A month has passed since the last review of Gators around the majors, but there is still a strong UF presence in Major League Baseball. Now that the league has reached the All-Star break, let’s look at how some former Gators are doing at the halfway point.
The brightest star of the bunch is New York Mets rookie first baseman Pete Alonso. Alonso currently holds a .280 batting average, an OBP of .372 and 68 RBIs. Of his 91 career hits, 30 of them are home runs.
To add to his impressive stat line, Alonso made the MLB All-Star Game - the only Gator to do so - and won the All-Star Game Home Run Derby. Alonso went 1-2 with 2 RBIs in the National League’s 4-3 loss to the American League.
He is undoubtedly the front-runner for NL Rookie of the Year, as he leads all rookies in every major offensive statistical category.
Former Gator and current St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader is another player getting everyday playing time in the majors. Bader, who has played in 73 games so far this season, has a .205 BA, .316 OBP and 19 RBIs.
He’s also added six round-trippers to his stat line this year. Although his batting average needs improvement, Bader has been a solid contributor to the Cardinals and looks to remain on their roster in the future.
Heading to the rubber, Anthony DeSclafani is putting together a solid season for the Cincinnati Reds. DeSclafani has appeared in 17 games this season - all starts - and has registered a 4.26 ERA. The Reds right hander has a 5-4 record in nine decisions this year.
Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino has also added to the Gators presence in 2019. Zunino is having a down year at the plate, hitting .182 with a .236 OBP and 19 RBIs. However, Zunino’s commanding presence at the backstop has helped him receive a fair amount of playing time this season.
While those players are the only everyday players in the majors, there are a few former UF players who have contributed on MLB rosters this year.
Baltimore Orioles shortstop Richie Martin has been an effective backup this season. He has appeared in 69 games with the club and holds a .166 batting average and a .226 OBP. He has four home runs and nine RBIs heading into the second half of the year.
Pitcher Shaun Anderson has started 10 games for the San Francisco Giants in 2019. He has a 3-2 record in five decisions and a 4.23 ERA.
Bullpen arms Justin Shafer of the Toronto Blue Jays and Brian Johnson of the Boston Red Sox have also registered time in the league this year.
Braves right-handed reliever Darren O’Day has been on the injured list all season. He has had a successful 11-year career that included an All-Star appearance in 2015.
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