It’s been two seasons since the Minor Leagues’ transformation into its current shape. Some clubs are settled into new surroundings while others continue to build on their illustrious histories.
An expanded Minor League schedule and the elevation of many teams to full-season play have brought about cumulative franchise records – total home runs, total strikeouts, etc. – for just about every club. But the 2022 season also provided some wacky, memorable and historic moments for the record books. Here’s a look back at some of the best of the season.
Can’t get this guy Out-man
Triple-A Oklahoma City’s 11-year gap between cycles wasn’t the longest. But Dodgers No. 13 prospect James Outman made sure the club wouldn’t have to wait that long again. Outman ended the club’s cycle drought on Aug. 26 against El Paso, and then hit the milestone again just four days later in Round Rock. Read more »
They’re both my good side
Top Reds prospect Elly De La Cruz excited fans with wondrous displays of all five tools this season. But his greatest highlight came in July. The switch-hitting slugger homered from both sides of the plate in the same game for High-A Dayton, then did it again two days later. Read more »
Round and around he goes
Not long after an enthralling All-Star Futures Game appearance, A’s No. 15 prospect Denzel Clarke hit inside-the-park homers in consecutive games for High-A Lansing. This has never been accomplished in the Majors, but, according to the club, Clarke was the second player in recorded MiLB history to pull off the feat. Read more »
To close out the chapter on lightning striking twice in the same week, Double-A San Antonio pitchers hurled two combined no-hitters in a three-game span. Lake Bachar, Moises Lugo, Carlos Belen and Kevin Kopps kept Arkansas out of the hit column on May 15. Just three days later against Midland, Ryan Lillie, Michel Baez, Osvaldo Hernandez and Mason Fox combined for the no-no. The Missions won both games by a score of 4-0. Read more »
What is FIP, anyway?
While cumulative strikeout records were being broken with regularity, there are still some feats that jump off the page. Somerset and Richmond both hit the single-game, 20-strikeout mark this season. But Single-A Dunedin set the standard when Nick Frasso, Dahian Santos and Braden Scott recorded 24 of 27 outs via the punchout on May 15 against Tampa. Read more »
There was a driving force behind that aforementioned 20-punchout game by Somerset. Matt Sauer carried most of the weight in the victory against New Hampshire, striking out a franchise-record 17 batters over eight innings. Carson Coleman and Steven Jennings added the other three punchouts. Read more »
Chasing Seaver and Nola
Last season, Phillies All-Star Aaron Nola tied Hall of Famer Tom Seaver’s record of 10 consecutive batters retired via the strikeout. This year, Hillsboro’s Jamison Hill came within one K of Seaver and Nola in a franchise-record 13-strikeout game on July 29 against Eugene. Hill recorded 10 consecutive outs via punchout, but walked a batter during that stretch. The 23-year-old right-hander was also the beneficiary of an automatic strike on a pitch clock violation in a two-strike count. Red Sox prospect Yusniel Padron-Artilles has the Minor League record with 12 consecutive punchouts in the 2019 New York-Penn League semifinals. Read more »
Learn to share, Durham
While we’re on the topic of strikeouts, and in the spirit of giving, it’s a good time to highlight Triple-A Gwinnett’s cumulative strikeout record. Their 1,421 total punchouts were only the sixth-most in the Minors, but they ranked at the top of the International League. What stands out here is Durham – yes, Triple-A Champion Durham – led the circuit in punchouts every year since 2011. Read more »
El perro superior
Matthew Batten is a 27-year-old veteran infielder from Shelton, Connecticut that seems to have found a home in El Paso. Batten first joined the Chihuahuas in 2018. This season, he became the franchise’s career hits leader with 326 knocks in an El Paso uniform. Batten, who is also the all-time hits leader at Quinnipiac University, also made his MLB debut for the Padres this season. See more »
OBP machines in Rocket City
There were a number of firsts for the Trash Pandas during their second season in Huntsville. But there were two milestones that really stood out from the rest – both of which are good for the ol' on-base percentage. On July 2, Ryan Aguilar drew five walks and did not record an official at-bat, going 0-for-0 with three runs scored. The following week, Livan Soto reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances from July 8-10. Read more »
What’s your name, again?
Triple-A Worcester used 75 different players this season, topping their previous record of 72 that was set last year. Prior to that, the record was held by the 1995 Pawtucket Red Sox, who played during a strike year when replacement players were used for the first few weeks of the season. See more »
Watch your step
New rules designed to encourage base stealing led to many clubs setting records in that area as well over the past two seasons. Single-A Carolina managed to stand up to the increase in steals the best in 2022, setting a franchise record and leading the Minors with 87 runners caught stealing. It was the most since the 2016 Rome Braves (97) and 2016 Lexington Legends (84). Jose Sibrian and Brewers No. 7 prospect Jeferson Quero combined for 76 runners caught stealing. See more »
The construction of ABC Supply Company Stadium has brought Beloit baseball back to what seemed to be a far gone era. The club had just seven total season ticket holders in their final campaign at Pohlman Field. But this year, the newly minted Sky Carp set records for overall season attendance with 102,794 fans through the gates, beating the previous record, which was set in 1986. Their per game attendance of 1,632 also broke a mark set in 2004. Read more »
Too much to bear
Only about 125 miles separate Fresno and Stockton. But the two franchises – who played in the same league in 43 seasons since 1898 – were in separate circuits from 1989 to 2020. It’s likely that the Ports weren’t too happy to see the Grizzlies come back down to the California League. Fresno set a franchise record for the most victories against one opponent in a single-season, defeating Stockton 26 times. Read more »
Beat the clock
There’s been plenty of evidence pointing to the pitch clock as an aid to the game’s efficiency. Hillsboro saw the clock in action during the quickest nine-inning game in team history on May 10 against Spokane, with just one hour and 42 minutes between first pitch and the final out. Read more »
A grand old time
Wynton Bernard clubbed Albuquerque’s 14th grand slam of the season on Sept. 16 against Oklahoma City. The slam broke the previous Minor League record set by the 1995 Indianapolis Indians and tied the MLB record, set by the 2000 Oakland Athletics and 2006 Cleveland Indians. Read more »
I could've been at a barbecue!
It was Independence Day weekend in Frisco, and the Rough Riders’ pitching staff decided to stop allowing runs. Beginning in the fifth inning of a 3-2 loss to Corpus Christi on July 2, the club ran a 30-inning scoreless streak that lasted until the eighth inning of their 10-1 win against San Antonio on July 5. Read more »
Don’t discredit the W
While the “win” has lost some perceived value as a statistic in the modern game, it’s still a decent measure of a pitcher’s dominance. Case in point, Taylor Dollard, whose 16 wins set a franchise record for Double-A Arkansas during a season in which he was an Organization All-Star and shot up to No. 7 on the Mariners’ top prospects list. Read more »
Scoring is sweet
Sugar Land has only been an affiliated franchise for two seasons, but they’re already playing their way into the Minor League record books. The Space Cowboys scored 17 runs in the sixth inning of their 21-4 victory against Oklahoma City on Aug. 19. In addition to being a franchise record, it was the most runs scored in a single inning by a full-season MiLB team since 2005 and fell one short of the all-time MiLB record set by the Waco Cubs in 1930. Read more »
Grand finales at MGM Park
While Double-A Biloxi ultimately fell short of a Southern League playoff berth, they still kept things interesting with a franchise-record 12 walk-off wins. Their last game-winning play came in their home finale on Sept. 11 against Mississippi when Nick Kahle plated the winning run on a squeeze bunt. Read more »
Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for MiLB.com.