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All-Time 25, Victory Field Era Roster: Nos. 17-14

February 11, 2021 - International League (IL) - Indianapolis Indians News Release


The illustrious history of the Indianapolis Indians features some of the best players to ever step on a baseball diamond over the past century. Now, as we approach the 25th anniversary of a beautiful ballpark in downtown Indianapolis, we've broken down the best players to step foot on the grass at Victory Field.

Our countdown began Jan. 29 with a lengthy list of honorable mentions and Nos. 25-22, and it continued Feb. 5 with the release of Nos. 21-18. The countdown continues this week with Nos. 17-14, all leading up to the announcement of the top player in the Victory Field era the week of March 9. Some you may remember because of their fan-favorite status in Indianapolis and others because of their future place in Cooperstown, but no matter how you remember them, they all made their mark on the game of baseball in the Circle City.

#17 - 1B Steve Pearce (2007-11)

In 2007, Steve Pearce skyrocketed through the minors, slashing .333/.394/.622 in 134 games between High-A Lynchburg, Double-A Altoona and Indianapolis to be named the 2007 MiLB.com Minor League Offensive Player of the Year and land himself on Pittsburgh's September roster. The next season he found himself in Indianapolis again and was the Team Slugger Award winner after hitting .251 with 12 home runs and 60 RBI.

Pearce jumped between the majors and minors for the five years he was in Pittsburgh's organization before entering free agency following the 2011 season. After stints with New York (AL), Baltimore, Houston, Tampa Bay and Toronto, he found himself with Boston in 2018. After playing in just 50 regular-season games for the Red Sox, he hit .333 with three home runs, eight RBI and a 1.667 OPS to be named the 2018 World Series MVP.

Indianapolis Stats & Accolades

256 games, .281 AVG (264-for-940), 132 R, 69 2B, 5 3B, 37 HR, 152 RBI, 25 SB, .835 OPS

2007 MiLB.com Minor League Offensive Player of the Year, 2007 Baseball America Minor League All-Star, 2008 Team Slugger Award

MLB Stats & Accolades

766 games, .254 AVG (572-for-2,256), 290 R, 131 2B, 8 3B, 91 HR, 303 RBI, 13 SB, .772 OPS

2018 World Series MVP, 2018 World Series Champion (Boston)

#16 - OF Nate McLouth (2005)

In one season with Indianapolis, Nate McLouth stunned at the plate and on the basepaths. His .299 average, 118 hits and 34 stolen bases were all team highs. His season started off hot and really took off in June, when he had a stretch of seven multi-hit games in 11 days. McLouth ended the month with a five-RBI game during a seven-game hitting streak that led to a call-up from Pittsburgh and his MLB debut.

McLouth's standout MLB season came in 2008, his lone All-Star and Gold Glove campaign. He hit .276 - the highest clip of his big-league career - and led the National League with 46 doubles to finish 27th in MVP voting. As his career lengthened, he stole fewer bases due to injury-shortened seasons but erupted in 2013 with a career-high 30 swiped bags to be named Baltimore's nominee for the MLBPAA Heart & Hustle Award.

Indianapolis Stats & Accolades

109 games, .299 AVG (118-for-394), 64 R, 20 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 39 RBI, 34 SB, .769 OPS

2005 International League midseason All-Star

MLB Stats & Accolades

1,045 games, .247 (803-for-3,257), 521 R, 191 2B, 19 3B, 101 HR, 333 RBI, 133 SB, .742 OPS

2008 National League All-Star, 2008 NL Gold Glove, 2013 Baltimore MLBPAA Heart & Hustle nominee

#15 - 1B Josh Bell (2015-16)

For how good Josh Bell was with Indianapolis, he was somehow even better in the 2015 Governors' Cup playoffs. Bell first reached Triple-A in August 2015 and hit .347 with 18 RBI and more walks (21) than strikeouts (15) in his first 35 games. Indianapolis moved onto the postseason, and Bell put the team on his back with a .379 average. His shining moment came in a win-or-go-home Game 4 of the Governors' Cup finals against Columbus when he went 4-for-4 with a home run and walk-off single to force a Game 5. He began his 2016 season as the fourth Indians player in the Victory Field era to hit for the cycle (April 22 at Louisville) and ended it with International mid and postseason All-Star honors.

Bell made his debut midway through the 2016 season and has since become a staple member of major league lineups. In 2017, he finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting after hitting .255 with 26 home runs and 90 RBI in his first full big-league season. He followed that success with a career-high .277 average and 37 home runs to earn a nod to both the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game in 2019.

Indianapolis Stats & Accolades

149 games, .306 AVG (166-for-542), 77 R, 30 2B, 7 3B, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 5 SB, .872 OPS

4/25/2016 International League Player of the Week, 2016 International League mid and postseason All-Star

MLB Stats & Accolades

552 games, .261 AVG (496-for-1,900), 283 R, 105 2B, 13 3B, 86 HR, 309 RBI, 4 SB, .814 OPS

2019 National League All-Star, 2019 MLB Home Run Derby participant, 2019 Pittsburgh MLBPAA Heart & Hustle Award nominee

#14 - 2B Josh Harrison (2011, 2013, 2015)

In his first of three Triple-A stints, Josh Harrison shined in Indianapolis en route to his debut in Pittsburgh. He opened the 2011 season in Indy after hitting .300 the year prior with Double-A Altoona, and through 62 games hit .310 with 22 extra-base hits and 23 RBI. He returned to Indianapolis in 2013 after a full year in the big leagues and excelled again, improving with a .317 clip and 38 extra-base hits in 64 games.

His best of 10 MLB seasons came following his second Triple-A stint. Harrison hit .315 with 38 doubles in 2014 to earn his first career All-Star bid while finishing ninth in MVP voting. He earned one more All-Star nomination in 2017 with Pittsburgh before signing with Detroit as a free agent two years later.

Indianapolis Stats & Accolades

131 games, 304 AVG (156-for-513), 44 2B, 7 3B, 9 HR, 57 RBI, 32 SB, .830 OPS

2013 International League midseason All-Star

MLB Stats & Accolades

911 games, .273 AVG (819-for-3,003), 163 2B, 28 3B, 56 HR, 291 RBI, 80 SB, .715 OPS

2014 and 2017 National League All-Star, 2014 Pittsburgh MLBPAA Heart & Hustle Award nominee (was MLB's overall winner)


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