San Antonio Missions: Why They’re The Best In The Texas League
The San Antonio Missions, Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, are currently first in the Texas League South standings and have the best record in all the Texas League. With a record of 41-29 in the first half, the club guaranteed themselves a playoff appearance. Currently sitting at 58-40 overall, the Missions have continued to show their dominance, and prove that they are the best team in the Texas League.
Pitching has been a strong point for the Missions throughout the 2017 season. The club’s pitchers have a combined earned run average of 3.21, ahead of the next closest team (Corpus Christi Hooks) by nearly half a run. The Missions have thrown 10 shutouts, leading all the Texas League. With 29 saves, they are tied for first (with Northwest Arkansas Naturals) in the league. The team has allowed just 782 hits all season, the lowest allowed in the league. For comparison, the next lowest (Tulsa Drillers) has allowed 831 and the club with the highest (Midland RockHounds) have allowed 926.
With allowing so few hits, the Missions have allowed the fewest runs. The club has given up just 360 runs, 317 of which were earned. The team with the most runs (Midland RockHounds) has allowed 476, 425 of which were earned. San Antonio has given up the fewest home runs (56), walked the fewest batters (276), and struck out the most batters (868) in the entire Texas League. The Missions carry a combined WHIP of 1.19.
Guys like Brett Kennedy and Kyle Lloyd are constantly improving the team’s pitching stats.
Kennedy currently sits with a team-best win-loss record of 9-5. He has a 3.53 ERA over his 102.0 innings pitched (second-most on the team). He has started 19 games, given up 96 hits, and allowed 42 runs (40 earned). He has an incredible WHIP of 1.18, and an even more incredible team-leading 102 punch outs.
Kyle Lloyd has a record of 7-5, with a 3.71 ERA. He has started 15 games and tossed 89.2 innings, including a phenomenal no-hitter against the Frisco RoughRiders. Lloyd has allowed 78 hits, 40 runs (37 earned), and has given up just two home runs.
The Missions don’t have the best batting statistics in the league, but they aren’t the worst. The club has 847 hits, second fewest in the Texas League. From those hits, they have scored 420 runs, third fewest in the league. The Missions are hitting for an average of .256 and an on-base percentage of .327. Both of which are third-lowest in the league.
Luis Urias and Webster Rivas are leading the offensive charge for the Missions.
Urias, usually hitting in the lead-off position, has an average of .319. He sits second on the team, behind Rivas. Urias fins his way on base often, leading the team with an OBP of .416. He has 111 hits, 17 doubles, and two home runs in his 90 games and 348 at-bats.
Rivas is hitting for an average of .321, leading the team. He has an OBP of .373 and a slugging percentage of .509, highest for the Missions. In just 16 games and 53 at-bats with the Missions, he has 17 hits, two doubles, one home run, and 17 RBIs. He has shown to be a solid hitter and looks to do nothing but improve for the remainder of the year.
While the club isn’t boasting the best numbers at the plate, they are still getting the job done. With above-average batting and the pitching numbers posted above, the San Antonio Missions are proving dominance over the other Texas League teams. The San Diego Padres have put together an incredible roster at the Double-A level. Hopefully, this will begin to reflect at the Major League club.
Follow Blake Cole on Twitter (@blakeacole) for more on the San Antonio Missions, and other MiLB Texas League Double-A teams and players.
* Stats listed are courtesy of MiLB.com and personal in-game score keeping. Stats are current at the time and date of this article’s publication.