Bus Leagues Express: April 15

April 15, 2012
By
Top stories Jackie Robinson Day: This will actually be Major League Baseball's 9th year celebrating Jackie Robinson Day on April 15th, but it became more well known in 2007 when players began wearing the #42. This season will commemorate the 65th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier. The year before, he was assigned to Brooklyn's AAA affiliate in Montreal where he had an incredible season, winning the International League MVP and raising attendance across the league. Today, there are two fields named after Robinson, UCLA's and Daytona's in the Florida State League. Of course Robinson was a great athlete at UCLA, and Daytona was the first city that allowed Robinson to participate in a professional game. Brackman struggles in second time out: Andrew Brackman was very good in his first start with Cincinnati, but that certainly wasn't the case Saturday against Columbus. Brackman failed to get out of the first inning, allowing five runs while only recording two outs. He needed 42 pitches and only 21 were strikes. He also committed an error that prolonged the inning. Brackman is a major reclamation project after being released by the Yankees last offseason, and this likely won't be the last outing like this. Aaron Hicks stays hot: It's only 10 games, but Hicks is off to a very good start in AA. After struggling in the FSL last year, the Twins got a bit aggressive and tested him with the assignment to New Britain. Criticized for his passive approach, he's probably still striking out looking more than he should, but he's making a lot of contact and hitting for power in the early going. He's hitting very well from both sides of the plate, and he could be getting back on the radar as a top prospect. The Twins could really use a boost in the organization as they start what should be a rough season. Billy Hamilton caught stealing: For the first time in 2012, baseball's fastest player has been caught stealing. It was his 8th stolen base attempt on the year, so he still has an 88% success rate on the season. He's not the leader in all of minor league baseball yet, but while the others near the top will eventually slow down, Hamilton's pace will absolutely continue. He's off to a scorching start with a .429 OBP and slugging over .500, but that's probably a bit Cal League-inflated. If he can put the ball in play and get on base, he'll be a very dangerous hitter at the top of Cincinnati's lineup. Matt Lipka socks home run: It's normally not at all notable when a player hits a home run, but for Lipka, it probably comes as a relief. He had an incredibly rough 2011 season in low-A, but the Braves showed confidence in him and promoted him to Lynchburg for 2012. He's off to a decent start now playing centerfield, and he hit his first home run of the season on Saturday, his 8th game this season. Last year, at one point he had the most at bats in the minors without a home run before hitting his first and only one of the season on July 12th. Bowling Green's top notch control: People knew going into the season that Bowling Green would have a deep pitching staff, but right now they're performing even better than expected. They lead the minors with the fewest walks, only 11 on the season. That gives them an outstanding 1.19 BB/9 and a 6:1 K:BB ratio. Jason McEachern leads the staff with three, and the entire rotation has combined for three. Both Jake Floethe and Ryan Carpenter have thrown 10 or more innings without issuing a walk, and those experienced college pitchers could be soon ready for a promotion. Batters

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Top HittersAff.H/ABRXBHHRRBIBBKSB

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Name

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Angel MoralesFM4/53213010

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Antoan RichardsonBOW3/42013100

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Bobby ScalesBUF4/51212010

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Brad DavisTUC1/42112201

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Brandon WaringBOW3/42212110

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Brian Cavazos-GalvezCHT4/53224000

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Jeremy WilliamsHIC2/42223010

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Jurickson ProfarFRI3/42112000

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Leon LandryRC3/43312112

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Luke AndersSJ3/42112000

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Maikel FrancoLWD3/52213010

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Matt KataRR3/52212000

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Melky MesaTRE3/42112002

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Miles HeadSTO3/41113000

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Taylor MotterBG3/52213010

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Tony PlagmanERI3/51214001

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Wil MyersNWA4/52215000
Pitchers

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Top PitchersAff.IPHRERBBK

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Name

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Austin RossBC520014

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Barulio LaraPC530035

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Ben AlsupASH662218

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Bobby DoranLAN770007

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Brandon CumptonALT741114

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Domingo TapiaSAV730008

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Fabio CastroSAC541115

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Jairo DiazCR740014

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Michael KickhamRIC630036

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Nate EovaldiCHT652219

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Nicholas TropeanoLEX640028

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Sam DysonDUN530004

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Santiago GarridoKC511124

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Stalin GersonDAY620025

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Zachary NudingTAM530016
On tap today MiLB.TV Slowey, Francis meet in matchup of major league veterans Molina hopes to end AA struggles in Birmingham Cal League features two doubleheaders J.R. Bradley looks to get on track If you know of a player performance or article that should be shared, please let me know at @5runrally on Twitter so I can check it out!

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MiLB Records Tracker

Billy Hamilton, Bakersfield Blaze
Current: 131 stolen bases in 109 games (1.20 per game)
Pace: 159 stolen bases in 133 games

Jurickson Profar, Frisco RoughRiders
50 game on-base streak (not on-going)

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2012 05 14 Scranton Wilks Barre/ Empire State Yankees vs Pawtucket Red Sox
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Andy Pettitte rehab assignment

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