A few Major League Baseball players with ties to Long Beach will be participating in the postseason this week after a season full of drama for local boys in The Show.
Lakewood High alum Travis d’Arnaud also made the most of his 60 starts with the Atlanta Braves after missing a few months due to a hand injury. The catcher celebrated his two-year, $16 million contract extension in August with a two-run home run the day it was announced. Atlanta and d’Arnaud start the National League Divisional Series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday.
d’Arnaud isn’t the only local product to reach the postseason as third baseman Justin Turner returns to the playoffs with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Turner, who was born in Long Beach, had another solid season for the local team with a .278 batting average, 27 home runs and 87 RBIs. All of those marks rank in the top 55 in the league. The Dodgers started the postseason earlier this week with a wild card game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
LBSU product Evan Longoria is also back in the San Francisco Giants lineup for the postseason after recovering from mid-season injury. The veteran third baseman hit .261 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs in 81 games played. The Giants will face the winner of the Dodgers and Cardinals game this week in the NLDS.
Lakewood High alum J.P. Crawford had the best season of his young career with 160 games played at shortstop for the Seattle Mariners. Crawford, 26, hit .273 with 89 runs scored and 54 RBIs. His batting average ranks 45th in the American League. Crawford also had a great finish to the season as the Mariners fought for a playoff spot. In the last seven days of the season he had nine hits, four runs scored and three RBIs. Seattle missed the playoffs by two games.
Garrett Hampson’s ability to play multiple positions helped him stay in the Colorado Rockies lineup and put up solid numbers this season. The Dirtbags product played a career high 147 games at second base, center field, shortstop and third base. Hampson, 26, had a 0.7 WAR with a .234 batting average and team-high six triples.
A pair of Wilson High alums also made headlines this year as Chase De Jong got called back up with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Tommy Nance made his debut with the Chicago Cubs. De Jong, who needed season-ending surgery on this knee in July, made nine starts for the Pirates and struck out 39 batters in 43.2 innings. Nance kept his ERA under 2.00 through his first 15 appearances out of the Cubs bullpen.
Matt Duffy returned to a MLB lineup after a string of injuries and the Lakewood High alum and former Dirtbags infielder made the most of his 97 games played with the Chicago Cubs. Duffy, 30, hit .287 with 45 runs scored and 30 RBIs for a 1.5 WAR. The utility fielder played games at third base, second base, short stop, left field and first base while only making five total fielding errors.
LBSU product Jeff McNeil had a roller coaster season with the New York Mets as he hit .249 with 35 RBIs and 48 runs scored in 120 games.
Veteran relief pitcher Bryan Shaw, 33, was signed to a minor league deal by the Cleveland Indians, made the roster in Spring Training and had a solid season in the bullpen. The former Dirtbags pitcher racked up 71 strikeouts while posting a 3.49 ERA.
LBSU product Nick Vincent also signed a minor league deal in the offseason and ended up pitching out of the bullpen for the Minnesota Twins for seven games. He posted a 0.71 ERA and picked up a win.