Outfielder Takes Major Leap in Minors

Josh Bell is enjoying a successful season in the minor leagues. (Photo: Marty Morrow/Bradenton marauders)
Josh Bell is enjoying a successful season in the minor leagues. (Photo: Marty Morrow/Bradenton Marauders)

Josh Bell has re-started his minor-league baseball career quite nicely.

Bell, a former Jesuit standout, was chosen in the second round of the amateur draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, and generally is regarded as one of the organization’s top outfield prospects.

He is continuing to build on that potential this season while playing for the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates’ affiliate in the Class-A Florida State League.

Through mid-June, the right fielder led the team in almost every offensive category this season, including batting average, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, runs batted in.

His hot start earned Bell, a 21-year-old switch hitter, a spot in the FSL All-Star game on June 14 in Bradenton.

It was the second career All-Star appearance for Bell, who also was selected for the South Atlantic League game last season while playing for the West Virginia Power. There, he hit .279 with 13 homers and 76 RBIs in 119 games.

Bell continues to bounce back nicely after he suffered a serious knee injury while playing for West Virginia during his rookie year in April 2012, which caused him to have surgery and miss almost an entire season.

Bell hit .552 as a senior at Jesuit in 2011 and earned national accolades. He decided to forgo a college scholarship at Texas when the Pirates offered a $5 million signing bonus later that year. At the time, it was the largest signing bonus ever offered to a player drafted outside the first round.

This story appears in the July issue of Preston Hollow People, on stands now. 

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