The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

A quarter century of Cardinals minor league results


In preparing my recent article on Scout.com, “2008 Batavia Muckdogs: Team of the Decade”, I wanted to put that club’s .622 winning mark into proper perspective within the history of the Cardinals organization’s participation in the league and across the rest of the Cardinals system in recent years.

Trying to find all the necessary information in one place proved to be quite frustrating as bits and pieces were all over internet and printed sources, at times presented in different formats.

As a result, I decided to prepare a spreadsheet to include the won-loss record, place in the divisional standings, manager’s name and post-season results (if any) of the Cardinals farm clubs at the top six levels over the last quarter century.

I am going to roll out this work in a series of articles following this one, one for each of the six levels. They will be filed under each team in the archives as a semi-permanent record.

Consider this report a preview with the big picture presented along with some of the bests and worsts across the Cardinals organization over both the last ten and the last 25 years.

Now, I know the Cardinals preach player development over winning baseball, but the reality is that some club is going to win every game. My contention is that over the long haul, better players should win more games. The results show the Cards have been slightly behind the curve.

Over the last quarter century, the teams at the Cardinals’ top six levels in aggregate lost 98 more games than won. Yet because that is on a base of over 19,000 games, the win percentage is still 49.7%.

Taking the most recent ten years, the results have not been as good, .483, despite the cumulative 60 games over .500 mark of .543 the six clubs put together in 2008.

That is because the system had just two other winning years in the last ten, 2004 and 2002. In fact, only one of the six affiliates is over .500 for the last decade. Perhaps the 2008 system-wide results indicate a general change in direction.

St. Louis Cardinals minor league records by season – 1984 through 2008

Yrs. 84-08 99-08 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Pct. 0.494 0.483 0.543 0.481 0.499 0.492 0.520
W 8704 3385 376 337 348 347 364
L 8918 3618 316 364 349 358 336
Yrs. 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
Pct. 0.454 0.509 0.423 0.472 0.442 0.506 0.459
W 317 357 298 331 310 357 323
L 381 345 407 371 391 348 380
Yrs. 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990
Pct. 0.501 0.479 0.538 0.545 0.514 0.412 0.456
W 351 396 449 456 429 341 384
L 350 431 386 380 405 487 458
Yrs. 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984
Pct. 0.521 0.508 0.567 0.559 0.504 0.505
W 437 424 382 476 422 432
L 402 411 317 363 415 424

Now here are some highlights (and lowlights). I’ll be back soon to cover each club in detail.

St. Louis Cardinals minor league system – last ten years (1999-2008)

Last ten years (1999-2008) Level Mark Record Years Club
Overall record system 0.483 3385-3618 1999-2008
Winning seasons system three 02,04,08
Best single season system 0.543 376-316 2008
Worst single season system 0.423 298-407 2001
Best single season club 0.622 46-28 2008 Batavia Muckdogs (SS-A)
Worst single season club 0.331 47-95 2001 New Haven Ravens (Double-A)
Best cumulative record club 0.509 702-676 1999-2008 Quad Cities/Peoria (A)
Worst cumulative record club 0.448 300-370 1999-2008 Johnson City Cardinals (SS-R)
Most winning seasons club six Quad Cities/Peoria (A)
Most losing seasons club seven Johnson City Cardinals (SS-R)
Current winning season streak club five 2004-2008 Quad Cities/Peoria (A)
Current losing season streak club none
Most playoff appearances club five 02,4,5,6,7 Quad Cities/Peoria (A)
Most playoff appearances – season system two 02,4,5,6,7,8 (done six times)
Most league championships club one 5-way tie: Mem/TN/PB/QC/Bat
Fewest playoff appearances club none 1999-2008 Johnson City Cardinals (SS-R)
Fewest league championships club none 1999-2008 Johnson City Cardinals (SS-R)

St. Louis Cardinals minor league system – last 25 years (1984-2008)

Last 25 years (1984-2008) Level Mark Record Years Club
Overall record system 0.497 9524-9622 1984-2008
Winning seasons system 14
Best single season system 0.567 476-363 1987
Worst single season system 0.412 341-487 1991
Best single season club 0.737 56-20 1992 Hamilton Redbirds (SS-A)
Worst single season club 0.331 47-95 2001 New Haven Ravens (Double-A)
Best cumulative record club 0.523 1805-1646 1984-2008 Quad Cities/Peoria/Springfield1 (A)
Worst cumulative record club 0.481 1722-1860 1984-2008 Memphis/Louisville (Triple-A)
Most winning seasons club 16 Quad Cities/Peoria/Springfield1 (A)
Most losing seasons club 17 Bat/SC/NJ/GF/Ham/Erie (SS-A)
Most playoff appearances club 12 Quad Cities/Peoria/Springfield1 (A)
Most playoff appearances – season system four 1987, 1994 (done twice)
Most league championships club four 84,85,95,00 Memphis/Louisville (Triple-A)
Fewest playoff appearances club three 92,94,08 Bat/SC/NJ/GF/Ham/Erie (SS-A)
86,87,94 Johnson City Cardinals (SS-R)
Fewest league championships club none 1984-2008 Johnson City Cardinals (SS-R)

Former affiliates Abbr. Lvl. Years
Louisville Redbirds Lou AAA 1982-1997
Tennessee Smokies TN AA 2003-2004
New Haven Ravens NH AA 2001-2002
Arkansas Travelers Ark AA 1966-2000
Potomac Cannons Pot A-Adv 1999-2002
Prince William Cannons PW A-Adv 1997-1998
St. Petersburg Cardinals StP A-Adv 1947-1996
Peoria Chiefs Peo A 1995-2004
Madison Hatters Mad A 1994
Springfield (IL) Cardinals Spr1 A 1982-1993
Savannah Cardinals Sav A 1984-1995
Macon Redbirds Mac A 1983
State College Spikes SC SS-A 2006
New Jersey Cardinals NJ SS-A 1994-2005
Glens Falls Redbirds GF SS-A 1993
Hamilton Redbirds Ham SS-A 1988-1992
Erie Cardinals Erie SS-A 1981-1987

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