Jose Bautista and Bryce Harper lead six former NJCAA players into 2012 MLB All-Star Game
July 10, 2012
Tuesday’s 2012 MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City, Mo., will feature six former NJCAA student-athletes. Jose Bautista and Ian Kinsler will try to reclaim the Midsummer Classic crown for the American League, while Bryce Harper, David Freese, Craig Kimbrel and Bryan LaHair will shoot for a third-straight National League victory.
Former Chipola College (Fla.) right fielder Jose Bautista will be the only former NJCAA student-athlete to appear in Tuesday’s starting lineups. The Toronto Blue Jay will make his third-consecutive appearance in the All-Star Game after batting .244 with 65 RBIs. Tied with Rangers’ center fielder Josh Hamilton for the most home runs in the majors, Bautista has homered 27 times in 2012. Bautista also participated in Monday’s 2012 Home Run Derby, finishing in second place.
Washington Nationals’ rookie sensation Bryce Harper has been turning heads ever since making his major league-debut at the end of April. At the age of 19, the former College of Southern Nevada right fielder is the youngest position player in baseball history to be named to an All-Star team. Harper boasts a .282 batting average this season with 8 homers and 25 RBIs.
Joining Harper on the National League squad will be St. Louis Cardinals’ third baseman and 2011 World Series MVP David Freese. The former St. Louis Community College-Meramec (Mo.) star will participate in his first All-Star Game after compiling a .294 batting average and 51 RBIs through the first half of the season.
Craig Kimbrel (top right) has enjoyed a quick rise to the elite list of closers in baseball and the Atlanta Braves’ pitcher will continue that journey Tuesday with his second All-Star Game Appearance. A right-handed pitcher out of Wallace State Community College-Hanceville, Ala., Kimbrel has a 1.36 ERA in 2012 and leads the National League with 25 saves.
Hailing from Central Arizona College, Texas Rangers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler (right) will make his third appearance in the All-Star Game. Batting .279 this season, Kinsler leads the majors with 63 runs scored. Kinsler joins Bautista as the only former NJCAA student-athletes on the American League roster.
Also making his first All-Star game appearance will be Chicago Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair. A product of St. Petersburg College, LaHair has become a feel-good story across the league after spending nine seasons in the minors before becoming an everyday starter this season for the Cubs. LaHair has hit for a .286 average this season with 14 home runs and 30 RBIs.
Photos Courtesy of the Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Wallace State Community College-Hanceville Athletic Dept. and Central Arizona College Athletic Dept.