Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday Five: Former Durham Bulls All-Stars

I did a little digging into the stat lines of the former Durham Bulls players who are currently playing in the Majors on the lookout for the five most deserving for an All-Star appearance.  Some of these players are actually on the All-Star team, others not so much.

Honorable Mention- Melvin Upton OF 

Stretch.  There are a whole bunch of outfielders having better seasons than Melvin, but he's one of my favorite former Durham Bull players and was easily one of the most talented Triple A players I have seen in uniform for my hometown team.  While Upton may not get an All-Star game nod, he is having a sort of bounce back season and he's on the hometown team.  I know the A.L. is technically the home team this year.  His line so far this year is .260/.308/.439 with 14 home runs, 10 doubles, and 19 steals.  Melvin should post his fourth 20/20 season of his career and first since 2012 when he was still a Ray.

5. Stephen Vogt - C 

I don't like to talk much about the Stephen Vogt trade, but I have been really happy with the success the former Bulls catcher has enjoyed since moving to the Bay Area.  This year is Vogt's second straight All-Star appearance which came with a .266/.311/.413 line along with 6 home runs and 17 doubles.  Vogt played well during two stops in Durham during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.  While I hear a lot of baseball fans argue that there are better choices than Vogt, the second tier at the position behind Salvador Perez, which he is in, is pretty equal.

4. Wil Myers - 1B 

Long ago in 2013 Wil Myers appeared for the Durham Bulls after being traded over from the Kansas City Royals for pitcher James Shields.  Myers was a huge deal in these parts.  Sure, he was a local kid from High Point, North Carolina, but he was also a Top 10 prospect.  He got called up to Tampa for the second half of the season and played well.  The next year was not so great and he got traded to the Padres where he only played half a season in 2015 due to injuries.  This year he is hitting .291/.355/.535 with 19 home runs, 19 doubles, and 14 stolen bases.  First base is always a deep position for the All-Star game, but Myers is more than deserving of this honor.

3.  Evan Longoria - 3B 

The one player on my list who did not actually make the All-Star Game.  Longo is high up on my list of favorite former Durham Bulls, so I had hoped that he could get in with the Final Vote online.  However, he came in last.  Can't win them all.  It's still been a nice bounce back season for Longoria who has posted a .280/.330/.514 line with 18 home runs and 23 doubles.

2.  Wade Davis - P 

Wade Davis used to be one of those former Durham Bulls players who kind of slid through the cracks until he started blowing people away during playoff games for the Royals.  For the last three seasons he has basically been untouchable posting a 26-14 record, 2.91 FIP, and a142 ERA+ in his three and a half years in KC.  This year Davis has saved 19 games for the defending World Series Champs.  He was named to the American League All-Star team, but was headed for a possible DL stint.  I am guessing he does not make it.  

1. Ben Zobrist - 2B 

I hear a lot about Kris Bryant, Jake Arrieta, and Anthony Rizzo, but why isn't anyone talking about Ben Zobrist?  The longtime Ray, and one-time former Durham Bull, is enjoying a great season with the north siders.  He still had a strong stat line last year with the A's and Royals, but at 35 you'd expect his line to start to fall off at some point soon.  Instead, Zobrist is on pace to hit the most home runs he has hit since 2009, record his highest OBP since 2009, and drive in more than 90 runs for the first time since 2011.  The Cubs have a lot of young players, and the window for the team to be competitive is going to be open for a long time, but Zobrist is doing a great job of helping the team out with a little veteran presence.

1 comment:

  1. I probably need to buckle down and finally add a Myers autograph to my Padres PC. He's sure having a great year for them.