Archive for the ‘ All-DBAP Team ’ Category

All-DBAP Team: Manager Finalists

After we rounded out the All-DBAP Team a week ago, we turn our attention to the final spot on this historic squad: manager. This trio features an International League Hall of Famer, the winningest manager in DBAP Single-A history, and the franchise’s all-time winningest manager at any level.

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 on Facebook with the name of your selection on the official finalist announcement post and you’re done!

Bill Evers

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Bill Evers (left), with International League President Randy Mobley at his IL Hall of Fame induction on May 19, 2012. The Bulls retired Evers’ No. 20 jersey that same day.

The first Triple-A manager in Tampa Bay history, Bill Evers piloted the Bulls from 1998-2005. In that span he won a then-franchise record 613 games as the Bulls advanced to the postseason six times. Under Evers Durham won five division titles, while capturing the first two Governors’ Cups in franchise history in 2002 and 2003, posting a combined 12-1 playoff record those two seasons. From Durham he was promoted to Joe Maddon’s bench coach in 2006 and 2007, was a Rays’ professional scout in 2008 and 2009, and has been the Rays Minor League Field Coordinator since 2010. In 2012, the International League announced he had been inducted into its Hall of Fame, becoming the first Durham Bull to do so, and the franchise retired his No. 20 jersey later that year.

Career Record with Durham: 613-533 (.535) in eight seasons (1998-2005), six playoff berths, two Governors’ Cup championships

Randy Ingle

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Ingle, shown here during his stint as manager of the Class A Rome Braves, is a member of the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame.

Of the three seasons the Bulls spent as a Single-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves at the DBAP, Randy Ingle was the only manager to lead the squad to the postseason. In 1996 Durham finished 73-66, good for a berth in the Carolina League playoffs, where it fell to Kinston in the first round two games to one.

Career Record with Durham: 73-66 (.525) in one season (1996), one playoff berth

Charlie Montoyo

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Charlie Montoyo (center, #25), celebrates the Bulls’ 2013 Governors’ Cup championship over the Pawtucket Red Sox in Rhode Island.

From 2007-2014 Charlie Montoyo won 633 games as Bulls’ manager, the most in franchise history. Over those eight seasons Durham captured seven division championships, won two Governors’ Cup titles (2009, 2013) and earned its lone Triple-A National Championship Game victory in 2009. The skipper advanced to six Governors’ Cup finals, the most in league history, while winning 80 games or more five times. In his tenure with the Bulls, he was named IL Manager of the Year twice (2010, 2013), Baseball America’s Minor League Manager of the Year (2009) and Minor League Baseball’s Mike Coolbaugh Award winner (2009), given annually to an individual for their outstanding mentoring of young players. He was promoted to the Tampa Bay Rays as third base coach this past offseason.

Career Record with Durham: 633-515 (.551) in eight seasons (2007-2014), seven playoff berths, two Governors’ Cup championships, one Triple-A National Championship

You can cast your vote here.

All-DBAP Team: Relief Pitcher Finalists

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Only one position remains to fill out our All-DBAP Team (with managers coming next week), as we conclude the player portion of the squad with relief pitchers. This trio features three relievers who all amassed 35 saves or more in a Durham Bulls 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 on Facebook with the name of your selection on the official finalist announcement post and you’re done!

Winston Abreu

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Winston Abreu struck out 159 batters in 106.1 innings with the Bulls over two seasons

By the time he made his Durham debut in 2009 he was already in his 16th professional season at the age of 32, but he was one of the best relievers in the IL that season, recording 15 saves in 37 appearances. That year he went 3-1 with a 1.94 ERA, while striking out 77 batters in 51.0 innings. He was flawless in the 2009 postseason, tossing 5.2 scoreless innings over six appearances to earn four saves and help the Bulls to their third Governors’ Cup title and first Triple-A National Championship title in franchise history. The following season he posted a 2.28 ERA, while ranking third on the circuit with 23 saves. He struck out 82 that season while walking just 21 in 55.1 innings, while surrendering just a single home run.

