NL runs are down 4.76% and home runs are down a whopping 33% from last year.
Syracuse is looking very impressive, going 27-6 since opening with 2 series losses. Their 2.43 ERA leads the league - Felix Woodward (7-1, 1.00) has been nearly unhittable so far. Inspired by rookie SS Jim Olson (.324/9/40), Sioux Falls is just 4 back with the league's 4th best record. Ottawa is getting some nice pitching (Humberto Urbina - 5-0, 3.00) and balanced hitting (Brandon O'Halloran - .353/4/38), but despite playing .550 fake baseball, has fallen 8 back. Trenton looks to rebuild but may have gotten unlucky: their glut of high-power, low-split hitters appears to have been hit hard by the end of the steroid era.
Burlington is threatening to run and hide from the rest of the East. 5th in offense, 6th in pitching, 2nd in defense - nice balance. Everybody else is rebuilding, so the question here is whether the Lake Monsters can advance in the playoffs. Among East hitters, the Burlington trio of McDowell (.340/4/32), Beckett (.318/7/47) and Kobayashi (.312/7/26) the Indianapolis threesome of Matt Flores (.312/5/32), Dwight Adams (.317/6/19) are among the OPS leaders. Jacksonville's Don Young (3-2, 2.47), and Hector Reyes (1-4, 3.13), Burlington's Teddy Nelson (4-2, 2.60) and Indy's Enrique Velazquez (2-4, 2.87) are among the ERA leaders.
Austin's moves have propelled them to the top of the South, for now. Kevin Grabowski (.344/16/51) lead the league in HR and RBI and is getting ample help from Shelley, Selby and Myatt. Their home-grown SP's (Trent Diaz 6-2, 2.77) the expensive FA's. Mexico City was hit hard by free agency but is hanging in; 3B Aramis Expinoza (.358/9/41), C Alex Nunez (.355/4/10), and SP's Cory Mitchell (2-3, 2.07) and Cesar Morales (5-1, 2.58) have come up big. Memphis has shifted into rebuilding mode; El Paso is still there.
Since losing 3 straight to Fresno and Sioux Falls, Oakland has ripped off an incredible 26-2 run. As expected, they lead in offense (Rivera - .348/11/49, Zhang - .318/5/31, Feliz - .324/7/29) and their pitching has been outstanding - Gary Ramsay (7-1, 1.27) joins Woodward as 1 of the 2 Cy Young leaders. Las Vegas has the league's 3rd best record - they're 3rd in hitting and 2nd in pitching (all 5 starters are 2.70 ERA or better, and the bullpen is cloose to that). San Jose and Fresno have dropped off the torid pace of the leaders and could become sellers soon. The Grizzlies' Ernest Farr (.312/6/21) has continued his rookie season's hot hitting, and the Bees' rookie Craig Hague (2-0. 1.28) has made an impressive debut.