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As we approach the end of April, the four teams in the Detroit Tigers farm system enter their final series of the season's first month. The Toledo Mud Hens, the AAA affiliate of the Tigers, are off to a hot start starting 14-6 in their first 20 games of the season. The AA affiliate, the Erie Seawolves, are the opposite, beginning the season 7-8 in their first 15 games. The West Michigan Whitecaps, the High A affiliate of the Tigers, are 9-6 to start the year after 15 games. Finally, the Lakeland Flying Tigers, like the Whitecaps and Mud Hens, are over .500 starting their season 8-7 after 15 games.
Detroit Tigers Farm System Standings Update
Toledo Mud Hens
The Mud Hens are coming off a series win over the Columbus Clippers that saw them take five of the six games against the Clippers. The Mud Hens have been led by their lineup to this point of the season. In the first 20 games, they have outscored their opponent 128 to 97, being led by Justyn-Henry Malloy over the last few weeks. Malloy posts a slash line of .391/.553/.771; he also has three home runs and has driven in 14 while scoring 17 runs. As for league leaders, Malloy is among the top; he tied for ninth in runs scored, is tied for third in hits, second in the league in walks, tied for first in batting average, and leads the league in on-base percentage.
The Mud Hens are currently in second place in the International League West division sitting a half game behind the Memphis Redbirds for first place. Toledo will return home this week to take on Syracuse Mets as they look to continue their hot start and take first place from Memphis.
The Seawolves have not had a great start to their season and had a tough week against the Richmond Flying Squirrels as they dropped four of their six games. The bright spots for the Seawolves to start the year have been Colt Keith, who has had a hot start to his season, and Wenceel Perez, who got called up from West Michigan and played in his first game with Erie on April 7th. This season Keith has played in 14 of the 15 Erie games posting a slash line of .356/.418/.576. He has three home runs, two of which came last week, and he has driven in 11 runs on 21 hits. Perez has played in only eight games but has a slash line of .294/.333/.471. Perez is ten for 34 and has two home runs and three runs batted in.
The Seawolves currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern League Southwest division and are still only two games back of first place held by the Richmond Flying Squirrels, who just won four games against Erie. The Seawolves will look to get back to the top of the division this week as they return home to take on the Portland Seadogs, who currently lead their division with an 11-4 record.
West Michigan Whitecaps
The Whitecaps are coming off a series split against the Dayton Dragons. West Michigan has gotten off to a solid start in their first 15 games with a 9-6 record, winning their first three games of the season and splitting their first two six-game series. The Whitecaps have been led by Ben Malgeri, who was named the Minor Leaguer of the Week for the week of 4/11. Malgeri, to start the season, ranks in the top 15 in almost every offensive category and has a slash line of .283/.370/.630 over the 13 games he has played in.
The Whitecaps are currently a half-game back of the Lake County Captains, who lead the Midwest League East division. West Michigan will try to take first place as they hit the road to take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels this week, who sit in last place in the Midwest League's West division.
Lakeland Flying Tigers
The Flying Tigers have been floating around.500 to start the year but enter the final week of April at 8-7. Lakeland's lineup has been rejuvenated with the addition of Lazaro Benitez, who has played in seven games now; he is 12 for 26 and has a slash line of .426/.533/.538.
The Flying Tigers are right in the middle of the pack in the Florida State League West division and are two games back of first place. This week they will take on the Palm Beach Cardinals, who have the same record as Lakeland but are in first place in the Florida State League East division.