Happy Valentine’s Day Express fans. Today’s Alumni Update presented by Lakeland University is focused on the two-year player, and former Iowa Hawkeye, C.J. Eldred.
The son of former MLB Pitcher and current MLB pitching coach, Cal Eldred, C.J. played for the Express over the course of two summers in Eau Claire between 2014 and 2015. The right-handed hurler appeared in started in 11 games for the Express, picking up two wins in his freshman season, including an astounding 78-pitch complete game against the Waterloo Bucks on July 3rd, 2014. Eldred threw 58 of 78 pitches for strikes in the win. C.J. was the only member of the Eau Claire pitching corps to throw a complete game in 2014 and led the team with 62.1 innings pitched that season. Eldred’s electric season with the Express continued with an invitation to the Big League Dreams Showcase.
C.J. returned to the Express in 2015, throwing 49.2 innings over the course of nine starts in 10 appearances, racking up 23 strikeouts and earning a 9-3 win over the Bucks, before returning to the Hawkeyes. In Iowa, Eldred went 3-8 with a 3.43 ERA. His 94.2 innings pitched in 2016 were the ninth-most in the Big Ten and the 10th-most in a single-season in school history. Eldred missed the 2017 season due to surgery and was later signed by the Kansas City Royals in August of 2017.
Making his minor league debut with the Idaho Falls Chukars, Eldred went 6-2 in his MiLB rookie season, starting 13 games and earning pitcher of the week honors for the clubs. In 2019, Eldred moved from the Wilmington Blue Rocks to the Lexington Legends in Class A ball. With the Legends this past summer, Eldred appeared in 24 games and tossed 79 innings, both good for third-most among Lexington pitchers.
The legends begin their minor league season Tuesday, April 7th against the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Stars Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.eauclaireexpress.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Express as your favorite team.
Eau Claire Express
102 E. Grand Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54701
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