With a first-inning double on Wednesday night, Asheville first baseman Brian Mundell became the modern day minor league record-holder for doubles in a single season.
Mundell now has 56 doubles, one more than Zach Daeges, who hit 55 doubles for high Class A Lancaster in 2007, and Scott Seabol who did it for low Class A Greensboro in 1999. No one has hit more doubles in a minor league season since the minors reorganized in 1963.
The all-time minor league doubles record was an incredible 100 by Lyman Lamb in 1924 with Tulsa in the Western League. Mundell’s 56 doubles don’t come close to cracking the all-time Top 10, but everyone in the all-time Top 10 set their marks in 1930 or earlier.
But it’s hard to compare minor league baseball of the first half of the 20th century with the game played today. Players often played in leagues below their talent level because of proximity or their ability to serve as a box office draw. The Pacific Coast League played 200 or more games in some seasons. And the game was not integrated.
The most logical demarcation point for “modern” minor league baseball is 1963, when the minors were reorganized. At that point Class B, C and D were eliminated and the minors assumed the form that they still use today.
Mundell has 11 games remaining in the regular season, giving him a chance to reach 60 doubles. Jose Marmolejos is second in the minors this year with 42 doubles.
Mundell was a seventh-round pick of the Rockies in 2015 after three seasons at Cal Poly. In those three years of college baseball, Mundell never hit more than 12 doubles in a season.