Career Numbers with Durham: 3-5, 2.12 ERA, 38 Saves, 106.1 IP, 159 K in 88 G (2009-2010)

MLB Career: 0-1, 7.31 ERA, 0 Saves, 44.1 IP, 38 K in 38 G (2006-2007, 2009)

Lee Gardner

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Lee Gardner, pictured with Tampa Bay, is the Bulls’ all-time Triple-A saves leader

Lee Gardner, the franchise’s all-time Triple-A leader in saves with 77, recorded 15 saves or more three times over his five season with Durham. In 2003 he set a Triple-A single-season franchise record with 30 saves, while also leading the league in that category. He saved 55 games between 2002 and 2003, the franchise’s first two Triple-A titles, while his ERA was never higher than 3.75 to finish a season with the Bulls. Over his final 150 games with Durham in 2002, 2003 and 2005, his appeared in 150 games, recording a save in 70 of them.

Career Numbers with Durham: 15-13, 3.06 ERA, 77 Saves, 259.0 IP, 206 K in 227 G (2000-2003, 2005)

MLB Career: 4-5, 3.01 ERA, 2 Saves, 101.2 IP, 68 K in 86 G (2002, 2005, 2007-2008)

Kirby Yates

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Kirby Yates recorded a save in 50% of the games he appeared in with Durham

Affectionately referred to as the “Pineapple Express” in his tenure in Durham (alluding to his Hawaiian roots), Kirby Yates was perhaps the International League’s most dominant closer from 2013 to June of 2014, when he received his first big league call up. In the Bulls’ 2013 Governors’ Cup title season he ranked 4th in the IL in saves (20), T-3rd in games (51), 4th in lowest batting average against (.175) and 2nd in K/9 (13.57). In that year’s postseason he was as dominant as ever, allowing just one hit over four shutout appearances to record four saves. In 2014 he returned even better, going a perfect 16-for-16 in save chances and posting a 0.36 ERA before his promotion to Tampa Bay. At the time of his promotion, he was holding opponents to a .118 average, while left-handers were just 2-for-40 against. In his career with the Bulls, he posted a 4/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (128-to-32).

Career Numbers with Durham: 4-2, 1.45 ERA, 36 Saves, 86.2 IP, 128 K in 72 G (2013-2014)

MLB Career: 0-2, 3.75 ERA, 1 Saves 36.0 IP, 42 K in 37 G (2014)

You can cast your vote here.

Next Week: Manager

All-DBAP Team: Starting Pitcher Finalists

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You, the fans, have spoken, and all position players on the All-DBAP Team have been accounted for. All that’s left are starting pitcher, relief pitcher and manager, and this week we take a look at the three finalists for your favorite starting pitcher in DBAP history. Out of all the talented pitchers that have come through the DBAP the past 20 years, fans will be able to choose between a Cy Young winner, Rookie of the Year and the Bulls’ Triple-A single-season wins leader.

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 on Facebook with the name of your selection on the official finalist announcement post and you’re done!

Jeremy Hellickson

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Jeremy Hellickson was the Baseball America and USA Today 2010 Minor League Player of the Year

In 2009 and 2010, Jeremy Hellickson put together perhaps the most dominating 30 starts in International League history. After he was promoted to Triple-A midway through the 2009 campaign the right-hander went on to go 6-1 with a 2.51 ERA, leading the squad to its first Governors’ Cup title since 2003. In the team’s first Triple-A National Championship Game Hellickson got the call and tossed five shutout innings, allowing just two hits in Durham’s 5-4, 11-inning victory. Then in 2010 he was dominant once more, earning IL Most Valuable Pitcher honors after going 12-3 with a 2.45 ERA, leading the league in ERA and K/9 (9.41), while ranking third in wins. That season he was named the Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and USA Today, while earning Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors from The Sporting News. In 2011 he was named the American League Rookie of the Year after going 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA, and spent the first five years of his big league career with Tampa Bay before he was traded to Arizona this past offseason.

Career Numbers with Durham: 19-8, 2.93 ERA, 193.1 IP, 209 K in 35 GS (2009-2010, rehab in 2014)

MLB Career: 40-36, 3.78 ERA, 640 IP, 463 K in 115 G, 108 GS (2010-2014)

J.D. Martin

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With his Triple-A franchise-record 16 wins, JD Martin was the 2013 IL Most Valuable Pitcher

Signed as a minor league free agent prior to the 2013 season, J.D. Martin went on to have a historic year for the Bulls, going 16-4 with a 2.75 ERA en route to IL Most Valuable Pitcher honors. At age 30, Martin led the IL and set the Bulls single-season Triple-A record for wins, while ranking Top-5 on the circuit in starts (27), innings pitched (160.1), and fewest BB/9 (1.46). Over his final 11 regular season starts he went 7-0 with a 2.07 ERA to lead the Bulls to the division crown, before going 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two postseason starts to help the club capture its fourth Governors’ Cup title.

