Mariners Have New Double-A Affiliate

The Mariners made some minor league news today, announcing that they have switched their Double-A affiliate from Jackson (TN) of the Southern League over to the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League.

Arkansas is based out of Little Rock. The Travelers play at a newer ballpark than Jackson: Dickey-Stephens Park was opened in 2007. They draw well by Double-A standards, averaging 4,716 per game this year for a total attendance of 306,570.

The ballpark in Arkansas is an extreme pitcher’s park, which is similar to Jackson. With the affiliation change in the California League (to Modesto), the Mariners will have all of the four full-season affiliates in pitcher-friendly parks.

The change in leagues should ease player movement. Jackson is a 75-minute drive from the nearest airport, while Little Rock has its own airport. On the whole, the Texas League is closer to all of the other Mariners affiliates than the Southern League.

Here’s a post from the Seattle Times on the affiliation change.

The farm system is now finalized:

  • AAA – Tacoma
  • AA – Arkansas
  • Hi-A – Modesto
  • Lo-A – Clinton
  • SS – Everett
  • Rookie – Arizona

The Triple-A National Championship Game is tonight at 5:05 (Pacific), televised on the NBC Sports Network.

El Paso plays International League champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

According to El Paso broadcaster Tim Hagerty, this is the first meeting between Triple-A affiliates of the Padres and Yankees since 1978 – the sole year of the Tacoma Yankees.

A reason to watch: there are some interesting prospects in the game.

You also get to see the Memphis ballpark, which is beautiful (other than the absolutely filthy visiting radio booth, but they probably won’t show that on TV).

Here is a preview from the El Paso Times, and another preview from Baseball America.

 

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