Chinooks in the Minors: Infielders & Catchers Update
A look at how Lakeshore Chinook alumni performed throughout baseball in 2016!
Grafton, WI – While former Chinook outfielders Harrison Bader, Zack Granite, and Andrew Stevenson are knocking on the major league door, several Lakeshore infielders and catchers also turned in high level performances in 2016, including Brian Anderson who has been invited to a major league camp for 2017. Here is a quick rundown of their 2016 seasons and their status heading into spring training:
Brian Anderson (AA): The 3rd pick of Miami in 2014 and former Arkansas Razorback ended the 2016 season in Double A Jacksonville, but has been rising through the organization like a rocket. In addition to being named Miami’s Minor League Player of the Year, Anderson (LAK 12) was selected as an Organization All-Star and a High A Florida State League All-Star for the Jupiter Hammerheads – both for the second time; Anderson continued his rise in the highly competitive Arizona Fall League where he was named to both the All-Prospect team and the Rising Stars team. The Marlins took notice and will give him his chance with the major league club for this year’s spring training as a non-roster invitee. With a good performance, Anderson could find himself in Triple A or higher!
Blake Butler (Adv. A): Butler (LAK 14) missed most of August for the Daytona Tortugas after suffering a fractured rib. Playing in 87 games, Butler hit .222 with five home runs and 28 RBI. An important season is approaching for Cincinnati’s 15th round pick out of the College of Charleston in 2015.
Marty Herum (Adv. A): Unheralded and undrafted out of Division III UW-Whitewater, Herum has put together a solid career after signing with Arizona in 2013. In 96 games for the Visalia Rawhide, Herum (LAK 13) hit .294 with eight home runs and 46 RBI. For his efforts, Herum was selected as an Organizational All-Star and a Post Season All Star for the California League.
David Masters (Adv. A): Masters (LAK 12) completed his fourth season in the minors, despite hitting .174 for the Potomac Nationals. Drafted on his defensive potential by the Nationals in the 14th round of the 2013 draft, Masters’ glove, now at third base, has allowed him to steadily progress through each level of the franchise. Whether it will be enough to earn promotion to Double A will be determined this season
Jake Noll (A): After hitting .318 for Auburndale, the 7th round pick out of Florida Gulf Coast completed the 2016 as the second baseman for the Hagerstown Suns in the Washington Nationals’ system. Noll (LAK 14) posted a combined season slash of .275 BA/.401 SLG/.332 OPS and will look to earn a promotion in 2017.
Tyler Wolfe (A): As a late round pick (39th round by Houston) in 2016, Wolfe (LAK 13) split time in 2016 with the Astros’ rookie team in Greenville, TN and the Class A Tri-City ValleyCats. Playing at third base, Wolfe hit .229 with 16 RBI.
Ryan Krill (Rookie): After wrist surgery kept him out until August, “Mr. Chinook” will look to rebound in the Yankees’ system. The former Michigan state Spartan and New York’s 9th round pick in 2015, hit .379 with three home runs and 15 RBI for the Yankees two rookie teams in Florida after his return. Krill (LAK 12, 13, 14) will attempt to build off that solid performance this spring.
Mitch Ghelfi (Adv. A): Selected by his home state Brewers in the 28th round of the 2015 draft, the versatile UW-Milwaukee product earned a league all-star selection with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers where hit .326 with five home runs and 32 RBI. Ghelfi’s tremendous start and ability to play several positions in addition to catcher, earned him a promotion to the Advanced A Brevard County Manatees. With changes in the Brewers’ farm system, Ghelfi (LAK 14) is slotted with the club’s new affiliate, the Carolina Mudcats.
Zack Bowers (A): The 24th round selection of the San Francisco Giants in 2015 split 2016 between two Class A affiliates in Augusta, GA and Salem-Keizer, OR, batting .213 with two home runs and 30 RBI. The rugged, physical catcher (LAK 14) out of the University of Georgia will have to avoid the strikeout to improve on his offense.
To follow the progress of any of the Lakeshore alums who are playing professional baseball, click on the Alumni tab under the Team section at the top of this page. Click on a specific player’s name to open a link to view their MiLB bio page.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 160 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.