As the minor league season comes to a close (the regular season ends on Monday for most teams), part of our attention naturally shifts to the playoffs. Eugene, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend will all three be chasing championships in their respective leagues this month; in the case of Myrtle Beach, they will be chasing their second title in a row.
But that isn’t all the drama. There are a few prospects who are in a position to finish on top of their league in some key statistics. For today we’ll look just at the hitters, starting in Iowa.
John Andreoli had 37 steals, and that ranks him first in the Pacific Coast League. He has a two steal lead over Quintin Berry of Salt Lake City and five over former Cub Arismendy Alcantara, now with Nashville. Andreoli has a very good shot of finishing in first.
In Tennessee, Chesny Young leads the batting title race with a .304 average. Zach Granite of Chattanooga is second at .301, though, so this race may not be quite over. Young may need one or two more good games to secure the batting crown. Interestingly, number three in the league is Young’s teammate, Victor Caratini, but at .294 he is pretty much out of the race. For the league OBP title, though, those two are one and two at .379 and .378. Caratini may yet pass Young for OBP.
Jeffrey Baez has a shot at the stolen base title in the Carolina League, but it won’t be easy. His 37 steals trails Jay Gonzalez of Frederick by three and Greg Allen of Lynchburg by one. He’ll need a couple really, really good days to take the top spot.
In the Midwest League, Eloy Jimenez will finish with the best slugging percentage. The closest total to his .536 is a .482 posted by Connor Marabell of Lake County. That is likely too big of a gap to close in just a few games. Jimenez does not lead the league in home runs, though, but will probably finish first in doubles as well as slugging.
If Wladimir Galindo gets really hot this weekend, he could make a run at the home run crown in the Northwest League. He has eight and leader Gio Brusa of Salem-Keizer has ten. A three or four home run weekend would be a huge power surge by league standards, but it isn’t totally out of the question. Galindo has the pop to do it.
- Stephen Fife: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K
- Jack Leathersich: 1 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB. He could be a long shot to make it up in September.
- John Andreoli: 1 for 3, 2 BB, SB
- Matt Murton: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
- Jeimer Candelario: 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB
- Lane Adams: 3 for 5, HR, 2 SB
- Taylor Davis: 0 for 2, 3 BB, SB
- Zach Hedges: 7 IP, 3 R, 10 H, 3 K
- Chesny Young: 4 for 4. Another game or two like this and the batting title is his.
- Kelly Dugan: 1 for 4, 2B
- David Freitas: 2 for 4, 2B
- Stephen Bruno: 1 for 2, 2B
- Jeremy Null: 6.2 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K
- Daniel Lewis: 1.1 IP, 1 K
- Charcer Burks: 2 for 5, 3B
- Donnie Dewees: 1 for 3, 3B, BB
- David Bote: 3 for 4, HR. He has reached base in twenty four straight games.
- Yasiel Balaguert: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- Bryant Flete: 1 for 4, HR
- Daniel Spingola: 1 for 4, 2B
- Jose Paulino: 5 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 7 K. One of many pitchers in the low minors having a very good year.
- Greyfer Eregua: 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K
- P.J. Higgins: 2 for 3, BB
- Vimael Machin: 2 for 3, BB
- Alberto Mineo: 3 for 3, 2B
- Connor Myers: 1 for 4, 2B
- Pedro Silverio: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 7 K
- Dakota Mekkes: 2 IP, 2 K
- Michael Rucker: 2 IP, 2 H, 5 K
- Trent Giambrone: 0 for 2, 2 BB
- Tyler Payne: 1 for 2, 2 BB
- Robert Garcia: 2 for 4
- Matt Murton never got a shot in the majors this season, but he was as good as we hoped in the minors. With just a few games remaining, his line reads .316/.348/.399. Not a lot of power or speed, but he consistently piled up the hits.
- Eloy Jimenez is still not on the disabled list, but he has not appeared in a game since last Saturday. He left that game after grounding out in his first at bat. He’s a young guy at the end of his first full season league (and headed to the AFL), so he might just be getting extra rest whenever there’s any kind of minor injury.
- If Chesny Young can win the Southern League batting title, it will be the second straight year that honor has gone to a Smokie. Willson Contreras won the title last year.
- When South Bend begins their playoff campaign on Wednesday, they will head to West Michigan. They are currently playing in West Michigan. Based on this series, we are in for a really good set of games in the playoffs.