Seven Up, Seven Down: The Best And Worst Minor League Teams
Lake Elsinore leads the California League in run prevention and ranks second to High Desert in run scoring, so it's little wonder that they have rolled to that circuit's best record. They hold a slim advantage on Altoona and Lake County for overall minor league supremacy.
The PACE category here is simply each team's win (or loss, below) total extrapolated over the 140-game season. But since most of the teams here will not maintain their present winning percentages, don't take the win and loss totals too seriously.
|TOP SEVEN MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS • THROUGH JUNE 28
|1||Lake Elsinore Storm||49||26||.653||California||HiA||Padres||91|
|3||Lake County Captains||47||26||.644||Midwest||LoA||Indians||90|
|4||Cedar Rapids Kernels||45||27||.625||Midwest||LoA||Angels||88|
|Great Lakes Loons||45||27||.625||Midwest||LoA||Dodgers||88|
|6||San Jose Giants||46||29||.613||California||HiA||Giants||86|
For perspective, follow this link to last year's full-season bests and worsts.
|BOTTOM SEVEN MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS • THROUGH JUNE 28
|1||New Britain Rock Cats||20||56||.263||Eastern||AA||Twins||103|
|3||Birmingham Barons||25||52||.325||Southern||AA||White Sox||95|
|4||Jupiter Hammerheads||24||49||.329||Florida State||HiA||Marlins||94|
|6||West Michigan Whitecaps||26||47||.356||Midwest||LoA||Tigers||90|
|7||Rochester Red Wings||29||49||.372||International||AAA||Twins||90|
So just how bad are this year's Rock Cats? They're on pace to be historically bad, as it turns out. Check out the leaders for losses during the past decade:
2000—Double-A Erie (Eastern), 94
2001—Double-A New Haven (Eastern), 95
2002—high Class A Frederick (Carolina), 92
2003—high Class A High Desert (California), 98
2004—low Class A Dayton (Midwest), 92
2005—high Class A Clearwater (Florida State), 95
2006—(tie) low Class A Clinton (Midwest) and low Class A Kannapolis (South Atlantic), 94
2007—low Class A Savannah (South Atlantic), 94
2008—low Class A Lexington (South Atlantic), 93
2009—Triple-A Buffalo (International), 87
Two things seem clear enough: Minor league clubs seldom approach 100 losses these days. High Desert came within two in ’03, but usually the leader settled at 92-95. And second, usually the minors' biggest loser comes from the Class A level—though the ’09 season was fluky in that Buffalo logged the most losses (but still came in under 90), while Double-A Binghamton, Triple-A Columbus and Triple-A Portland finished two through four.
Power Index: Eye-Catching Triple-A Performers
From the previous Power Index, published on May 27, the following players were summoned from Triple-A to the big leagues: Carlos Santana (Indians), Mike Carp (Mariners), Stephen Strasburg (Nationals) and Chris Resop (Braves). Sure, Santana and Strasburg are elite prospects, but for the other two, it's further confirmation that performance does matter at the Triple-A level.
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 four weeks in an effort to find those who are trending up. To qualify, a batter must have 70 plate appearances and a pitcher must have accumulated at least 19 innings.
|TOP ISOLATED POWER IN TRIPLE-A • JUNE 1-28
|NO||IL BATTER, POS||TEAM||ORG||AGE||ACQUIRED||AB||2B||3B||HR||ISO|
|1||Goedert, Jared, 3b||Columbus||CLE||25||2006 (9)||82||7||0||9||.415|
|2||Pascucci, Val, rf/1b||Buffalo||NYM||31||MiLB FA||67||4||0||7||.373|
|3||*Clement, Jeff, 1b||Indianapolis||PIT||26||Trade ('09)||69||10||1||4||.333|
|Flowers, Tyler, c||Charlotte||CWS||24||Trade ('08)||75||4||0||7||.333|
|5||*Larish, Jeff, 3b/1b||Toledo||DET||27||2005 (5)||83||5||0||7||.313|
|NO||PCL BATTER, POS||TEAM||ORG||AGE||ACQUIRED||AB||2B||3B||HR||ISO|
|1||Arencibia, J.P., c||Las Vegas||TOR||24||2007 (1)||90||11||0||10||.456|
|2||*Bowker, John, lf||Fresno||SF||26||2004 (3)||94||7||0||9||.362|
|3||*Paul, Xavier, cf||Albuquerque||LAD||25||2003 (4)||92||8||0||8||.348|
|4||Restovich, Michael, lf||Albuquerque||LAD||31||MiLB FA||72||3||3||6||.333|
|Carson, Matt, cf||Sacramento||OAK||28||MiLB FA||81||6||0||7||.333|
Other notables to clear .300: Lucas May, c, Albuquerque, .309; Allen Craig, lf/1b, Memphis, .308; Brock Peterson, 1b, Rochester, .306; Chad Tracy, 1b/lf, Oklahoma City, .302; and Josh Rodriguez, 2b/ss, Columbus, .302.
|TOP STRIKEOUT PERCENTAGES IN TRIPLE-A • JUNE 1-28|
|1||*Jukich, Ben||Louisville||CIN||27||Trade ('07)||91||29||11||4||31%|
|2||Hudson, Dan||Charlotte||CWS||23||2008 (5)||119||35||11||4||29%|
|3||*Wood, Travis||Louisville||CIN||23||2005 (2)||137||37||6||0||27%|
|4||Figueroa, Nelson||Lehigh Valley||PHI||36||Waivers ('10)||70||18||3||1||26%|
|5||*Chapman, Aroldis||Louisville||CIN||22||Int'l FA||102||26||16||2||25%|
|1||Diamond, Thomas||Iowa||CHC||27||Waivers ('09)||109||35||9||2||32%|
|2||*Kirkman, Michael||Okla. City||TEX||23||2005 (5)||135||33||12||2||24%|
|3||Lawrence, Brian||New Orleans||FLA||34||MiLB FA||135||32||10||3||24%|
|4||Mortensen, Clay||Sacramento||OAK||25||Trade ('09)||137||32||11||4||23%|
|5||Corcoran, Tim||Albuquerque||LAD||32||MiLB FA||103||24||6||0||23%|
Other notables to clear 25 percent: Ramon A. Ramirez, rhp, Pawtucket, 25%; Jose Lugo, lhp, Rochester, 25%; and Jeremy Hellickson, rhp, Durham, 25%.
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