Sunday afternoon, I discovered an interesting fact: Iowa Cubs jack-of-all-trades Jake Fox was tearing up the Pacific Coast League. Batting average over .400, 17 homeruns, 50 runs batted in – he was easily leading the league in all three categories, making him a prime candidate for one of my favorite feats, the Triple Crown.
As near as I can tell, the last player to win the PCL Triple Crown was Albuquerque’s Mike Marshall in 1981 (.373, 34, 137). Before that, you have to go all the way back to 1956, when Steve Bilko hit .360 with 55 homeruns and 164 RBI for Los Angeles. A different era, that was.
The season was about 1/3 gone, which still felt kind of early, so I ultimately set myself a limitation: on June 1, if Fox was still in the lead in all three categories, I would write something about it (yes, I was going to wait a whole week. This demonstrates considerable restraint on my part).
So what happens? Fox gets the call to the majors, of course. You know, sometimes I get the sense that these organizations just don’t care about MY feelings at all.
Fox is no stranger to success. Last season, he hit 31 homers and drove in 105 runs between AA and AAA, his third straight season with 20+ roundtrippers. He is also valuable for his defensive flexibility: most of his professional experience is as a catcher and first baseman, but he has also played shortstop, third base, and multiple outfield positions.
One of the players sent down to make room for Fox and two other call-ups was Bobby Scales, the feel-good story who made his major league debut this month after a decade in the minors. It’s nice that Fox gets another shot at the majors (he appeared in seven games in 2007), but here’s hoping that Scales receives his own second chance before long.