With eleven games left in the first half of the season, Lancaster is one game out of first place in the South Division of the California League. High Desert currently leads the division. Lake Elsinore is tied with the JetHawks for second place. As an added bonus in the California League, the winners of the North and South Divsions in the first half of the season receive byes through the first round of the play-offs in September.
Oklahoma City leads their division in the Pacific Coast League by 3 1/2 games entering play today. However, the PCL decides play-off teams based on the full season rather than using a split-season format, so the RedHawks are a few months away from clinching a spot in the post-season.
Ironically, the last time an Astros' full season affiliate made the play-offs, neither Lancaster nor Oklahoma City was affiliated with the organization. The 2007 Salem Avalanche(High A), under manager Jim Pankovits, made it to the Championship Series of the Carolina League where they lost to Frederick. The Avalanche roster in the play-offs included Chris Johnson and Bud Norris. Norris spent most of the 2007 season with Lexington. However, he was promoted to Salem for one regular season and one post-season start. Brian Bogusevic made 21 starts for the Avalanche in 2007; however, he had been called up to AA Corpus Christi before the end of the regular season.
An interesting sidenote, according to Baseball America, the prospect of the year in the Carolina League in 2007 was an outfielder for Atlanta's affiliate in Myrtle Beach. His name? Jordan Schafer.
While the Avalanche were playing in the Carolina League play-offs in 2007, the Astros Venezuelan Summer League entry was winning that league's championship. A 17-year old Jose Altuve was the leading hitter on the club. Altuve was joined on that squad by Dayan Diaz and Carlos Quevedo, both of whom are currently excelling in the Lexington bullpen.