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Triple A Newsbeat

Monday, May 27, 2019

Giants must alter evaluation approach due to changes in minor leagues

SAN FRANCISCO—Andrew Suarez looked up during one of his minor league starts earlier this year, saw that the Sacramento River Cats were down five runs, and thought, “We can still win this.”

The thought process wasn’t simply about being optimistic. It was about being realistic in the Pacific Coast League.

The league has always been offense-crazy, but this season has seen new levels of production. The PCL started using MLB balls and lineups have taken off in a league where altitude was already an issue for pitchers. Teams are averaging 5.62 runs per game and an OPS of .816, and the league-wide ERA is 5.29.

“It’s a little bit like playing in Coors Field everywhere you go,” Suarez said.

A reminder of why having offensive explosions in AAA isn’t necessarily a good idea.

 


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Triple-A Game features 33 runs, cycle, four-homer game from Yasmany Tomás

The Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) and Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) played a wild one on Monday. The game featured 33 runs on 39 hits and 16 walks with 10 homers. Four of those homers were hit by Yasmany Tomás. Matt Szczur hit for the cycle while Kevin Cron knocked in six runs and hit a pair of homers, giving him 21 on the season. Reno won 25-8, by the way.

The Triple-A hitting boom of this season, epitomized in one game.

 

QLE Posted: May 21, 2019 at 04:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hitting for the cycle, home run derby, matt szczur, triple a, yasmany tomas

Monday, May 13, 2019

Triple-A batters smashing it since MLB ball is put into play

Balls are flying out of Triple-A ballparks like never before, coinciding with a switch in baseballs to the major league model.

The El Paso Chihuahuas have hit 89 home runs in their first 37 games — the most in professional baseball and more than half the 142 they slugged in 139 games last season. The Rochester Red Wings and Lehigh Valley IronPigs combined for 15 homers in a game last month. Overall, 26 of the 30 teams in the Pacific Coast League and International League are on pace to exceed their 2018 totals, most by a wide margin.

Not coincidentally, this is the first year Triple-A has played with the same ball used in the majors. The big league ball is said to be harder, more tightly wound at its core and with slightly lower seams, all of which make it more aerodynamic than the ball used at the Double-A level and lower and previously in Triple-A.

Bigger offensive numbers were expected when Major League Baseball requested the highest level of the minor leagues switch to balls to more closely align with conditions in the big leagues.

So, how long before we get a revival of Home Run Derby?

QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: home run spike, juiced baseballs, triple a

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Even when Tim Tebow is hitting .131, his Triple-A team is drawing fans in droves

We are now a month into Tim Tebow’s Triple-A career, and it’s pretty hard to overstate how horrifically the former football player is performing.

Through 26 games for the Syracuse Mets this year, Tebow is hitting .131/.198/.179 with zero home runs and a 37 percent strikeout rate. He currently has only 11 hits on the season, 12 if you count the time he accidentally kicked his first-base coach in the groin. After saying in February that an MLB call-up was his goal for the season, the 31-year-old outfielder currently ranks last in the entire Triple-A level in OPS (.376) and wRC+ (-4).

Those latter two numbers are on pace to be the worst marks the Triple-A season has seen in the last decade, per Fangraphs. And, keep in mind, Tebow plays a bat-first position at left-field and won’t be making the majors through his fielding or baserunning.

If there’s player who has earned the crown of “Worst Player in Triple-A” this year, Tebow is the runaway leader right now. That hasn’t stopped fans from coming out in droves to see the Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL first-round draft pick.

I suspect that this is telling of something, but would that I knew what it was….


Friday, April 19, 2019

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals

There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

So, does this mean they all ought to be put in a humidor?

 

QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:41 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs, triple a

Monday, April 15, 2019

Triple-A Game between Lehigh Valley, Rochester features 15 homers

Saturday afternoon’s Triple-A game between the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies) and Rochester Red Wings (Twins) set or matched all kinds of franchise records. The two squads combined to score 38 runs, racking up 43 hits and eight walks. 15 of those 43 hits were home runs. The IronPigs outlasted the Red Wings 20-18 in 10 innings.

And there are people who think power hasn’t been cheapened in the contemporary game!

 

QLE Posted: April 15, 2019 at 07:44 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: home run derby, lehigh valley, rochester, triple a

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reportedly called up to Triple-A

The top prospect in baseball just took another step closer to seeing a major-league field, according to a report from MLB Pipeline.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had his spring training cut short this March after an oblique strain forced him to miss more than half the month’s worth of games. He spent the rest of the spring in minor-league camp rehabbing the injury, and made a short four-game appearance with the high-A Dunedin Blue Jays once the season started.

Guerrero went 4-for-15 in his quick time with Dunedin, and apparently looked healthy enough to now head north and join the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, according to Jesse Sanchez.

I’m trying to remember- how much longer do they keep him in Buffalo before the service time game pays off?

 

QLE Posted: April 11, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: buffalo, triple a, vladimir guerrero jr.

 

 

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