Record 27 Minor Leaguers post 20/20 seasons
Was 2022 the most exciting season in Minor League Baseball history? From a power-speed perspective, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Since the data became available, dating back 65 years, no year has even approached the amount of dual threats that put their skills on display this season. A record
Was 2022 the most exciting season in Minor League Baseball history?
From a power-speed perspective, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Since the data became available, dating back 65 years, no year has even approached the amount of dual threats that put their skills on display this season.
A record 27 players notched a 20-homer, 20-stolen base campaign in 2022, easily passing the previous high of 19 in 1982. The next-best total is 16, first done in 1983 and then matched again a year ago.
MOST 20/20 SEASONS IN THE MINORS, 1956-PRESENT
27 -- 2022
19 -- 1982
16 -- 2021
16 -- 1983
14 -- 1996
13 -- 2005
12 -- 1981
11 -- 2007
11 -- 2000
11 -- 1999
As recently as six years ago, a 20/20 season in the Minors was a rare feat. Just three players did it in 2016, matching the lowest single-season total since 1990 and was the ninth consecutive season in single digits.
But the trend as of late has completely reversed. Five of the six years since then (not including the cancellation of the Minor League season in, ironically, 2020) have reached double digits, the best span in the dataset.
And if you’re looking for a group of players who could potentially join the 20/20 club in the Majors, starting with this list would be a solid bet.
20/20 SEASONS IN THE MINORS, 2022 (HR/SB)
ARI: Corbin Carroll, 24/31
BOS: Ceddanne Rafaela, 21/28
CHC: Alexander Canario, 37/23; Jake Slaughter 23/36
CIN: Elly De La Cruz, 28/47
CLE: Bo Naylor, 21/20
COL: Brenton Doyle, 26/23; Wynton Bernard, 21/30
DET: Dane Myers, 25/21
HOU: Corey Julks, 31/22; Zach Daniels, 23/22
KC: Brewer Hicklen, 28/35
LAD: Ryan Noda, 25/20
MIL: Joey Wiemer, 21/31
MIN: Michael Helman, 20/40
NYM: Ronny Mauricio, 26/20; Carlos Dominguez, 20/22
NYY: Anthony Volpe, 21/49
PIT: Matt Gorski, 24/21; Andres Alvarez, 20/21
SD: Eguy Rosario, 22/21
SEA: Cade Marlowe, 23/42; Mason McCoy, 21/22
SF: Vaun Brown, 23/44; Grant McCray, 23/43; Tyler Fitzgerald, 21/20
TB: Ronny Simon, 22/34
That’s a lot of numbers, but a close scan reveals another impressive total. The six 20/40 seasons (Volpe, De La Cruz, Brown, McCray, Marlowe and Helman) were two more than every other year in the 21st century, combined.
MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list is well-represented among the group. Carroll (No. 3), Volpe (No. 5), De La Cruz (No. 14), Naylor (No. 76), Wiemer (No. 85) and Rafaela (No. 97) backed up their placements with stellar displays of their power and run grades.
It’s certainly worth noting that rates of both home runs and stolen bases per game have exponentially increased throughout the Minor Leagues. Looking at yearly data since 2005, home run rates improved from its low point of 1.1 per game in 2015 to 1.79 in 2022. Stolen base rates improved from 1.68 in 2017 to 2.36 in 2022, with partial credit attributed to rule changes, which increased base sizes and limited pick-off attempts, that will make their way to the Majors in 2023.
While there isn’t a 1-to-1 ratio of 20/20 Minor Leaguers and future MLB stars, plenty of the bigs’ brightest first displayed their tools on the way up. All-stars
Jacob Resnick is a contributor for MiLB.com.