The 2021 Durham Bulls squad earned another top honor on Wednesday, December 1, as Baseball America announced the Bulls as the 2021 Minor League Team of the Year. The recognition comes after the franchise was named Best Team of 2021 by MiLB.com last month.
“These guys, they just came to work every day, and they had one goal in mind every night, and that was to win,” said Bulls manager Brady Williams. “It was a very talented, young group and they had a knack to compete and wanted to win every night. Which was pretty special.”
The 2021 Bulls squad posted an 86-44 record, earning the third Triple-A National Championship in franchise history. In addition to posting a franchise-best .662 win percentage, Durham also won the Triple-A Final Stretch Tournament with a 9-1 mark over their final ten contests of the season. The team’s 263 run differential also tied for the highest among all minor league teams with their fellow Tampa Bay Rays affiliate, the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs.
Durham pitchers completed the 2021 season leading all minor league clubs in walks and hits per nine innings (1.10), in addition to ranking tied for the lowest batting average against (.212) and second in earned-run average (3.40) in that company. The pitching staff’s 1,326 strikeouts also paced all Triple-A squads. The Bulls excelled offensively as well, leading the Triple-A East League in doubles (262), while ranking second in runs scored (732) and slugging percentage (.456), in addition to third in home runs (183), total bases (1,949), stolen bases (142), and on-base plus slugging percentage (.798).
The talented roster featured several of the best prospects in baseball, including the consensus number one top prospect in the game, infielder Wander Franco, as well as infielder/outfielder Vidal Brujan, right-handed pitcher Shane Baz, and outfielder Josh Lowe. All made their Major League debuts with the Tampa Bay Rays over the course of the 2021 campaign.
The Bulls begin their Triple-A National title defense on the road in Nashville on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 before returning to the DBAP for a five-game series versus the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp starting on Tuesday, April 12. Game times and promotions for the 2022 season will be announced on a later date. For more information on full-season and mini plan packages, please call 919.956.BULL.
Thanks to DBBC’s Andrew Green for this Capcom story & photo.