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2 Questions about minor league home runs

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  • 2 Questions about minor league home runs

    I would like to know who has the highest level of major-minor league home runs. I think a good candidate would be Steve Balboni who hit at least 181 homers in MLB & another 239 in Organized Minor League ball. This gives him a "level" of 181. Jim Gentile is close also, with 245 Minor and 179 Major, for a level of 179. I also would like to know who is the Minor League lifetime home run leader, counting only American minor leagues, & counting only careers that took place all or mostly since the 1962 reorganization & cutback to only prospect driven Class AAA, AA, A and Rookie leagues. I guess Instructional counts also. Best candidate I can find is Rick Lancellotti who hit 276 in the post '62 American minors from 1977 to 1991. He added another 2 in MLB & 58 in Japan. Anyone out there know of someone I missed?
    Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 04-01-2006, 09:11 PM.

  • #2
    Players like Balboni and Gentile are fascinating (to me, anyway) because they put up career type totals in both the majors and minors in a single career. As for the other question... post 1962 records by minor leaguers who were there because they were MLB prospects & hoped to *advance* (as opposed to totals made by career minor leaguers like Hauser or Arlett who made almost MLB type money; or men like Espino in the Mexican League, who made that league virtually his entire career, & prob was well compensated for doing so.) indicate they showed power. Somehow they never made it to the majors for extended time. And yet they persisted anyway in the minors despite low pay & tough travel conditions - road trips.
    Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 04-01-2006, 09:22 PM.


    • #3
      I dont have his numbers in front of me but I would say Ron Kittle is a good candidate. I know he had two 40 homer years in the minors and a couple of 20 homer years in the show.
      Lets Go Yankees, Valley Cats, Dutchmen, UT Spartans and ECU Pirates.


      • #4
        Thank you Biggtone23 for the heads up re: Ron Kittle. Did a little quick research on him after you provided the lead, & I came up with 176 MLB homers & 110 in the minors, a total that doesnt include at least 2 of his seasons of minor league play. One I am missing was a short season Rookie ball year, & one was a season in which he underwent back surgery. Kittle isn't the winner, but if a comprehensive ranking list is ever compiled, he is probably "way up there" on it.


        • #5
          If I had to guess I'd say Cal Pickering probably has around 120 minor league homeruns... Roberto Petagine may also be high on the list


          • #6
            Thanx for the contribution Astro... I will research them in short order. My own research has come up with Hank Sauer at 288 MLB & 157 Minor League. Also the "original" Frank Thomas had 100 minor league HR's and 286 in MLB. Tony Perez had over 100 in the minors, to go with his 300 + in MLB. I believe old dead ball star Gavvy Cravath also cleared 100 in both Majors and Minors. Still, no one I have found yet has surpassed Balboni, perhaps he is the King of this admittedly off the wall category.


            • #7
              Dick Stuart's level is 222 and I think thats going to be hard to top. The only men that could surpass him would be hitters with totals of 223 or higher in both MLB and the minors. I have to believe we are getting close to the point where such "parallel" careers are almost impossible to attain. Although Mr. Stuart did have the big year of 66 HR's at Lincoln in 1956 to help add "rocket fuel" to his minor totals. I'm still interested in the post 1962 minor league reorganization all time HR leader as well. Curious to see what power hitting "prospect turned suspect" hung onto the dream the longest I suppose. Have many 200 + men, but no one who has surpassed Rick Lancelotti.
              Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 04-07-2006, 08:12 PM.


              • #8
                My original question was a 2 parter. Dick Stuart proved to be the answer re: levels of Major (228) & Minor League (222) HR's. I also wanted to determine the Minor League Career Home Run Leader, but with a couple of caveats. I wanted him to be a player post-1962, after the reorganization of American minor league ball, when it became much harder to sustain a career in OB if you werent a live prospect of a major league team. I also ruled out players in the Mexican League, *NOT* due to any sick racist motivations, but simply because I believe its possible to play a career in the Mexican League without concerning yourself about making it to MLB. Its the top pro baseball league in Mexico & I believe men that make playing in it a career have to be well compensated, at least by Mexican economic standards. (If someone knows this to be an incorrect statement, I would welcome a reasoned position laid out & to be corrected. I know there are MANY very knowledgeable fans here, & I am always open to learn.) I wanted a man who was willing to swim upstream, so to speak; & play on for love of the game despite low pay & slim prospects for MLB advancement here. Who shows some talent, but maybe not quite enough; but struggles on the hardest & doesnt quit. I believe that as of this writing, that former MLB-er Ernie Young, (who I have discovered to have 314 lifetime HR's in the American minor leagues through the 2006 season) is the Minor League HR King of the modern era. I found more than a few articles on him, & sure enough, he plays because he loves the game. Like Pete Rose Jr. (who has apx. 130 minor & independent league career HR's himself), he doesnt quit. They play from the most admirable motivation that there is. My hat is off to Mr. Young (and to Mr. Rose as well. I know he was in some sort of legal trouble not too long ago. Hope that doesnt spell finis to his efforts to keep playing.) I hope they both are on the diamond in 2007 & put up big years.
                Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 02-12-2007, 12:46 AM.


                • #9
                  Buzz Arlett hit 432 Minor League Home Runs and 18 in the majors, but he was prior to 1962.

                  Pancho Herrera is close - Played from 1955 to 1974, hit 321 HR in minors and 31 in majors, with 82 of his HR's being in the Mexican League.

                  Leo Hernandez played from 1978 to 1991, hit 309 minor league HRs, 7 Major League HR's, but 151 of his HR's were in the Mexican League.

                  Given your parameters, the best answer would be Bernardo Brito:

                  293 Minor League HR's
                  50 Janapanese League HR's
                  5 Major League HR's


                  • #10
                    Dick Stuart is the answer to the first part of the question. I believe the answer to the second part is Ernie Young, who I discovered on my own, researching online but if one allows for Japanese homers both Rick Lancellotti & Bernardo Brito are both right up there also. Ernie Young has 314 US minor league HR along with 27 MLB HR for 341 total. Brito's total is 293 minor 50 Japan 5 MLB for 348. Lancellotti had 276 minor 58 Japan 2 MLB for 336. Ernie Young is still playing, he is listed on an MLB roster though, (Chisox) and doesnt figure to see much action this season if he isnt dropped to down to Triple-A. EDIT: I misread the info on Mr. Young for 2007. Chisox signed him to a minor league contract & presumably assigned him to one of their affiliates. So he should see the action he needs and hit the 8 homers he needs to be the post-1962 Minor League HR king by any measure that doesnt include Mexican baseball. I really dont think Japanese play would count under my original criteria either, again not for any racist reason; but simply because it is possible to have a very well compensated career there without thoughts of an MLB career. Many Americans have played there for extended periods following stints in MLB.
                    Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 06-07-2007, 08:39 PM. Reason: To correct material posted on Ernie Young's 07 status


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