Now that the Durham Bulls have been crowned Governors’ Cup Champions, its time to take a look at the top performers of the International League postseason. It was an exciting 10 days during the playoffs with so many outstanding performances. When it was all said and done, Jake Bauers is the CNY Baseball Player of the Playoffs. The 21-year old hit safely in all of the Durham Bulls playoff games and was 13-for-33 (.394), with seven runs scored, three doubles, a home run, and five driven in overall in the postseason.
The Tampa Bay Rays acquired Bauers in the trade that sent Wil Myers and others to San Diego back in December of 2014. The Padres drafted Bauers in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, and he is currently the Rays #5 prospect and #77 in the Top 100 according to MLBPipeline.com. Bauers played both first base (52 games) and outfield (74 games) this season. He has played mainly first base so far in his professional career, but does play both corner outfield spots giving Tampa more options.
In an embarrassment of riches, the Rays have plenty of outfielders making Bauers ascent to the majors a bit more difficult. Steven Souza Jr. and Corey Dickerson occupy the Rays corner outfield spots so breaking in there may be a bit difficult. Logan Morrison and Lucas Duda are both free agents at the end of the season so that could be where Bauers winds up if the Rays think he’s ready for the leap to the majors. In any event they have plenty of talent in their system so it will be interesting to see what they do.
Bauers played all of 2017 with the Durham Bulls and ended the season hitting .263 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI. He has a 12-game hitting streak going including the playoffs. When you’re hot, you’re hot. Jake is a player to keep your eye on as he continues to grow and learn the game.
There were several. One player, that if his team won it all could have taken the top spot. Donovan Solano of the Scranton/WB RailRiders had a very similar postseason to Bauers. Solano went 13-for-33 (like Bauers), with four runs, a double, and six RBI. Solano added five walks and only struck out four times the entire playoffs. His teammate Garrett Cooper did well but just didn’t get into as many games but still went 6-for-14 in his limited action. Another RailRider’s player that didn’t have the best average overall, but still had plenty of impact was Miguel Andujar. He had four doubles and a homer but drove in five for Scranton.
There were plenty of pitchers that turned some heads during the postseason. It wasn’t just the starters, but some of the unsung heroes out of the bullpen. Diego Castillo of the Durham Bulls, collected three saves in five innings of action. Castillo also allowed just one hit in his four appearances and struck out eight. Bulls Hunter Wood recorded two wins and a hold in his four appearances allowing one unearned run with four strikeouts. Ryan Yarbrough won both of his postseason starts for the Bulls and went 13 innings overall and ended up with an ERA of 1.38.
Scranton/WB’s Nick Rumbelow was outstanding in his four appearances for the RailRiders. Rumbelow collected two saves in 5.1 innings with nine strikeouts.
Don’t forget about the Triple-A National Championship Game scheduled for Tuesday night. Durham will play the winner of the Pacific Coast League with the game being played this year in Scranton/WB.
***Feature Photo from @JakeBauers11 on Twitter***