Career Numbers with Durham: 16-4, 2.75 ERA, 160.1 IP, 116 K in 27 GS (2013)

MLB Career: 6-9, 4.32 ERA, 125 IP, 68 K in 24 GS (2009-2010)

David Price

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David Price made 12 starts for Durham before becoming a four-time AL All-Star with Tampa Bay

Similar to our 3rd base winner Evan Longoria, southpaw David Price makes our list of finalists more because of what he’s accomplished at the Major League level rather than his time in Durham. With the Bulls, Price appeared in just 12 games between 2008 and 2009, accruing a 4.13 ERA. With the Rays however, he established himself as one of baseball’s best pitchers, as he’s been an AL All-Star four times, while finishing in the Top-6 of the Cy Young voting on three occasions, including 2012 when he won the award behind a 20-5 campaign. When he was traded to Detroit at the trade deadline in 2014, he ranked first all-time in Rays history in ERA (3.18) and second in wins (82), strikeouts (1,065), starts (170), winning percentage (.636) and complete games (10).

Career Numbers with Durham: 2-5, 4.13 ERA, 52.1 IP, 52 K in 12 GS (2008-2009)

MLB Career: 86-51, 3.21 ERA, 1,143.2 IP, 1,065 K in 175 G, 170 GS (2008-2014)

You can cast your vote here.

Next Week: Relief Pitcher

All-DBAP Team: Outfield Finalists

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With all infield positions taken care of, this week we turn our attention to the outfield. 10 players make our list of finalists for the outfield, and this week fans can vote for up to three players for a spot on the All-DBAP Team.

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 on Facebook with the names (you can vote for three this time around) of your selections on the official finalist announcement post and you’re done!

Leslie Anderson

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Leslie Anderson, a Cuban defector, didn’t join the Bulls until he was 28-years-old in 2010, but put together four memorable seasons with Durham. Twice he led the team in RBIs, while appearing in 115 games or more three times. He was named the MVP of the 2013 Governors’ Cup championship team, hitting .292-14-74, and was also the Team MVP in 2012 when he hit .309-14-56.

Career Numbers with Durham: .295-43-208, 175 R in 386 games (2010-2013)

Rocco Baldelli

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Rocco Baldelli, the new 1st Base Coach for the Tampa Bay Rays, had a brief tenure in Durham, appearing in 23 games for the Bulls in 2002 before returning on rehab stints in 2006 and 2007. His final tour with the Bulls game in 2010, when he suited up for 11 games in what proved to be the final year of his career. His 2002 campaign was important though, as a late-season call-up to Durham he hit .292-3-7. In the playoffs he was arguably the team’s most important player, leading the squad to its first Governors’ Cup title. Of his seven-year MLB career, six came with Tampa Bay, appearing in 62 games for Boston in 2009.

Career Numbers with Durham: .308-6-20, 29 R in 48 games (2002, 2010, rehab in 2006, 2007)

MLB Career: .278-60-262, 281 R in 519 games (2003-2004, 2006-2010)

Russ Canzler

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Although he played just one season in Durham (when he played 68 games in the OF, 40 at 3B and 17 at 1B), Russ Canzler had a large impact on the squad, winning the International League MVP award in 2011. That year, he ranked 4th in the league in average (.314), 5th in RBI (83), 3rd in hits (149), 1st in doubles (40), 2nd in OBP (.401), 1st in SLG (.530), 1st in extra-base hits (62), 2nd in runs (78), 2nd in total bases (251) and 5th in walks (67). Since that 2011 season, he’s appeared in the IL each of the last three years between Columbus, Norfolk, Indianapolis, Scranton/WB and Lehigh Valley.

