Double-A Central
SportBaseball
Founded2021
No. of teams10
CountryUnited States
Most recent
champion(s)
Northwest Arkansas Naturals (2021)
Most titlesNorthwest Arkansas Naturals (1)
ClassificationDouble-A

The Double-A Central is a 10-team Minor League Baseball league that began operating in the United States in 2021.[1] Along with the Double-A Northeast and the Double-A South, it is one of three leagues playing at the Double-A level, which is two grades below Major League Baseball (MLB). The league was created in 2021 in conjunction with MLB's reorganization of the minor leagues.[1] The league is made up of eight teams formerly of the Texas League and two formerly of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.[2][3]

Current teams

Division Team Current MLB Affiliation City Stadium Capacity
North Arkansas Travelers Seattle Mariners North Little Rock, Arkansas Dickey–Stephens Park 7,200[4]
Northwest Arkansas Naturals Kansas City Royals Springdale, Arkansas Arvest Ballpark 7,305[5]
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals Springfield, Missouri Hammons Field 10,486[6]
Tulsa Drillers Los Angeles Dodgers Tulsa, Oklahoma ONEOK Field 7,833[7]
Wichita Wind Surge Minnesota Twins Wichita, Kansas Riverfront Stadium 12,000
South Amarillo Sod Poodles Arizona Diamondbacks Amarillo, Texas Hodgetown 6,631[8]
Corpus Christi Hooks Houston Astros Corpus Christi, Texas Whataburger Field 7,679[9]
Frisco RoughRiders Texas Rangers Frisco, Texas Riders Field 10,316[10]
Midland RockHounds Oakland Athletics Midland, Texas Momentum Bank Ballpark 6,669[11]
San Antonio Missions San Diego Padres San Antonio, Texas Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium 9,200

Champions

In the Double-A Central's first season, the two teams with the highest winning percentages in the regular season competed in a best-of-five series to determine the league champion.[12]

Champions
Season Champion Score Runner-up Ref.
2021 Northwest Arkansas Naturals 3–0 Wichita Wind Surge [13]

Awards

Four awards were presented in the Double-A Central's first season: Most Valuable Player, Pitcher of the Year, Top MLB Prospect, and Manager of the Year.[14]

Most Valuable Player

Most Valuable Player
Season Winner Team Organization Position BA HR RBI Ref.
2021 MJ Melendez Northwest Arkansas Naturals Kansas City Royals First baseman .285 28 65 [15]

Pitcher of the Year

Pitcher of the Year
Season Winner Team Organization Record ERA SO Ref.
2021 Cole Winn Frisco RoughRiders Texas Rangers 3–3 2.31 97 [16]

Top MLB Prospect

Top MLB Prospect
Season Winner Team Organization Position BA HR RBI Ref.
2021 Bobby Witt Jr. Northwest Arkansas Naturals Kansas City Royals Shortstop .295 16 51 [17]

Manager of the Year

Manager of the Year
Season Winner Team Organization Division Finish Record Refs.
2021 Ramon Borrego Wichita Wind Surge Minnesota Twins North 1st 69–51 [18][19]

References

  1. ^ a b Mayo, Jonathan (February 12, 2021). "MLB Announces New Minors Teams, Leagues". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "Texas League (AA) Encyclopedia and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  3. ^ "Pacific Coast League (AAA) Encyclopedia and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  4. ^ "Dickey-Stephens Park". Arkansas Diamonds: The Ballparks of Arkansas and Their History. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Bergeron, Angela (2008). "Feature Story - August 2008". Engineering News-Record. McGraw-Hill. Archived from the original on February 27, 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  6. ^ Mock, Joe. "Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri". Baseball Parks. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  7. ^ "ONEOK Field". Tulsa Sports Commission. 2010. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  8. ^ Reichard, Kevin (April 10, 2019). "Sod Poodles Launch Crowd-Pleasing Ballpark". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Goldberg-Strassler, Jesse (November 19, 2012). "Whataburger Field / Corpus Christi Hooks". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  10. ^ Goldberg-Strassler, Jesse (November 14, 2012). "Dr Pepper Ballpark / Frisco RoughRiders". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Security Bank Ballpark". Stadiums USA. Archived from the original on May 8, 2016. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  12. ^ Heneghan, Kelsie (July 1, 2021). "Playoffs Return to the Minor Leagues". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  13. ^ Horrorbin, Jordan (September 25, 2021). "Hicklen's Slam Powers Northwest Arkansas to Title". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  14. ^ "Postseason All-Stars". Minor League Baseball. Archived from the original on October 8, 2021. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  15. ^ "MJ Melendez Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  16. ^ "Cole Winn Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  17. ^ "Bobby Witt Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  18. ^ "Ramon Borrego Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 8, 2021.
  19. ^ "2021 Double-A Central". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved October 8, 2021.

Further reading