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Bearcats in the Big Leagues: All-Star Break Check In

As Major League Baseball gets set for the All Star game, let’s take stock of the first few months of baseball from the perspective of former Bearcats.

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

As hard as it might be to believe, the MLB season has reached the All-Star break and before you know it, the trade deadline will be upon us and and the playoff race will begin in earnest. With that in mind, let’s revisit former Cincinnati Bearcats playing professional baseball.

Josh Harrison

Harrison is a two-time All-Star but he won’t be making a return this season. There are multiple reasons for that. Most notably, he remains on the 60-day injured list with an injury to his left leg but even when he’s been healthy, he’s only slashed .176/.219/.265. He can still salvage his season once he returns but that won’t be for some time.

Ian Happ

If you were hoping to hear that Happ has finally been promoted back to Chicago to play for the Cubs, I’m sorry to disappoint you. The former first round pick’s time with the Iowa Cubs has gone on longer than some might have expected this season and with how Happ has performed for much of the season, its difficult to blame the Cubs for keeping him in Triple-A. He is still hitting just .234 with an OPS of .772. However, he has made a run recently, batting .325 with eight walks compared to 11 strikeouts in his last 10 games. He has 13 home runs this season and his on-base percentage is pretty solid (.355) but his 100 strikeouts in 312 at-bats is still rather high. Hopefully the most recent stretch of play is an indication that he has turned a corner.

Connor Walsh

When last we checked in with Walsh, the right-handed reliever had recently been promoted to play for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. The jump in competition must have awoken something in him because he has been pretty solid in 18 appearances for the Knights, sporting a 2.63 ERA in 24 innings.

Ryan Atkinson

Atkinson’s promotion to Triple-A has not been as successful. After he allowed four earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning on Sunday for the Reno Aces, Atkinson’s ERA now sits at 10.80 in 19 outings (25 innings) with his new team. He has surrendered multiple runs in each of his last three appearances and despite having more strikeouts (28) than innings pitched, he is allowing too much contact (41 hits) and missing the strike zone too often (20 walks).

Ryan Noda

Noda has clearly taken a step back this season compared to 2018, with the most glaring drop in production appearing in his power numbers. After hitting 20 home runs in 403 at-bats for the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts last year, he has only six long balls in Single-A Advanced with the Dunedin Blue Jays. Despite adding 16 doubles and a triple to that home run total, Noda is slugging just .385 and batting just .231 overall.

Manny Rodriguez

Rodriguez is regressing at the plate recently. He has only seven hits in 35 at-bats over the most recent 10-game stretch (.200), which has dragged his overall batting average down to .251. As his contact rate slips, it makes his struggles with power become that much more apparent. He is slugging below .300 this season and has yet to homer for the St. Lucie Mets, although he does have more doubles (nine) than he did last year (eight), albeit with far more at-bats.

Cam Alldred

Alldred has flashed some real effectiveness with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Despite an ERA above 4.00, he has struck out almost exactly a batter per inning and only walked 14 in 37 23 innings pitched. His 4.80 ERA during the previous 10 appearances leaves something to be desired, but that hasn’t stopped him from consistently piling up strikeouts, with 15 in 15 innings during that stretch.

Connor McVey

With an OPS of just .676 and only eight extra-base hits in 193 at-bats, McVey has not had the best season to date. However, what he has lacked in terms of pop he is making up for to a degree with a patient approach at the plate. He has walked 42 times compared with 57 strikeouts and his on-base percentage remains at a very solid mark of .381. He still needs to get the bat on the ball more, however, with his .223 batting average only decreasing of late.

J.T. Perez

Perez has gone back and forth between the Elizabethton Twins and the Cedar Rapids Kernels this season, pitching twice for the Twins and three times for the Kernels. He has pitched 2 23 scoreless innings for the Twins in rookie ball and has a 5.79 ERA in 4 2/3 innings with the Kernels in Single-A.

A.J. Bumpass

The newest member of the Bearcats in the Big Leagues cast and one of the heroes of UC’s run to the NCAA Tournament this past spring, Bumpass is now making a go of it with the Greeneville Reds. It has not been the smoothest of starts, has he is slashing .188/.257/.344 in 32 at-bats across 11 games, but there is plenty of time for him to figure things out.