After the success of the Team of the Decade, I decided to dig into it a bit more and take a look at the players. Here is the Team of the Decade according to a player basis. This team is made up of 11 different teams, across the entire 10-year span. There are 4 current MLB guys on the team as well as 2 triple crown winners.
Bryce Harper- Southern Nevada (2010)
I mean is there really any debate here? The current Phillie was the National Player of the Year in 2010 and for a good reason. In the 66 games that he played, he hit .443 with 23 doubles, 4 triples, a whopping 21 Home runs. Along with those crazy stats, he scored 98 runs while also driving in another 98 himself. He also was selected as the NJCAA National Player of the Year. That year he was drafted 1st overall by the Nationals and then made his major league debut in 2012. =
That year Southern Nevada finished in the National Semi-Finals in Grand Junction.
From Nick Garritano (Current CSN Coach)- ”He has come out many times. He has hit on the field with his pops. Sometimes at night under the lights and sometimes before practice. He is a great guy. He has thrown out first pitches for us, talked to the guys, etc. He has helped with our golf tourney fundraiser, played in the tourney and donated items for our live auctions. Great guy!!”
2010 Stats: 66 Games Played, 228 AB, 101 H, 23 Doubles, 4 Triples, 31 Homer Runs, 98 Runs, 98 RBI’s .443 Avg, .526 OBP, 20 Stolen Bases, .978 SLG, and a 1.504 OPS.
Willie Calhoun- Yavapia (2015)
Ok here’s another guy who really has no debate. In 2015, Willie as another power bat the people in the west needed to be careful of. He led the country in Home Runs with 31 which set the Yavapai record for a single season. He was selected as the ACCAC Player of the Year as well as being selected as a first-team All-American DH.
That year Yavapia made it to Grand Junction, but lost their first two games and were sent home.
After the season Willie was selected in the 4th round by the Dodgers. He was later traded to the Rangers as one of the prospects in the Yu Darvish trade in 2017. Later that season he made his MLB Debut and has played in 118 games since being called up.
2015 Stats: 63 Games, 227 AB, 98 Hits, 23 Doubles, 1 Triple, 31 Home Runs, 85 RBI, 83 Runs, .432 AVG, .520 OBP, .952 Slugging %, ad a 1.472 OPS
Tyler Collins- Howard (2011)
Now for those who know yes, I went to Howard, and Yes i was there during this time, and No I’m not being a homer picking him.
In 2011, Tyler was selected as the NJCAA Player of the year as well as a 1st time All-American. He finished the year with a .488 Average which was second in the country along with leading the country in Home Runs for the year with 19.
Unfortunately that year Howard fell just short of going to Grand Junction.
In June, He was selected in the 6th round by the Tigers. He made his major league debut in 2014 for the Tigers. He spent a mixed amount of time in his 4 years he was in the majors playing in 183 games over that span.
From Britt Smith “He was the most competitive player I coached at any level. When you combine his abilities with that type of competitive spirit you get the results like he had. He was a special kind of player for us.”
Some people might know him in his professional career for a slight lack judgment where he decided it would be a good idea to give the fans of Detroit a 1-finger salute in 2016
2011 Stats: 59 Games, 215 AB, 105 H, 34 Doubles, 4 Triples, 19 Home Runs, 82 RBI’s 87 Runs, .488 AVG, .561 OBP, .949 SLG, and a 1.51 OPS
Levi Meyer-Iowa Western (2011-2012)
Levi was one of the key pieces to Iowa Westerns Success during the first half of the Decade. Finishing 3rd in 2011 and then winning the National title in 2012. Over those two years, the Reivers played 131 games going 105-26. Levi played in 95 games (46 in 2011 and 49 in 2012). He was selected as a first-team all-American and all-tournament team in 2012.
In 2012 he hit .458 in 155 at-bats with 11 Doubles, 51 Runs and 62 RBI’s. He also was a stone wall behind the plate holding a .996 Fielding % in 239 attempts making just 1 error all season.
He continued his playing career at FAU. After his playing days were over he has bounced around the coaching world. He spent time at Allen County (NJCAA D1) and Central Missouri (NCAA D2). He currently is in his second year of coaching at Ottawa (NAIA) in Kansas where he serves as both the Asst. and as the Recruiting Coordinator.
2011-2012 Stats: 95 Games, 315 AB, 127 Hits, 23 Doubles,4 Triples, 19 Home Runs, a .403 Avg, a .437 OBP, a .683 Slg % and a 1.120 OPS.
Cael Baker- Wabash Valley (2019)
There is no recency bias when it comes to Cael. In 2019 he won the ultimate triple crown. That is not NJCAA D1 or even all the NJCAA institutions but out of all Junior College schools in 2019 Cael won the triple crown. He held a .506 Avg, with 25 Home Runs, and 101 RBI’s. This was the first triple crown since 2016 by Bailey Ware
He helped lead that team to a country best 55-4 record. They, unfortunately, fell just short of making it to Grand Junction falling to Iowa Western in their Regional Finals.
Cael received National Player of the Year by The NJCAA, us here at the JBB and Perfect Game.
He is currently playing at Ole Miss for this upcoming season.
From Rob Fornier “It was a true pleasure to watch Cael grow as a hitter, what was so special to watch was his advanced and disciplined approach, mixed in with some serious thunder in his bat!”
2019 seasons: 58 Games, 176 AB, 89 Hits, 21 Doubles, 25 Home Runs, 101 RBI’s, 17 Stolen Bases, .506 Avg, .596 OBP, 1.051 Slugging % and a 1.647 OPS.
