Amarillo Sod Poodles 2021 Season Summary
A New Chapter in Amarillo: The Amarillo Sod Poodles organization officially accepted the Arizona Diamondbacks invitation to join as their new Double-A affiliate in February 2021. The player development agreement will last through the 2030 season. The Phoenix-based D-backs become the second MLB affiliate in the brief history of the Sod Poodles, following a two-year partnership with the San Diego Padres. Established in 1998, the D-backs compete in the National League West division, playing their home games at Chase Field. The franchise has won five NL West Championships (1999, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2011), one NL Wild Card (2017), one National League title (2001), and one World Series title (2001). For more information, visit www.dbacks. com.
The Future is Bright: The Sod Poodles opened the season with six of Arizona's top 30 overall rated prospects, including No. 3-rated SS Geraldo Perdomo, No. 4-rated outfielder Alek Thomas, and No. 12-rated RHP Tommy Henry. Overall, the Soddies hosted 13 of the D-backs Top 30 prospects, adding RHP Ryne Nelson (No. 5), RHP Bryce Jarvis (No. 6), RHP Luis Frias (No. 13), RHP Drey Jameson (No. 17), Dominic Fletcher (No. 19), RHP Matt Tabor (No. 21), RHP Levi Kelly (No. 22), OF Jake McCarthy (No. 23), RHP Brandon Pfaadt (No. 26), and RHP Ryan Weiss (No. 30).
Raise the Roof: Sod Poodles manager Shawn Roof made his Double-A managerial debut in 2021, leading the sequel Soddies to a 59-61 third-place record. Roof returned for his fourth season in the D-backs organization as team manager and the 2021 season was Roof's seventh overall season as a coach in professional baseball. In 2019, Roof led the Visalia Rawhide to an 83-53 record and the team's first California League Championship since 1978, earning him the honor of 2019 California League Manager of the Year. He was named as Visalia's manager in 2020 as well but a season was not played.
D-backs Affiliate History: The D-backs organization was a part of the Texas League for a total of six seasons (1999-2004) when affiliated with the Double-A El Paso Diablos. Over the last 15 seasons, Arizona's Double-A organization has held three different affiliations in the Southern League, most recently with the Jackson Generals which started in 2017. (Tennessee Smokies, 2005-06; Mobile BayBears, 2007-16).
Start To Finish: The Sod Poodles finished their 2021 season with seven active members of the original roster that was revealed on May 1: LHP Tommy Henry, C Dominic Miroglio, Infielders Luis Alejandro Basabe, Jancarlos Cintron, and Geraldo Perdomo, and outfielders Stone Garrett and Dominic Fletcher.
Transactions: Amarillo had 97 total transactions during the 2021 season. Last season, the San Diego Padres made a total of 147 transactions.
100 Wins As A Franchise: The Sod Poodles 100th team win as a franchise happened on July 16 in Midland when the Soddies claimed a 3-2 victory over the RockHounds.
Roof's Record: In his fourth season of managing, Shawn Roof improved his overall managerial record to 234-174 (.574) with 408 total games under his belt. The Illinois native's 400th game was the historical game for the franchise on September 11 against Tulsa at HODGETOWN. His 200th win of his career came on July 3 against Wichita at HODGETOWN.
D-backs Double-A Roots: In 2018 and 2019, the D-backs Double-A squad won back-to-back division and Southern League championships. Over their three seasons in Jackson, the team compiled a regular-season record of 224-190 (.541). In 2019, short-season Hillsboro as well as High-A Visalia won their respective league championships.
65 Players: In the Sod Poodles 2021 season, they welcomed 65 different players to Amarillo - 29 total position players and 36 total pitchers.
Come One, Come All: In 2021, HODGETOWN drew a total of 316,288 in 58 home openings with 10 sellouts. The mark ranked the best in all of Double-A and 13th overall out of the 120 minor league markets. Amarillo's 5,453 average also ranked 12th in all of Minor League Baseball. With a crowd of 7,477 in attendance for Independence Day 2021 at HODGETOWN, Amarillo set a new single-game attendance record at the ballpark. It topped the previous high of 7,451 which was set on July 4th, 2019 vs. Arkansas. Overall, in two affiliated baseball seasons (2019, 2021), HODGETOWN has welcomed 744,079 fans during regular-season games with 50 sellouts. In 2019, the Soddies drew 427,791 total fans with 40 sellouts (23 consecutive) in 68 openings.
