The Century Club (100 RBI minor leaguers)
by, 08-22-2013 at 02:19 AM (339 Views)
Last weekend, Dalton Hicks drove in two runs for the Ft. Myers Miracle and became the second minor leaguer this season to drive in 100 runs. The other? His teammate for the first three months of the season, Kernels outfielder Adam Walker. As of today, Walker leads minor league baseball with 106 RBI while Hicks is second at 103. The only other minor leaguer with 100 RBI this year is Astros slugging prospect George Springer, at 102.
While Walker has driven in each of his runs for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, Hicks has spent a quarter of his season with the Ft. Myers Miracle. He has 21 RBI with the Miracle after knocking in 82 runs with the Kernels.
During the first half of the season, the two sluggers benefited from hitting in the middle of a lineup that including Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco setting the table. Walker, the Twins 3rd round pick in 2012 out of Jacksonville Univeristy, has hit 29 doubles, seven triples and 26 home runs. Hicks, a lumbering first baseman drafted in the 17th round of the 2012 draft out of Central Florida, has hit a combined 37 doubles to go with 17 home runs.
We frequently talk about how RBI are so much dependent upon those hitting in front of the batter. I do believe that RBI can be overrated, but as we watch a Twins team struggling to hit with runners in scoring position, I think it's important to remember that someone needs to drive run in!
The two become the 33rd and 34th Twins minor leaguers since 1980 to have a 100 RBI season. The list of names below tell us that RBI is certainly not a indicator of future big league success. (However, it is fun at times to go into the Way Back Machine and read about names we may not have thought about in years.)
2013 Adam Walker 106+ Cedar Rapids 2013 Dalton Hicks 103+ Cedar Rapids/Ft. Myers 2012 Miguel Sano 100 Beloit 2005 David Winfree 101 Beloit 2004 Kevin West 109 New Britain/Rochester 2004 Jason Kubel 100 New Britain/Rochester 2002 Michael Ryan 101 Edmonton 2002 Todd Sears 100 Edmonton 2000 Brian Buchanan 103 Salt Lake 1999 David Ortiz 110 Salt Lake 1999 Michael Restovich 107 Quad Cities 1999 Steve Hacker 100 New Britain, Salt Lake 1998 Tommy Peterman 110 Ft. Myers 1998 Corey Koskie 105 Salt Lake 1997 David Ortiz 124 FM/NB/SL 1996 Todd Walker 101 Salt Lake 1994 Bernardo Brito 122 Salt Lake 1992 Marty Cordova 131 Visalia 1992 Steve Dunn 113 Visalia 1991 Paul Russo 100 Kenosha 1990 Ray Ortiz 102 Visalia/Orlando 1989 Paul Sorrento 112 Orlando 1989 Terry Jorgenson 101 Orlando 1986 Gene Larkin 104 Orlando 1986 Tim Schwarz 101 Visalia 1985 Mark Funderburk 116 Orlando 1985 Mark Davidson 106 Orlando 1985 Gene Larkin 106 Visalia 1984 Stan Holmes 101 Orlando 1983 Stan Holmes 115 Visalia 1983 Tim Teufel 100 Toledo 1982 Greg Wells 107 Toledo 1981 Kent Hrbek 111 Visalia 1981 Tim Laudner 104 Orlando
There are a few guys on that list that have a couple of World Series rings and tremendous careers. There are several players who never got a taste of the big leagues.
Miguel Sano is currently at 94 RBI, so there is a chance that he will hit the century mark for a second straight year. Kennys Vargas currently has 86 RBI and would need a torrid stretch to get there, but it's possible. I'm sure people reading this will also be excited to hear that Scott Ullger drove in 108 runs for Visalia.
Next season, Walker should join Hicks in the Ft. Myers lineup to start the season. However, I would anticipate that both will be up in New Britain by season's end, maybe even by the All Star break.