If you read the four classification stat wraps we unveiled over the past week, you may be wondering exactly what the averages were for the 10 full-season minor leagues. You need wonder no more:
• The walk, strikeout and extra-base hits percentages are figured per plate appearance.
• The offensive measures do not include pitchers batting at the Triple-A and Double-A levels. Pitchers do not bat at either Class A level.
• The Runs category is simply the number of runs scored by the average team in the league, providing another picture of offensive environment.
Traditionally a hitters’ paradise, the Texas League didn’t see nearly the volume of offense that it had seen in the past. Notice that the average Eastern League teams actually outscored the average TL outfit. The EL checks in with the lower ERA because of a very high number of unearned runs, about 20 more per team than their TL counterparts. This also occurred in a year where the Eastern League had a bevy of outstanding pitching prospects pass through, from Clay Buchholz and Joba Chamberlain to Alan Horne, Jair Jurrjens and Ian Kennedy.
Looking at league averages got us thinking of league-average players. The first couple we looked at were perfect fits: middle infielders who have tried to play shortstop but are better fits at second base, and thus need to hit more than average if they are to become big league regulars.
Russ Adams hit .262/.333/.401 for Triple-A Syracuse while playing second base, after struggling as the Blue Jays’ shortstop in 2004 and 2005. Meanwhile, the Angels drafted Ryan Mount in the second round in 2005, and he’s progressed slowly, working his way to full-season ball and shifting from shortstop to second base.
Of course we couldn’t just stop at two, so we went and found "Mr. Average" for every league.
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