Career Numbers with Durham: .314-18-83, 78 R in 131 games (2011)

MLB Career: .271-3-12, 9 R in 29 games (2011-2012)

Carl Crawford

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The speedy outfielder Carl Crawford spent less than one season in the Bull City, appearing in 85 games in 2002 before his call-up to Tampa Bay. In those 85 games the outfielder was superb, hitting .297, tallying 105 hits and stealing 26 bases en route to earning the league’s Rookie of the Year award. He spent the first nine years of his Major League career with Tampa Bay, before joining the Red Sox (2011-2012) and the Dodgers (2013-present).

Career Number with Durham: .297-7-52, 59 R in 85 games (2002)

MLB Career: .292-132-744, 971 R in 1,617 games (2002-2014)

Johnny Gomes

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Jonny Gomes played parts of five years with the Bulls, accruing a successful campaign each time. In 2004 he put up his best powers numbers in Durham, cracking 26 homers and driving in 78, while in 2005 in just 45 games he batted .321 with 14 dingers. He played for the Rays for parts of six seasons from 2003-2008, and since then he has played for Cincinnati, Washington, Oakland and Boston.

Career Numbers with Durham: .275-43-146, 134 R in 203 games (2003-2005, 2007-2008)

MLB Career: .244-155-500, 466 R in 1,108 games (2003-2014)

Desmond Jennings

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Over parts of three seasons with Durham, Desmond Jennings was a consistent player who patrolled the outfield. In 2009 and 2010 he combined to hit six homers, but 2011 saw his power improve when he cracked 12 homers in 89 games. Over his tenure in the Bull City, he swiped 69 bags while he was only caught seven times. He has spent parts of five years in the majors, each coming with Tampa Bay.

Career Numbers with Durham: .282-18-92, 174 R in 233 games (2009-2011, rehab in 2012)

MLB Career: .248-47-164, 280 R in 474 games (2010-2014)

Andruw Jones

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The first finalist at any position from the Atlanta Braves’ affiliation, Andruw Jones’ 1996 season was one Bulls fans won’t forget. As a 19-year-old in the Advanced-A Carolina League, Jones hit .313-17-43 while scoring 65 runs and stealing 16 bases in just 66 games. After tearing through Double-A and Triple-A as the summer progressed, he joined Atlanta that season and helped lead them to the National League pennant. Over a 17-year big league career, Jones went on to win 10 Gold Gloves and was a five-time All-Star.

Career Number with Durham: .313-17-43, 65 R in 66 games (1996)

MLB Career: .254-434-1289, 1204 R in 2,196 games (1996-2012)

Wil Myers

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A heralded prospect entering the 2013 season, Wil Myers, a Thomasville, NC native, appeared in 64 games for the Bulls that year and proved quickly he was among the league’s best players. At the time he was promoted in mid-June, he ranked 1st in  the league in RBIs (55) and 4th in the league in home runs (13) before going on to win American League Rookie of the Year honors. He returned to the Bull City in 2014 on a rehab stint and promptly hit a pair of home runs, including this moon shot in Rochester. He spent his first two big league seasons with the Rays before he was traded to San Diego this offseason.

Career Numbers with Durham: .283-16-63, 47 R in 71 games (2013-2014)

MLB Career: .258-19-88, 87 R in 175 games (2013-2014)

Justin Ruggiano

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One of the most familiar faces in the Bulls’ history, Justin Ruggiano played 476 games in Durham over parts of five seasons. He’s the franchise’s Triple-A all-time leader in runs scored (304) and hits (531), while batting .300 or better three times. He totaled double-digit homers in four of his five seasons, while also swiping 20-plus bases on four occasions. In the 2009 playoffs he batted a team-high .290 to lead Durham to its lone Triple-A National Championship title.

Career Numbers with Durham: .289-68-300, 304 R in 476 games (2007-2011)

MLB Career: .257-43-137, 138 R in 398 games (2007-2008, 2011-2014)

Jon Weber

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A fan-favorite in Durham, Jon Weber spent parts of three years with the Bulls from 2007-2009. In his final year with the squad the veteran produced his best season, hitting .302 with 14 homers and 69 RBIs. His average was good for 9th-best in the IL, while he led the circuit with 46 doubles and ranked 3rd with 60 extra-base hits and 224 total bases.

Career Numbers with Durham: .282-30-141, 141 R in 264 games (2007-2009)

You can cast your vote here.

