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Ranking The All-Time Top 30 Mudcats

Celebrating our 30th Anniversary season with a look at the Top 30 Mudcats of All-Time
March 24, 2020

The Carolina Mudcats are celebrating 30 years of baseball in Zebulon this year and now seems like a great time to revisit all of the all-time greats that have played at Five County Stadium over the years. To celebrate this year's 30th Anniversary Season the Mudcats have started an online

The Carolina Mudcats are celebrating 30 years of baseball in Zebulon this year and now seems like a great time to revisit all of the all-time greats that have played at Five County Stadium over the years.

To celebrate this year's 30th Anniversary Season the Mudcats have started an online bracket for fans to place their votes to determine the All-Time greatest player in team history.

So, who would you rank as the greatest player in Mudcats history? You can place your votes in our online bracket on twitter.com/CarolinaMudcats and follow along with the results on the new "The Greatest Mudcat of All-Time" page on CarolinaMudcats.com.

To start things off, Mudcats' broadcaster Greg Young (@GregYoungJr) has put together the following list of 30 former Mudcats with players ranked by career WAR (from baseball-reference.com) accumulated during each player’s time in Major League Baseball. (Exceptions were made for Travis Wood (2009 Mudcats), Mark Johnson (1992, 1993, 1994 Mudcats) and George Canale (1995 Mudcats) who had MLB career WAR totals of 7.1, 0.5 and 0.0 respectively. Those three each sit atop the Mudcats’ franchise record book in several categories. The list also excludes players who spent time with the Mudcats only as part of MLB rehab assignments.)

1. Miguel Cabrera

Career MLB WAR: 69.5
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2003
MLB Position(s): 1B, 3B, LF
MLB Career Accolades: 2x MVP, Triple Crown, 11x All-Star, 2003 World Series, 7x Silver Slugger, 4x Batting Title, 2x ML PoY

Miguel Cabrera, Major League Baseball’s Triple Crown Award winner in 2012 and two-time American League MVP, began the 2003 season with the Mudcats before quickly getting the call to the bigs later that same year. While with the Mudcats, Cabrera hit .365 with 10 home runs and 97 hits over 69 Southern League games. Cabrera began his thrilling, albeit short, run with the Mudcats by clubbing an Opening Night grand slam on April 3, 2003. He also put together a 15-game hit streak between April 22 and May 8, 2003. Cabrera would later be selected from Double-A Carolina on June 20, 2003 and went on to finish that same season batting .268 with 84 hits in 87 MLB games with the World Series Champion Marlins.

MLB Career Stats: .315 AVG, .392 OBP, .935 OPS, 8949 AB, 1429 R, 2815 H, 477 HR, 1694 RBI, 38 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .365 AVG, .429 OBP, 1.038 OPS, 69 AB, 46 R, 97 H, 10 HR, 59 RBI, 9 SB

2. Matt Holliday

Career MLB WAR: 44.4
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2002
MLB Position(s): LF
MLB Career Accolades: 7x All-Star, 2011 World Series, 4x Silver Slugger, Batting Title, NLCS MVP

Seven-time MLB All-Star Matt Holliday hit .276/.375/.391 and totaled a .766 OPS while leading the 2002 Mudcats in games (130), RBI (64), walks (67) and stolen bases (16). He put together an especially impressive stretch during July of that same season after going 3-for-3 with a homer and six RBI on July 14, 2002 vs. Birmingham and 4-for-4 with five runs scored on July 21, 2002 vs. Tennessee. Holliday’s five runs scored are still tied for the most runs in a single game by a Mudcat in recorded team history.

MLB Career Stats: .299 AVG, .379 OBP, .889 OPS, 7009 AB, 1157 R, 2096 H, 316 HR, 1220 RBI, 108 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .276 AVG, .375 OBP, .766 OPS, 463 AB, 79 R, 128 H, 10 HR, 64 RBI, 16 SB

Seven-time MLB All-Star Matt Holliday hit .276/.375/.391 and totaled a .766 OPS while leading the 2002 Mudcats in games (130), RBI (64), walks (67) and stolen bases (16). NIKOLAS

3. Adrian Gonzalez

Career MLB WAR: 43.6
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2003
MLB Position(s): 1B
MLB Career Accolades: 5x All-Star, 4x Gold Glove, 2x Silver Slugger

Adrian González, much like fellow 2003 Mudcats Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, had a brief run with Double-A Carolina in 2003 after playing in just 36 games before a mid-July trade to the Texas Rangers. González made his Mudcats debut in late-May and would go on to hit .307/.368/.409 with nine doubles and 16 RBI before the trade. Also like, Cabrera and Willis, González was not with the Mudcats when that 2003 team went on to win the Southern League title.

