(Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman)
Yes, you heard right. Kevin Durant isn’t the only one moving from the Oklahoma Heartland to the West Coast.
There have been over 20 transactions since April 7th so far from the Los Angeles Dodgers to recall or select the contract of Oklahoma City Dodgers players. For some, it’s another trip back up to the big leagues and for others it’s their first time ever getting that call.
One of the recent Oklahoma City Dodgers players to get their first call to the big leagues and make the trip to the West Coast is Andrew Toles. Toles, a 5′ 10″ 185lb outfielder, was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. Toles spent two years bouncing around rookie and single-A level teams before he was released from the Tampa Bay Rays on March 30, 2015. Toles was now a free agent and was waiting for a call from some team to hopefully sign him.
On September 23, 2015, Toles signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His new contract certainly had to be breath of fresh air and exciting new opportunity. And he made the most of it.
Toles started his 2016 season with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in Single A batting .370, .414 OBP, .500 SLG, .914 OPS with 34 hits, 22 runs, 9 RBIs, and 9 stolen bases in 92 AB.
His next call up was to the Tulsa Drillers in Double A where he batted .314, .363 OBP, .514 SLG, .877 OPS with 55 hits, 27 runs, 22 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases in 175 ABs.
Down the turnpike he went to the Oklahoma City Dodgers where he batted .303, .333 OBP, .485 SLG, .818 OPS with 10 hits, 3 runs, 6 RBIs, and 1 stolen base.
All of this adding up to a minor league average of .330 BA, .370 OBP, .500 SLG, .870 OPS with 99 hits, 52 runs, 37 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases. Not too shabby shall we say.
On July 8th, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected the contract of Andrew Toles. So Toles got the call up, flew out to L.A., threw on his #60 jersey and was the starting center fielder in the 8th spot for the Dodgers against the San Diego Padres at Chevez Ravine.
Pretty stinkin’ sweet.
Not only did he get called up and started at center field, but on the first major league pitch he ever saw, he ripped a double into the left center gap for his first major league hit. (See video link)
Quite the comeback after being out the job for a couple months.
Just like Andrew Toles and many other Oklahoma City Dodgers, KD isn’t the only one taking their talents out west.