ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Astros prospect George Springer increased his home run total to 37 with a pair of roundtrippers last week as he continues to be the frontrunner for the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, presented by Musco Sports Lighting. With one week left in the regular season, the Oklahoma City outfielder has a three-homer lead over Javier Baez of Tennessee. Joey Gallo (Hickory) and Miguel Sano (New Britain) each have 33 home runs.
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.
In addition to the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, Springer is also chasing history. He is three homers shy of becoming the first player to hit at least 40 home runs and steal at least 40 bases in a season since Len Tucker reached both milestones in 1956.
Classification leaders, provided they are not the overall winner, receive a $500 cash award. Zach Walters (Syracuse) has 29 dingers, just one more than Mauro Gomez (Buffalo) and Ernesto Mejia (Gwinnett) in Triple-A. Danny Dorn of Toledo trails Walters by four with 25.
Matt Fields (Northwest Arkansas) has 31 homers and looks to have the Double-A prize clinched, as he increased his lead from five last week to six over Xavier Scruggs of Springfield.
Gallo has hit 31 of his 33 homers with Class A Hickory and has a comfortable four-homer lead over Scott Schebler (Rancho Cucamonga). Adam Brett Walker II (Cedar Rapids) has 26.
Justin Chigbogu leads his Ogden teammate, Jacob Scavuzzo, by one for the Class A Short-Season/Rookie-level classification prize. Chigbogu's 13 roundtrippers are two more than Zach Green (Williamsport), Michael Martinez (Tri-City ValleyCats), Wilton Martinez (Pulaski), Jacob Morris (Great Falls) and Helena teammates Taylor Brennan and Michael Ratterree.