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The Century Club (100 RBI minor leaguers)

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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.

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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!

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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.
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