MLB Career Stats: .287 AVG, .358 OBP, .843 OPS, 7139 AB, 997 R, 2050 H, 317 HR, 1202 RBI, 6 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .307 AVG, .368 OBP, .777 OPS, 137 AB, 15 R, 42 H, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB

4. Jason Kendall

Career MLB WAR: 41.7
Season(s) with Mudcats: 1994, 1995
MLB Position(s): C
MLB Career Accolades: 3x All-Star

Jason Kendall first played for the Mudcats during the 1994 season and was teammates with that season’s Southern League MVP Mark Johnson. Kendall would then return to the Mudcats in 1995 and not only went back-to-back with Johnson in regard to earning Southern League MVP honors, he also helped lead the Mudcats to their first of two Southern League titles. Kendall led the Southern League in on-base (.414) and was second in batting (.326) during his tremendous 1995 season. In all, Kendall played in 117 games in 1995 and scored a team high 87 runs for a Mudcats team that won a club record 89 regular season games (95 including playoff victories). He also totaled 140 hits, 56 walks and just 22 strikeouts in what was his second season with the Mudcats. The then 21-year-old catcher helped lead the Mudcats to the first half championship that year and was named a Southern League All-Star. Kendall’s .326 batting average in 1995 is third-best in Mudcats’ franchise history. Additionally, he was the fourth ever Mudcats player to total five hits in a game after going 5-for-7 vs. Jacksonville on July 6, 1995.

MLB Career Stats: .288 AVG, .366 OBP, .744 OPS, 7627 AB, 1030 R, 2195 H, 75 HR, 744 RBI, 189 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .317 AVG, .391 OBP, .822 OPS, 467 AB, 93 R, 151 H, 8 HR, 77 RBI, 10 SB

Jason Kendall first played for the Mudcats during the 1994 season and was teammates with that season’s Southern League MVP Mark Johnson. Kendall would then return to the Mudcats in 1995 and not only went back-to-back with Johnson in regard to earning Southern League MVP honors, he also helped lead the Mudcats to their first of two Southern League titles.

5. Tim Wakefield

Career MLB WAR: 34.4
Season(s) with Mudcats: 1991, 1993
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star, 2x World Series

Tim Wakefield, one of the game’s all-time great knuckleball pitchers, pitched for the Mudcats during the club’s inaugural 1991 season and briefly in 1993. Wakefield pitched to a 2.90 ERA while going 15-8 with the Mudcats in 1991 in what was just his second professional season. He also ended up leading the Mudcats in ERA (2.90), WHIP (1.29), strikeouts (123), innings (183.0), starts (25) and wins (15) in 1991. He went straight to big leagues the following season in 1992 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but would later return to the Mudcats in 1993 to re-work his knuckleball. Upon his return, Wakefield pitched to a 6.99 ERA and .293 average against over nine games and was later released by the Pirates. He then signed with the Boston Red Sox in 1995 and went on to put together his legendary career. Wakefield’s 183.0 innings pitched in 1991 set a franchise record that still holds to this day. He also totaled eight complete games and totaled 15 wins in 1991 setting Carolina franchise records in both categories.

MLB Career Stats: 200-180, 4.41 ERA, 627 G, 463 GS, 22 SV, 3226.1 IP, 2156 SO, 1.35 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 18-13, 3.87 ERA, 35 G, 34 GS, 0 SV, 239.2 IP, 159 SO, 1.24 WHIP

6. Francisco Lindor

Career MLB WAR: 27.6
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2013
MLB Position(s): SS
MLB Career Accolades: 4x All-Star, 2x Gold Glove, 2x Silver Slugger, Platinum Glove

Francisco Lindor hit .306/.373/.410 with 100 hits including 19 doubles, six triples (tied for the team high), one home run, 27 RBI and a team high 20 stolen bases over 83 games with the Mudcats in 2013. The then 19-year-old Lindor was both a mid-season and post-season Carolina League All-Star for the Mudcats and represented the Cleveland Indians (Carolina’s affiliate at the time) in the 2013 Futures game. Lindor has since gone on to become a four-time American League All-Star with Cleveland since making his big league debut in June of 2015.

