Seven Up, Seven Down: The Best And Worst Minor League Teams
Lake County and New Britain hang on to their titles as the best and worst outfits among the 120 full-season minor league teams. The Captains have company at the top, where Winston-Salem joins them with an identical 22-10 record, but no other club has sunk to the same depths as the Rock Cats, who hold a two-game "lead" on second-worst Birmingham. So there you have it: The White Sox have a high Class A affiliate vying for the top spot and a Double-A club sinking to the bottom of the standings.
|TOP SEVEN MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS • THROUGH MAY 11
You can credit the early success of Jacksonville and Northwest Arkansas to Mike—whether it's Stanton with the Suns or Moustakas or Montgomery with the Naturals. All three of these elite prospects are off to fantastic starts. Over in the Carolina League, Winstom-Salem is lapping the field with nearly 6.6 runs scored per game. Five players check in with an OPS north of .900: CF Justin Greene (1.085), RF Brandon Short (.984), C Jason Bour (.967), LF Jordan Cheatham (.911) and 2B Drew Garcia (.905).
|BOTTOM SEVEN MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS • THROUGH MAY 11
[Update: We inadvertently omitted the Brewers' low Class A Wisconsin affiliate, a 10-22 club that should have checked in at No. 3, tied with Myrtle Beach. This would have the effect of pushing off the five 12-19 clubs following Carolina.]
Two teams have made it this far without registering a 10th win. In fact, New Britain (15) and Birmingham (13) barely have cracked double digits in home runs.
Power Index: Eye-Catching Triple-A Performers
In the Late-April Stat Pack, we highlighted Triple-A Syracuse lefty reliever Doug Slaten as a candidate to be called up because he was striking out every batter in sight. Well, the Nationals did call him up on May 9, and he's held lefthanded batters hitless . . . in one at-bat. He walked the other one he has faced.
To try to identify other potential callups, let's peruse the Triple-A ranks for leaders in isolated power and strikeout percentage. We'll narrow the search to the past two weeks in an effort to find those who are trending up. To qualify, a batter must have 32 plate appearances and a pitcher must have accumulated at least 10 innings.
|TOP ISOLATED POWER IN TRIPLE-A • APRIL 27-MAY 11
|NO||IL BATTER, POS||TEAM||ORG||AGE||ACQUIRED||AB||2B||3B||HR||ISO|
|1||Hessman, Mike, 3b||Buffalo||NYM||32||MiLB FA||55||8||0||5||.418|
|2||Miller, Corky, c||Louisville||CIN||34||Trade ('09)||33||6||0||2||.364|
|3||Jones, Mitch, lf/1b||Gwinnett||ATL||32||MiLB FA||41||4||1||3||.341|
|4||Duncan, Shelley, rf||Columbus||CLE||30||MiLB FA||53||6||0||4||.340|
|5||Flowers, Tyler, c||Charlotte||CWS||24||Trade ('08)||39||1||0||4||.333|
|NO||PCL BATTER, POS||TEAM||ORG||AGE||ACQUIRED||AB||2B||3B||HR||ISO|
|1||*Oeltjen, Trent, of||Nashville||MIL||27||MiLB FA||37||7||1||2||.378|
|2||Iannetta, Chris, c||Colo. Springs||COL||27||2004 (4)||40||3||0||4||.375|
|3||Posey, Buster, c||Fresno||SF||23||2008 (1)||48||5||0||4||.354|
|4||*Koshansky, Joe, 1b||Nashville||MIL||28||Waivers ('09)||34||3||0||3||.353|
|5||*Lubanski, Chris, lf||Las Vegas||TOR||25||MiLB FA||45||3||0||4||.333|
Other notables to clear .300: Chris Carter, Buffalo, lf/1b, .319; Juan Francisco, 3b, Louisville, .313; Clete Thomas, cf, Toledo, .311; Brandon Boggs, cf, Okla. City, .304; and Neil Walker, 2b/lf, Indianapolis, .304.
|TOP STRIKEOUT PERCENTAGES IN TRIPLE-A • APRIL 27-MAY 11|
|1||Fox, Matt||Rochester||MIN||27||2004 (1s)||39||12||4||1||31%|
|2||Martinez, Cristhian||Gwinnett||ATL||28||Waivers ('10)||37||11||1||0||30%|
|3||Vogelsong, Ryan||Lehigh Valley||PHI||32||MiLB FA||49||14||4||1||29%|
|4||Hudson, Dan||Charlotte||CWS||23||2008 (5)||64||18||3||2||28%|
|5||Resop, Chris||Gwinnett||ATL||27||MiLB FA||49||15||6||3||28%|
|1||Walters, P.J.||Memphis||STL||25||2006 (11)||42||15||2||1||36%|
|2||*Holland, Derek||Okla. City||TEX||23||2006 (25 D/F)||50||16||4||0||32%|
|3||Matos, Osiris||Fresno||SF||25||Int'l FA ('02)||42||12||4||1||29%|
|4||*Seddon, Chris||Tacoma||SEA||26||MiLB FA||54||15||6||1||28%|
|5||Lawrence, Brian||New Orleans||FLA||34||MiLB FA||51||14||3||2||27%|
Other notables to clear 25 percent: Matt Maloney, lhp, Louisville, 27%; Vin Mazzaro, rhp, Sacramento, 27%; Michael Kirkman, lhp, Okla. City, 26%; Hector Rondon, rhp, Columbus, 25%; and Chris Tillman, rhp, Norfolk, 25%.
Interestingly, Vogelsong and Resop both pitched in Japan last year. And yes, I also see the irony of including Brian Lawrence on something called a Power Index. These days, the righthander's fastball ranges from 82-84 mph.
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