Preview of Express Top 10
By Will Weinstock
In celebration of 12 years of baseball in Round Rock, the Express Tracks staff thought it would appropriate to come out with a series recounting the 10 best Express players of All-Time. We have not taken this series lightly and went to great lengths to maintain accuracy with our rankings.
First, we polled the Express staff and have talked with many people that have been around The Dell Diamond since 2000. Along with those perspectives, our staff delved into the statistics of the great Express players that have graced the field in Round Rock. When looking at the statistics we decided to give more weight to players that played during the Triple-A era from 2005 through present day, because of an increased difficulty in competition between Double-A and Triple-A. How a player has done in their MLB careers has no effect on our rankings.
These rankings are not an indication of the ten best individual seasons with the Express. But rather an identification of which players had the ten best careers while donning an Express jersey. Thus more weight was given to players that had multiple immense seasons with the team.
The series will begin tomorrow and run throughout the month of July, below is a schedule of when each article will be posted.
Although we could only pick ten players for our rankings, there were a few players that just missed out, but we felt still deserved some recognition.
2B Keith Ginter: Along with Morgan Ensberg and the number seven member of our Top 10, Ginter was part of the inaugural Express team in 2000. That summer became a special one for Ginter. In the bottom of the first on opening day at The Dell Diamond he hit the first home run in Express history. He would go on to win the league MVP award while leading the Express to the Texas League Championship. After his final game he was called up to the big leagues with the Astros. And in Ginter’s first major league hit he smashed a home run at Enron Field. In his lone season in Round Rock, Ginter hit 26 home runs and stole 24 bases with a .333 batting average.
OF Willy Taveras: The Dominican Republic native spent the 2004 season in Round Rock, in what would go on to be his best season in the minor leagues. Taveras hit .335 and had 14 assists from center field. The owner of 195-career major league stolen bases proved to be a speedster on the base paths. In his lone season in Round Rock, Taveras had 55 stolen bases in 66 attempts, and grounded into only two double plays all season. To put that in perspective only one player since 1968 has played at least 150 major league games in a season and not grounded into a double play.
1B Chad Tracy: The 27-year-old was a big part of the 2012 division champion team. Tracy spent most of the year hitting in the cleanup spot and was known for his ability to drive in runners. He was only a .169 hitter with the bases empty, but when runners were on base it was as if a light switch turned on in his head. With runners on Tracy became a .350 hitter, and had 18 of his 26 homers with men on base. Tracy would finish 2012 with a franchise record 109 RBI.
Top 10 Schedule:
Number 10: July 6
Number 9: July 7
Number 8: July 8
Number 7: July 9
Number 6: July 10
Number 5: July 11
Number 4: July 16
Number 3: July 17
Number 2: July 18
Number 1: July 19