All-DBAP Team: First Base Finalists
Our second set of finalists comes at first base, which has proven to be a prolific position among Bulls over the past 20 seasons. Of these four finalists, three took home International League MVP honors, while the fourth enjoyed a 450-game career in a Durham uniform.
After taking a glance at our finalists below, remember to vote for who you think is most-deserving of a spot on the All-DBAP Team by voting on the Bulls’ Facebook page. Simply leave a comment with the name of your selection on the official finalist announcement post and you’re done!
Just 23 years old when he made his debut for the Bulls in 1998, Steve Cox was a force in the International League for the better part of two seasons. That ’98 season he hit 13 homers and drove in 67, but in 1999 he was far and away the league’s best player, winning MVP honors after hitting .341-25-127 in 134 games. That year, he led the league in hits (182), runs (107), doubles (49) and RBI (127), all of which are also Durham Triple-A single-season records. He spent parts of four seasons with the Rays in the big leagues, before returning to Durham in 2005 and appearing in 25 games before retiring.
Career Numbers with Durham: .296-41-203, 178 R in 272 games (1998-1999, 2005)
Major League Career: .262-39-158, 146 R in 378 games (1999-2002)
Dan Johnson, who split 2014 between Triple-A Buffalo and Toronto, appeared in 304 games for the Bulls between 2008, 2010 and 2011. 2010 proved to be his finest season, winning the league MVP award after hitting .303-30-95 in 98 games. That year he led the league in homers (30), on-base percentage (.430), slugging percentage (.624) and walks (75), and ranked second in RBIs (95). His most notable moment in the Rays system though came in the final regular season game in 2011, when his 2-out, 9th-inning home run kept the Rays’ season alive en route to the postseason.
Career Numbers with Durham: .295-68-230, 203 R in 304 games (2008, 2010-2011)
Major League Career: .236-57-201, 178 R in 431 games (2005-2008, 2010-2014)
Chris Richard spent the final four seasons of his career in the Tampa Bay system, playing for the Bulls each year from 2007-2010. He appeared in at least 100 games each season, while tallying at least 20 homers on three difference occasions. Richard is the franchise’s all-time Triple-A leader in home runs (84), RBIs (299) and doubles (117). His last Major League service came in 2009, when he appeared in 13 games for the Rays.
Career Numbers with Durham: .286-84-299, 269 runs in 450 games (2007-2010)
Major League Career: .255-34-122, 132 runs in 280 games (2000-2003, 2009)
Kevin Witt spent just one season in Durham, but made it memorable by winning the 2006 IL MVP award. That year he batted .291-36-99, leading the circuit in homers (36), RBIs (99), slugging percentage (.577) and extra-base hits (66), while ranking second in runs scored (82). Additionally, his 36 dingers led all of Minor League Baseball, and following the season he was named a Triple-A All-Star by Baseball America.
Career Numbers with Durham: .291-36-99, 82 runs in 128 games (2006)
Major League Career: .233-15-41, 38 runs in 146 games (1998-1999, 2001, 2003, 2005)
Next Week: Second Base