Year Of The No-Hitters: Right-hander and D-backs No. 9 prospect Luis Frias made history by becoming the first Sod Poodles pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter of any kind at HODGETOWN in downtown Amarillo. It also marked the second seven-inning no-hitter for the Sod Poodles of the 2021 season and against the same opponent. On July 11, Matt Tabor tossed a seven-inning no-no against San Antonio on the road, marking the first-ever no-hitter of any kind for the franchise.
D-backs MiLB Players of the Year: The Arizona Diamondbacks named OF Alek Thomas and RHP Ryne Nelson the organization's Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year respectively. Thomas, 21, combined to hit .313 (136-for-435) with 29 doubles, 12 triples, 18 home runs, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 106 games with Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno. The Chicago native finished second among all Minor Leaguers in triples (12), tied for 11th in extra-base hits (59), and led the organization in hits, triples, extra-base hits, total bases (243) and runs scored (86) and fifth in average, fourth in slugging pct. (.507) and third in OPS (.881). He was also named to MLB Pipeline's 2021 Prospect Team of the Year (First Team). Nelson, 23, combined to go 7-4 with a 3.17 ERA (41 ER in 116.1 IP), 163 strikeouts, 1.09 WHIP and a .206 opponent average in 22 starts with High-A Hillsboro and Double-A Amarillo.
Throughout the regular season, he led the organization and was tied for fourth in the minors in strikeouts (163). In Double-A with the Soddies, the former Oregon Duck struck out 10+ batters twice at HODGETOWN (three times total in 2021) including a career-high 12 on Aug. 12 against Corpus Christi.
First of the Season: The first hit of the 2021 Sod Poodles season came off the bat of D-backs No.3 prospect Alek Thomas in the top of the first inning in Tulsa during the season opener.
History To Start: The Sod Poodles claimed their first-ever opening series victory with their 4-2 series win over Tulsa to start the season. Corpus Christi took the opening series 3-1 over the Sod Poodles to begin Amarillo's inaugural 2019 campaign.
Thomas and Wichita History: Alek Thomas forever linked himself in Wichita baseball history when the Chicago native recorded the very first hit of affiliated baseball in Riverfront Stadium history with his third-inning single into right field off RHP Cole Sands.
A Wet 2021 Opener: The festivities planned for HODGETOWN's 2021 Home Opener were pushed back following a 3 hour and 15 minute rain delay, the longest delay in team history, topping the 2 hour and 2 minute delay on May 4, 2019 vs. Arkansas.
In the opener, with a 10:30 PM (CST) first pitch, Ryan Weiss went 5.2 perfect frames before allowing a two-out single. He finished with a six-inning, one-hit performance with eight strikeouts in the Soddies 10-0 shutout victory over Midland. It marked the first home opener win for Amarillo after losing 9-4 to Midland on April 8, 2019.
Â¿Cómo te llamas?: The Pointy Boots de Amarillo made their first appearance in franchise history on Friday, May 21 against the Matamoscas de Midessa. 76 of the 120 total affiliated minor league baseball teams participated in MiLB's Copa de la diversion initiative. Overall, the Pointy Boots went 9-6 on the season but 8-2 over the last 10 games with five straight home wins to cap off the year.
Streak Snapped: The Soddies had their longest losing streak in team history with six straight losses from May 28 to June 3.
BACK-to-BACK-to-BACK-to-BACK: The Soddies met a very rare feat in baseball when Stone Garrett, Buddy Kennedy, Dominic Fletcher, and Dominic Canzone hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs on September 11. According to SABR and MiLB, the four straight home runs in the third inning is only the fifth documented instance in Minor League Baseball history (July 1, 1923 by Wichita Izzies; May 15, 1934 by Buffalo Bisons; May 7, 1993 by Omaha Royals; June 24, 2019 by Salem-Keizer Volcanoes). In Major League Baseball, the instance has happened only 10 times dating back to 1961. The last time it happened in MLB was on August 16, 2020 when White Sox batters Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Jose Abreu, and Eloy Jimenez hit four straight in the fifth inning against the Cardinals.
SLAMARILLO: The Soddies slugged a total of five grand slams in 2021. Michael De La Cruz hit the third grand slam in team history in the 6th inning of their continuation game on June 5 in Frisco. It marked the first on the road for an Amarillo team since Taylor Trammell hit a go-ahead slam to clinch the 2019 Texas League Championship in Tulsa in the top of the ninth inning. On June 13 versus Corpus Christi, Jancarlos Cintron knocked just the second-ever grand slam hit at HODGETOWN to go along with Kyle Overstreet's inside-the-park grand slam hit against Springfield on July 16, 2019. On June 15, Stone Garrett blasted his second-career grand slam and second slam in as many games for Amarillo. On July 2, Mikey Reynolds hit the first grand slam of his affiliated baseball career, and the team's fourth of 2021, which tied the Soddies for the second most in all of Double-A behind New Hampshire's five at that point in the season and statistically denoted a Soddies grand slam on average every eighth at bat with the bases loaded. Then, in the season finale at HODGETOWN, on September 19, Eduardo Diaz hit Amarillo's fifth grand slam of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning. It was Diaz' second grand slam of his career - and season as he also hit one July 28th with High-A Hillsboro against Tri-City.
