Baseball Lakewood LB In MLB Long Beach State

LB In MLB: Local Boys Ready For Second Half Of Season

There were only two players hit by a pitch in the American League 3-2 win over the National League at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and they were both Long Beach guys.

Jeff McNeil and Travis d’Arnaud continued the tradition of having Long Beach represented in the Major League All-Star game last week, and they’re just two of few players with Long Beach ties who are ready for the second half of the season.

McNeil shook off an injury in late June and the second baseman has helped the New York Mets take over the top spot in the National League East. The former Long Beach State Dirtbag is hitting .293 which ranks 29th in the league. He also has 35 RBI and a 2.1 WAR.

The Mets are ahead of the Atlanta Braves and d’Arnaud, who has been an anchor behind the plate again for Atlanta. The All-Star catcher and Lakewood High alum as 11 home runs and 39 RBI this season, both of which rank top 100 in the league. d’Arnaud missed a big chunk of games due to injury last year, and hopes he can stay in the lineup for Atlanta as they try to make the playoffs again and repeat as World Champions.

The Seattle Mariners went on a 14-game winning streak just before the All-Star break, and Lakewood High alum J.P. Crawford has been an integral part to the Mariners turnaround. The shortstop is hitting .263 and has a .974 fielding percentage. Crawford has five hits in the last five games, including a pair of doubles.

Wilson High alum and New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks has been a huge part of New York putting up the best record in the league. Hicks went 2-for-4 with an RBI on Sunday in Baltimore but was removed from the game due to hamstring cramping.

Fellow Wilson Bruins alum Chase De Jong has carved out a spot for himself in the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen. He hasn’t given up a run in his last four appearances. De Jong, who is playing in the Show with his fourth team in six years, has appeared in a career-high 21 games this season. He has a 2.06 ERA to go with 28 strikeouts in 35 innings.

Lakewood High and LBSU Dirtbags product Matt Duffy has been a great addition to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim clubhouse, but he’s currently working his way off the Injured List with back spasms.

It hasn’t been all good news for local boys this month. Former LBSU Dirtbag and Boston Red Sox outfielder Jarren Duran made the SportsCenter Top 10 highlight for the wrong reason. He lost a fly ball in the Fenway Park outfield and allowed the Toronto Blue Jays to hit an inside-the-park home run. Duran does have three hits, including a double and a triple, in his last three games.

Fellow former Dirtbag Garrett Hampson has turned his season around recently and went on a seven-game hitting streak that moved his batting average up almost 20 points. The speedy utility player has scored 23 runs in 48 appearances.


JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.