All-Star Examination: Last Year’s Studs
The Triple-A All-Star Game is Minor League Baseball’s premier event. Not only does it advertise veterans who are looking for another shot at the Bigs, but it also includes some of the biggest prospects in baseball. Last year’s All-Star Game in Reno featured stars Billy Hamilton and Michael Wacha, among others. So while we anxiously wait to see who will take the field in Durham on July 16th before impacting MLB playoff races, let’s look back at the 2013 ASG and see where some of the big name alumni are now.
While he hit just .256 as a member of the Louisville Bats a season ago, Hamilton did what he did best all season long. Steal bases. Over 123 games with the Bats the speedy outfielder swiped 75 bags in 90 attempts, cementing him as one of the most exciting players in the game. He’s spent all of 2014 with Cincinnati Reds and he’s still doing what he does best, as he’s 25-for-33 in stolen bases, leading all NL rookies in swipes, runs and triples.
If you watched the 2013 Postseason, you probably know who Michael Wacha is. As a refresher, he’s the guy that went 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA in five postseason starts for the NL Champion St. Louis Cardinals. This year he’s doing it again, as through the first half of the season for the Cards he’s gone just 4-5, but posted a 2.88 ERA. Not bad for a guy that tossed 1 2/3 scoreless in Reno last season.
Ok, so we know this might not be a “sexy” name (even if it is a baller name), but Yangervis Solarte is one of the guys that’s kept the New York Yankees’ offense afloat this season. Through the first two months of the season (prior to a recent slide), Solarte was hitting .299 with six homers for the Bronx Bombers, making him one of the team’s top hitters in both average and dingers. In 2013 he was a member of the Texas Rangers organization, hitting .276-12-75 for Round Rock, while going 1-for-2 in the ASG.
Colabello might’ve recently been optioned back to Rochester from the Minnesota Twins, but not before he left his mark with the Big Club. In April, the 2013 IL Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year tore up MLB pitching, hitting to a tune of .286-3-27, setting a franchise record for the most RBIs in a month.
Granted, the Pineapple Express may not be a “star” for the Rays (yet!), but after getting his first big-league promotion a little over a week ago, Yates has done his job, posting three scoreless innings over three appearances. And frankly, it took long enough. The dude was lights out for the Bulls this season, going 16-for-16 in save chances while allowing just one run.
So fans, we’re exactly one month out from the DBAP taking center-stage on the MLB Network for the 2014 Cree Triple-A All-Star Game. Want to get involved in the conversation? Use the hashtag #ASGDurham to stay in the loop, and we’ll see you July 16th.