MLB Career Stats: .288 AVG, .347 OBP, .840 OPS, 2904 AB, 478 R, 835 H, 130 HR, 384 RBI, 93 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .306 AVG, .373 OBP, .783 OPS, 327 AB, 51 R, 100 H, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 20 SB

7. Aníbal Sánchez

Career MLB WAR: 27.2
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2006, 2008
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: 2019 World Series, ERA Title

Anibal Sanchez pitched for the Florida Marlins affiliated Mudcats in both the 2006 and 2008 seasons. His 2006 season was especially fantastic as he went 3-6 with a 3.15 ERA, two complete games, one shutout and 92 strikeouts over 15 starts and 85.2 innings for the Mudcats before earning a promotion to the Marlins and making his MLB debut on June 25, 2006 in New York against the Yankees. Sanchez went on to go 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 72 strikeouts over 18 games (17 starts) and 114.1 innings with the Marlins that season. He also threw a 103-pitch no-hitter to lead the Florida Marlins by the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dolphin Stadium on September 6, 2006. After completing the no-no, Sanchez became the first MLB rookie to throw a no-hitter since St. Louis’ Bud Smith achieved the feat in 2001. He later rehabbed with Carolina in 2008 and went 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA over two starts (13.0 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 12 SO).

MLB Career Stats: 108-108, 3.98 ERA, 339 G, 316 GS, 0 SV, 1895.1 IP, 1,683 SO, 1.30 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 4-6, 3.19 ERA, 17 G, 17 GS, 0 SV, 98.2 IP, 104 SO, 1.28 WHIP

8. Todd Frazier

Career MLB WAR: 24.5
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2009
MLB Position(s): 3B, 1B
MLB Career Accolades: 2x All-Star

Todd Frazier was a member of the 2009 Mudcats in what was Carolina’s first season as an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Frazier hit .290/.350/.481 with a .831 OPS over 119 games with Carolina that season before finishing the year in Triple-A. Frazier led the 2009 Mudcats in hits (131), doubles (40), batting (.290) and OPS (.831). His 40 doubles in 2009, meanwhile, are the second-most in a single season for a Mudcat in recorded team history. He also led the Southern League with 16 outfield assists in 2009 and was named to both the mid-season and post-season Southern League All-Star teams.

MLB Career Stats: .243 AVG, .320 OBP, .770 OPS, 4200 AB, 585 R, 1019 H, 214 HR, 624 RBI, 72 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .290 AVG, .350 OBP, .831 OPS, 451 AB, 59 R, 131 H, 14 HR, 68 RBI, 7 SB

9. Josh Johnson

Career MLB WAR: 24.3
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2005, 2007, 2008
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: 2x All-Star, ERA Title

Josh Johnson pitched to a 3.87 ERA and went 12-4 over 26 starts with the Mudcats during the 2005 season. Johnson also totaled a team high 113 strikeouts over a team high 139.2 innings pitched. He also led the 2005 Mudcats in wins (12), starts (26), hits allowed (139) and walks (50). Johnson closed his 2005 season with Carolina going 3-0 with a 2.83 ERA over six starts in August before getting the call to the big leagues in September. He later returned to pitch with the Mudcats in both 2007 and 2008 as part of rehab assignments.

MLB Career Stats: 58-45, 3.40 ERA, 170 G, 160 GS, 0 SV, 998.0 IP, 915 SO, 1.27 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 13-5, 3.67 ERA, 31 G, 31 GS, 0 SV, 169.0 IP, 136 SO, 1.34 WHIP

10. Jon Lieber

Career MLB WAR: 24.2
Season(s) with Mudcats: 1993, 1994
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star

Jon Lieber first pitched for the Mudcats during the 1993 season after being acquired via trade by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Kansas City Royals. He went on to go 4-2 with a 3.97 ERA over six starts with Carolina in 1993 before returning to the Mudcats in 1994 for three more starts where he went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA. Lieber was then promoted to the Pirates and made his Major League debut on May 15, 1994. In all, Lieber pitched to a 2.95 ERA while going 6-2 over nine starts and 55.0 innings (12 BB, 49 SO) over two seasons with the Mudcats.

