Eight years after graduating from Jesuit, Josh Bell is one of the most feared power hitters in baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Photo: Terry Foote)
The past few days illustrate Josh Bell’s emergence as one of the top sluggers in Major League Baseball.
Bell, the Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman and former Jesuit standout, was named to his first National League All-Star team on Sunday. He will be a reserve for the game on July 9 in Cleveland after narrowly missing out on the starting spot to Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves.
The night before, Bell will be one of eight competitors in the Home Run Derby, in which he’ll also participate for the first time.
He reaffirmed his worthiness for such an honor on Monday in Pittsburgh, when Bell clobbered three home runs in a game for the first time in his career during an 18-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. He also scored four runs and drove in seven in the game.
The 26-year-old switch hitter is among the league leaders in several statistical categories this season, his third full year in the big leagues. In 82 games, Bell is batting .308 with 25 homers and 77 runs batted in, to go with 29 doubles.
After a decorated career at Jesuit — during which he hit .548 with 13 home runs as a senior — the Pirates selected Bell in the second round of the 2011 MLB draft.