El Paso Chihuahuas Catching Home Run Fever

Credit: Chihuahuas

Credit: EL Paso Chihuahuas

The El Paso Chihuahuas have caught on to the home run craze that Major League Baseball is experiencing.

The Pacific Coast League is known to be hitter-friendly. The El Paso Chihuahuas have taken that to a new level this season. The season just hit the halfway mark, and the Chihuahuas have hit 159. They are on pace for 309, which would obliterate the previous Pacific Coast League record of 231, set in 1999. No Minor League team has ever hit 300 home runs in a season.

The Major League record was set last season by the New York Yankees, with 267.

It is fitting that El Paso is hosting the Triple-A All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby this season because they have plenty of stars to boast and plenty of long balls to count. For starters, Luis Urias has hit the cover off of the ball ever since he was demoted in April. He is fourth in the Pacific Coast League in OPS (1.077) and wRC+(159) and ninth in batting average (.332).

If there were any doubts about his power, let his 17 bombs in 55 games testify that he has no power problems. Again, this is the Pacific Coast League, but this is a kid who never hit more than eight at any level, including last year in this same league.

Michael Gettys, who has fallen down the prospect boards as the Padres continue to build their farm system, has had a breakout year in the power department with 15 home runs in just one half of the season. His career high is 17, which he set in Lake Elsinore in 2017. He is on pace for nearly 30 home runs this season. His strikeout rate and plate discipline have held him back from receiving more attention, but his power is not lacking.

After filling in for the injured Fernando Tatis Jr. for a month in the big leagues, Ty France finds himself back in El Paso, and he is picking up right where he left off. He has hit 15 home runs total, and since his return, he has hit .389 with six home runs in 10 games.

Jason Vosler has been a nice addition, coming over in a trade with the Chicago Cubs for Rowan Wick. He has 13 home runs to go with a .912 OPS.

Esteban Quiroz and Jose Pirela round out the current Chihuahuas with double-digit home runs.

Aderlin Rodriguez recently joined the team and has a track record of power. He has hit at least 22 home runs in three consecutive seasons in the minors, with the Orioles organization. One can assume that he will only add to the home run barrage.

With the Padres ranked 12th in Major League Baseball with 110 home runs, it has been contagious in their farm system. Even with El Paso playing in a hitter-friendly league, they are taking it to a new level in 2019, a level never before seen in Minor League Baseball.

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Nick Lee
Native of Escondido, CA. Lived in San Diego area for 20 years. Padres fan since childhood (mid-90s). I have been writing since 2014. I currently live near Seattle, WA and am married to a Seattle sports girl. I wore #19 on my high school baseball team for Tony Gwynn. I am a stats and sports history nerd. I attended BYU on the Idaho campus. I also love Star Wars.

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