Normally we don’t cover MiLB games, but this is worth noting: the Houston Astros have six affiliates playing in the postseason, while the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Washington Nationals have four.
It’s not unheard-of for a MLB team to put six teams in the MiLB postseason, but it’s not a frequent occurrence, either: the last time it happened was in 2003, when the Pittsburgh Pirates fielded six affiliates in the playoffs. For the record, the six Astros teams in the postseason are Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast League), Corpus Christi (Texas League), Lancaster (California League), Quad Cities (Midwest League), Tri-City (NY-Penn League) and Greeneville (Appalachian League). With Houston stressing winning as part of player development, the success isn’t totally a surprise, as the team has stockpiled legitimate prospects throughout the system. We were down at Modern Woodmen Park this weekend to see the River Bandits in action; shortstop Carlos Correa looks to be the real thing and is already playing like a man amongst boys.
It’s also not a surprise to see the Washington Nationals with four teams in the playoffs: the Nats have put an emphasis on winning within player development since the Lerners took over the team. The four teams in the playoffs: Harrisburg (Eastern League), Potomac (Carolina League), Hagerstown (Sally League) and the Gulf Coast League Nationals.
What is a surprise is the presence of four Angels teams in the playoffs. While the Astros have put an emphasis on development since Jim Crane and Jeff Luhnow took the reins of the team, the Angels have focused on the major-league operation and let the farm system lie fallow. Salt Lake (Pacific Coast League) and Arkansas (Texas League) are both in the playoffs; this is somewhat ironic, as Travelers ownership openly sought a new parent last year because of dissatisfaction with the prospects being sent to Little Rock. Inland Empire is in the Cal League playoffs despite a losing record, and the Angels’ Arizona League rookie team is in the postseason as well.
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