Durham Bulls blast way past Charlotte Knights in home opener
One Durham Bulls infielder batted .210 during his first month of the season. Another started the season in the opposite fashion, hitting at a .412 clip.
Both got the same news about their July travel plans on Thursday.
Shortstop Willy Adames and third baseman Patrick Leonard are among four Bulls players on the International League All-Star team, the league announced.
Adames and Leonard join catcher Mike Marjama and right-handed relief pitcher Andrew Kittredge on the team, which will play the Pacific Coast League All-Star team in the Triple-A All-Star game at Tacoma, Washington, July 12.
Bulls manager Jared Sandberg will also represent the team at the game. He was named to the International League’s coaching staff earlier this month.
Rated as the No. 1 player in the Tampa Bay Rays minor-league system, the 21-year-old Adames struggled through his first month at Triple-A. After batting .210 in April, he improved slightly to .245 in May. But in June, the multi-talented Adames has found his groove with a .372 batting average that lifted his season average to .278, with five home runs, through Wednesday’s game.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Adames previously was named to midseason all-star teams in the Single-A Florida State League in 2015 and the Double-A Southern League last season.
The 24-year-old Leonard was the Bulls top hitter in April when he batted .412 and was named the International League player of the month. He’s cooled off over the last few weeks but still maintained a .284 batting average in a team-high 72 games played. Leonard leads the Bulls with 40 RBIs and has hit six home runs.
The 27-year-old Marjama is an all-star for the first time in his career. Entering Thursday’s game at Indianapolis, Marjama led the first-place Bulls in batting average (.286). He also had five home runs and 31 RBIs. Defensively, Marjama had thrown out a league-best 51.7 percent of runners attempting to steal.
Kittredge, 27, is also a first-time all-star. In 45 1/3 innings for the Bulls, he’s pitched to an impressive 1.79 ERA with 46 strikeouts against just nine walks. A Spokane, Washington, native, he joined the Rays organization last November as part of a five-player deal with the Seattle Mariners.