We’re getting ready to enter the final stretch for the minor league teams. Johnson City wraps up in August while the other five teams play through the first week of September. But which teams are poised to play after the regular season?
Memphis: 42-67, 4th Place (Last), 22 games back
That line sounds worse than it actually is. The Omaha Storechasers are absolutely lapping the field with a .587 winning percentage and the second place team is 16 games back. Memphis is not having a good season but it’s exacerbated by playing in the same division as Omaha. Not that playing in another division would necessarily help. The Pacific Coast League has a weird dichotomy of very excellent teams and very terrible teams. Memphis just falls on the wrong side of that divide this year.
Springfield: 58-47, 1st Place, Lead by 3.5 games
Texas League rules for making the post season are … goofy. One way to make it in is to win the first “half” of the season. Springfield didn’t do that but they look poised to win the second half and thus secure a place in the playoffs. This is mostly on the strength of an incredible second half where the Cardinals have gone on a .657 winning percentage.
Palm Beach: 50-55, 3rd Place, 16 games back
The Florida State League also uses the first half rules to set playoff appearances. Palm Beach was awful in the first half but has since performed better. They’re just 1 game back of the lead in the second half playing .500 baseball to keep apace of the Pittsburgh affiliate who leads their division. Palm Beach has a shot at the post season but they’ll need to play well over the final month to secure a spot.
Quad Cities: 51-53, 5th place, 10 games back
It doesn’t look like the River Bandits will make the playoffs. With a slightly below 500 record and needing to leap frog 2 other teams to get into the conversation, Quad Cities is down but not necessarily out.
Batavia: 22-18, 3rd place, 2 games back
Batavia is in a good position to make a run at the post season. They aren’t out of range of the divisional championship and are 1.5 games back of the wild card spot. (The New York Penn League takes 3 divisional winners and 1 wild card.) Batavia is on a 3 game win streak that they’ll look to continue to leap frog the two teams they trail in the wild card — or for the division.
Johnson City: 19-17, 3rd place, 6.5 games back
Johnson City is 2 games back of second place and thus 2 games back of the playoffs. In the Appalachian league, the top two teams from each division go to the playoffs. The 6.5 games back isn’t as insurmountable a task as it first looks. With a new manager, the 2010 & 2011 Appalachian League champions have some work in front of them.