SportsCenter Top 10 Plays: The Soddies made Sportscenter's Top 10 Plays on four separate occasions in 2021. On July 22, Mikey Reynolds checked in with the 5th best play after making a diving catch in shallow right-center field. During the same homestand, No. 15 rated prospect Dominic Fletcher was highlighted with the Number 2 play on July 28 when he raced back on a fly ball to right field off the bat of 2019 Sod Poodle Kyle Overstreet. He extended his glove high above the short fence in right and came down with the ball to rob Overstreet of a home run. On August 10, Fletcher robbed another homer, this time Corpus' David Hensley's to end the top of the fourth innings and was rewarded with the No. 1 play on SportsCenter. It was the second No. 1 play on SC for an Amarillo player and first since August 18, 2019 when RHP Ronald Bolaños started a double play from his back in front of the mound.
Fellow outfielder Dominic Canzone checked in with the number three play - also on August 10 - after making a diving catch in left-center field. It was the first time the Soddies have had two players featured in the Top 10 on the same day.
Futures Look: Soddies outfielder Alek Thomas was selected for a second- consecutive time to the National League roster for and participated in the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which was played at Coors Field in Denver during MLB All-Star weekend in mid July. Thomas was the only D-backs' prospect to be selected to play in this year's Future's Game on July 11. He joined 32 of the Top-50 prospects in baseball who were added to the initial rosters.Thomas went 0-for-2 in the Sunday afternoon contest with a fly out to left field and strikeout. He was in the leadoff spot for the NL roster and flew out in his first at bat off fellow Double-A Central stand-out RHP Cole Winn (Frisco).
Crown Him: Stone Garrett was the 2021 Amarillo Sod Poodles Triple Crown winner.
He led the team in home runs (25), RBI (81), and AVG (.280).
Catch Stone on First: Sod Poodles outfielder Stone Garrett reached on catcher's interference a total of eight times in 2021. The first time happened on July 1 at HODGETOWN vs. Wichita. It happened again twice on the road in San Antonio on July 6 and July 8. He was interfered with by three different Frisco catchers: July 20 vs.
FRI (Jose Trevino), August 4 @ FRI (Jordan Procyshen), and 8/25 vs. FRI (Isaias Quiroz).
The other two times came in a four game span on August 15 vs. Corpus Christi and again on August 19 on the road in Midland.
Memorable Debuts: RHP Luis Frias tossed six scoreless innings in his Double-A debut on the road in Wichita May 15. Infielder Buddy Kennedy hit a home run in his Double-A debut on the road in Corpus Christi on June 22. In his HODGETOWN debut D-backs No. 6 rated prospect RHP Bryce Jarvis tied his career-high and set what was the franchise-high at the time with 11 strikeouts against Wichita. RHP Drey Jameson struck out 11 Frisco RoughRiders in his Double-A Debut on the road August 5th. Catcher Lyle Lin became the second Amarillo player to homer in his Double-A debut when he hit a solo home run in the 4th inning in Frisco on August 8. It was Lin's first career home run and Double-A hit. Catcher Andy Yerzy also collected his first Double-A home run against Frisco in his Double-A debut at HODGETOWN in downtown Amarillo on August 25. RHP Brandon Pfaadt who was also introducing himself to the home crowd for the first time on August 25 fired seven scoreless innings and allowed just three hits as he collected his first Double-A win against Frisco.
Career Feats: Numerous members of the 2021 Sod Poodles team set new career- high's in various statistical categories. LHP Tommy Henry tossed 7.2 IP twice with Amarillo, July 21 vs. Frisco and August 20 at Midland. RHP Luis Frias tossed a career- high 7.0 IP three times in a Soddies uniform with the first time coming July 20 vs.
Frisco. RHP Drey Jameson set career marks for innings pitched (7.1) and strikeouts (12). RHP Ryne Nelson also set new high's for innings (7.0) and strikeouts (12). RHP Matt Brill tossed two and two-thirds innings on Sept. 9 vs. Tulsa. September 11th saw three different Soddies have career-nights: INF Buddy Kennedy not only set a career-best but also the Amarillo franchise high with five hits on Sept. 11 vs. Tulsa.