MLB Career Stats: 131-124, 4.27 ERA, 401 G, 327 GS, 2 SV, 2198.0 IP, 1553 SO, 1.28 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 6-2, 2.95 ERA, 9 G, 9 GS, 0 SV, 55.0 IP, 49 SO, 1.16 WHIP

11. Bronson Arroyo

Career MLB WAR: 23.4
Season(s) with Mudcats: 1998
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star, 2004 World Series, Gold Glove

Bronson Arroyo totaled a team high nine wins while going 9-8 with a 5.46 ERA over 23 games and 22 starts with the 1998 Mudcats. Arroyo also totaled 51 walks and 90 strikeouts while accumulating 127.0 innings pitched during his lone Double-A season with Carolina.

MLB Career Stats: 148-137, 4.28 ERA, 419 G, 383 GS, 1 SV, 2435.2 IP, 1,571 SO, 1.30 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 9-8, 5.46 ERA, 23 G, 22 GS, 0 SV, 127.0 IP, 90 SO, 1.65 WHIP

12. Chone Figgins

Career MLB WAR: 22.0
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2001
MLB Position(s): 3B, CF, 2B
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star, 2002 World Series

Chone Figgins played in 86 games for the then-Colorado Rockies affiliated Mudcats during the 2001 season. All of that occurred, however, before a late season trade saw him move over to the Angels system. Before the trade, Figgins hit .220/.306/.310 with a .616 OPS, 14 doubles, five triples, two homers and 25 RBI with Carolina. He also totaled 27 stolen bases and scored 41 runs over his 86 games in a Mudcats uniform.

MLB Career Stats: .276 AVG, .349 OBP, .712 OPS, 4701 AB, 708 R, 1,298 H, 35 HR, 403 RBI, 341 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .220 AVG, .306 OBP, .616 OPS, 332 AB, 41 R, 73 H, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 27 SB

13. Dontrelle Willis

Career MLB WAR: 19.7
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2003
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: Rookie of the Year, 2x All-Star, 2003 World Series

Dontrelle Willis, like 2003 teammate Miguel Cabrera, started the 2003 season with the Mudcats before being rapidly promoted to the eventual World Series Champion Florida Marlins in May of that same season. The Oakland, California native made just six starts with the Mudcats before getting his call to the bigs and making his MLB debut on May 9, 2003. From there, Willis went on to become the National League’s Rookie of the Year and helped the Marlins win their second World Series title. While in Carolina, Willis struck out 32 batters in 36 innings for the Mudcats in 2003 and posted a 1.49 ERA over his six starts. The D-Train made his final start with the Mudcats on May 3, 2003 in Jacksonville where he struck out four and allowed two runs on three hits over 8.0 full innings pitched.

MLB Career Stats: 72-69, 4.17 ERA, 205 G, 202 GS, 0 SV, 1221.2 IP, 896 SO, 1.43 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 4-0, 1.49 ERA, 6 G, 6 GS, 0 SV, 36.1 IP, 32 SO, 0.91 WHIP

14. Josh Willingham

Career MLB WAR: 18.9
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008
MLB Position(s): LF
MLB Career Accolades: Silver Slugger

Josh Willingham played for the Mudcats in parts of four different seasons, but it was his 2004 year that stood out the most. Willingham hit .281/.449/.565 with a 1.014 OPS over 112 games with the Mudcats in 2004 and went on to finish that same year in the bigs after getting his first call to majors. Willingham owns the Mudcats franchise record for single season OPS after totaling a team best 1.014 OPS in 2004. He is also second on Carolina’s all-time list (recorded team history) in both on-base (.449), slugging (.565) and home runs (24). Overall, Willingham hit .280/.438/.547 with 29 home runs, 95 RBI and a .985 OPS over 144 total games with the Mudcats between 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008. Willingham also totaled three different multi-hit homer games after clubbing two home runs in games on June 6, 2003, April 9, 2004 and June 20, 2004.

MLB Career Stats: .253 AVG, .358 OBP, .823 OPS, 3912 AB, 564 R, 988 H, 195 HR, 632 RBI, 35 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .280 AVG, .438 OBP, .985 OPS, 439 AB, 102 R, 123 H, 29 HR, 95 RBI, 6 SB

15. Didi Gregorius

Career MLB WAR: 17.6
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2011
MLB Position(s): SS

Didi Gregorius played for the Mudcats during the club’s final season as a Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds in 2011. Gregorius arrived with the Mudcats after being promoted in late July from High-A Bakersfield. He went on to play in 38 games with the Mudcats that season and totaled 40 hits, including six doubles, three triples and two home runs. Overall, he hit .270/.312/.392 during his time with the Mudcats.

