We all know that the Dodgers are in the process of finishing the regular season with home field advantage throughout the playoffs, but many of the minor league teams are also in playoff contention. 6 of the 8 teams have legitimate playoff hopes, and two are almost certain.
AAA – OKC Dodgers – This is one of the teams that playoff hopes are quickly slipping away. They find themselves 9 games behind the Colorado Spring Sky Sox (Brewers), and 5 games away from elimination with 12 to play. There are no wild card teams, so they are going to have to win the Division to get into the playoffs. Chances do not look promising. They will probably be eliminated by September 1 allowing players schedule for promotion to the ML team to arrive on September 1. Their final game is September 4.
AA – Tulsa Drillers – They must win the 2nd half to qualify for the post season. The Drillers are perhaps the hottest team in the Texas League at this time is time. They are currently on a 7 game winning streak, and now have the second best record of any Texas League team in the second half. They are 1 game behind the Springfield Cardinals with 13 games to play. They have 6 games against the Cardinals in those final 13 games. What makes this team so formidable is perhaps one of the best starting pitching staffs in minor league baseball. They are six deep, and are all pitching well right now:
Josh Sborz (outdueled Chase De Jong in a 7-1 victory last night).
I will take my chances with that rotation. I like their chances to make up that 1 game and move on to the playoffs. Their final game is September 4.
A+ – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes – The Quakes are 1 game up on the Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies) in the 2nd half, with 12 to play. They have 9 home games and 3 away. If they hold off the JetHawks, they qualify as the 2nd half champion of the California League South. If the JetHawks overtake the Quakes, Rancho will still qualify with the 2nd best overall record in the division. They are 12 games better than the overall 3rd place team. The Quakes seem destined for the playoffs. With Jordan Sheffield having a great outing his last game out, the pitching along with Caleb Ferguson and Adam Bray seem to be in good shape. I can also see Dustin May making the jump for the playoffs as Great Lakes does not look playoff bound. Their final game is September 4.
A – Great Lakes Loons – The reigning Midwest League Champion Loons must come in 2nd for the 2nd half or have the third best overall record in the Midwest League Eastern to qualify. They are 9 games out of 2nd place with 12 to play, so their best opportunity is to become the third best overall record in the division. They are 5 games back at this time. Their chances of repeating are not looking great right now. Their final game is September 4.
Rookie – Ogden Raptors – The Raptors are tied with the Orem Owlz (Angels) for the 2nd half championship in the Pioneer League South, with 18 to play. The Raptors can get to the playoffs by winning the 2nd half outright, or if the Owlz win both halves, they can get in with the next best overall record. They still have 4 games against the Owls, and with a 6 game lead over the next best overall record, the Raptors are in good shape for a playoff berth. They have the league’s best offense for Average, Slugging, and OPS, and #2 for OBP. They are not as gifted on the mound, so they will probably have to club their way to the finish line. Their final game is September 9.
Rookie – AZL Dodgers – The Dodgers are currently tied with the AZL White Sox in the Arizona League Central Division 2nd half, with 9 games to go, including two against that White Sox team. There is a slight opportunity to sneak in if the Brewers make up a 3.5 game deficit in the 2nd half, and can win both halves. If that happens, the Dodgers can get in with the 2nd best overall record, which they have a 7.5 game edge over the White Sox. Their best chance is winning the 2nd half. Their final game is September 2.
DSL – Dodgers 1 and Dodgers 2 – DSL1 is .5 game ahead of the DSL Red Sox in the Dominican Summer League Northwest Division. and DSL2 is 1 game behind the DSL Rangers1 in the Dominican Summer League North Division. DSL2 has 4 games remaining, while DSL1 has 5 games remaining. Their final game is August 26. There are five Division champions that qualify for the playoffs, plus the best overall record of the remaining teams. DSL1 would currently have that position; however their best opportunity remains winning the division. The Dodgers do have a realistic chance of placing 2 teams in the DSL playoffs.
There are a number of individual Dodger minor leaguers who are in a position to obtain individual awards. I am keeping track of those and will report on them at the conclusion of the regular season. It is also possible that some of the Dodger players will be selected as pitcher or player of the year in their respective leagues. The first post-season award was just announced. DJ Peters was named California League Player of the Year. Caleb Ferguson and Ibandel Isabel also joined Peters as California League All-Stars.