Next Week: Starting Pitcher

All-DBAP Team: Shortstop Finalists

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After Evan Longoria took home All-DBAP Team honors at the Hot Corner last week, we’re down to our final infield position this week at shortstop. Of the three finalists, two spent considerable time in a Rays uniform, while the other is attempting to join the Big League club this spring.

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 on Facebook with the name of your selection on the official finalist announcement post and you’re done!

Tim Beckham

Tim Beckham was the everyday shortstop for the 2013 Governors Cup champions

Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in the 2008 draft, has spent time with the Bulls in each of the past four seasons, despite entering this season at age 25. Since his promotion to Durham towards the end of the 2011 campaign, he’s appeared in 233 games for the Bulls, including 122 back in 2013 when he set a career-high with a .276 batting average. That season, he was the everyday shortstop for the Governors’ Cup champion team, while also swiping 17 bases. As a September call up that season, he appeared in five games for Tampa Bay, the only five games of his Major League career. His 2014 season was shortened considerably, after tearing his ACL prior to the start of the season.

Career Numbers with Durham: .266-15-96, 131 R in 233 games (2011-2014)

MLB Career: .429-0-1, 1 R in 5 games (2013)

B.J. Upton

BJ Upton was one of the IL's best players in 2005, hitting .303-18-74 with 44 steals

BJ Upton was one of the IL’s best players in 2005, hitting .303-18-74 with 44 steals

BJ Upton (who in case you missed it now goes by Melvin) spent parts of three seasons in the Bull City from 2004-2006. Over that span he was a dangerous combination of power and speed, cracking 38 homers and swiping 107 bases. In 2005 he totaled the third-most hits in a single season in Durham’s Triple-A history (165), the fourth-most runs (98) and the third-most stolen bases (44). He spent the first eight seasons of his big league career with Tampa Bay, before signing with Atlanta as a free agent prior to the 2013 season.

Career Numbers with Durham: .294-38-152, 236 R in 316 games (2004-2006, rehab in 2007)

MLB Career: .243-139-508, 636 R in 1,233 games (2004, 2006-2014)

Ben Zobrist

A quiet, consistent player, Ben Zobrist tallied 109 hits in 99 games in his Durham career

A quiet, consistent player, Ben Zobrist tallied 109 hits in 99 games in his Durham career

After he was traded by the Astros to the Rays for Aubrey Huff during the 2006 season, Ben Zobrist was the Ben Zobrist Rays fans came to love, as he was a productive, consistent, underrated player over parts of three seasons in Durham. Though he totaled fewer than 100 games with the Bulls he accumulated 109 hits, with 34 going for extra bases. Before he was traded to the A’s this offseason, “Zorilla” was a two-time All-Star with the Rays, while playing 150 games or more five times in in six full seasons at the major league level.

Career Numbers with Durham: .301-11-41, 69 R in 99 games (2006-2008)

MLB Career: .264-114-511, 565 R in 1,064 games (2006-2014)

Cast your vote here.

Next Week: Outfield

All-DBAP Team: Third Base Finalists

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With three positions in the books, we make our way to the Hot Corner, where an IL Rookie of the Year, perennial MLB All-Star and one of the best power hitters in Bulls history square off for a spot on the All-DBAP Team.

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 on Facebook with the name of your selection on the official finalist announcement post and you’re done!

Aubrey Huff

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Aubrey Huff was named the 2000 International League Rookie of the Year

Aubrey Huff spent parts of three seasons in Durham in the early 2000s, appearing in 157 games from 2000 to 2002. However, 108 of those appearances came in 2000, when he was named International League Rookie of the Year after hitting .316-20-76 while also ranking fourth on the circuit with 36 doubles. In the big leagues, Huff enjoyed a successful career, hitting 20 homers or more seven times, and winning World Series rings with the San Francisco Giants in 2010 and 2012.

Career Numbers with Durham: .315-26-106, 105 R in 157 games (2000-2002)

Major League Career: .278-242-904, 806 R in 1,681 games (2000-2012)

Evan Longoria

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Evan Longoria has been a staple at third base for the Rays after his time in Durham

Admittedly, Evan Longoria’s time in Durham was short-lived. In 2007 he made a brief stop in the Bull City, appearing in 31 games, batting .269-5-19. The next season he opened the year with the Bulls, but was promoted after just seven games, and has played just 10 games for the Bulls since, all on rehab. It’s what Longoria’s done at the next level that earns him a spot on this list, as in his seven-year MLB career, he’s finished in the Top 10 of the MVP race three times, been named an All-Star three times, won the 2008 Rookie of the Year and won a pair of Gold Gloves.