MLB Career Stats: .264 AVG, .313 OBP, .742 OPS, 3096 AB, 417 R, 816 H, 110 HR, 417 RBI, 30 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .270 AVG, .312 OBP, .704 OPS, 148 AB, 18 R, 40 H, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 3 SB

16. Jason Vargas

Career MLB WAR: 17.5
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2005
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star

Jason Vargas made a brief stop with the Mudcats before flying through the minors and reaching the big leagues with the then-Florida Marlins in 2005. Vargas started his 2005 campaign with Low-A Greensboro before moving on to High-A Jupiter and eventually Double-A Carolina in late June. He went on to make three starts with the Mudcats while going 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA and 25 strikeouts against seven walks over 19.0 innings pitched. Vargas also totaled 11 strikeouts in back-to-back starts on July 3 and July 8, 2005 and would earn himself a promotion straight from the Mudcats to the Majors while making his MLB debut on July 14, 2005.

MLB Career Stats: 99-99, 4.29 ERA, 298 G, 277 GS, 0 SV, 1643.0 IP, 1147 SO, 1.32 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 1-0, 2.84 ERA, 3 G, 3 GS, 0 SV, 19.0 IP, 25 SO, 1.05 WHIP

17. Juan Pierre

Career MLB WAR: 17.3
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2000
MLB Position(s): OF
MLB Career Accolades: 2003 World Series

Juan Pierre’s 2000 season with the Mudcats saw him win the Southern League batting title after leading the league with a .326 average over 107 games played. Pierre was also named the Southern League’s Best Hustler after totaling 46 stolen bases. Overall, Pierre hit .326/.376/.380 with 143 hits, 63 runs, 33 walks and a paltry 26 strikeouts before a late season promotion to Triple-A and the big leagues with the Marlins. Pierre is second on the Mudcats’ all-time single season records list for stolen bases thanks to his 46-steal season in 2000. Pierre was a Southern League All-Star in 2000 while with Carolina and became the seventh Mudcat to ever total five hits in a game while going 5-for-6 with a RBI single on May 29, 2000 in Jacksonville.

MLB Career Stats: .295 AVG, .343 OBP, .704 OPS, 7525 AB, 1075 R, 2217 H, 18 HR, 517 RBI, 614 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .326 AVG, .376 OBP, .757 OPS, 439 AB, 63 R, 143 H, 0 HR, 32 RBI, 46 SB

18. Yasmani Grandal

Career MLB WAR: 17.2
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2011
MLB Position(s): C, 1B
MLB Career Accolades: 2x All-Star

Yasmani Grandal played in just 45 games for the then Cincinnati Reds affiliated Mudcats in 2011. He began the year with High-A Bakersfield and played in 56 California League games before earning a mid-season promotion to Double-A Carolina. Grandal then spent most of the second half in the Southern League with the Mudcats and ended up batting .301/.360/.474 with 47 hits in 45 games. He also totaled 15 doubles, four home runs and 26 RBI in his time with the Mudcats before finishing the season with Triple-A Louisville. He combined to hit .305/.401/.500 with a .901 OPS in 2011 between all three levels.

MLB Career Stats: .241 AVG, .348 OBP, .794 OPS, 2793 AB, 374 R, 673 H, 141 HR, 416 RBI, 11 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .301 AVG, .360 OBP, .835 OPS, 156 AB, 20 R, 47 H, 4 HR, 26 RBI, 0 SB

19. Aaron Cook

Career MLB WAR: 15.6
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2002
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star

Aaron Cook pitched to a 1.42 ERA while going 7-2 over 14 Southern League starts with the Mudcats in 2002. Cook also totaled 58 strikeouts against 19 walks and a 0.97 WHIP over 95.0 innings pitched. Cook eventually earned a promotion to Triple-A that same season and would later make his MLB debut on August 10, 2002 with the Colorado Rockies.

MLB Career Stats: 76-79, 4.60 ERA, 256 G, 224 GS, 0 SV, 1406.1 IP, 578 SO, 1.47 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 7-2, 1.42 ERA, 14 G, 14 GS, 0 SV, 95.0 IP, 58 SO, 0.97 WHIP

20. Zack Cozart

Career MLB WAR: 15.1
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2009
MLB Position(s): SS, 3B
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star

Zack Cozart led the 2009 Mudcats in games (131), runs (72), walks (63) and on-base (.360). In all, Cozart slashed .262/.360/.398 with a .758 OPS, 10 home runs, 29 doubles and 59 RBI during what was an All-Star season with Carolina. Cozart also had a two-homer game on June 18, 2009 in Tennessee and led the Southern League in double plays (83) turned at shortstop.

