ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Triple-A Oklahoma City outfielder George Springer has homered in six of his last 10 games to give him a Minor League-best 35 and the lead for the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, presented by Musco Sports Lighting. The top home run hitter in the domestic-based Minor Leagues at the end of the regular season, which ends on Labor Day for all but one of the full-season leagues, wins the Joe Bauman Trophy and a check representing $200 for each one he hit.
Springer, 23, began his season by hitting 19 homers in 73 games for Double-A Corpus Christi. The Houston Astros then promoted their 2011 first-round pick (11th overall) to Oklahoma City. The center fielder has a four-homer cushion over Tennessee's Javier Baez, Hickory's Joey Gallo, Miguel Sano of New Britain and Andrew Lambo, who was recently optioned back to Indianapolis after being called up to the Major Leagues by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Classification leaders, provided they are not the overall winner, receive a $500 cash award. The lead in Triple-A consists of a three-way tie between Mauro Gomez (Buffalo), Ernesto Mejia (Gwinnett) and Zach Walters (Syracuse). Gomez, however, has been on the disabled list since Aug. 4.
Matt Fields (Northwest Arkansas) leads by five in Double-A over Xavier Scruggs of Springfield. Tulsa teammates Kyle Parker and Kiel Roling trail Fields by six with 23. Domingo Santana of Corpus Christi has 22.
Gallo is currently tied with Ryan Rua, who was his Hickory teammate before being promoted to Double-A Frisco, for the Class A lead with 29. Scott Schebler (Rancho Cucamonga) and Adam Brett Walker II (Cedar Rapids) are Gallo's closest pursuers with 26 each. Dustin Lawley of St. Lucie has 25.
Justin Chigbogu (Ogden) continues to lead Class A Short-Season/Rookie-level classification players with 13 roundtrippers. Zach Green (Williamsport), Michael Martinez (Tri-City ValleyCats), Jacob Morris (Great Falls) and Chigbogu's teammate Jacob Scavuzzo are all two behind with 11 homers. Green and Martinez play in the New-York Penn League, which ends its regular season on Sept. 4. The other leaders play in the Pioneer League, which concludes its regular season on Sept. 8.