Lake County Captains
Last year, Minor League Baseball implemented a season-long plan to help embrace and honor the Hispanic and Latinx players, fans, and culture which have helped grow the game of baseball at the professional level. A total of 33 teams participated in special games throughout the year, known as the “Copa de la Diversión”, wearing new and creative jerseys while taking on whole new monikers.
Proving once again that “MiLB is fun”, the initiative will return for the 2019 season, with the list of participating clubs expanding to 72 across the top five minor league levels. Minor League Baseball announced on Monday a schedule of 397 games over the course of the year, building on the success of themed efforts over the last two seasons. After four teams embraced the Hispanic fan bases of their areas in 2017 while enjoying great success in terms of fan attendance and fanfare, a 160-game schedule of special games was blended across the season’s slate for 2018. In addition to new team nicknames and jerseys (some inspired by their current names and colors, while others were entirely new looks altogether), games were also highlighted by an emphasis on new and different food selections and music options at the ball park and the presence of bilingual gameday staff.
The Cleveland Indians added three more prospects to the 40-man roster on Tuesday, protecting three young talents from selection in next month’s Rule 5 draft.
First baseman Bobby Bradley, starting pitcher Sam Hentges, and pitcher Jean Carlos Mejia became the newest members of the farm system to earn a spot on the 40-man roster of the Indians, ensuring that Cleveland does not lose any of the three during the Major or Minor League portions of the draft in December. The moves filled the team’s roster at 40, following the addition earlier in the day of right-handed reliever Walker Lockett in a minor trade with the San Diego Padres.
When you are looking to make a name for yourself professionally, there is no such thing as an offseason, especially in Major League Baseball. Such is the case for a number of farmhands of the Cleveland Indians from this most recently completed season whom are active in league activities in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Venezuela.
In addition to the seven Indians minor leaguers who are in Glendale, Arizona, participating in the Arizona Fall League (position players Yu Chang, Li-Jen Chu, and Connor Marabell and pitchers Justin Garza, Rob Kaminsky, Jared Robinson, and Dalbert Siri), four members of their farm system are getting in work in the six-team Dominican Professional Baseball League, two are in the eight-team Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, and one is working in the eight-team Mexican Pacific League, running up and down the Gulf of California.
Hoyt, an undrafted 31-year-old out of Centenary College of Louisiana and Palomar College in San Marcos, California, has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Houston Astros. He worked in 22 games during the 2016 season, going 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP with 28 strikeouts in 22 innings of work. He spent 43 games on the mound in relief for the club during their championship season last year, posting a 1-0 record with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP with 66 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings. He was not part of the postseason roster.
The 54th annual Midwest League All-Star Classic took place on Tuesday night from Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing, Michigan, where the best of the Western Division faced off with the beasts of the Eastern Division, including a pair of representatives from the Indians’ Class-A affiliate, the Lake County Captains.
The Midwest League, home of the Lake County Captains, has announced its rosters for the 2018 Midwest League All-Star Game from Lansing, Michigan. Three members of the Lake County Captains have been selected to take part in the annual exhibition on June 19.
Pitchers Tommy DeJuneas and Kyle Nelson and outfielder Will Benson will represent the Captains in the 54th MWL All-Star Classic, set to take place at the home of the Lugnuts, Cooley Law School Stadium. Players selected were nominated and selected by the managers of the league.
A big outing from Lake County’s Zack Draper in his season debut earned him his first career Pitcher of the Week award from the home of the Captains, the Midwest League.
After spending extended time in Goodyear, Arizona, at the start of the regular season to work on some mechanics and his breaking ball, Draper got the call to the Captains on Tuesday and was thrust into action on short notice last Wednesday for a road start at Cooley Law School Stadium against the Lansing Lugnuts.
The Lake County Captains kicked off the 2018 Class-A season in the chilly weather of northeast Ohio last Thursday night, hosting some big names in the Cleveland Indians’ farm system and the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
The Captains made the opener a thriller, needing a three-run ninth inning after being held to just a hit through the first eight innings, getting a game-winning walk-off single from Jorma Rodriguez. Friday’s game was suspended by snow in the fourth inning and picked up over the weekend from Fort Wayne, where the Captains won Saturday’s and Sunday’s games, in addition to the completion of the suspended game, to start the year 4-0. In three of those four games against the TinCaps, the Captains incredibly drew eight walks.
Lake County dropped game one of four in Dayton on the second leg of their road trip by a tough 3-2 final.
Two former Cleveland Indians All-Stars will return to northeast Ohio this month to engage fans at special events hosted by a pair of Cleveland farm clubs.
Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar and 15-year Major League pitcher Bob Wickman will be the headliners for annual offseason fan events held by the Akron RubberDucks and the Lake County Captains, respectively. Both events are scheduled for early February.
While plenty of focus has been given to the big name free agents departing the Cleveland Indians organization this offseason, there has been plenty of movement down on the farm for the club’s minor league free agent class.
The names are nowhere near as big as Carlos Santana, Bryan Shaw, and Joe Smith, who have all signed lucrative contracts in Philadelphia, Colorado, and Houston, respectively, nor are they as big as Jay Bruce, who is still testing the free agent waters while waiting for the right deal, but the moves cut into some of the existing depth in the team’s minor league system.
The annual Winter Meetings wrapped up on Thursday from Orlando, Florida, with the completion of the Rule 5 draft.
Despite having an open 40-man roster spot, the Cleveland Indians did not make a selection during the Major League portion of the procedures, but the club did lose right-handed pitcher Jordan Milbrath to the Pittsburgh Pirates with the eighth pick in the draft.
During the minor league phase, the Indians selected left-handed pitcher R.C. Orlan from the Washington Nationals farm system during Round 1 of the Triple-A phase. The Tribe lost two more minor leaguers, when outfielder Junior Soto was nabbed by the New York Yankees several picks earlier in the round and shortstop Ivan Castillo was selected with the 41st pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in Round 3.
The Cleveland Indians’ season may be over and the World Series nearly half way complete, but competitive baseball continues to be played at spots across the globe.
Eight different Tribe prospects are in Glendale, Arizona, working in Arizona Fall League play. Four more have headed to South America to work in the Venezuelan Winter League, while nine more have taken up temporary residence in the Caribbean while participating in the Dominican Winter League.
Three different Tribe position prospects and six pitchers are scattered throughout the six-team Liga de Beisbol Dominicano.