By Dan Mangiapane
The 2018 MLB season has reached its annual All Star break and six former UConn baseball players have seen playing time so far at the major league level.
Center Fielder George Springer - Houston Astros
George Springer, the 2017 World Series MVP, has been the leadoff hitter for the first-place place Houston Astros. He was named to the American League All Star team for the second straight season despite batting .249 with 15 home runs and 46 runs batted in. His numbers have been down as of late thanks to a tough June that has transitioned into July. In June, he hit just .190 with four home runs.
Shortstop Nick Ahmed - Arizona Diamondbacks
Nick Ahmed has been the primary shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has already hit 12 home runs, a career high. There have been rumors of Baltimore Orioles superstar Manny Machado being shipped to Arizona to help at shortstop as Ahmed is hitting .230 with a .286 on-base percentage. Despite a weaker bat, he is known as an above average defender.
Relief Pitcher Matt Barnes - Boston Red Sox
Matt Barnes has been a vital part of the Boston Red Sox bullpen. He has thrown 42 innings with an ERA of 2.36. His WHIP (Walks and hits per innings pitched) is slightly above 1.00 and has only allowed one home run while striking out 13 batters per nine innings. He has primarily been used in the sevenths and eighth innings when the team has the lead.
Relief Pitcher Scott Oberg - Colorado Rockies
Scott Oberg hasn’t pitched much this season due to a back injury suffered in June. In 27 innings, Oberg has an ERA just under 3 and a WHIP a touch above 1. He struggles against lefties as they have a .400 OBP against him, but is stellar against righties who have an OBP of only .227.
In addition, dating back to May 29, Oberg has allowed just two runs over his last 15 outings while taking the win in three of his last five appearances (h/t Kyle Huson)
Outfielder John Andreoli - Seattle Mariners
John Andreoli has spent most of his time in the minors this year, but he made his major league debut with the Seattle Mariners on May 23. He has one hit in five at-bats to go with a defensive web gem. Unless there is an injury, Andreoli likely won’t return until the rosters expand in September.
Outfielder Rajai Davis - Cleveland Indians
UConn Avery Point alumus Rajai Davis, a part time outfield player with the Cleveland Indians, can still run with the best of them. He is currently seventh in the American League with 16 stolen bases. Davis is primarily used as a late inning pinch runner or defensive replacement.