The first Milwaukee Brewers minor league affiliate has secured a spot in its league's 2023 postseason. And for this team, the accomplishment had been a long time coming.
The Low-A Carolina Mudcats clinched their playoff spot on Thursday night with a 5-1 win over the Salem Red Sox. The victory guaranteed a first place finish in the north division of the Carolina League for the second half of the season. At the Low-A level, division winners for both the first half and second half of the season advance to the playoffs.
The Mudcats had a decent first half of the 2023 season, finishing 33-30, but that left them five games short of the Down East Wood Ducks for the first half division crown. No one could catch Carolina in the second half, though, who sit at 38-25 with three more games to play in the season.
The Brewers' Low-A affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats, clinched a spot in the 2023 playoffs.
Despite what half of the season it's been, the Mudcats have been one of the top hitting teams in the Carolina League this year all across the slash line. They are second in the league in batting average (.250), third in on base percentage (.348), fourth in slugging (.363), and second in OPS (.711).
A few top Brewers prospects have had big seasons so help lift the Mudcats to the postseason. Jace Avina, who just cracked MLB Pipeline's list of the top 30 Brewers prospects at No. 30, leads the team with 14 homers and has an .815 OPS on the season while No. 22 Luke Adams also had double digit homers with 11, leads the team with 54 RBIs and 30 steals, and has a .808 OPS of his own.
One of the top pure hitters on the team this season has been No. 21 prospect Jadher Areinamo. He leads the team with a .306 average on the season in 103 games played. A couple non-top 30 prospects have had big seasons as well, like Jose Sibrian, who has the highest slugging percentage of any Mudcat to play at least 60 games at .481, and Jesus Chirinos, who leads in OPS with .898.
And though the pitching staff sits more middle of the pack on the season with a 4.03 ERA (6th in the Carolina League), there have been some big performances there as well. Starters Logan Henderson, a 2021 4th round pick, and Patricio Aquino each have sub-3.00 ERAs on the season, as do relievers Shane Smith, Miguel Guerrero, and Nate Peterson, who has pitched in both roles in 2023.
Congratulations to the Carolina Mudcats and good luck to them as they prepare for the 2023 playoffs!