Wednesday, September 22, 2021

What a Great Year for Durham Bulls Baseball

 Well, the Durham Bulls wrapped up the season at the best team in Triple-A Baseball. With 77 wins against just 43 losses, their record could not be beaten. And, just to show how good the team was [geek alert!], if you run a Pythagorean Expectation against their numbers, they should/could have been even better! 82-38. 

As hitters, their team OPS was .810, the best in the Triple-A East. Their team ERA was 3.38, just a couple of points behind Buffalo. Their pitchers held opponents to a .217 average, also the best in the league.

They like to run — 133 stolen bases. They hit hard, 175 home runs. Decent plate discipline: 1101 strikeouts, 11th in league, 489 walks, 4th. 

But you've got to keep coming back to scoring runs. They scored 34 more runs than the #2 team in the league (Toledo Mud Hens).

Some of my favorite players this year were (see this link for details):

Estaban Quiroz, who ended up with the team-leading OPS of .962 in 239 plate appearances. Nevertheless, he didn't get the playing time of some of the prospects such as Taylor Walls and Wander Franco.

Josh Lowe and Dalton Kelly were the reliable power hitters. Lowe got his callup. Kelly did not ... yet.

Have to say that I just liked watching Ryan Boldt, Vidal Brujan, and Miles Mastrobuoni play baseball. 

I always keep an eye on catchers. Brett Sullivan and Rene Pinto did just fine.

Gotta admit that being an extended bullpen for the Tampa Bay Rays makes it hard to keep track of pitchers. Suffice to say that 49 (!!!) different players wore a Bulls uniform on the mound this year. Ranging from Brent Honeywell with 76⅔ innings to Matt Wisler's 1 inning. Most years I do a better job of tracking these guys. This year I did not. 

The Bulls come to town tonight for this very odd 5-game "extension" against the Gwinnett Strippers, I team I wish we played a lot more this year. They and Jacksonville played some good games against the Bulls this year.

Oh,  Wander Franco is back in town on a rehab assignment.

Great year Bulls. Looking forward to 2022!

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