Career Numbers with Durham: .245-5-23, 21 R in 48 games (2007-2008, 2012)

Major League Career: .271-184-635, 554 R in 959 games (2008-2014)

Scott McClain

Scott McClain

Scott McClain, pictured here in Spring Training in 1998, hit 62 homers in a Durham uniform

Scott McClain was a regular in the Bulls’ lineup in their first two seasons at the Triple-A level (1998, 1999), providing some of the best power numbers in back-to-back seasons in Bulls history. In 1998 he ranked second in the league in both HR (34) and RBIs (109), while in 1999 he ranked third (28) and fifth (105), respectively. Despite batting .275 and hitting 252 homers over 11 years at the Triple-A level, he appeared in just 44 games over four different seasons in the majors.

Career Numbers with Durham: .274-62-213, 197 R in 263 games (1998-1999)

Major League Career: .192-2-8, 11 R in 44 games (1998, 2005, 2007-2008)

Cast your vote here.

Next Week: Shortstop

All-DBAP Team: Second Base Finalists

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With two positions down (Catcher & First Base), we continue to move our way around the infield with three finalists at second base. This trio features a second baseman from the early 2000’s,  the most current Bull to appear as a finalist to this point and a Durham mainstay in the late 2000’s.

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!

Brooks Badeaux

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Brooks Badeaux was part of Durham’s back-to-back championship teams in 2002 and 2003

From 2000-2005 Brooks Badeaux spent significant time in the Bull City, playing for Durham in 2000 and then again from 2002-2005. A consistent player, his best season came in 2004 when he hit .326 and posted a .377 on-base percentage. Additionally, he was a member of both the 2002 and 2003 Governors’ Cup champion squads, the first two Triple-A titles in Durham history.

Career Numbers with Durham: .262-7-83, 137 R in 326 games (2000, 2002-2005)

Cole Figueroa

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Cole Figueroa was one of the Bulls’ most consistent players from 2012-2014, playing 288 games

When you play for Charlie Montoyo, players tend to get used in super-utility roles. In his time with the Bulls from 2012-2014, Figueroa played second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field. So, we’ll place him at his natural position of second base. Over those three seasons “Figgy” was a solid as they come, hitting at least .282 each season, while posting an on-base percentage of at least .344 each year. Perhaps most impressively, in 1,192 plate appearances with Durham he struck out just 81 times (compared to 119 walks), or once every 14.7 plate appearances. In 2014 he made his Major League debut, appearing in 23 games with the Rays.

Career Numbers with Durham: .285-8-137, 130 R in 288 games (2012-2014)

Major League Career: .233-0-6, 6 R in 23 games (2014)

Elliot Johnson

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Elliot Johnson spent parts of five years in a Durham uniforms, tallying 396 hits

Appearing in 410 games in a Bulls uniform, Elliot Johnson was an anchor in Charlie Montoyo’s lineup for parts of five seasons, including the team’s National Championship campaign in 2009. On three occasions he hit double-digit home runs and stole at least 15 bases, while also eclipsing 100 hits twice. His best year came in 2010 when he hit .319-11-56 with 30 stolen bases en route to being named an International League Postseason All-Star. He spent the first 11 seasons of his career in the Rays system, appearing in 200 games with Tampa Bay before he was traded as part of the James Shields/Wil Myers deal in December of 2012.

Career Numbers with Durham: .261-42-186, 209 R in 410 games (2007-2011)

Major League Career: .215-12-69, 80 R in 318 games (2008, 2011-2014)

Cast your vote here.

Next Week: Third Base

All-DBAP Team: First Base Finalists

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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!

Steve Cox

Cox

Steve Cox was named the league MVP in 1999 at the age of 24

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

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Dan Johnson spent parts of three years in Durham, winning the 2010 MVP award

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

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Chris Richard spent four seasons in Durham, playing 450 games and clubbing 84 home runs

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

Witt

Kevin Witt was named the 2006 I.L. MVP after leading Minor League Baseball with 36 home runs

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

All-DBAP Team: Catcher Finalists

AllDBAP-Catchers-Article This week kicks off the fan voting for the All-DBAP Team, and we open it up with the catcher position. This threesome features a player who enjoyed a 17-year major league career (but none with Tampa Bay), an International League MVP and a guy who’s (back) with the Rays.

