Bus Leagues Express: April 22

April 22, 2012
By
Top stories Fan promotes recycling in Texas: Today, fans in Texas can go to a game at Houston or Corpus Christi and help raise money for recycling education at Helms Elementary School in Houston. Fans that enter a promo code while ordering tickets to either game will know that several dollars for each ticket purchased will go towards the education program. Both games are at 1:05 CT. Tulsa eyes first championship since 1998: The Drillers are off to a solid start with a league best 10-5 record, two games better than the Springfield Cardinals in the North division. Their pitching has been strong, led by Edwar Cabrera who nearly threw a perfect game just a few days ago. The bullpen has been rock solid with a handful of contributors from Michael Marbry to Joey Williamson and Cory Riordan. The offense lags behind a bit, and it will become even more problematic once Nolan Arenado is promoted to the majors. Josh Routledge, Kent Matthes and Mike Zuanich are all capable of chipping in more. Greenville's young talent adjusting to full-season ball: Recent trades have depleted the top of Boston's system, but they have a lot of talent in the lower levels. They have three 2011 draftees playing key roles, catcher Blake Swihart and pitchers Matt Barnes and Henry Owens. Barnes has been great since the moment he walked onto the field, but Swihart and Owens have certainly had growing pains. That has also applied to highly touted 2010 pick Garin Cecchini who is not only inexperienced but trying to rebound from a serious injury that cut his season short last year. Greensboro off to fast start: Led by what's been one of the best one-two punches in the minors this year, the Grasshoppers lead the SAL North just over two weeks into the season. Jose Fernandez, last year's first round pick, has a 2.12 ERA and .88 WHIP with 25 strikeouts through 17 innings, and he hasn't even been the team's best starter. That would be Adam Conley, owner of a 1.06 ERA and .71 WHIP. Infielder and Florida native Josh Adams has four of the team's 11 home runs and leads the team in OPS among regular players. Augusta's offense lacks depth: The Giants have produced some great affiliates at the lower levels in recent years, but the GreenJackets aren't off to a good start. Shawn Payne and former Oklahoma star Garrett Buechele each have an OPS over 1.000, but they've only combined to play 13 games. Kelby Tomlinson is the only other player on the roster over .650. Their pitching has some promise though, and it'll have to carry them. Edwin Escobar has had an outstanding season so far, and both Clayton Blackburn and Kyle Crick have promise, although Crick definitely needs to throw more strikes. Bowling Green led by youth: The Hot Rods are the second youngest team in the league, but they're off to a very fast start and second in the MWL East. Their hitting and pitching statistics are each near the top of the league, and that bodes well compared to the division leader, Lansing, who isn't quite as balanced. Recent high draft picks Tyler Goeddel, Kes Carter, Ryan Brett and Jeff Malm are off to hot starts, and they're getting nice contributions from several more. Their pitching staff has been stingy, especially when it comes to issuing walks. Pitchers like Ryan Carpenter, Parker Markel and Felipe Rivero could lead the next wave of Rays arms to rise through the organization. Batters

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Top HittersAff.H/ABRXBHHRRBIBBKSB

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Name

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Adron ChambersMEM2/51214010

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Alex CastellanosALB3/42222110

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Ali SolisSA3/42213010

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Austin GallagherRC2/52215000

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B.A. VollmuthBUR3/52224000

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Charlie CulbersonFRE2/52204110

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Chris JacobsRC4/43325000

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Chris RahlHAR3/42213000

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Dave SappeltIOW2/43012101

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Denny AlmonteJAC4/53324000

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Jake KlueberWIL1/32114110

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Jonathan VillarCC3/42103101

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Joseph DuniganJAC3/52324000

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Leonys MartinRR2/31213101

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Nelson PerezDTA3/34113201

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Sawyer CarrollTUC3/53214001

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Travis SniderLV3/52213010

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Wil NievesCS2/42114010

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Xavier ScruggsSPR2/22222200
Pitchers

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Top PitchersAff.IPHRERBBK

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Name

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Andrew AlbersNB751107

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Brian BurresFRE710015

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Donn RoachIE760002

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Jo-Jo ReyesIND530023

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Luke JacksonHIC620017

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Mark HardyLE 6.122117

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Michael AntoniniALB5.241117

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Michael FoltynewiczLEX641125

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Michael JensenPEO722016

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Robbie ErlinSA420018

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Trevor BauerMOB740028

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Tyler LyonsSPR640026

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Zeke SpruillMIS730023
On tap today MiLB.TV schedule Doubleheaders scheduled in the International League Jarred Cosart returns to mound Taijuan Walker makes third start Nelson, Buckel hope to continue momentum in high-A action Alex Meyer tries to get back on track If you know of a player performance or article that should be shared, please let me know on Twitter at @5runrally 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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