The All-DBAP Team
After nine weeks of voting, the All-DBAP Team is complete. Here's the starting lineup of the best players to don a Bulls uniform at the iconic ballpark, decided by you, the fans:
CATCHER - Toby Hall
Hall, who was teammates with fellow catching finalist 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)
FIRST BASE - Chris Richard
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 different occasions. Richard is the franchise's all-time Triple-A leader in home runs (84), RBIs (299) and doubles (117). One of the most popular players on the Bulls' 2009 National Champion squad, Richard outdueled fellow finalist Dan Johnson in a tight vote at first base.
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)
SECOND BASE - Brooks Badeaux
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)
THIRD BASE - Evan Longoria
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 team, 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-present)
SHORTSTOP - Ben Zobrist
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. In 99 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, 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)
OUTFIELD - Jon Weber, Carl Crawford, and Justin Ruggiano
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)
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 he 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)
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)
STARTING PITCHER - J.D. Martin
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 International League 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)
RELIEF PITCHER - Lee Gardner
Lee Gardner, the franchise's all-time Triple-A leader in saves with 77, recorded 15 saves or more three times over his five seasons 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)
MANAGER - Charlie Montoyo
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