2021 MLB Bulldogs Season Recap
ATHENS —- Georgia had three former Bulldogs in the Major League this season with shortstop Kyle Farmer (Cincinnati Reds), all-star first baseman Jared Walsh (Los Angeles Angels) and pitcher Alex Wood ( San Francisco Giants).
After proving his versatility in the Majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers and most recently with the Reds, Farmer secured the starting shortstop position this year. His defensive percentage of .988 ranked second among Major League Baseball shortstops with just five errors in 121 games. In fact, Farmer’s shortstop roster percentage matched the Reds great Barry Larkin’s career-best mark set in 2004.
Farmer has set career highs in games played, hits, doubles, triples, homers and RBIs. He hit .263 with 16 home runs and 63 RBIs. In addition to playing shortstop, Farmer spent time at first base, second base, third base and left field, appearing in 147 games, the most action of his five-year career in the Majors.
Farmer was playing on a one-year contract, and after the World Series he will be eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career.
Here are some memorable highlights from Farmer this season, who also became a first-time dad!
1st Grand Slam career
Memorable capture with history
Walsh, who was named to the All-Star Team this year, produced .277 with 29 homers and 98 RBIs in 144 games. He recorded a .995 defensive percentage in 128 games, including 119 starts. Walsh was third among the American League first basemen. Plus, he’s seen the action in 18 games in right field. In late May, the Angels released future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, making Walsh the everyday first baseman.
In the All-Star game, he made his first Major League appearance in left field and landed a slipped catch in the eighth inning that helped the American League maintain their lead in a 5-2 victory at Coors Field in the Colorado.
Walsh’s performance as an everyday player bodes well for his future. The Angels leaned on him with injuries to stars Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. It would have garnered even more national attention this year, but rightly it was overshadowed by the historic season produced by Shohei Ohtani, who was a modern take on Babe Ruth. Ohtani hit 0.257 with 46 homers, 100 RBIs, 26 stolen goals and a 9-2 record with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts. In 130.1 innings pitched, he recorded 156 strikeouts.
Due to Major League service time, Walsh is not eligible for arbitration until 2023 and is under team control until the 2025 season. Walsh made his MLB debut in May 2019.
Here are some memorable highlights from Walsh this season.
Grand Slam at Yankee Stadium
Wood made 26 starts for the Giants who posted the best record in the 2021 regular season at 107-54. He was 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA to help the Giants win their first NHL title in nine years. In 138.2 innings, Wood had 152 strikeouts and 39 walks.
In the National League Division series, Wood started Game 3 and provided 4.2 scoreless innings, facing one of the Los Angeles Dodger’s aces in Max Scherzer. Wood allowed just two hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a game the Giants won 1-0. It happened after San Francisco dropped out of Game 2 of the series. In fact, the Giants have improved to 13-1 in the games Wood has started after losing a game. In 21 playoff appearances, Wood now has a 3.11 ERA.
Overall, Wood pitched in the Majors for nine years and appeared in 214 games with 164 starts. He’s 63-48 with a 3.50 ERA. In 2017, he won all-star honors and finished 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA in 25 starts.
The Giants signed him last season on a one-year contract. After the World Series, Wood will be a free agent and likely land a multi-year contract.
Here are some memorable highlights from Wood this season.
7 rounds of a point in victory over St. Louis
NLDS Game 3 Start vs. Dodgers