By Suzy Iarusso ~
With the 2012 baseball season hitting the mid-way point, the Ledger takes its annual look at how the Jewish boys of summer are faring on the field this year. (Statistics are as of July 15)
RYAN JOSEPH BRAUN
In 2011, Braun won his fourth consecutive Silver Slugger award and the National League MVP. Braun is the fourth Jewish player to win the MLB award and the first in almost 50 years. In 2012, he made the All-Star team for his fifth consecutive year. In December 2011, ESPN reported that an Oct. 2011 urine test on Braun came back positive for elevated levels of testosterone that could have been caused by a performing-enhancing drug (PED). That could have resulted in a 50-game suspension for Braun, but he denied taking the drug and appealed the test to MLB. On Feb. 23, the MLB arbitration panel overturned the 50 game suspension. It was the first time an MLB player has had a PED suspension overturned.
In April 2012 Braun became the first player ever to hit 3 homeruns in Petco Park in San Diego, Calif.
CRAIG ANDREW BRESLOW
In Dec. 2011 Breslow was traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a multiplayer trade.
Breslow’s Strike 3 Foundation continues to host charity events and accepts donations to support pediatric cancer research.
ISAAC “IKE” BENJAMIN DAVIS
Davis missed the remainder of the 2011 season after sustaining an ankle injury on May 10, 2011. He has returned to being an everyday player in 2012. On June 18, he hit his first major league grand slam.
SCOTT WYNNE FELDMAN
In the 2011 post-season, Feldman pitched 10.1 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts and only four hits. Only eight other relief pitchers have pitched more post-season scoreless innings.
SAMUEL BASON FULD
Fuld has missed all of the 2012 season so far due to wrist surgery performed in early April. He is currently rehabbing at the AAA level.
IAN MICHAEL KINSLER
In 2011, Kinsler became a member of the 30-30 club (30 HR’s and 30 stolen bases in one season) for the second time in his major league career. He is only the twelfth player in major league history to have multiple 30-30 seasons. Through 2011 he was third on the Ranger’s all-time stolen base list but has since moved up to second in the 2012
season. In April 2012, Kinsler signed a 5-year contract extension with the Texas Rangers for $75 million.
JASON SCOTT MARQUIS
On July 30, 2011, Marquis was traded from the Washington Nationals to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Two weeks later in August 2011, he broke his fibula and was out for the remainder of the 2011 season. In Dec. 2011, he signed a one year contract with the Minnesota Twins. After getting off to a bad start in the 2012 season he was released by the team on May 26, and signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres on May 29.. After one minor league start at the AA level he was promoted to the major league team. On June 18, he recorded his one-thousandth career strikeout against Ian Kinsler.
MICHAEL FREDARICK SCHWIMER
Schwimer was drafted by the Phillies in 2008 in the 14th round from the University of Virginia. He made his major league debut on August 21, 2011 against the Washington Nationals.
DANIEL PAUL VALENCIA
Valencia finished the 2011 season by leading all major league third basemen in assists with 260. A slow start to the 2012 season has resulted in him being demoted in May to AAA. He is currently hitting .269 there with 7 HR’s and 34 RBI’s in 58 games.
KEVIN EDMUND YOUKILIS
The first half of the 2012 season for Kevin Youkilis was plagued with injuries and poor performance, which led to him being traded on June 24 to the Chicago White Sox. Since then he has hit .333 with 3 HR and 15 RBI for the White Sox. On July 9 he was named the AL Player of the Week.