MLB Career Stats: .247 AVG, .300 OBP, .699 OPS, 3088 AB, 408 R, 764 H, 87 HR, 305 RBI, 21 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .262 AVG, .360 OBP, .758 OPS, 462 AB, 72 R, 121 H, 10 HR, 59 RBI, 10 SB

21. Clint Barmes

Career MLB WAR: 14.9
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2002
MLB Position(s): SS, 2B

Clint Barmes played in 103 games with the 2002 Mudcats and hit .272/.329/.436 with a .765 OPS, a team best 15 homers, 23 doubles, 119 hits and 60 RBI. He was also a 2002 Southern League All-Star with Carolina and strung together a 17-game hitting streak between May 31, 2002 and June 21, 2002. Barmes also hit two grand slams that season with his first coming on May 31, 2002 vs. Chattanooga and the second on August 1, 2002 vs. Birmingham.

MLB Career Stats: .245 AVG, .294 OBP, .673 OPS, 3805 AB, 434 R, 932 H, 89 HR, 415 RBI, 43 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .272 AVG, .329 OBP, .765 OPS, 438 AB, 62 R, 119 H, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 15 SB

22. Cameron Maybin

Career MLB WAR: 14.1
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2008
MLB Position(s): CF
MLB Career Accolades: 2017 World Series

Cameron Maybin originally made his Major League debut in 2007 with the Detroit Tigers, but was traded by the Tigers to the Marlins in December and went on to play in 108 games with the Mudcats the following season in 2008. Coincidentally, Maybin was traded from the Tigers to the Marlins for two of Carolina’s all-time greatest players, Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. While with the Mudcats, Maybin slashed .277/.375/.456 with a .831 OPS, 15 doubles, a team best eight triples, 13 home runs, 49 RBI and 21 stolen bases. Maybin also tied a franchise record that season for runs in a game after scoring five times on August 31, 2008 vs. Tennessee. Maybin finished his time with the Mudcats with a tremendous playoff run as he hit .273/.368/.424 with nine hits, six runs, a home run and five RBI as the Mudcats reached and lost in the Southern League Championship Series three games to two versus Mississippi. Maybin finished that season in the big leagues with the Marlins and played in eight games before the 2008 year came to an end.

MLB Career Stats: .256 AVG, .324 OBP, .701 OPS, 3703 AB, 546 R, 949 H, 71 HR, 347 RBI, 183 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .277 AVG, .375 OBP, .831 OPS, 390 AB, 73 R, 108 H, 13 HR, 49 RBI, 21 SB

23. Kris Benson

Career MLB WAR: 12.9
Season(s) with Mudcats: 1997
MLB Position(s): P

The Pittsburgh Pirates made Kris Benson the first overall selection of the 1996 MLB Draft and the young right-hander out of Clemson was immediately touted as the top prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. Benson made his professional debut in 1997 and pitched in 10 games with the Carolina League’s Lynchburg Hillcats before joining the Double-A Mudcats later that same season. Benson started in 14 games with the Mudcats that year and went 3-5 with a 4.98 ERA. He also totaled 81 hits allowed, 32 walks and 66 strikeouts over 68.2 innings pitched. Benson totaled 10 strikeouts over 7.0 innings pitched on July 26, 1997 while with Carolina and earned Southern League Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of June 20 – June 26 that same year.

MLB Career Stats: 70-75, 4.42 ERA, 206 G, 200 GS, 0 SV, 1243.2 IP, 806 SO, 1.39 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 3-5, 5.01 ERA, 14 G, 14 GS, 0 SV, 68.2 IP, 66 SO, 1.66 WHIP

24. Mike Clevinger

Career MLB WAR: 12.2
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2014
MLB Position(s): P

Mike Clevinger pitched in five games and started four times for the Mudcats in 2014 and finished the year at 0-1 with a 4.79 ERA. He originally began the season in the Angels farm system and split the 2014 season with Low-A Burlington (Midwest League) and High-A Inland Empire (California League) before coming to the Mudcats and the Indians farm system as part of an early August trade.

