In golf tournaments it’s called the leader board for the over/under par of the golfers as the tournament progresses by hole each day. What about the minor league baseball? Which Phillies minor league players are on the MiLB leader boards? Each day the minor league website updates the top five in five hitting and five pitching categories at the four levels. This allows us to compare the top minor league players using all 30 major league teams by level. Let’s take a look if any Phillies made the leader boards.
The Phillies have only three players who have cracked the minor league top five leader boards on this Sunday morning Memorial Day weekend: Reading’s Jesse Biddle is second in strikeouts on the AA leader board and Lakewood’s Willians Astudillo and J.P. Crawford are second and third on the A ball batting average board.
Several other categories not on the leader boards are of note for the Phillies farm system. Ken Giles pickup a save yesterday and would place him high up on the saves leader board by combining his AAA and AA saves. The Threshers Pete Lavin leads all of baseball in outfield assists. The Reading Fightins lead in one run wins and the Clearwater Threshers have the worst team record in minor league baseball.
1. Biddle is scheduled to pitch this afternoon and should take over the lead in AA strike outs. He has 61 Ks in 56.2 innings.
2. Willians Astudillo is the batting surprise in minor league baseball. He has been first or second in batting average at A ball all season. Going into today’s action Willians, who fills the catcher, first baseman and DH roles, is hitting .351 good for second at the A level.
3. Right behind Willians is shortstop J.P. Crawford who holds down third place in batting average with a .349 average. These two will be battling each other for the top five in hitting all season in A ball unless they get called up to a higher level.
4. Ken Giles has had a remarkable season with 7 saves at AA and now two saves at AAA. Last night at Coca-Cola Park he was reported hitting 99 mph on the scoreboard radar gun as he picked up a two inning save for the IronPigs.
5. Pete Lavin has been on of the most exciting players in the Phillies system. He now has 13 assists playing center field for the Threshers and is hitting over .300. No other outfielder is even close in professional baseball to his outfield assist total. His arm has been so accurate all season.
6. Last night the Reading Fightins won another one run game. I have them winning 7 of 8 one run games in April and 11 of 11 in one run games so far in May. An incredible record for Dusty Wathan and the boys fueled by a strong bullpen which last night shut down the Akron Rubber Ducks over the last 6 innings until the Fightins could push over the winning run in the 12th inning for a 3-2 win. They are now 6-1 in extra inning games.
7. The saddest record in baseball is the 9-38 record of the Clearwater Threshers. They lost a twin bill yesterday and play two more today. The Threshers .191 winning percent is on pace to be one of the worst in all of professional baseball ever. The “62 Mets” are widely regarded as being the worst ever major league team. They did have a .250 winning percent in 1962. The good news is that at the Advanced A level the season starts over after the first 70 games with a second half. So the Threshers will get a second chance in about 20 games or so for a do over. They need it badly!