We’re about fifteen games in the 2019 minor league season, and some trends are starting to emerge. The two Triple-A leagues, the International and Pacific Coast Leagues, are now using major league baseballs in their games. This has boosted offense– specifically home runs- almost to an alarming extent. According to Baseball America, hitters in Triple-A are hitting home runs at a rate of 135% of last year’s rate. (Seems that the rumors of the “juiced” baseball, or at least a baseball with a lower aerodynamic profile, are true.)
How has this affected a few Valley League alums? Well, here are three dudes who are absolutely crushing it in the early going in Triple-A:
- Michael Brosseau (Waynesboro 2015) is off to a quick start for Triple-A Durham. After 15 games and 53 at-bats, he’s slashing 321/400/604, with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, 13 runs, and 13 RBIs. (He hasn’t slugged above .453 in his career thus far.) Michael was a free agent sign of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016- I really, really hope he will be called up at some point in 2019!
- Mac Williamson (Harrisonburg 2011), a 3rd-round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2012, is hitting 333/367/511 in 45 at-bats for Triple-A Sacramento so far. He has 2 doubles and 2 home runs as well. Mac was starting to play his way into the major league lineup in 2018, until he ran headfirst into the wall while chasing a foul ball in left field and sustained a concussion. The Giants aren’t going anywhere this year, and their outfielders are not hitting well, which means that Mac will most likely get some at-bats in San Francisco this summer.
- Last but not least, Jacob Wilson (Luray 2009) is off to a scorching start for Triple-A Fresno in the Washington Nationals’ system. In 16 games and 59 at-bats, Jacob is hitting 373/441/864, with 18 runs, 5 doubles, 8 home runs, 23 RBIs, and an 8/9 BB/K ratio. Jacob’s career high in home runs is 18, set in both 2013 and 2015… and he has 8 already in 2019. Anthony Rendon is currently the third baseman for the Nats, and he’s the most productive hitter in the lineup, so Jacob won’t be replacing him, obviously. It will most likely take an injury for Jacob to get a shot.
Congrats to all three- keep it up!