Louisville Bats: 22-15 overall, 184 runs scored, 154 runs allowed.
The Bats have the second best record in the International League, but find themselves three games back of the Columbus Clippers who are on pace to win a mind boggling 97 games (they only play 144). Offensively, they have a slew of players that are absolutely carrying the team. Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco and Yonder Alonso all have an OPS over .920 on the season, while the injured Dave Sappelt is a shade over 1.000. Jeremy Hermida is sitting at .998 in just over 80 plate appearances as well. After an incredibly slow start, Zack Cozart has found his way back to respectability by blistering the ball in May with an average over .350 during the month to pull him to .278 on the season. The offense is averaging 4.97 runs per game, which is second best in the league (to another mind boggling 6.22 for the Columbus Clippers) thanks to a team line of .276/.343/.451 line. On the pitching side of things the Bats have gotten some help from a few guys on rehab with Homer Bailey and Jose Arredondo helping the team out. Dontrelle Willis, Chad Reineke and Matt Maloney have made 17 combined starts and have ERA’s between 2.63 and 3.11 for the Bats. Scott Carroll has an ERA of 4.63 in a team leading 46.2 innings. Out of the bullpen Jeremy Horst is leading the way with a 1.56 ERA in 17.1 innings. Tom Cochran has been a little bit of a reliever and a starter and has a 1.66 ERA in his 21.2 combined innings. Kyle McCulloch is now in Carolina, but with the Bats he had a 3.09 ERA in 11.2 innings out of the bullpen. Jerry Gil has a 3.45 ERA in 15.2 innings and compared to previous years is controlling his walks much better, with only 8 thus far.
Carolina Mudcats: 11-26 overall, 156 runs scored, 214 runs allowed.
The Mudcats have far and away the worst record in the league and are 11 games back of division leading Tennessee. They aren’t without their bright spots though. Cody Puckett is hitting .298/.382/.548 on the season and Mike Costanzo is right there with him at .300/.386/.542. Quintin Berry hasn’t been with the team for the full season, but for the three weeks or so that he has been with the team all he has done is find first base nearly half of the time he steps to the plate, posting a .492 OBP in 15 games. The rest of the offense has been pretty brutal though with the exception of David Cook has been solid with a .795 OPS. The starting pitching has been pretty rough. Matt Klinker was sent down from AAA and has had 4 good starts with a 2.86 ERA, but the rest of the staff all has ERA’s over 4.70 with a combined ERA with Klinker of 6.09. The bullpen has had two very bright spots for the Mudcats though, with Brad Boxberger posting a 1.53 ERA in 17.2 innings with 9 walks and 31 strikeouts to go along with Nick Christiani who had a 2.41 ERA in 18.2 innings with 4 walks and 18 strikeouts. However things fall off quickly after that. The Mudcats could use a few reinforcements from Bakersfield to help turn things around in the second half when the standings get a new start.
Bakersfield Blaze: 19-18 overall, 254 runs scored, 254 runs allowed.
The Blaze are in 3rd place, 5 games back of San Jose. They lead the league in runs scored and in runs allowed. Offensively, the team is being led by a three headed monster. Eric Campbell leads the league in OPS at 1.249 while hitting .415 with more walks than strikeouts. If Stephen Hunt had enough plate appearances though, he would be leading the league in OPS at 1.254 while hitting .459, but he only has 85 trips to the plate. Yasmani Grandal is hitting .292/.419/.542 on the season with 26 walks and 32 strikeouts. Josh Fellhauer is hitting .346 but not showing much power and Brodie Greene is going the same while hitting .328. Henry Rodriguez and Ryan LaMarre are also both other .300 but neither is over the .800 OPS mark. AJ Means has a .753 OPS, but he does have 21 steals and has only been caught once which ranks him 3rd in the league. On the pitching front Josh Ravin‘s incredible start has slowed down over his last few outings. Overall he still has a 3.79 ERA in 35.2 innings with 44 strikeouts. After that though, no starter has an ERA under 5.40. In the bullpen Clayton Shunick and Mace Thurman have been strong. Shunick has an ERA of 1.69 on the season with 21 strikeouts in 21.1 innings, while Thurman has posted a 2.84 ERA over his 19 innings pitched. Much like the rotation though, there have been struggles beyond there with no one posting an ERA under 5.20.
Dayton Dragons: 19-18 overall, 140 runs scored, 157 runs allowed.
The Dragons are 4 games back of Great Lakes and in 4th place. Offensively Dayton is led by Dominic D’Anna who is hitting .304/.407/.429 for a team leading .836 OPS. Donald Lutz is showing outstanding power with a team leading 7 HR’s that rank 3rd in the league, but his aggressive approach has netted him just 4 walks and 37 strikeouts that has hampered the rest of his game. David Vidal has been solid all around with a .275/.338/.458 line. Juan Duran is hitting .242/.351/.432, which is strong for a teenager in the Midwest League, but his 42 strikeouts in 111 PA’s is something he is going to need to work on. Tucker Barnhart has a .259/.351/.395 line on the season while also throwing out 48% of attempted base stealers. Billy Hamilton isn’t hitting at all right now (.525 OPS) but he does have 24 steals on the season. On the pitching side of things, the Dragons have been quite strong. Josh Smith has a 1.91 ERA with 9 walks and 54 strikeouts in 42.1 innings where his strikeouts are tops in the league. Daniel Corcino had two rough starts to begin the year but has been lights out ever since. He has a 3.31 ERA on the season with 12 walks and 37 strikeouts in 35.1 innings. Daniel Renken has a 3.43 ERA with 15 walks and 45 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. Daniel Tuttle has a 4.22 ERA with 11 walks and 31 strikeouts in 32 innings. Out of the bullpen, Drew Hayes has been dominant with a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings with 23 strikeouts. Pat Doyle has an ERA of 2.16 on the year with 35 strikeouts in 25 innings. Blaine Howell has an ERA of 2.45 with 15 strikeouts in 14.2 innings and Chad Rogers has an even 3.00 ERA with 3 walks and 18 strikeouts in 12 innings. Daniel Wolford has a 3.32 ERA to go along with 17 strikeouts in 19 innings and Tim Crabbe who has been mostly a reliever though he had 2 starts has a 3.65 ERA in 24.2 innings with 25 strikeouts.