You can take the California League out of Bakersfield, but you can’t take Bakersfield out of the California League – not entirely, anyway.
The Cal League’s All-Star Game was Tuesday night in Visalia, and among the participants is Lancaster outfielder Mylz Jones, a Cal State Bakersfield alumnus who’s in the Colorado Rockies organization.
Jones entered the All-Star Game in the 6th inning as a replacement for third baseman Jose Rojas. He was 1-2 with a double in the South’s 5-3 loss to the North.
Jones is hitting .308 and slugging .449 for Lancaster, which won the first-half title in the South Division (the North Division first-half title was won by Modesto, which as the Seattle Mariners affiliate has several of the same players as last year’s Bakersfield Blaze). Jones has hit 14 doubles, three triples and four home runs, and he has stolen 18 bases.
Late in the first half, Jones had a 12-game hitting streak that included six straight multi-hit games.
Corbin Burnes isn’t an all-star, but that’s likely only because he has split time at two levels this season.
Burnes, a Centennial graduate whom the Milwaukee Brewers drafted out of St. Mary’s last summer, proved to be too good for the Advanced Class A Carolina League.
He was 5-0 in 10 starts for the Carolina Mudcats, posting a 1.05 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.
The Brewers promoted Burnes, a 6-foot-3 right-hander, to the Class AA Biloxi (Miss.) Shuckers at the end of May, and in three starts there he has been just as effective: He’s 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 16-2/3 innings.
Other notable locals
Two other former CSUB players are finding success in the professional ranks.
Dustin Frailey, an outfielder for Advanced Class A Lakeland (Fla.) of the Florida State League, is hitting .355 in limited action. Frailey started the season in extended spring training and didn’t join Lakeland until May 4, and he missed two weeks because of injury later, but in 19 games he carries an on-base percentage of .474 for the Detroit Tigers affiliate.
Austin Davis, a left-handed reliever in the Philadelphia Phillies system, had a 2.01 ERA at Advanced Class A Clearwater (Fla.) before he was promoted to Class AA Reading (Pa.). There, Davis has a 1.77 ERA, with 29 strikeouts and just 3 walks in 20-1/3 innings pitched.
Train Robbers stay hot
A hot start has turned into a hot month for the Bakersfield Train Robbers, who were 19-6 in their inaugural Pecos League season entering Tuesday’s late home game against California City.
Bakersfield is percentage points ahead of Tucson (22-8) in the Pacific Division standings; the Saguaros have played five more games. The teams have a four-game series in Arizona from Thursday-Sunday.
Outfielder Jay Stout leads the Train Robbers with a .437 batting average, followed by second baseman Rupert Watson .385) and third baseman Nick Vehlewald (.375), a Bakersfield native. Austin Hoffman and Willie Ethington share the team lead with three home runs each. Stout also leads the team with 23 RBIs, 31 runs and seven stolen bases. Scot Hoffman is 4-1 with a 1.17 ERA in five starts and 34 strikeouts in 23 innings. D.J. Carr is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in three starts, and Garrett Alvarez is 3-1 with a 1.51 ERA in four starts and three relief appearances. Alvarez leads the team with 40 strikeouts and 35-2/3 innings pitched.