The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T is a season-long promotion as part of the team’s 20th Season. The Top 20 Patriots were voted on by the fans and ranked by an expert panel of team officials, media, and long-time fans.
“It’s an honor. Coming to Somerset, I never expected to have the type of season I had last year or have the chance to meet the great people I did there,” said Vidal. “Playing for the Patriots made me love, respect and learn the game of baseball all over again. I’ll always remember my time there. Being in the Top 20 for the franchise is really nice because it shows that people value you and appreciate the job we did night in and night out.”
The San Juan, Puerto Rico native enjoyed a memorable 2016 campaign in which he finished second in the league in home runs (26) and hit .320 with 62 RBI despite only playing in 85 games. Vidal was later named to the End-of-the-Season Atlantic League All-Star team thanks to his strong year that garnered him serious Player of the Year attention.
In a 12-game stretch from August 5 to August 16, the second-year Patriot hit .340 with seven home runs, 18 RBI and 14 runs scored. Vidal also had two separate stretches over the season in which he scored a run in at least seven-straight games (July 24-31, August 9-17) and a 20-game on-base streak (August 4-24).
“It was one of my toughest years coming off injuries and dealing with rehab. It was difficult at the beginning, but I worked really hard to get back out on the field. I went out there to put up good at bats, play well and the results were there. It was a fun year once everything got going,” Vidal said of his career year last season.
Vidal began his time with the Somerset Patriots in 2015. That season, he hit .259 with 12 home runs and a team-high 63 RBI. Vidal also led the team in games played (124), at-bats (471) and hits (122) during the regular season. In the postseason, Vidal hit .297 with a home run and seven RBI en route to Somerset’s sixth Atlantic League Championship in franchise history.
For his career in Somerset, Vidal hit .283 with 38 home runs, 125 RBI and 45 doubles in 209 games over two years.
“David knew that winning and having fun doing it were the main goals here. He laid his heart and soul out there for us each and every game, but also knew how to keep it light and enjoyable,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “He’d have a quality at bat every time and his versatility was a vital part of our success. He has a strong passion and energy mixed with a desire to win. A lot of people will look at his offense, but I think his defensive skills in the infield and behind the plate were just as valuable and something that would translate real well at the Major League level if given the shot.”
Following his 2016 campaign, Vidal went on to win the MVP of the Caribbean World Series and signed with the Miami Marlins organization, where he is currently serving at the Double-A level.
The Top 20 Patriots presented by AT&T will be counted down each week throughout the 2017 season. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by RWJBarnabas Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey on Wednesday, July 12th. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.