OF Dominic Canzone's four hits topped his previous career-high, while INF Geraldo Perdomo's five runs scored set a career and Amarillo franchise-high. Outfielder Jake McCarthy had a five-RBI game on June 9 vs. Corpus. Eduardo Diaz and Michael De La Cruz each set new marks for single-game RBI; Diaz on September 19 vs. Frisco with five RBI and De Le Cruz set a career-best and Amarillo franchise-high with six RBI on June 5th vs. Frisco - each performance included a grand slam. Stone Garrett had a career-season, hitting 25 home runs, 81 RBI, and 114 hits. RHP Blake Rogers had the most saves in a single-season of his six year professional career with 11, topping the six he had in 2015. Eduardo Diaz (8/25 vs. FRI), Michael De La Cruz (6/5 @ FRI), Dominic Fletcher (9/9 vs. TUL), Buddy Kennedy (7/18 @ MID), and Dominic Miroglio (8/14 vs. CC) all had their first career multi-HR game of their professional careers with Amarillo.
Long Ball Logistics: The Soddies totaled four "back-to-back" home run instances, one "back-to-back-to-back-to-back" game, 10 "multi-home run" performances, three "extra-inning home runs", 13 times where "home runs were hit in consecutive games", one instance of a "home run hit in three straight games", and a solo "walk-off home run" on the final day of the regular season. The tandem of Michael De La Cruz and Luis Basabe were the first to hit back-to-back home runs in a game during the 2021 season (6/5 @ FRI - 6th inn). Outfielder Stone Garrett became just the second player to hit a home run in three consecutive games (9/-4-7 @ SA, vs. TUL). On September 11 vs. Tulsa, Garrett, Kennedy, Fletcher, and Canzone knocked four consecutive home runs. Renae Martinez and Osvaldo Abreu both slugged the first extra-inning home runs of the season in the same game (7/30 @ SA). Garrett knocked the first consecutive home runs of the year (6/5-6 @ FRI) while he also knocked the Soddies only walk-off home run and third extra-inning home run on the final day of the season.
From Both Sides: Michael De La Cruz became just the second player in franchise history to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in a game (6/5 @ FRI). Buddy Reed became the first Sod Poodles player ever to do so (7/14 @ FRI).
Ryne Sets New Strikeout Record: In his fourth start at HODGETOWN and eighth in Double-A this season, RHP Ryne Nelson set a new Sod Poodles franchise record for strikeouts in a single game with 12. Nelson also set a new career-high in the category and did so in just five innings of work. Bryce Jarvis previously set the Amarillo franchise record after recording 11 strikeouts on July 3 vs Wichita. Matt Tabor struck out 10 earlier in the season to tie the mark set in 2019 by Ronald Bolaños who struck out 10 against Frisco on July 6. Nelson's strikeout record lasted just five days after RHP Drey Jameson matched the franchise high on the road in Midland while also topping his previous career-high.
Records Broken: The Soddies set new franchise highs with their 20 runs (19 previous high), 24 hits (20 previous high), 32 runs combined by two teams (24 previous high), 37 hits combined by two teams (33 previous high), and longest game (4:07) in their game against Tulsa on September 11 at HODGETOWN. Additionally, in the week-long series, the teams also set a new record for most combined home runs (34, 9/7 - 9/12 vs. TUL). The previous high combined home run total was 30 between the Sod Poodles and Corpus Christi Hooks hit at HODGETOWN August 10-15 On June 5 in Frisco, the Soddies set a franchise high in runs scored in a single inning with nine (6th inning) as well as most home runs combined as a team (7 - previous of 4 (4x) in 2019).
Franchise Firsts: On September 11, the five runs scored by Geraldo Perdomo marked the first time a Soddies player has ever scored the amount while the five hits by Buddy Kennedy was a first in franchise history. Michael De La Cruz also collected the first six-RBI performance in franchise history on June 5 at Frisco.
Hits For All: In 2021, every player in the Soddies lineup got a hit in the same game on 10 different occasions, totaling 14 times for the franchise since 2019. Oppositely, there were three times when only one player was the only one to record a hit (four total as a franchise). There were also three games in which every person in the lineup crossed the plate, totaling four times in franchise history.
Home Robbery: Mikey Reynolds collected Amarillo's first straight steal of home in franchise history on June 19 against Midland at HODGETOWN. While on third base with two outs in the bottom of the second inning, Reynolds took off toward home plate as southpaw Ty Damron was coming set and beat the throw and tag at the plate. In 2019, Buddy Reed stole home in the eighth inning on May 24 against the Midland RockHounds, but it was part of a double steal with Rodrigo Orozco.
