Jamie McOwen breezed past the California League record for consecutive-game hitting streaks a week and a half ago, going 2-for-6 against Lake Elsinore to push his running tally to 36 games. In the process, he relegated Modesto's Brent Gates (1992) and Bakersfield's Chris Davis (2007) to the dustbin of history.
McOwen, a 23-year-old outfielder for the Mariners' high Class A High Desert affiliate, has kept his streak intact since then, going 2-for-4 on July 8 to up the ante to 45 straight games. That total ranks second among post-World War II hitting streaks, trailing only Roman Mejia's 55-game run in the 1954 Big State League. (See our short feature on McOwen for more about him and his pursuit of the record.)
As we did previously with regard Greg Halman's assault on the Southern League strikeout record, we present here the top hitting streaks for existing full-season minor leagues.
The most recent Minor League Encyclopedia (the third edition runs through the ’06 season) serves as the primary source for this data—with a little research thrown in to cover the past three seasons. Short-season league record holder data proved to be more elusive, but we do have those records for the Northwest and Pioneer leagues. Respectively, they are Medford's Tony Laurenzi (26 in 1982) and Great Falls' Ricardo Nanita (30 in 2003).
|MINOR LEAGUE RECORDS FOR HITTING STREAKS|
|Pacific Coast||AAA||61||Joe DiMaggio||San Francisco||1933||187||.340|
|Texas||AA||37||Ike Boone||San Antonio||1923||148||.402|
|37||Bobby Trevino||El Paso||1969||132||.314|
|California||HiA||45||Jamie McOwen||High Desert||2009||115||.340|
|Florida State||HiA||37||Harold Garcia||Clearwater||2010||46||.335|
|South Atlantic||LoA||38||Mitch Hilligoss||Charleston||2007||128||.310|
• The 2007 minor league season featured four hitting streaks of 33 games or more, highlighted by the league records attained by Brandon Watson (International) and Mitch Hilligoss (South Atlantic). Chris Davis held a share of the Cal League record for two years, until McOwen came along. But not to be outdone, Brevard County's Mat Gamel hit in 33 consecutive Florida State League contests that year, missing out on the record by just three games.
• Southern League standard-bearer Greg Tubbs has to rank as the most unlikely streak holder because of his .269 average that season. (To be fair, he did register a .285 career average.) He's one of two batters here to finish the year with a sub-.300 average during the record season, but at least Frank Toups (Midwest) managed to reach .285.
Tubbs, though, got the last laugh: He appeared in 35 games for the 1993 Reds, while Toups never did reach the big leagues.
The records above are accurate to the best of our knowledge. Leave a comment below if you have documented proof of a misrepresentation.
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