Baylor Big Leaguers (plus a few more Bears knocking at the door)
This week’s Major League Baseball All-Star game marks the unofficial midpoint of the baseball season, and for Baylor fans, there was plenty to cheer in the season’s first half. Major league debuts, starting spots, and elite power numbers were just a few of the highlights.
Four Bears have seen time in the big leagues already this year, and even more are waiting in the wings in Triple A, the highest level of minor league baseball.
Let’s start with the most familiar name: Max Muncy. The power-hitting Dodgers first baseman is tied for 11th in the majors in home runs, having already matched his total from last year with 21. At this pace, Muncy could become the first player in Baylor history to reach the 40-home run mark in a major league season.
Oakland A’s catcher Shea Langeliers reached the majors last year, and has settled into a starting job for the A’s this season. His 10 home runs are second-most on the team, and the former Baylor All-American is flashing the defense behind the plate that BU fans remember from his time wearing another green and gold uniform here in Waco from 2017-19.
Just up in the road in Arlington, Cody Bradford (BBA ’19) made his major league debut in May for his hometown team, the Texas Rangers — the 46th BU alum to reach the majors. Last week, the 2018 Big 12 Pitcher of the Year picked up his first big league victory with a win over the Washington Nationals.
After pitching for the Miami Marlins earlier this season, Daniel Castano (BBA ’17) is currently with their top minor league affiliate in Jacksonville. He’s one of four Bears currently playing at the Triple A level; others who could soon get the call to the big leagues include:
* Davis Wendzel, the 2019 Big 12 Player of the Year, is having an impressive season for the Rangers’ Triple A team in Round Rock; his 17 home runs are tied for fifth in the league.
* Nick Loftin, a first-round pick in the 2020 draft, is hitting .292 with 10 home runs in Omaha, the Kansas City Royals’ top affiliate.
* Josh Bissonette, a 31st-round pick in 2019, has beaten the odds in reaching Triple A; this season, he has appeared in 27 games and brought versatile defense to the Indianapolis Indians, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top minor league team.
At this rate, we may have to update this post on the best Bears in MLB history before long, as alumni continue to make us proud at the next level.
Sic ’em, MLB Bears!