MLB Career Stats: 41-21, 3.20 ERA, 97 G, 84 GS, 0 SV, 500.2 IP, 563 SO, 1.19 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 0-1, 4.90 ERA, 5 G, 4 GS, 0 SV, 20.2 IP, 15 SO, 1.53 WHIP

25. Elmer Dessens

Career MLB WAR: 11.8
Season(s) with Mudcats: 1995, 1996
MLB Position(s): P

Elmer Dessens became the first Mudcats pitcher to earn a league ERA title after going 15-8 with a Southern League best 2.49 ERA in 1995. Dessens also led the Southern League in wins with 15; tying him with Tim Wakefield for the Mudcats’ franchise record for most victories in a single season. In all, Dessens totaled 68 strikeouts and 21 walks over 152.0 innings pitched for the Southern League Champion Mudcats in 1995. Dessens also pitched for the Mudcats in 1996 and made his Major League debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 24, 1996.

MLB Career Stats: 52-64, 4.44 ERA, 441 G, 140 GS, 5 SV, 1174.1 IP, 693 SO, 1.40 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 15-9, 2.69 ERA, 32 G, 28 GS, 0 SV, 163.7 IP, 75 SO, 1.28 WHIP

26. Jason Jennings

Career MLB WAR: 11.2
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2000, 2001
MLB Position(s): P

Jason Jennings pitched for the Mudcats briefly in both 2000 and 2001 before pitching through a complete game shutout in his MLB debut with the Rockies on August 23, 2001 vs. the New York Mets (W, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 8 SO). Jennings went 1-3 with a 3.44 ERA, 11 walks and 33 strikeouts over 36.2 innings and six starts with Double-A Carolina in 2000. He then returned to the Mudcats in 2001 and pitched to a 2.88 ERA while going 2-0 over four starts. Jennings also totaled 24 strikeouts against eight walks over 25.0 innings pitched with the Mudcats before making his Major League debut later that same season.

MLB Career Stats: 62-74, 4.95 ERA, 225 G, 180 GS, 1 SV, 1128.1 IP, 749 SO, 1.56 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 3-3, 3.21 ERA, 10 G, 10 GS, 0 SV, 61.7 IP, 57 SO, 1.23 WHIP

27. Travis Wood

Career MLB WAR: 7.1
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2009
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star, 2016 World Series

Travis Wood’s 2009 season with the Mudcats was one of the greatest in team history as the left-hander earned Most Outstanding Pitcher honors after leading the Southern League in ERA (1.21), WHIP (0.97), average against (.189) and highest SO/9ip (7.79). In all, Wood went 9-3 that year with 37 walks and 103 strikeouts over 119.0 innings pitched during his All-Star season with the Mudcats that year. Additionally, his 1.21 ERA from that 2009 season is still a Mudcats’ franchise record and his 0.97 WHIP in 2009 is second all-time in team history.

MLB Career Stats: 47-59, 4.26 ERA, 298 G, 147 GS, 4 SV, 994.0 IP, 801 SO, 1.32 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 9-3, 1.21 ERA, 19 G, 19 GS, 0 SV, 119.0 IP, 103 SO, 0.97 WHIP

28. Danny Salazar

Career MLB WAR: 9.3
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2012
MLB Position(s): P
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star

Danny Salazar went 1-2 and pitched to a 2.68 ERA over 16 starts with the Mudcats in 2012. He also struck out 53 and walked 19 over 53.2 innings pitched before earning a promotion to Double-A Akron in August.

MLB Career Stats: 38-34, 3.82 ERA, 109 G, 105 GS, 0 SV, 591.1 IP, 688 SO, 1.27 WHIP
Mudcats Career Stats: 1-2, 2.68 ERA, 16 G, 16 GS, 0 SV, 53.2 IP, 53 SO, 1.22 WHIP

29. George Canale

Career MLB WAR: 0.0
Season(s) with Mudcats: 1995
MLB Position(s): 1B

George Canale had already spent three seasons of Major League Baseball with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1989, 1990 and 1991 before playing for the Mudcats in 1995. Canale (in what was his penultimate season of professional baseball) went on to lead the 1995 Southern League Champion Mudcats in doubles (30), triples (6), home runs (21), RBI (102) and slugging (.503). To this day, Canale’s 102 RBIs in 1995 remains a single season franchise record for the Mudcats. He actually set a number of firsts that season, including becoming the first and only Mudcat in recorded franchise history to total six hits in a game after going 6-for-9 with a double, two triples and 5 RBI in a 17-inning game vs. Port City on August 12, 1995. He was also the first Mudcat in recorded team history to hit three home runs in a game after clubbing a home run in the fifth, sixth (grand slam) and ninth on May 1, 1995 (6 RBI game). Canale also helped turn the first triple play in team history on June 21, 1995 vs. Greenville and sits atop the Mudcats record book in at-bats in a game with 9 on August 12, 1995.

