This date in Kernels alumni history – December 3, 2012 – Mike Napoli (Cedar Rapids Kernels – 2001-02) signs deal with the Boston Red Sox for three years and $39 million
Mike Napoli signed a three year $39 million free agent contract with the Boston Red Sox earlier today. Napoli made his first all-star game appearance in 2012 and has hit .259 with 146 HR and 380 RBI during his seven year MLB career playing for the Angels and Rangers. He had a career best year in 2011, hitting .320 with 30 HR, 75 RBI and a OPS of 1.046. Napoli is one of only two MLB catchers who have hit 20 or more HR each of the last five seasons (Brian McCann-ATL).
Mike Napoli was a member of the 2001 and 2002 Cedar Rapids Kernels teams. In 2001, the Kernels finished 60-77 under manager Tyrone Boykin. Napoli hit .232 with 5 HR and 18 RBI in 43 games for Cedar Rapids. In 2002, the Kernels posted a 81-58 mark under manager Todd Claus. The 2002 Kernels defeated Quad Cities before losing to Peoria in the semifinals of the Midwest League Playoffs. Napoli hit .251 with 10 HR, 19 doubles and had 50 RBI in 103 games for Cedar Rapids in 2002.