Lake County Captains
Anthony Santander is a textbook example of why aggressive minor league promotions can often lead to struggles. The 20 year old, who was signed out of Venezuela in 2011 at 16, showed more than promise during his first year with the Indians organization. In the Arizona Rookie League, the outfielder made heads turn as he triple slashed .305/.381/.874 in 43 games. He knocked in 32 runs and amassed 47 hits, 15 doubles, one triple, and four home runs.
His performance earned the then-18 year old a promotion to Lake County for the following season, as he jumped over short-season play with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in favor of an immediate immersion into full-season professional baseball.
When he was younger, Cameron Hill enjoyed defying people’s expectations with his athleticism. Although he’s been a baseball player since he was three or four years old, where Hill really enjoyed impressing people was the basketball court.
“I love to shoot hoops, loved dunking on guys,” Hill said. “It was like, ‘Oooh, a short guy who can dunk!’”
However, as baseball became his professional focus, Hill’s basketball time has fallen to the wayside in favor of time on the diamond, where his biggest passion remains.
Did The Tribe Win Last Night is honored to join the More Than a Fan Network in their Tribe Time Now podcasts this season. DTTWLN.com will be represented along with Everybody Hates Cleveland, Indians Baseball Insider, Burning River Baseball and …
If there’s one thing the Indians have an abundance of, it’s outfielders. Fans know it, big league players seem to have taken notice, and 22 year-old Taylor Murphy knew it.
Murphy played in the outfield last year for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, and spent much of his collegiate career in the outfield, as well. He didn’t do poorly in the outfield, either. In 46 games last season, Murphy committed just three errors with 74 putouts. However, he knew that even a good performance in the outfield might not be enough to keep him with an organization that already had a logjam of outfielders, including some who have the potential to be flat-out excellent.
“An opportunity presented itself at the end of last year at the Instructional League in Arizona,” Murphy said. “I ended up following through with it this offseason at the strength and conditioning camp in January at the facility in Arizona and carried it through. Now, here we are, working at it every day.”
In this first edition of the Tribe Time Now: Minor League Report, Danny Madden (@danny_Madden) and Laurel Wilder (@LaurelWilder) of Did The Tribe Win Last Night? join host Kevin Gall (@kgall216) of Burning River Baseball to discuss the state of …
It seems that Santa will be coming early this year to Eastlake, Ohio, thanks to the Lake County Captains and Classic Park.
On Saturday, December 6, Classic Park will host the inaugural Classic Park Holiday Lights and Fireworks Show from 6 p.m to 8 p.m.
If you had told me four months ago that I’d still be writing about the Lake County Captains this late in the year, I would have laughed. Yes, I’m an optimist, but the first half of Lake County’s season led even the most eternal of optimists to shake their heads. The team won 27 out of their first 70 games — that’s a .386 winning percentage. They were, to be blunt, bad.
They about broke-even at home, going 18-17 in the first half while playing on the new field at Classic Park, but could not pull it together on the road. As they explored the Midwest, the Captains went a paltry 9-26.
Yet, somehow, they turned it around. And here I am, in the middle of September, writing a recap about a season that ended on Saturday, the 13th, when that same under-.400 team played for the Midwest League Championship.
Lake County Loses Momentum as Kane County Sweeps Captains to Win Midwest League Championship; Cougars 7, Captains 2September 14, 2014 | Laurel Wilder
The lights dimmed over Classic Park and the gates locked for the final time this season on Saturday evening, as the curtain also closed over the Captains’ 2014 season. The team exited the locker room after having been swept in three games by the Kane County Cougars in the Midwest League Championship series, suffering a 7-2 loss in the last game of the best-of-five series.
With the win, Kane County earned the title of Midwest League Champions for the second time in franchise history.
The Captains, who finished the first half of their season with the worst record in the Midwest League, made a surprising turnaround in the latter half of 2014, sweeping both of their competitors in the first two playoff series to advance to the Midwest League Championships.
Unfortunately, their sweeping momentum came to an end as the Captains began to look a bit like the Captains of early in the season, as they reverted to sloppy defense and had their bats quieted by Kane County’s pitching staff.
Nellie Rodriguez said it best. If you had told the Captains in April or May that they would be playing for the Midwest League Championship, he would have said, as would many others, “You’re joking.”
Yet, here they are. Despite playing for a crowd of only 807, the Captains brought energy to Classic Park Sunday night and swept the Fort Wayne TinCaps to advance to the Midwest League Championship series with a final score of 5-4.
The Captains started Dace Kime, who was 7-14 on the regular season with an overall 5.22 ERA. He was matched with Fort Wayne’s Ronald Herrera, who is 3-5 for the TinCaps this season with a 4.26 ERA. Herrera started the season with the Beloit Snappers, where he was 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA in nine starts.
Lake County Take Game One From Fort Wayne; Captains 5, Tin Caps 1
Courtesy Lake County Captains
Luis Lugo started for the Captains and pitched five innings while allowing three hits, one unearned run, one walk and he fanned nine as the Captains beat Fort Wayne 5-1 on Saturday. With the win, the Captains took the one game to nothing lead in the best of three Midwest League Eastern Division Championship Series.
Fort Wayne took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Trea Turner doubled and was sacrificed to third base and scored on a fielding error. The unearned run put the TinCaps up 1-0 after one inning.
Bulls Battle Back To Even Series With Clippers; Bulls 4, Clippers 3
For the first time all season, the Columbus Clippers took a lead to the ninth and didn’t come away with a victory.
Trailing 3-2, the Durham Bulls got to Columbus reliever J.C. Ramirez and sent the game to extras. Cole Figueroa opened a wild 10th inning with a triple and later came crossed the plate on Tim Beckham’s sac fly to give Durham a 4-3 win and even the Governors’ Cup semi-finals at one game apiece.
Columbus got on the board first when Audy Ciriaco launched a solo home run to left in the bottom of the second.
While the Indians have four more weeks to chase their playoff spot, the minor league regular season came to a close yesterday and the Tribe has three teams qualifying for postseason. After a disappointing 2013, where no Indians farm team qualified for postseason, getting three teams into the playoffs is a vast improvement. All three teams will begin the playoff journeys on Wednesday evening.
The Columbus Clippers will begin their pursuit of the Governor’s Cup in the International League’s Triple-A playoffs on Wednesday night at Huntington Park at 7:05 p.m. Winners of the Western Division, Columbus enters the five game series against the Durham Bulls with the lesser record. Columbus will host the first two games on Wednesday and Thursday, before playing the final three necessary games in Durham on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.