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!

Pat Borders

Borders Blog

Pat Borders spent parts of two seasons in Durham, playing in 183 games between 2000 and 2001

A 17-year major league veteran when he hung up his spikes, Pat Borders was already 37-years-old when he first came to Durham in 2000. That didn’t stop the Florida native from putting up a big season though, hitting .273-12-55 while playing 96 games. The next season, at the age of 38, his offense production slowed down some, hitting to a tune of .236-2-28. However, over his two years in the Bull City he was one of the premier defensive catchers in the league, throwing out 53-of-114 runners attempting to steal (46%).

Career Numbers with Durham: .260-14-83, 40 R in 183 games (2000-2001)

Major League Career: .253-69-346, 289 R in 1,099 games (1988-2005)

Toby Hall

Hall Blog

Toby Hall was named the 2001 International League MVP

Toby Hall, who was teammates with Pat Borders in Durham in 2000 and 2001, made his last stop in Durham in 2002, though only appearing in 22 games that season. Over his three seasons in a Bulls uniform Hall was dominant, hitting .304 in 2000, .335 in 2001 and .348 over his short stint in 2002. The California product’s best season came in 2001 though, when he was named International League MVP after hitting .335-19-72 in 94 games split between catcher and DH. Defensively he was solid as well, throwing out 28-of-82 runners attempting to steal over his three seasons (34%). At the major league level, he appeared in parts of seven seasons for Tampa Bay, before splitting the last two and a half years of his career between the Dodgers and the White Sox.

Career Numbers with Durham: .328-28-127, 93 runs in 163 games (2000-2002)

Major League Career: .262-46-269, 211 runs in 686 games (2000-2008)

John Jaso

Jaso Blog

John Jaso anchored the pitching staff of the 2009 Triple-A National Champions

John Jaso, the most recent Bulls player out of our three catcher finalists, made his Durham debut at the end of the 2008 season, before spending the entire 2009 campaign in the Bull City. That season, at just 25-years-old, the backstop hit .266-5-30 while catching 98 games for a pitching staff that boasted the fourth-best ERA in the International League (3.75) and captured the franchise’s lone Triple-A National Championship. In “The Show,” Jaso has been one of the more consistent catchers of the past five seasons, and returned to Tampa Bay this offseason via a trade with the Oakland Athletics.

Career Numbers with Durham: .271-10-60, 59 runs in 171 games (2008-2009, rehab in 2010 and 2011)

Major League Career: .259-32-182, 199 runs in 480 games (2008-2014)

Honorable Mention: Craig Albernaz, Kevin Cash

NEXT WEEK: FIRST BASE

All-DBAP Team Voting 101

AllDBAP-Team-Article

Wednesday, the Bulls unveiled plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Durham Bulls Athletic Park this season. An interactive feature for fans for the preseason is the All-DBAP team, which will be decided by fan voting. Below is all you need to know about the voting process.

  • Starting February 2nd and running through March 30th, each Monday the Bulls will post a group of finalists at a certain position on the team’s Facebook page. A full schedule of when each position will be posted can be found at the bottom of this page.
  • Accompanying each Facebook announcement on Monday will be a “Hit Bull Win Blog” post, making a case for each of the finalists.
  • Once posted to Facebook, fans can vote in the “Comments” section for who they feel is most deserving of a spot on the All-DBAP team at that position.
  • On Friday of each week, the Bulls will announce who the fans have selected via Facebook.
  • There will be just one Starting Pitcher and one Relief Pitcher selected.
  • Voting for the Outfield will take place during one week, as the Bulls will announce a larger group of finalists that week (with three winners) as to not show bias between left fielders, center fielders or right fielders.

All-DBAP Team Announcement Schedule

Week of February 2nd: Catcher

Week of February 9th: First Base

Week of February 16th: Second Base

Week of February 23: Third Base

Week of March 2nd: Shortstop

Week of March 9th: Outfield

Week of March 16th: Starting Pitcher

Week of March 23rd: Relief Pitcher

Week of March 30: Manager