Part of the fun of following minor league baseball, and the Legends in particular, is to see what the players accomplish after moving on to higher levels. This week, Legends fans are saluting four former Legends who have earned significant honors.
Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez was named American League Player of the Week. He batted .444 (12-for-27) with three doubles, four homers, 11 RBI and six runs scored in seven games. He has hit safely in 13 consecutive games.
Legends' fans will recall J.D.'s great 2010 season, when he won the South Atlantic League batting championship with a .362 average and was named the League's Most Valuable Player. He also led the league in on-base percentage at .433 and slugging percentage at .598. At the time of his promotion to double-A Corpus Christi July 15, 2010, he was also leading the league in hits, doubles, extra-base hits, runs scored and total bases. He reached the majors with Houston in 2011, but was released by the Astros this spring and signed with Detroit.
Outfielder Bubba Starling, who was with the Legends last year, was named Player of the Week in the advanced-A Carolina League. Starling plays for the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Kansas City Royals organization. In the first four games after the All-Star Break, Starling hit .474 (9-for-19) with a home run, a triple, two doubles, five runs scored and four RBI.
Pitcher Christian Binford, a Legend in 2013, and outfielder Domingo Santana, who was with the Legends in 2011, have been named to play in the All-Star Futures game at Target Field in Minneapolis July 13. Binford is also at Wilmington; Santana is at triple-A Oklahoma City in the Houston system. He was acquired in 2011 from the Philadelphia organization as part of the trade that sent former Legend Hunter Pence from Houston to Philadelphia. The Futures game features top major league prospects and matches a roster of U.S. players against a World team. Binford will play for the U.S. team; Santana, a native of the Dominican Republic, is on the World team roster.
The current Legends are on the road at Hagerstown for games tonight (Wednesday) and Thursday and then will return home to begin a seven-game homestand Friday night.