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Atlantic League Newsbeat

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

How MLB vet found a home in Atlantic League

If you were watching baseball in the early-2000’s, you may remember Lew Ford as the Twins’ folk hero who came out of nowhere to help lead Minnesota to the 2004 postseason. The then-27-year-old filled in for an injured Torii Hunter and ended up getting AL MVP votes—putting up 15 homers, 72 RBIs, 20 steals and a .299/.381/.446 slash line. “Lews” rained down from the Metrodome bleachers. Twins writers still fawn over his heroics today. He was on top of the world….

Ford signed with the Ducks at the end of the 2013 season and signed on again in ‘14. That year, he had one of the best ever for an Atlantic League player: He set the all-time record for hits in a season (189), led the league in doubles (40) and slashed at .347/.415/.511 with 15 homers and 95 RBIs. He also became the first in league history to play in all 140 regular-season games and was named Atlantic League Player of the Year.

Ford played winter ball, but continued to come back every summer to the Ducks—where he now has a house and fiancée.

“I liked it,” Ford said. “I got signed out of here. I have ties with this place, so I kept coming back.”

The 2021 season is Ford’s 11th with the Ducks—his .320 career average is a franchise record, he’s been selected to three regular-season All-Star teams and two in the postseason. He’s even participated in the Home Run Derby ... at 41 years old.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 21, 2021 at 12:07 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: atlantic league, lew ford

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Stark: Where’s the mound? The Atlantic League’s latest lab experiment, three weeks in

Sub required.

“If you move the mound back a foot, you would give hitters an extra 100th of a second (to react),” Epstein said, on a Starkville edition of The Athletic Baseball Show. “And that 100th of a second corresponds to basically like a tick and a half of velocity. Which would sort of mean that you’re restoring velocity to where it was maybe eight to 10 years ago, when the contract rate was a little bit better, the strikeout rate was a little bit more under control.”

So the thinking behind moving the mound is logical. And we’re all in favor of logic. But does it look like this mission is going to be a success? Well, it’s still really, really, really early. But so far, that answer would be no, actually.

We see there has been a slight uptick in homers and slugging. But is there appreciably more contact? ‘Fraid not….

Yep, the average fastball feels about 1.3 mph slower at 61 feet, 6 inches. But the pitchers don’t seem to mind that part as much as you’d think.

York pitcher Duke Von Schamann: “By the time I pitched the second time, it felt almost normal. I was surprised at how my body just kind of adapted to the new distance. And I found kind of my normal (throwing mechanics) pretty quickly.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 26, 2021 at 09:57 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: atlantic league, mound



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