Just two minor league teams repeated as league champions in 2011, one at the Triple-A level and one at the Rookie-level classification. As a point of comparison, four teams repeated as champions in 2010 after winning their leagues in ’09.
Columbus repeated as champion of the International League, winning six of seven playoff games while dispatching Durham and Lehigh Valley to win the Governors' Cup. During the regular season, the Clippers led the IL in runs per game (4.97), home runs (152), walks (570), on-base percentage (.347) and OPS (.770). To top it off, Columbus won its second consecutive Triple-A National Championship game, this time knocking off Omaha by an 8-3 score.
Johnson City averaged more than six runs per game in Appalachian League regular season on its way to a league-best 45 wins. They rolled through Danville and Bluefield in the playoffs, winning four of five games.
The standings table below ranks all 30 organizations by the cumulative winning percentage of their domestic farm clubs. The +/- category indicates the difference between wins and losses—games above or below .500, if you will. We also have 2010 and 2009 organizational standings with league champions.
|ORGANIZATION STANDINGS • DOMESTIC CLUBS ONLY|
|3||Dodgers||374||320||.539||54||AZL Dodgers||Ogden (PIO)|
|4||Blue Jays+||410||356||.535||54||New Hampshire (EL)
|6||Cardinals+||401||355||.530||46||Quad Cities (MWL)
Johnson City (APP)
|7||Phillies||367||329||.527||38||Lehigh Valley (IL)|
|Padres||366||329||.527||37||San Antonio (TL)
Lake Elsinore (CAL)
|9||Indians||361||333||.520||28||Columbus (IL)||Kinston (CAR)|
|11||Mets+||388||373||.510||15||St. Lucie (FSL)
|12||Marlins||351||340||.508||11||Greensboro (SAL)||GCL Marlins|
|13||Yankees||352||342||.507||10||Staten Island (NYP)
|14||Cubs||349||342||.505||7||Daytona (FSL)||Tennessee (SL)|
|18||White Sox||351||354||.498||-3||Great Falls (PIO)|
• Despite the fact that Rangers affiliates won the highest percentage of regular-season games—their four full-season clubs all qualified for the playoffs—Texas farm clubs all lost in the first round of their respective league playoffs. Triple-A Round Rock lost three of four games to eventual-champion Omaha in the first round of the Pacific Coast League playoffs. Similarly, Double-A Frisco lost thee of four to eventual-champ San Antonio in the first round of the Texas League playoffs.
In the high Class A Carolina League playoffs, Myrtle Beach dropped three of four to Kinston in the first round. Low Class A Hickory broke the 1-3 pattern by dropping two games to eventual-champ Greensboro to bow out of the South Atlantic League playoffs. So while Rangers full-season affiliates won 57 percent of the time during the regular season, they went just 3-11 (.214) in the playoffs.
• Four Blue Jays affiliates advanced to the league finals, the highest number of any organization. Double-A New Hampshire won the Eastern League, defeating Reading and Richmond while losing only once in each round. Similarly, short-season Vancouver rolled to the Northwest League title while losing only once each to Eugene and Tri-City.
The Blue Jays' low Class A Lansing and Rookie-level Bluefield clubs lost the battle of the birds to Cardinals affiliates Quad Cities and Johnson City in the Midwest and Appalachian leagues.
• As one would expect, organizations with six affiliates (.504 winning percentage, 22 orgs) outperformed those that had to spread players over seven farm clubs (.490, eight orgs). The Blue Jays and Diamondbacks added additional rookie clubs for 2011, giving the seven affiliates, to join with the Astros, Cardinals, Mariners, Mets, Rays and Royals in the lucky seven club.
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