Brewers History: #2 Stockton Ports, 1986


The 1986 Stockton Ports before a home game at Billy Hebert Field. Rob Dewolf is at far right.

Four months ago, I began a weekly series looking back at some of the top farm squads in the history of Brewers baseball, dating back to 1970 when the Seattle Pilots headed northeast from spring training in Arizona and became the Milwaukee Brewers. I have not included short-season Class A or Rookie ball teams, as their seasons are generally too short to compare to full-season squads in A, AA, and AAA levels.

With this week’s edition of Beating the Bushes, I present the #2 team on my list:

#2 Stockton Ports, 1986

The Ports make their fourth appearance on my Top 20 list and will show up once more, in the #1 spot.

Stockton won the California League title, sweeping Visalia in three games. Dave Machemer skippered the Ports and would go on to manage 23 years with four different organizations, winning 1,604 games. Billy Hebert Field was once again the home field for the Ports.

Pitcher Jeff Peterek won 15 games—most in the league— and was the Pitcher of the Year in the California League. Robert Dewolf stole 51 bases and hit 14 triples to lead the league in both categories and Darryel Walters smacked 22 home runs, which tied for third among sluggers.

Hitters and pitchers both did well among the other teams in the league, placing near the top in many categories. The hitters placed second in steals (198) and third in both runs scored (797) and home runs (105).

The pitching staff allowed the fewest homers (58), finished third in ERA (3.91), and fourth in WHIP (1.445).

Thirty-five players dressed for Stockton, but only one reached the majors—Peterek. He made seven appearances (four starts) and lost two decisions for Milwaukee in 1989.

HR: Darryel Walters (22)
RBI: Darryel Walters (77)
BA: Mario Monico (.315)
SB: Robert Dewolf (51)

W: Jeff Peterek (15)
ERA: Jeff Peterek (2.88)
K: Jeff Peterek (113)
SV: Martin Montano/Derek Diaz
WHIP: Mark Ambrose (1.188)

C: Michael Gobbo
1B: Mathew Kent
2B: Fred Williams/Frank Mattox
3B: Joe Mitchell
SS: Walter Pohle
OF: Robert Dewolf
OF: Timothy Casey
OF: Darryel Walters
SP: Jeff Peterek
SP: Jeffrey Reece
SP: Michael Frew
SP: Cameron Walker
SP: Alan Sadler
CL: Derek Diaz/Martin Montano

(Cover photo used by permission of Rob Dewolf.)