Brylie Ware- Neosho (2016)
Another Triple Crown winner. This time coming by the way of Bailey. His thought was the first since 1985. In 2016 he hit .560, with 125 RBI’s and 29 Home Runs (Just 1 ahead of the guy who finished second).
Ware was selected as the National Player of the Year by the NJCAA as well as being a 1st Team All-American.
After playing his year at Neosho he went to continue playing at the University of Oklahoma. In those 3 years, he hit .311 in 171 games. He hit 42 Doubles, =3 Triples, 12 Home Runs and 107 RBI’s. He was the 41st Sooner to have over 100 Hits, RBIs and Runs Scored in his career. He was a Big 12 First Team DH in 2017, and Second Team in 2018.
He was selected in the 23rd round by the Cardinals in the 2019 MLB Draft.
From Steve Murry- “What he did as a True Freshman and coming from a small school was amazing. The other day he came to visit our guys and one of our guys said to him “Dude the numbers you put up were amazing and i couldn’t duplicate that kind of numbers on The Show!” Briley looked at him and said (not being cocky at all) “Man I know, I couldn’t either”
2016 Stats: 62 Games, 218 AB, 122 Hits, 29 Doubles, 4 Triples, 29 Home Runs, 125 RBI’s, 123 Runs, .560 Avg, .660 OBP, 1.128 SLG %, and a 1.788 OPS
Tim Anderson- East Central (MS) (2012-2013)
In 2013 Tim Broke out onto the scene. As only the second player on this list that has played 2 years at his given school. Between his two years, he raised his average over 100 points, almost double his amount of hits, double his amount of doubles and then had 10 more triples.
The Current White Sox Shortstop helped lead East Central to a 57-43 record over those two years. In 2013, however, he was selected as a 1st team All-American. That year he hit .495 with 45 RBI’s, 90 Hits, and 11 Triples.
At the end of that year, he was selected as the 17th overall pick by the White Sox. He made his MLB debut in 2016, and has played over 120 games each of the last 4 years (minus his rookie year where he played 99) and has averaged just over 130 games. Over those years he has hit .276 with 206 RBI’s, 64 Home Runs, and a .738 OPS.
2012-2013 Stats: 98 Games, 332 AB, 144 Hits, 25 Doubles, 12 Triples, 14 Home Runs, .433 Avg, .708 SLG, .497 OBP, 1.205 OPS, 71 SB
Cory Spangenberg-Indian Rivers State (2011)
2011 was a big year for this list. Cory transferred down south from Virginia Military after his freshman year to Indian Rivers and to say that it paid off might be an understatement.
1st he was selected as a 1st Team All-American, he hit .477 (which was 6th in the country) with 84 Hits, 11 doubles, and 50 runs being scored. 2nd he was selected 10th overall in the draft that year by the Padres.
He made his MLB Debut in 2014 and has played in 419 games since. He is currently with the Brewers and has a career average of .256 with a .704 OPS.
2011 Stats: 48 Games, 176 AB, 84 Hits, 11 Doubles, 3 Triples, 5 Home Runs, 50 Runs, 32 RBI’s, .477 Avg., .553 OBP, .659 SLG, a 1.212 OPS, and 33 Stolen Bases.
Jackson Rutledge- San Jac (2019)
Jackson was the highest-drafted Junior College Player since previously listed Tim Anderson at 17th overall in the 2019 Draft.
Jackson transferred to San Jac from Arkansas and came in with a bang. From the Fall he had scouts flocking to go see him and his impressive stature.
He earned National Pitcher of the Year by the NJCAA, us here at the JBB, and Perfect Game, As well as being a 1st Team All-American. He also was the first-ever Junior College Athlete to make an appearance at the Draft in New York.
From Korey Koehler “Jackson Rutledge worked as hard as any player that’s ever played at San Jac. Jackson had a vision, to be selected in the MLB Draft. His hard work and leadership assured that and more. Not only was he drafted, but he became a 1st rounder and set an all-time record for a signing bonus for an NJCAA pitcher. We will never replace Jackson Rutledge, he was one of a kind.”
2019 Stats: 13 Starts, 9-2, 82.2 IP, .87 ERA, 134 K’s 14.59 K/9, .148 BA Against
Brock Begue-Cuyahoga (2018-2019)
To say that a pitcher could be almost perfect for 2 years might sound a bit of a reach. But Brock might have come as close as you can to do it.
Over the last two years, he has lost just 2 games in 26 starts. He was selected as an All-American both years. In 2018 he was a 3rd Team by the NJCAA and in 2019 was a 2nd team by the NJCAA and a 1st team by us here at the JBB.
In the 2019 Draft, he was selected in the 11th Round by the Brewers and chose to sign.
2018-2019 Stats: 21-2, 136.2 IP, 224 K’s, 28 ER, 1.85 ERA, 14.8 K/9
Brady Shaneul-Parkland (2016-2017)
Rounding out the list is another pitcher who spent both years at their school. Brady was a 2-time All American for Parkland.
In his freshman year in 2016, he was selected as a 2nd team all-American by the NJCAA and his sophomore year he was selected as a 1st team all-American.
Over those 2 years, he racked up over 260 strikeouts in over 160 innings of work.
After his time at Parkland, he moved on to Iowa.
Brady was drafted every year he was in college In 2016 he was drafted in the 36th round by the A’s. In 2017 he was drafted by the Phillies in the 20th round. And finally out of Iowa he was drafted in the 27th round by the Brewers.
He took the Brewers offer in 2018 and has been in the minors since.
2016-2017 Stats: 28 Starts, 20-4, 164 IP, 261 K’s, 1.98 ERA, 14.5 K/9