Thursday, September 9, 2010

Playoff Baseball in the Texas League

Okay so the Naturals have proven to be the most successful double A affiliate in Royals history. Mike Moustakas won the Texas League Player of the Year. Brian Poldberg won Texas League Manager of the Year. Clint Robinson won the Texas League triple crown. But what else have we overlooked when evaluating the talent of this roster?

  • Naturals players rank 1,2,3 in hits: Johnny Giavotella with 168, Clint Robinson 160, Derrick Robinson with 146.
  • Clint and Johnny also rank 1 and 2 in doubles with 41 and 35.
  • Derrick Robinson is tied for 2nd in triples with 8.
  • Derrick Robinson led the league in steals with 50. For the record second place had just 33.
  • The Naturals led the league with 770 runs scored or 5.5 per game. Second highest was Springfield with 721 and third highest had just 646.
  • The Naturals had 121 more hits than the runner up in this category.
  • The Naturals hit 43 more doubles than the runner up.
  • The Naturals were third in triple and second in home runs.
  • The Naturals led the league in total bases.
  • The Naturals had 26 more steals than second place.
  • Finally the Naturals led the Texas League in Batting Average (.291) On Base Percentage (.364) and Slugging Percentage (.453) with a team OPS of .817. Wow.
  • Not to mention that Paulo Orlando ending the season with the best walk up song in the league narrowly beating out Nick Van Stratten. Here is a link to Paulo's walk up, I believe he comes to the plate at around the 1:18 mark and it plays til about the 1:50 range.

  • Everett Teaford led the Texas League in wins with 14.
  • Unfortunately most of the team's starters didn't meet the inning requirements for the era race, but several would have ranked high. Edgar Osuna and Danny Duffy would have both ranked third with a 2.95 era and Chris Dwyer would have ranked fifth with a 3.06 era.
  • Even though Northwest Arkansas plays half their games at what has been called the Coors Field of the Texas League their team era ranks third at 3.84.
  • The team also leads the league with 14 shutouts.
  • The team is third in strikeouts and walks allowed.

It is my opinion that if a team wins both halfs they should be allowed to host all five playoff games as their reward. Some have suggested that a bye would be appropriate but then you get into the issue of this throwing off players timing and routines. But I think it would be a fair solution if Springfield had to spend the entire series in Springdale. This would provide the Naturals with a competitive edge for winning both halfs and would provide the organization with a boost in revenue which is fair given their success this season. It is a real shame that a team could dominate both halfs and then have just as much a chance to lose in the first round as any other team that has homefield advantage. But I digress...

I'm very excited for the Naturals to dominate the Texas League playoffs just as they have for most of the regular season. Duffy tonight, Teaford tomorrow, and whether it is Lamb or Teaford on Saturday they should be looking to sweep. For Royals fans, this is an opportunity to dream about the future, an opportunity to root for the organization in important games, and an opportunity to witness some really quality baseball. Go Naturals! Represent the work that the organization has put into the farm system!