Salt Lake Bees 2023 Season Recap

The Salt Lake Bees completed their 29th season with a 70-79 overall record, finishing 6th out of 10 in the 2023-year end standings. The Bees were a dominant squad when at the friendly confines of Smith’s Ballpark, finishing the year with a 45-30 record, just a single win behind the franchise record of 46 home wins in a season.

Despite a losing record the Bees had plenty of individual accolades to celebrate during the 2023 campaign. A Pacific Coast League best three players were named to the 2023 Postseason All-Star team in infielders Trey Cabbage and Michael Stefanic along outfielder Jo Adell.

Cabbage became just the sixth player in the 120-year history of the Pacific Coast League to produce a 30-homer, 30-steal season. He joined Kyle Tucker (2019), Joc Pederson (2014), Frank Demaree (1934), Lefty O’Doul (1927) and Tony Lazzeri (1925) in the club and became the first member to represent the Bees franchise. Cabbage finished tied for the league lead in home runs and was in the top 10 in total bases, RBIs, stolen bases, slugging percentage and OPS.

Stefanic won not only the PCL batting title but also took the Minor League crown, posting a .365 average and lead the league in on-base percentage with a franchise record .463 mark. Stefanic also set a franchise record by reaching base in 62-consecutive games, taking a nine-game streak from the end of 2022 and then adding on the first 53 games of his 2023 season.

Adell was one of the most feared power hitters in the PCL in 2023, racking up 24 home runs in 74 games with Salt Lake. In April, he set a franchise record with a home run in six consecutive games and was named PCL Player of the Week. Adell’s power also provided one of the highlights of the Bees season when he hit a 514-foot home run, the longest homer ever tracked at any level of professional baseball during the Statcast era (2015-present).

Jordyn Adams was another standout performer for the Bees this season. Adams lead the league with 44 stolen bases and in the process broke the franchise record for steals in a season. Adams is the first player in franchise history to lead the PCL in swipes.

Manager Keith Johnson returned to the Bees dugout this season after serving as the Bees skipper from 2011-2014 and again from 2016-2018. In April, ‘KJ’ became the winningest manager in franchise history taking home his 472nd victory on April 6 and went on to become the first manager to eclipse the 500 win mark with the franchise on June 14.

In the broadcast booth the Bees celebrated the career for Steve Klauke throughout the season. Klauke has served as the radio broadcaster for the Bees since the franchise began in 1994 and retired from baseball broadcasting following the season. “The Voice of the Bees” finished his career with 29 seasons behind the microphone and with 4,181 games called.

Other celebrations at the ballpark this season included the first Salt Lake Occidentals tribute game, celebrating the historical All-Black team that represented Salt Lake City in the early 1900s. Go Gold Night in 2023 raised over $83,000 for pediatric cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Salt Lake packed the house for an Independence Day game, with 14,354 fans marking the largest crowd in Minor League Baseball on that date. Lastly the team celebrated the 30th anniversary of the locally filmed baseball classic “The Sandlot” by welcoming a cast reunion to Smith’s Ballpark during the game.

The Bees will celebrate the franchise’s 30th season during the 2024 campaign. The home opener at Smith’s Ballpark is on Tuesday, April 2 against the Tacoma Rainiers.

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