Minor League Baseball has a brilliant idea in 2021 with 6-game series and an off day on Monday. Is that me, the person who enjoys the idea of having a very specific day of light work throughout the baseball season speaking about this brilliant idea? Perhaps so. But it does make a lot of sense.
The Louisville Bats at Memphis Redbirds
Louisville Bats (3-8)
The Bats entered last week with a .655 OPS as a team, which ranked 16th in the Triple-A East. This week they enter the week with a .651 OPS as a team. The team is lacking in any and all power, ranking 19th out of 20 teams with just 7 home runs (Durham leads the way with 26). No team has struck out less than the Bats have, but no team has scored fewer runs, either. They are averaging just 3.09 runs per game. Only two other teams in the league are under 4.00, with Gwinnett leading the way at 7.33. The pitching staff sits in the middle of the league with a 4.45 ERA. They are second in the league in strikeout rate, but in the bottom half in walk rate.
Memphis Redbirds (4-8)
The Redbirds had hit just .232/.334/.403 as a team this season. They’ve scored 5.42 runs per game while showing a little bit of pop throughout the lineup. Their pitching has been quite bad this season as they’ve posted a 6.52 ERA. They rank 18th in the league in strikeout rate and home runs allowed per 9-innings pitched. That latter stat will be worth watching with how limited Louisville’s power has been this season.
Memphis will run out Cardinals #2 overall prospect Matthew Liberatore tonight. The 21-year-old has made two starts and allowed seven runs in 12.0 innings with a walk and nine strikeouts so far. The Cardinals #5 prospect Zack Thompson has made one start and one relief appearance – both spanning 3.2 innings. He’s given up six earned and three home runs. Johan Oviedo has been back and forth between St. Louis and Memphis, but for now he’s back with the Redsbirds.
Chattanooga Lookouts at Mississippi Braves
Chattanooga Lookouts (8-4)
The Lookouts still rank second in the Double-A South in OPS, rocking an .834 mark as a team. They are also second in the league in runs scored and they lead the league in average at .292. Chattanooga’s pitching staff is second in ERA at 3.81 and they lead the league in strikeouts with 138 and WHIP at 1.24.
The offense is being led by a trio of guys in the top 10 in the league in average and OPS with Mark Kolozsvary (1.594), Jose Garcia (1.168), and Alejo Lopez (1.002). On the mound Hunter Greene leads the league in wins, strikeouts, and WHIP. Reiver Sanmartin and Nick Lodolo are also in the top 10 of the league in strikeouts and ERA among starters.
Mississippi Braves (4-8)
There are three teams that are separated from the rest of the league when it comes to offensive output and the Braves are at the very bottom of the list. They’ve scored just 41 runs on the year in 12 games – 34 runs fewer than Chattanooga has. They are hitting .184/.299/.353 as a team. They’ve hit a bunch of homers, with 17, but they’ve also only had five doubles and one triple. Their pitching staff has been middle of the road for the league, posting a 4.21 ERA. But they’ve really struggled with control as they’ve walked a far and away league worst 71 batters in just 94.0 innings.
Mississippi has two of the Braves Top 10 prospects. Catcher Shea Langeliers is hitting .231/.412/.615, showing off the power but struggling to find other hits early on. Shortstop Braden Shewmake is really struggling, hitting just .094/.194/.188 through nine games.
Dayton Dragons at South Bend Cubs
Dayton Dragons (8-4)
After a 5-1 start in week one, the Dragons went 3-3 as they split the series with Lansing last week. The pitching staff has an ERA of 3.17 and has given up the fewest number of hits on the year in the league by a wide margin. But they have struggled with walks, but that improved against Lansing. The offense has done well and is second in the league in OPS and 4th in the league in runs scored.
Brian Rey continued to rake, picking up his second straight Player of the Week honors on Monday. He’s currently hitting .450/.442/1.025 on the season with just two strikeouts and 10 extra-base hits – including a league best six home runs.
South Bend Cubs (4-7)
The Cubs offense has scored 51 runs, which is 7th in the league, but their .596 OPS ranks 11th of the 12 teams. They have hit just two home runs and both came on Sunday. The Cubs rarely strike out. They have just 83 strikeout on the season. The next closest team in the league has 112.
While they are among the worst hitting teams in the league, they are also among the worst pitching staff in the league. The South Bend team ERA is 5.16, 11th in league. They walk a lot of hitters, but miss a bunch of bats, and also allow a bunch of home runs.
Two of the Cubs Top 10 Prospects are on South Bend. #7 prospect Ryan Jensen has pitched just 7.0 innings in two starts and he’s given up five runs. #9 prospect Chase Strumpf is on the active roster but has hasn’t played since May 7th.
Jupiter Hammerheads at Daytona Tortugas
Daytona Tortugas (6-6)
After winning the first series of the year, Daytona lost their series to St. Lucie. The Tortugas offense is second in the league in runs scored, home runs, and OPS. They’ve hit .228/.344/.394 as a team and have the fewest strikeouts in the league. The pitching staff has simply dominated. They lead the league with a 2.45 ERA – 1.08 runs better than the Mets who have the second best mark in the league. Daytona’s allowed just 64 hits and just three home runs in 102.2 innings across 12 games.
Jupiter Hammerheads (5-7)
Jupiter is 5-7 despite being dead last in runs scored with just 53 of them on the season and being 2nd to last in ERA as a team at 5.94. They are hitting .221/.330/.334 as a team with six home runs. The pitching staff has walked 71 batters in 106.0 innings with 124 strikeouts.
There are no Top 10 prospects on the team from the Marlins.
5/18 Game Preview
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