MLB Career Stats: .164 AVG, .276 OBP, .659 OPS, 73 AB, 15 R, 12 H, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 0 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .287 AVG, .349 OBP, .852 OPS, 487 AB, 71 R, 140 H, 21 HR, 102 RBI, 1 SB

30. Mark Johnson

Career MLB WAR: 0.5
Season(s) with Mudcats: 1992, 1993, 1994
MLB Position(s): 1B, OF, PH

Mark Johnson was the first Mudcat to earn league Most Valuable Player honors after being named the Southern League’s MVP in 1994. That season was Johnson’s third as a member of the Mudcats as he also played for Carolina in 1992, 1993 and 1994. In 1993, Johnson led the Mudcats in games (125), triples (4) and walks (66) all while hitting .233/.344/.404 with a .747 OPS, 18 doubles, 14 home runs and 52 RBI. Johnson returned to Double-A Carolina in 1994 and led the Mudcats in runs (69), home runs (23), RBI (85), walks (67), on-base (.384) and OPS (.900). That 1994 MVP season for Johnson also saw him lead the Southern League in homers and intentional walks (11) and saw him put together a .276/.384/.515 slash line. Johnson’s 85 RBI in 1994 are the third-most for a Mudcats player in a single season in record team history.

MLB Career Stats: .232 AVG, .338 OBP, .739 OPS, 988 AB, 142 R, 229 H, 38 HR, 137 RBI, 12 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .247 AVG, .354 OBP, .772 OPS, 1170 AB, 157 R, 289 H, 44 HR, 182 RBI, 28 SB

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Tony Womack

Career MLB WAR: 2.4
Season(s) with Mudcats: 1993, 1995
MLB Position(s): 2B, SS, OF
MLB Career Accolades: 1x All-Star, 2001 World Series

Tony Womack spent parts of two seasons with the Mudcats after playing in 60 games with Carolina in 1993 and in 82 games with Carolina in 1995. Womack’s 1993 season saw him hit .304/.346/.348 with 21 stolen bases and 75 hits before a late season call to the big leagues. He went on to miss most of the 1994 season, but returned to Carolina in 1995 and slashed .256/.300/.316 with a .617 OPS, 85 hits, nine doubles, four triples and 27 stolen bases. He also helped lead that 1995 Mudcats team to its first of two Southern League titles. Womack was the first Mudcats player to have ever totaled five hits in a game after going 5-for-6 vs. Huntsville on July 16, 1993. Womack also put together one of the most important at bats in club history as his near nine and ½ minute at bat in the eighth inning of the Southern League title game in 1995 helped the Mudcats clinch their first Southern League championship. That at bat began with Carolina up a run in the eighth of the title game and resulted in a two-run triple for Womack. He also later scored in the same inning and the Mudcats would go on to win the series clinching game 11-7 versus Chattanooga.

MLB Career Stats: .273 AVG, .317 OBP, .673 OPS, 4963 AB, 739 R, 1353 H, 36 HR, 368 RBI, 363 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .276 AVG, .320 OBP, .650 OPS, 579 AB, 93 R, 160 H, 1 HR, 42 RBI, 48 SB

Dave Sappelt

Career MLB WAR: 0.3
Season(s) with Mudcats: 2010
MLB Position(s): OF, PH

Dave Sappelt set a Mudcats’ franchise record after hitting .361 over 89 games during the 2010 season. Sappelt also led the 2010 Mudcats in on-base (.416), slugging (.548), OPS (.964), triples (8) and RBI (62) that season. Sappelt began that 2010 season with High-A Lynchburg before a transfer to the Double-A Mudcats in late April. He later went on to finish the 2010 season with Triple-A Louisville.

MLB Career Stats: .251 AVG, .301 OBP, .644 OPS, 251 AB, 28 R, 63 H, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 4 SB
Mudcats Career Stats: .361 AVG, .416 OBP, .964 OPS, 330 AB, 53 R, 119 H, 9 HR, 62 RBI, 15 SB