The Bradenton Marauders are the Hottest Team in Minor League Baseball

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Pictured: Pitcher Yoldin De La Paz. Photo courtesy of Bradenton Marauders.

In baseball, everything can change in just a couple of weeks. 14 days ago, the Bradenton Marauders were 5-17, tied for last place in the Florida State League. Today the Marauders are 16-18, good for third in their division, courtesy of an 11-game win streak. The Marauders broke a franchise record on Sunday against St. Lucie with their 10th straight win and extended the record in Tuesday night’s victory against the Tampa Tarpons. With Tuesday night’s victory, the Marauders tied the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, the High-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, for the longest active win streak at 11. The BlueClaws’ streak ended at 11, however, giving the Marauders the chance to be the hottest team in all of the Minor Leagues with a win Wednesday night over Tampa.

Bradenton’s recent success has come at the hands of both an offensive surge and an uptick in shut-down pitching. In their 11-game winning streak the Marauders have scored a whopping 70 total runs, averaging 6.36 runs a game. During this winning streak the Marauders have also been extremely active on the base paths, swiping an FSL-best 21 bags on 26 steal attempts. In the month of May alone the Marauders have cracked 10 home runs, tied for the lead in the FSL. In addition to slugging, they’ve also hit for average, notching a .254 batting average this month, raising their team batting average to .207 on the year. The Marauders have particularly benefited from just simply putting the ball in play–in May they have a .349 Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP), compared to just .266 in April.

Not to be outdone, the Marauder’s pitching staff has also been excellent as of late. In May, they’ve allowed merely 31 earned runs in 109.0 innings, good for a league-best 2.56 ERA. While Bradenton already has 127 strikeouts this month, their success has come from improving their command. Missing bats was never an issue for Bradenton, in fact their 10.28 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) in April has dropped to 9.36 in May. However, the team’s walks per nine innings has drastically decreased, dipping from 5.33 BB/9 in April to 4.38 in May.

LECOM Park, 1611 9th St W, Bradenton.

Pictured: Pitcher Yoldin De La Paz. Photo courtesy of Bradenton Marauders.

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