Leading into what would have been Opening Day of the 2020 season for the Charlotte Knights (April 9), the team's VP of Communications, Tommy Viola, will unveil the Charlotte Knights All-Decade Team (2010-19). Check back each weekday to see who made the team.
UTILITY: DANNY MENDICK
Danny Mendick was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 22nd round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft out of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. The hard-working middle infielder made his way through the system and found himself in Uptown Charlotte in 2016 as a 22-year-old. Receiving his first taste of Triple-A Baseball, he appeared in two games with the Knights and had two at-bats in 2016. He enjoyed the experience and looked forward to the chance to be back in the Queen City one day.
Three years later, after making his way through Chicago’s system (Kannapolis, Winston-Salem, and Birmingham), Mendick was back in Uptown Charlotte in 2019. This time, the Rochester, NY native was ready to shine at his final stop before the majors.
Mendick appeared in a team-high 133 games with the Knights in 2019 and hit .279 (133-for-477) with 75 runs scored, 26 doubles, one triple, 17 home runs, 64 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases. He ranked second in the International League in games played, sixth in hits, tied for eighth in runs scored, tied for ninth in stolen bases, and fifth in walks (66).
He played 48 games at second base, 38 at third base, 42 at shortstop, and nine in the outfield.
PROMOTION TO CHICAGO
For his efforts, he was promoted to the Chicago White Sox on September 3 and finished the season with the team. He went on to hit .308 (12-for-39) with two home runs and four RBIs in 16 games with the South Siders.
Although he never played a full season with the Knights, Leury García appeared in a total of 187 games with the team over parts of five seasons. He played parts of three seasons in 2013 and 2015-16 and later returned on rehab appearances in 2017 and 2018. Overall, he played 37 games at second base, 71 games at shortstop, and 78 games in the outfield. He compiled a .304 batting average with 215 hits, 109 runs scored, 32 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs, 70 RBIs, and 51 stolen bases.
Brent Lillibridge played just 48 games with the Knights in 2010 -- his second year with the team after appearing in 67 with the team in 2009. In that limited time in 2010 -- before being recalled to the White Sox on June 1 -- Lillibridge hit .270 with 26 runs scored, eight doubles, four home runs, 16 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases. He played second base, shortstop, and outfield with the Knights that season.
Appearing in 94 games total with the Knights in 2010, Luis Rodriguez proved to be a solid contributor all across the diamond with the team. A native of San Carlos, VZ, Rodriguez played 31 games at second base, 10 at third base, and 44 games at shortstop that year and hit .293 (101-for-345) with 50 runs scored, 17 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs, and 56 RBIs. His 101 hits were third on the team, while his 16 home runs were tied for third and his 56 RBIs were second.
In 2013, Steve Tolleson put together a strong season with the Knights. Tolleson, who appeared in 116 games with the Knights that season, split his time between second base (37), third base (23), shortstop (33), and the outfield (23). He hit a team-best .288 (113-for-392) with 47 runs scored, 28 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 53 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases. He also represented the Knights at the 2013 Triple-A All-Star Game.
Matt Tuiasosopo played for the Knights over parts of two seasons from 2014-15 and hit compiled 136 hits, 93 runs scored, 31 doubles, one triple, 29 home runs and 84 RBIs over 166 total games. In 2015, he hit .18 of his 29 home runs, which were good for second on the team. He played first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field during the course of his time with Charlotte.
Eddy Alvarez, an Olympics silver medal-winner, spent parts of three seasons with the Knights from 2016-18. He played 101 of his 143 total games with the Knights in 2018. Over the course of the three seasons, Alvarez played a combination of second base and shortstop (and one game at third base) during his time with the Knights. In 147 games combined over those three seasons, Alvarez hit .252 (112-for-443) with 73 runs scored, 28 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 47 RBIs, and seven stolen bases.
Playing a mix of second base, shortstop, third base, and even the outfield, Jake Elmore was among the International League leaders in a number of categories during his solid 2018 season with the Knights. He hit a team-high .289 (95-for-329) with 47 runs scored, 18 doubles, one triple, one home run, 27 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases with the Knights in 101 games. Elmore’s .289 batting average ranked ninth in the IL, while his .397 on-base percentage ranked second and his 55 walks were sixth.
Ryan Goins hit .322 (88-for-273) with the Knights in 2019 and represented the team at the 2019 Triple-A All-Star Game. Overall, he had 88 hits, 47 runs scored, 23 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs, 48 RBIs, and three stolen bases in 83 games before he was promoted to the Chicago White Sox on July 17. At the time of his promotion, he was third in the International League in batting average and fourth in on-base percentage (.406). Goins played a mix of second base (56 games) and shortstop (28 games) a season ago.
Appearing in 49 of his 96 games at shortstop with the Knights in 2019, Alcides Escobar compiled a solid season with the team. The 32-year-old infielder hit .286 (105-for-367) with 52 runs scored, 28 doubles, 10 home runs and 70 RBIs. On June 21, 2019 -- in front of a sell-out crowd of 10,454 fans at BB&T Ballpark -- Escobar launched a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to propel the Knights to a thrilling 9-6 victory over the Louisville Bats.