Bell of the Ball…
Josh Bell has enjoyed hitting against the Charlotte Knights. A former Baltimore Orioles farmhand, Bell spent parts of the past three seasons with the Norfolk Tides and did some damage against the Knights. Now, the 26-year-old infielder could possibly see some time at Knights Stadium in 2013 — as a member of the Knights.
It was back on December 15, 2012, that Bell inked a contract with the Chicago White Sox. The deal included an invite to spring training, and Bell, along with 20 other non-roster invitees, will try to make the Sox out of camp.
Let’s take a look at Bell’s career, which includes parts of eight seasons in the Minors and parts of the past three seasons with the ‘Bigs:
Bell was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2005 draft. A native of Rockford, Illinois, Bell made his professional debut in 2005 with the Gulf Coast Dodgers and hit .318 (50-157) over 45 games. A year later, with Ogden, Bell broke-out with the bat — hitting .308 with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs in just 64 games.
He continued his climb through the Dodgers’ organization and spent the 2007 season with both Great Lakes (A) and Inland (A+). In a combined 128 games — his most as a professional, Bell hit .271 with 17 home runs and 71 RBIs.
Bell spent the entire 2008 season with Inland (A+) and hit .273 with six home runs and 21 RBIs. He moved up to Double-A Chattanooga the following year, but on July 30, 2009, Bell was traded to Baltimore (along with pitcher Steve Johnson) for reliever George Sherrill.
Despite the July trade, the 2009 season ended up very well for Bell. At the time of the deal, he was hitting .296 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs for Chattanooga. He continued to hit after the trade and his final 33 games in 2009 were spent in Bowie (AA), where he batted .289 with nine home runs and 24 RBIs.
Heading into the 2010 season, Bell was ranked by Baseball America as the 37th best prospect in baseball. In 81 games with Norfolk, he hit .278 with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs. Bell was a monster at the plate during eight games against the Knights that season. In 33 at-bats, Bell hit .333 (11-33) with five home runs and 12 RBIs. His solid play led to his Major League debut on July 1, 2010. He appeared in 53 games with the Orioles and hit .214 with three home runs.
The 2011 season saw Bell with both the Tides and Orioles and it proved to be his final full year in Baltimore’s organization. In 101 games, he hit 19 long balls with the Tides that season. He faced the Knights in 10 games (2011) and hit .281 (9-32) with two home runs and five RBIs.
Last season, Bell appeared in just nine games with the Tides — six of which were against the Knights. His only Tides’ home run and all three of his RBIs came against Charlotte that year. On April 21, 2012, the Orioles sent Bell to Arizona for a player to be named later.
After the trade, Bell went on to the Pacific Coast League with Reno. In his first 26 games with the Aces, Bell tore up the PCL. He hit .381 (37 for 97) with nine doubles, four home runs and 30 RBIs and earned a promotion to the Diamondbacks. In all, Bell appeared in 85 games for Reno in 2012 and hit .311 with 12 home runs and 75 RBIs for the entire season.
Now, Bell, will get a chance to show the White Sox his talents during spring training. In the meantime, you can view Bell’s career stats right here: Josh Bell – Baseball Reference.
Keep an eye out for more updates on Bell and the rest of the non-roster invitees over the next month and a half. Stay tuned!