Inside-the-Parker: Luis Basabe recorded Amarillo's first and only inside-the-park home run of 2021 and fourth in franchise history. In 2019, the Soddies collected three inside-the-parkers - Reed (4/11 vs. CC), Olivares (5/5 vs. ARK), Overstreet (7/16 vs. SPR).
Long Ones: The September 11 contest at HODGETOWN between the Sod Poodles and Drillers marked the longest home game since the stadium opened at 4:08, breaking their previous high of 3:49 set on June 9. The longest nine-inning game ever in the Texas League was marked at 4 hours and 17 minutes between Midland (20 runs) and El Paso (18 runs) on June 23, 1991. In MLB, the longest recorded nine- inning game was the second game of the Wild-Card Series that lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes, played between the New York Yankees and home team Cleveland Indians on September 30, 2020. The July 8 extra-inning matchup between the Soddies and Missions marked the longest road extra-inning game in Amarillo franchise history at 4 hours. The previous high was set on May 6 at Tulsa (3:49). The longest extra-inning game in franchise history went 12 innings on May 19 vs. Midland.
Longest Start: Tommy Henry tied the Amarillo franchise high for a starter with seven and two-thirds frames, twice (7/21 vs. FRI, 8/20 @ MID). Lake Bachar and Kyle Lloyd also spun 7.2 innings for the Soddies in 2019.
Homer Support: The Soddies 4-0 win in game one of their doubleheader against the San Antonio Missions on August 1 marked Amarillo's first victory of 2021 where every run batted in scored via the home run. Amarillo had six other games where their only run came from a home run but all others resulted in a loss (5/22, 6/1, 6/6, 6/23, 6/27, 6/30).
First Twin-Bill: The doubleheader at HODGETOWN on August 1 against the San Antonio marked the first-ever professional twin-bill in Sod Poodles franchise history at home. In the team's inaugural season in 2019, they had scheduled a doubleheader on May 7 against Arkansas at HODGETOWN after rain and wind postponed the May 6 contest, but a severe weather/tornado threat canceled that day's games. Amarillo played in four doubleheaders during the 2021 season, going 5-3 in those games. The team swept both doubleheaders at HODGETOWN (4-0) and split one on the road in San Antonio while getting swept by the Missions in another. Amarillo is 7-3 in doubleheaders including the inaugural 2019 season.
Most Dingers in a Game: The nine combined home runs on August 14 at HODGETOWN (5 from Corpus Christi, 4 from Amarillo) set a regular-season ballpark- high for a single game since opening in 2019. The previous high of eight combined happened on August 29, 2019 when Tulsa launched seven home runs and the Soddies knocked one. In the 2019 post-season, on September 11, a record of 11 combined home runs was set when Tulsa launched nine and Amarillo collected two.
In the series, from August 10-15, Amarillo and Corpus combined to set a new single- series home run record with 30 home runs in the six games played. It smashed the previous record of 24 that was set between Amarillo and Midland in mid June.
Amarillo to the Show: The Soddies saw five former players make their way to the major league level: RHP Humberto Mejia (recall), OF Jake McCarthy (first call-up), RHP Brandyn Sittinger (first call-up), RHP Luis Frias (first call-up), and shortstop Geraldo Perdomo (recall). McCarthy, Sittinger and Frias became the only former Soddies players to make their debuts in 2021. Overall, as a franchise, there have been 24 former players from Amarillo make it to the big league level dating back to the 2019 season and the affiliation with the San Diego Padres.
Oil-Pan Cup: With a loss in the final matchup of 2021 on August 22, the Sod Poodles lost the season-long race for the Oil Pan Cup with the Midland RockHounds. Midland took the 2021 season series 13-11 with their comeback win. Each team has won the Oil-Pan Cup after Amarillo took the inaugural season-series 17-12.
WWWWWin: With their 9-4 win in the opening game of the series against San Antonio on August 31, Amarillo collected their fifth straight win to set a new season high for consecutive wins. The five straight wins tied the longest winning streak by the team dating back to the 2019 season when that team won five straight from May 22-26.
Iron Man: Stone Garrett led the way for Amarillo, playing in a team-high 103 games.
Dominic Fletcher was right behind him with 102 games played. They were the only two players with 100+ games played for Amarillo with Dominic Miroglio's 87 games played the third most on the team. LHP Mack Lemieux appeared in 32 games for the
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