The International League is seeing some outstanding performances of players looking for their call ups to the major leagues.
Gregory Polanco had another monster week for the Indianapolis Indians (PIT), hitting .591/.654/1.000 (sickening, right?) with four doubles, a triple, a home run, nine RBI, four walks and two stolen bases. There’s not much more you can say about this guy, one of the top prospects in all of baseball who is clearly chomping at the bit for a big-league job and should be up there one of these next games on the Pirates schedule.
The International League Pitcher of the Week award went to Mike Montgomery of the Durham Bulls (TB). Montgomery, 24, has been very strong this year for the Bulls, in probably his best minor league season since 2010. He’s got a 3.96 ERA, 1.26 WHIP with 44 strikeouts and 20 walks in 50 innings. This week, Montgomery made two starts and allowed four runs on eight hits and five walks (hitting one batter) with 11 strikeouts for a 2.51 ERA in 14 2/3 innings. Though he’s been around since being drafted 36th overall in the 2008 draft by the Kansas City Royals, it looks like he might be finally putting things together.
Despite winning their last couple of games, the Buffalo Bisons’ poor results against the Gwinnett Braves last week allowed the North division to really bunch up with only 2.5 games separating all six teams in the division. It’s a tough division with all of the teams playing at least .500 ball with the last place Syracuse Chiefs holding down a 22-22 record. Incredibly, despite the parity in this division, there are no ties right now with the Bisons on top, the Pawtucket Red Sox 0.5 games behind, Rochester one game back, Leigh Valley trailing by 1.5 games and the Scranton/Wikes-Barre RailRiders only two games back. The Rochester Red Wings are the hottest team in the league, winning their last seven games to get back in the North division race.
In the South division, it’s those pesky Gwinnett Braves who have moved into top spot, usurping the Durham Bulls in a two-team race (Norfolk is already nine games back of the division lead). Gwinnett is getting it done with the bats, having the best OPS (tied with Durham) in the International League at .743 and the most runs scored in the league, despite three fewer games than both Durham and Pawtucket.
In the West division, it’s still
Gregory Polanco the Indianapolis Indians leading the West division. They’ve been fairly solid, posting a 6-4 record over the last 10 games and leading the Columbus Clippers by 2.5 games. Indianapolis has some of the best hitting int he league (led by you know who) and their pitching has been solid to allow the strong offense win more often than not.
The Rochester Red Wings have gotten a couple of outstanding pitching performances over the past week including eight shutout innings from Trevor May yesterday (8 IP, 4 H, 4 BB, 6 K) and five hitless innings from Alex Meyer on Thursday (5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K).