The 2013 Hickory Crawdads Fielded A Full Lineup Of Future Big Leaguers
Luis Marte’s stay with the Marlins was a brief one. He played one game against the Blue Jays on June 1 and then was designated for assignment by the Marlins two days later.
But Marte’s arrival in the majors means the 2013 Hickory Crawdads have managed to pull off a rare feat: they are a Class A club that can construct a legitimate lineup entirely of position players who went on to play in the major leagues.
We don’t mean that the Crawdads had nine players who went on to make the majors—that’s not common, but we do see that with minor league teams. They had players at each position around the diamond who went on to reach the majors, either for the long term, or briefly.
Several of the players ended up playing in the majors at other positions than what they played at Hickory, but on any given day in 2013, you could see a full lineup of future big leaguers.
C: Jorge Alfaro
Six MLB seasons, 322 MLB games.
1B: Ronald Guzman
Four MLB seasons, 243 MLB games
2B: Ryan Rua
Five MLB seasons, 279 MLB games
SS: Luis Marte
One MLB season, 1 MLB game
3B: Joey Gallo
Seven MLB seasons, 528 MLB games
LF: Nick Williams
Four MLB seasons, 294 MLB games
CF: Lewis Brinson
Five MLB seasons, 276 MLB games
RF: Nomar Mazara
Six MLB seasons, 609 MLB games
The Crawdads do not have a ninth position player who has made it to the major leagues to slot in at DH, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a ninth player who reached the pinnacle of professional sports. Outfielder Jordan Akins’ minor league baseball career ended with that 2013 Hickory team. He then opted to head to Central Florida to play football. After four seasons at UCF, he’s played for the Houston Texans in the National Football League for the past three seasons. As a tight end, he’s started 20 games and made 90 catches for 1,046 yards.
That’s nine position players who went on to reach the top level of professional sports on one Class A club. Playing in the same South Atlantic League, the 2013 Rome Braves had only one position player (Jose Peraza) who went on to play in the major leagues.
The Crawdads also saw pitchers Jose Leclerc, Keone Kela, Andrew Faulkner, Alex Claudio, Cody Ege, Carl Edwards Jr. and Connor Sadzeck reach the majors, but it's the lineup that makes this team stand out.
We wrote in 2013 that there were scouts who turned in all eight Hickory regulars as future big leaguers. They were right.