SALT LAKE BEES
ChatGPT Ranks Best Salt Lake Bees Players Of All-Time
Apr 25, 2023, 7:08 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – With 28 years of history at the highest level of minor league baseball, Smith’s Ballpark has hosted several future major leaguers as the home of the Salt Lake Bees.
The Bees, Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels, opened their 29th season at the corner of 1300 South & West Temple in April 2023.
Great day of baseball. See you all tomorrow! 😊 pic.twitter.com/cLqb8uCm68
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) April 23, 2023
With that storied history in mind, KSL Sports leaned on the artificial intelligence model ChatGPT to come up with a list of the best Bees of all time.
RELATED: Bees Bullets: Previewing Salt Lake Vs. El Paso Chihuahuas
ChatGPT’s Salt Lake Bees Top Ten
Mike Trout – Outfielder
Now three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star Mike Trout opened the 2012 season by playing 20 games with the Bees. The would-be AL Rookie of the Year bashed ten extra-base hits, including an astonishing five triples, before getting the call-up to Los Angeles for good.
"I signed a contract here, and one of my goals is to win a World Series in Anaheim. That always pushes me."@Ken_Rosenthal sat down with @MikeTrout to talk about the Angels make-or-break season and Trout's relationship with Shohei Ohtani ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/cyh1Xfy3NE
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 25, 2023
Twelve seasons later and many consider Trout to be one of the greatest to ever play. With 355 home runs, 1,068 runs batted in, 909 RBI, 204 stolen bases, and a .303 career average to date, the only thing his resume lacks is playoff success. Trout is 1-for-12 in three career postseason games, all coming in 2014 against the Kansas City Royals.
Torii Hunter – Outfielder
Torii Hunter played 81 games across two seasons with Salt Lake before going on to become a five-time All-Star for the Minnesota Twins, Angels, and Detroit Tigers.
July 9, 2002: Torii Hunter (@toriihunter48) robs a home run from Barry Bonds at the All Star Game. pic.twitter.com/tsXqMZNSBL
— This Day In Sports Clips (@TDISportsClips) July 9, 2020
In 26 games during the 1998 season, Hunter hit four home runs and seven doubles with 20 RBI for the Bees. He played 55 more games in 2000 with Salt Lake, mashing 18 long balls, 17 doubles, and knocking in 61 runs. He has a .359 lifetime batting average in Triple-A.
Howie Kendrick – Second Baseman
Howie Kendrick had three different stints with the Bees, playing 104 total games in a Salt Lake uniform before becoming an everyday MLB player in 2010.
He went on to make one All-Star team (2011) and win a World Series in 2019 with the Washington Nationals. Across 15 MLB seasons, Kendrick played 1,621 games for four franchises. He retired with a .294 career batting average, 127 home runs, and 724 RBI.
Jared Walsh – First Baseman/Outfielder
Jared Walsh has been a mainstay in the Angels lineup for the past two seasons, making his first All-Star team in 2021. Before becoming an All-Star, Walsh saw action in 145 games with the Bees in 2018 and 2019. He hit 44 home runs and 43 doubles with Salt Lake. Walsh knocked in 123 runs in just under a season’s worth of at-bats for Salt Lake.
. @EricaLWeston caught up with Jared Walsh 🔊@Angels | #AngelsLive pic.twitter.com/yeydcIS8D5
— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) April 23, 2023
In 325 MLB games, Walsh has earned the Angels everyday first base job with a .250 batting average, 54 home runs, and 173 RBI. Walsh opened 2023 on the injured list.
Francisco Rodríguez – Closer
K-Rod, as he would come to be known, spent much of the 2002 season as Salt Lake’s top bullpen arm before getting the call to bolster the Angels roster late in the season. Los Angeles went on to defeat the San Francisco Giants in seven games to win the 2002 World Series. Rodriguez pitched in 11 games during that postseason with the Angels winning ten of them.
Rodríguez had a 2.57 ERA in 27 games with the Bees that season, saving six games.
He retired in 2017 after a 16-year career and six All-Star appearances.
Ervin Santana – Starting Pitcher
From the Dominican Republic to becoming a two-time All-Star, Ervin Santana made 11 starts for Salt Lake spanning three different seasons. In 2005, Santana started five games, finishing with a 2-1 record and 5.01 ERA.
Santana played for five teams and 16 seasons before retiring following the 2021 season. He finished with 151 wins, a 4.11 ERA, and 386 career starts.
C.J. Cron – First Baseman
C.J. Cron called Smith’s Ballpark home long before playing for the Bees, spending 2011 with the University of Utah baseball team. His play with the Utes helped make Cron the Angels first-round pick (17th overall) in 2011.
He would go on to play parts of four seasons with the Bees totaling 100 games. The powerful corner infielder hit 17 home runs and 31 doubles for Salt Lake.
CJ Cron now has three home runs in three games this season! pic.twitter.com/fYNH6I0Mky
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 2, 2023
In the final year of a three-year contract with the Colorado Rockies, Cron has 180 homers and 577 RBI in ten major league seasons.
Sean O’Sullivan – Starting Pitcher
The pride of Grossmont College, O’Sullivan was an underwhelming major league pitcher who spent parts of seven seasons in the big leagues. He finished his MLB career in 2016 with a 13-23 career record and 6.01 ERA.
In 28 starts with Salt Lake between 2009 and 2010, O’Sullivan amassed an 11-9 record and 106 strikeouts.
Mike Napoli – Catcher
2013 World Series winner with the Boston Red Sox, Napoli played in and lost World Series appearances with the Texas Rangers (2011) and Cleveland Indians (2016). Napoli was a notoriously streaky hitter but clubbed 267 home runs in 1,392 Major League appearances.
Mike Napoli hits bases clearing double in game 1 of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park. pic.twitter.com/LMsjjN8mno
— Thomas Carrieri (@Thomas_Carrieri) March 12, 2023
Napoli’s only season with the Bees came in 2006 when he played 21 games. He finished his Bees career with three homers, six doubles, and 10 RBI.
Mark Trumbo – Outfielder
Trumbo was a Salt Lake Bee for one season, playing 139 games in 2010. He raked that entire year, totaling 36 home runs, 29 doubles, and 122 RBI. He made his MLB debut late that season, getting 15 at-bats in eight games to close the year.
Trumbo began ten-year major league career in 2011 that saw him make one All-Star team (2012) while playing for four different teams. He retired after the 2019 season with 218 home runs and a .249 career average.
Salt Lake faces El Paso in a six-game series from April 25-April 30. First pitch Tuesday-Saturday is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. (MT) with a Sunday matinee set for 12:05 p.m. (MT).
Listen to ‘Voice of the Bees’ Steve Klauke on KSL Sports Zone. All Salt Lake Bees games are featured on the KSL Sports app. Purchase tickets to see the Bees play at slbees.com.
KSL Sports coverage of the Salt Lake Bees can be found here
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