Trio of Drillers Named Double-A All-Stars
The 2021 Double-A Central All-Star Team was announced today, and Tulsa Drillers players accounted for 25 percent of the spots on the squad. Michael Busch was named the All-Star second baseman, Miguel Vargas was the team's third baseman and Ryan Noda was selected as the squad's designated hitter. The Drillers matched league champion Northwest Arkansas for the most players on the team.
Busch played in 107 games for the Drillers this season, hitting .267 with 27 doubles, 20 homers and 67 runs batted in. His 109 hits led the team and were the sixth most in the league, while his 48 extra-base hits tied for the league lead. Busch also led the league with 84 runs scored, 10 more than any other Double-A Central player. Defensively, he committed just 8 errors on the season.
Noda led all Double-A Central hitters with 29 home runs while also topping the league with 74 walks. He narrowly missed on leading the league with 78 runs batted in, falling three behind Stone Garrett when the Amarillo outfielder hit a three-run homer in his final at-bat of the season. Noda was third in Double-A Central with 200 total bases and fourth with 73 runs scored.
Vargas did not join the Drillers until June 6 after opening the season with High-A Great Lakes, but he adjusted immediately to the higher level of play. In 83 games with Tulsa, the native of Cuba hit .321 to win the Double-A Central batting title, joining Matt Beaty (2017) as the only two Drillers to ever win batting crowns.
Vargas also provided power to the Tulsa lineup, finishing with 16 doubles and 16 home runs while totaling 60 runs batted in. His 105 hits were the second most on the team and the ninth best in the league.
Northwest Arkansas catcher MJ Melendez was named the league's Most Valuable Player, and Frisco right-hander Cole Win was named the Pitcher of the Year.
Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. spent the first 2 1/2 months of the season with Northwest Arkansas and was picked as the league's Top MLB Prospect, while Wichita manager Ramon Borrego was named the league's Manager of the Year.
The complete Double-A Central All-Star Team is listed below.
2021 Double-A Central All-Star Team
Position - Player (Team)
1B - Nick Pratto (Northwest Arkansas)
2B - Michael Busch (Tulsa)
SS - Bobby Witt Jr. (Northwest Arkansas)
3B - Miguel Vargas (Tulsa)
C - MJ Melendez (Northwest Arkansas)
OF - Stone Garrett (Amarillo)
OF - Bubba Thompson (Frisco)
OF - Julio Rodriguez (Arkansas)
DH - Ryan Noda (Tulsa)
RH Starter - Cole Winn (Frisco)
LH Starter - Jared Koenig (Midland)
Reliever - Darin Gillies (Arkansas)
Manager of the Year - Ramon Borrego (Wichita)
MVP - MJ Melendez (Northwest Arkansas)
Pitcher of the Year - Cole Winn (Frisco)
Top MLB Prospect - Bobby Witt Jr. (Northwest Arkansas)
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