American Association 2021 Mid-Season Report: Sioux Falls Canaries
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier looks at the first half of the season for the Sioux Falls Canaries, looking at top players, areas to improve, and where this team is likely to finish.
Sioux Falls Canaries Reach Midway Point
Record: 19-29 (5, 11) (Place in Division in parenthesis, followed by record overall)
(Overall ranking in American Association listed in parenthesis)
Average: .306 (1)
Homeruns: 50 (7)
Runs: 337 (1)
Stolen Bases: 39 (10)
On-Base Percentage: .410 (1)
Slugging Percentage: .461 (2)
ERA: 6.57 (11)
Strikeouts: 439 (4)
Opponent Batting Average: .293 (11)
Saves: 8 (T-10)
First Half Recap
It looked like it was going to be a tough season for Sioux Falls early on, as the club started 2-4, but the team rallied to get to 11-7 through the first 18 games. Since then, it has been a very difficult run.
It has been the departures that have hurt Sioux Falls the most. This is true for most clubs, but where it has been different for the Canaries is that they have not just lost pitching talent. The team has had several of their offensive stars leave as well, and that has depleted a lineup that needs to outscore opponents to be able to win. Without Logan Landon, Charlie Valerio, Mitch Glasser, among others, it has been very difficult to outhit opponents, and that has been the challenge for Sioux Falls.
It has not helped that the bullpen has struggled. This was expected to be a trouble spot for the team, as there was no establish closer, but the struggles of Caleb Frare have only exacerbated the situation.
There is no denying the performance of Wyatt Ulrich. He is hitting streak had reached 28 games before finally coming to an end on Sunday, and he has been an amazing bright spot for Sioux Falls. Ulrich is hitting .386 through his first 38 games and boasts an impressive .462 on-base percentage.
When Frare was signed, it was a huge deal for the team. He is just two years removed from pitching for the Chicago White Sox and it was believed that the lefty was the solution to the team’s bullpen concerns. However, the lefty has been a disappointment. He was rocked early on and spent some time on the inactive list. Frare has returned and looked better in his last outing, but the team needs him to bounce back.
What They Need
The Canaries need some power bats. The truth is that this is not a bad rotation. They could keep this team in games, but it is harder to get big innings in the Bird Cage when you are scrapping for every run. They need guys who can club 8-10 homers in a month so they can put pressure on opposing teams.
What to Expect
The Exodus to affiliate clubs is likely to continue even after the draft. That means that Sioux Falls will have a chance to make up some ground against teams like Sioux City, Cleburne, and Kansas City, who are likely to have a number of their players still transferred.
That gives Sioux Falls a chance, but they are going to need a couple of big bats. It may be a little easier to find hitters than pitchers, but the real challenge for them is moving up three spots. This is likely going to be a lower half team in the South.
By Robert Pannier