Top Hitters in Milwaukee Brewers Minor League History: #13 Steve Stanicek, 1987 Denver
Steve Stanicek was drafted in the first round (11th overall) by the San Francisco Giants in the 1982 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft. He spent four seasons as a Giants farmhand before being traded to the Brewers in March 1986 for a guy that I wrote about last year, Rob Dewolf.
Stanicek spent two years at Class A Fresno and two seasons at AA Shreveport before going over to the Brewers near the end of Spring Training in 1986. He was assigned to Class AA El Paso that year; we will discuss that season more in detail next week.
After a great AA season, Stanicek was promoted to AAA Denver for the 1987 campaign and made it a great one: #13 in Milwaukee Brewers Minor League history.
#13 Steve Stanicek, 1987 Denver (AAA)
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Stanicek was about league average in age (26 vs 25.9), but lost some ranking points due to playing at Mile High Stadium, where hitting stats have a tendency to be a bit inflated.
Utilized mostly in the outfield (64 games), Stanicek also saw action at the infield corners, playing 14 games at first base and 11 games at the hot corner.
Stanicek made the American Association All-Star team, listed as an outfielder. He led the league in hits (167), doubles (40), and total bases (292). Stanicek was runner-up with 106 runs batted in, third with a .353 batting average, tied for fourth with 90 runs, and fifth with a .616 slugging average.
The Denver Zephyrs beat the Oklahoma City 89ers in the first round of the American Association playoffs, three games to two, but nearly got swept in the finals, losing four of five games to Indianapolis to finish in the runner-up spot.
After the minor league season ended, Stanicek was called up to Milwaukee and made his major league debut on September 16 in Yankee Stadium against left-hander Tommy John. He reached on an error in the top of the seventh by third baseman Mike Pagliarulo and would come around to score two batters later on Robin Yount‘s single.
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Two days later, Stanicek got his first big league hit off tough Detroit reliever Willie Hernandez. He would finish 2-for-7 on the year in four games.
Stanicek would play one more season at Denver, appearing in only 27 games with a slash line of .304/.369/.435. He would be released by the Brewers in October 1988.
But for one year at AAA, Stanicek had some great numbers. Check back next week for his 1986 total, which ranked #12 in Milwaukee Brewers Minor League History.