ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Oklahoma City outfielder George Springer's lead for the Joe Bauman Home Run Award, presented by Musco Sports Lighting, is just two, as the regular season enters its final weekend. Springer's total of 37 is a couple more than Javier Baez of Tennessee, who hit his 35th homer on Monday, and Hickory's Joey Gallo, who has homered in two of his last three games.
The top home run hitter in the domestic-based Minor Leagues at the end of the regular season will be presented the Joe Bauman Trophy and a check representing $200 for each one he hit at the Dec. 9 Baseball Winter Meetings Awards Luncheon at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla.
If two or more players finish with the same amount of home runs, their RBI totals will be used as the tiebreaker to determine the winner. Springer has driven in 107 runs, one more than Baez. Gallo has 79.
Classification leaders, provided they are not the overall winner, receive a $500 cash award. Mauro Gomez (Buffalo) and Zach Walters (Syracuse) each have 29 roundtrippers, one more than Ernesto Mejia (Gwinnett) in Triple-A. The RBI tiebreaker will also be used to determine classification winners, if needed. Walters (77) leads Gomez (71) by six. However, they both trail Mejia, who has 81 RBIs.
The chase for the Double-A and Class A prizes look to be over. Matt Fields (Northwest Arkansas) has 31 homers, five more than Xavier Scruggs of Springfield in Double-A. Gallo has hit 33 of his 35 homers with Hickory, six more than Scott Schebler (Rancho Cucamonga) in Class A.
The tightest race for one of the $500 cash awards exists among the Class A Short-Season and Rookie-level league players. Justin Chigbogu of Ogden leads with 13 homers, one more than Zach Green (Williamsport), Wilton Martinez (Pulaski), Michael Ratterree (Helena) and Jacob Scavuzzo, Chigbogu's teammate. Conor Bierfeldt (Aberdeen), Taylor Brennan (Helena), Michael Martinez (Tri-City ValleyCats) and Jacob Morris (Great Falls) are all just two back with 11.
In case of a tie, Ratterree has the most runs batted in among the contenders with 53. Chigbogu is next with 47, followed by Brennan (42), Green (40), Scavuzzo (38), Michael Martinez (35), Wilton Martinez (33), Bierfeldt (32) and Morris (31).
Brennan, Chigbogu, Morris, Ratterree and Scavuzzo play in the Pioneer League, which ends on Sept. 8. Green, Bierfeldt and Michael Martinez finish their New York-Penn League regular seasons on Sept. 2. Wilton Martinez plays his last regular-season Appalachian League contest tonight.