Minor League Baseball can be such a fickle beast. Capricious even. Ever-changing and elusive. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on things…they pull the rug right out from under you!
Many of you are probably wondering what point I’m trying to make. Many more of you have probably put two and two together by skimming the article and reading the headline. And many others won’t even see this piece. Perhaps they’re the luckiest of all.
Okay, okay, okay. What I’m trying to say is: it’s no secret Minor League Baseball is about Player Development. Vancouver is just one of many stops these ballplayers will make on their (hopeful) ascension to the Big Leagues.
And because of that, it can sometimes be difficult to be a fan. It’s easy to grow attached to a player’s hustle or skills or story or baseball acumen, only to have them called up the chain never to be seen again!
Don’t get me wrong: I want the C’s to succeed! I wish every Vancouver Canadian a swift and smooth ascension. That sounded a little Game of Thrones-y, but you get my point.
And having new players come in and surprise you is exciting, too. It’s the natural ebb and flow of the Farm Team system. I get it. All I’m saying is it can sometimes be a bit bittersweet.
I started thinking about that after checking in on a few of the C’s who got called up over the course of this summer. And in turn, that made me think it might make a fun little article to discuss where C’s go when they get promoted.
The short answer is: New Hampshire. The longer answer is: The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, The Double A Affiliate of The Toronto Blue Jays, who play out of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Let’s start with the basics. What is a Fisher Cat? Apparently, it’s like a large Marten that most people just call a Fisher, but in New Hampshire, they call it a Fisher Cat.
Also, where is New Hampshire? It’s on the East Coast of the United States right next to Vermont which is right below Quebec. Closer to Toronto for sure, but a world away from the Pacific Northwest.
Double A is the second last level before reaching the MLB. But, it’s not uncommon for players to be called straight into the Big Leagues from a AA team. So it can be a big jump, talent-wise, from High-A.
Which leads me to some good news I want to share about two former C’s you may have enjoyed watching this season down at Nat Bailey stadium. Maybe earlier in the season you stood and cheered for an Addison Barger homer, or a double from Zack Britton, and have recently wondered what happened to those guys?
Well, they both worked their way to New Hampshire, where they are currently number 1 and 2 in OPS. Which is very good!
If you’re not a “stat head” (and to be clear, I am not a stat-head. Numbers scare me) OPS means “On Base Plus Slugging '' and it combines how well a player can get on base with how much power a player hits for power into a very useful tool to calculate how good someone is offensively.
Once you’re finished calling me a nerd (quietly, out loud, to yourself), join me in congratulating Addison and Zack as they continue to show off their skills at a higher level!
So get down to The Nat. You never know when it’ll be the last chance to cheer for your current favourite C, or get you first look at your new favourite C.