All-’Riders Team: Designated Hitter
2012 marks the RoughRiders’ 10th season as a franchise, all as the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate. Since 2003, there have been hundreds of talented players come through Dr Pepper Ballpark, but some have stood out more than others. With the help of Michael Damman, the RoughRiders’ Director of Statistical Research, we’ve come up with the All-’Riders Team: the best player at each position in franchise history. Today we continue with the RoughRiders all-time best designated hitter.
Drafted in the tenth round out of Gonzaga University in the 2002 draft by the Texas Rangers, Nate Gold put up some big numbers in the minor leagues throughout his professional career. After spending the 2003 season in Low-A Clinton, Gold hit .242 with 20 home runs in 2004 for High-A Stockton. Gold repeated High-A in 2005 and hit .272 and 21 home runs for the Bakersfield Blaze. He made his Double-A debut at the end of the season, playing in 23 games for Frisco. However, his big season was still on the horizon.
In his first full year with the Frisco RoughRiders in 2006, Nate Gold hit a franchise best 34 home runs and drove in 103 runs in 120 games. He hit .292 with a career best .958 OPS. On July 13, the Bountiful, Utah native went 4 for 6 with three home runs and six RBI. He also scored four runs in the game. It was one of three multi home run games during the season. Gold set a season best seven RBI on August 3 when he went 3 for 5 with two home runs.
After Frisco, Gold spent the next two seasons playing for the Oklahoma City Redhawks. After just 25 games in 2009, Gold was released by the Texas Rangers. He finished his professional career with 829 hits, 204 doubles, 148 home runs, and 607 RBI over eight seasons. He had five consecutive 20+ home runs seasons from 2004-2008. He drove in 100 or more runs twice and finished with 90+ RBI four times in total. He also hit 30+ doubles in three different seasons and finished with 50 or more extra base hits during six consecutive years from 2003-2008.
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