Memphis Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp has been named the Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year, joining a group of skippers to earn the award that includes Buck Showalter, Terry Francona, Grady Little, and Ryne Sandberg, among others, dating back to 1989.
Clapp, also the 2017 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year, is the first St. Louis Cardinals minor league manager to receive the Baseball America honor.
In his first year at the helm of the Redbirds, which began exactly one year to the day of receiving the Baseball America award (Nov. 30), Clapp piloted the club to its third PCL championship (2000, 2009, 2017) and a remarkable 97 wins combining the regular season and the postseason. The Redbirds went 91-50 in the regular season, setting a franchise record for victories and becoming the first PCL team since Tucson in 2006 to win 90 games in the regular season.
The Redbirds’ success came while using 62 different players during the season, including 14 making their Triple-A debuts, with 22 different players also playing for St. Louis and nine making their Major League debuts.
Additional Season Highlights:
– Memphis’ 91 wins were the 10th-most in 119 seasons of professional baseball in Memphis, and the season’s .645 winning percentage was fourth-best
– Memphis was one of four teams in MiLB with 90+ wins (Trenton Thunder [AA], 92-48; West Michigan Whitecaps [A], 91-45; Chattanooga Lookouts [AA], 91-49; Memphis Redbirds [AAA], 91-50)
– Memphis went 41 games over .500 during the regular season, the most by a PCL club since Albuquerque was 56 games over at 94-38 in 1981
– The Redbirds won the PCL American Southern Division by 22.0 games, and since divisions were established in the PCL in 1963, only two other teams won their division by 20 or more games (1970 Spokane Indians, 26.0 games; 1981 Albuquerque Dukes, 25.0 games)
– Memphis ended the season with its best ERA in franchise history (3.77) (3.89, 1998 and 2003), matched its best fielding percentage (.984) (.984, 2014), and had its third-best batting average (.278) (.284, 1999; .279, 2004)
– The Redbirds won a franchise-record 11-straight games April 28-May 8 and then had streaks of seven-straight and nine-straight in July. The Redbirds also won 12-straight home games from July 3-27 and seven-straight road games from May 2-8
– The Redbirds won or split 27-straight series from April 18-21 at Colorado Springs through Aug. 15-18 versus Nashville (17-0-10)
Source: Memphis Redbirds