Posts Tagged ‘Round Rock Express’

Back-to-Back-to-Back-to-Back

August has featured a number of exceptional pitching performances, so it was nice to look through some box scores tonight and see something impressive on the offensive side of things for a change.

Heading into the top of the eighth inning against the Round Rock Express, the Memphis Redbirds held an 8-6 advantage.  With the 2-3-4 hitters coming up, the Express brought in newly acquired Armando Benitez to make his 2009 affiliated debut.

The first two batters, Tyler Greene and Nick Stavinoha, were retired harmlessly.  Then, as often happens when Benitez is on the hill, all hell broke loose.

Troy Glaus hit his second homerun of the year to left…Allen Craig hit his 23rd homerun of the year, also to left…Mark Hamilton hit his sixth homerun of the year, once again, to left…and Daniel Descalso hit his second homerun of the year, mixing it up by taking it over the wall in right-center field.  Every infielder except the shortstop (Greene) went deep in the inning.  Both corner outfielders also hit homeruns in the game: right fielder Stavinoha in the first and left fielder Craig in the eighth.

Four consecutive homeruns by one team has been accomplished six times at the major league level (in two different clusters: 1961-64 and 2006-08), most recently by the Chicago White Sox on August 14, 2008.

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Houston’s Minor League System is Turning Out Some Fine… Ballparks

We spend a lot of time talking about prospects here, but there’s no doubt that players and big-league potential are only part of the appeal of minor-league baseball. For many Americans, a day at the local ballpark is an entertainment option, competing against the movie theater or mini-golf. For more casual fans, especially those with kids, the physical amenities offered by the ballpark can sway the vote. My own five-year-old son will vote loudly for minor-league baseball more for the rides, games, and dippin’ dots than for the product on the field.

So when Minor League News asked readers to vote on their favorite minor-league venues, and didn’t even restrict the vote to baseball, it proved meaningful that so many votes went to ballparks in the Houston Astros organization. Enough so that the Corpus Christi Hooks and the Round Rock Express found themselves in the top two spots in a recent poll.

Overall, 52.5 percent of voters selected ballparks as their favorite facilities, 47.5 picked arenas. Venues of over 800 teams were considered in the rankings. Fans were allowed one vote from an IP address. Approximately 11,000 votes were cast.

[KIII TV]

1. Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, Texas 38.9
2. The Dell Diamond – Round Rock, Texas 13.7
3. The Arena at Gwinnett Center – Duluth, Georgia 9.9
4. Nutter Center – Dayton, Ohio 7.9
5. Stockton Arena – Stockton, California 6.7
6. Germain Arena – Estero, Florida 6.0
7. Rabobank Arena – Bakersfield, California 4.8
8. Sovereign Center – Reading, Pennsylvania 4.6
9. Brighthouse Networks Field – Clearwater, Florida 3.8
10. Orleans Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada 3.6

The overwhelming love for Whataburger field either shows a very well-traveled readership, or it points to a marvelously organized voter turnout by south-Texas-based fans, but either way, there’s no denying that the field is ready for its “MiLB Cribs” closeup.

I was in Corpus over a decade ago, and I don’t think Whataburger was there then. If I ever get back there, I might just get hooked.

From Minor to Major

On my other blog I have been tracking rookie hitters all season long, and I finally got a chance to do my statistical analysis. Since most of these guys spent at least part of this season in the minors, it’s fair game.

NAME TEAM G AB R HITS 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO AVG SLG
R. Braun MIL 113 451 91 146 26 6 34 97 15 29 112 .324 .634
A. Gordon KC 151 543 60 134 36 4 15 60 14 41 137 .247 .411
J. Hamilton CIN 90 298 52 87 17 2 19 47 3 33 65 .292 .554
A. Iwamura TB 123 491 82 140 21 10 7 34 12 58 114 .285 .411
K. Kouzmanoff SD 145 484 57 133 30 2 18 74 1 32 94 .275 .457
D. Pedroia BOS 139 520 86 165 39 1 8 50 7 47 42 .317 .442
H. Pence HOU 108 456 57 147 30 9 17 69 11 26 95 .322 .539
T. Tulowitzki COL 155 609 104 177 33 5 24 99 7 57 130 .291 .479
C.B. Young AZ 148 569 85 135 29 3 32 68 27 43 141 .237 .467
D. Young TB 162 645 65 186 38 0 13 93 10 26 127 .288 .408
R. Willits LAA 136 430 74 126 20 1 0 34 27 69 83 .293 .344

Those who spent time in the minors in 2007 are:

Ryan J. Braun – 34 games with the Nashville Sounds
Josh Hamilton – 11 games with the Louisville Bats
Hunter Pence – 25 games with the Round Rock Express

Those just happen to be three of the top hitters in the National League.

The rest were in AAA last year, so the memory is still fresh for player and fan alike. Good luck to these stellar players!