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Published On: February 27th, 2015

A Look at Chinooks in the Minor Leagues

Marty Herum  – Arizona Diamondbacks – Kane County Cougars (A)

Herum-AngelsMarty Herum has been flying under the radar in his pursuit of a professional baseball career. The former Division III standout for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks had a brief twelve-game appearance with the Lakeshore Chinooks in 2013 after being named Division III 2nd Team All-American, the Midwest Region Player of the Year, and the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Position Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. As typical of most summer college baseball clubs, the Chinooks offered Herum a temporary contract to help fill the roster as the team awaited the arrival of players from across the country who had signed full contracts to play. Coming off a long college season of his own, Herum hit just .212 in twelve games at Lakeshore and thought his chances to make a splash in front of major league scouts may have been lost.

When all of the major league teams overlooked him in the 2013 MLB Draft, the River Falls, WI native returned to his former summer team the River Falls Fighting Fish, who play in the St. Croix Valley Baseball League, to prepare for his senior season at Whitewater. The Arizona Diamondbacks were fully aware of Herum’s solid resume from his time at Whitewater and were intrigued enough with his athleticism to take another look. It’s often said that timing is everything, and Herum’s timing was perfect as he went 4 for 4 with two triples in front of an Arizona scout. The following day, Herum received a call from the area scout telling him the club had an opening on their Rookie team. By 7:00 the next morning on July 25, Herum was on a plane to Scottsdale, AZ to sign a free agent contract. The corner infielder then posted a solid .268 batting average in 17 games for the Diamondbacks Rookie squad and impressed enough to be given a return shot in 2014. That was incentive enough for Herum to forego his senior season with the Warhawks.

Last summer, Herum continued to chase the dream as he raised his batting average to .273 at the Class A level, playing for the Arizona affiliate in South Bend, IN. He got hot during the first half and suddenly the Division III player from River Falls was being named a mid-season All-Star in the Midwest League. Herum’s former college coach, John Vodelich, is not surprised. The debut manager for the Lakeshore Chinooks said, “He’s a great young man; he’s hard working, he’s a great teammate, he’s unassuming,” said Vo. “He’s the type of young man you want to coach and it’s been a privilege to coach him for three years.”

Herum will head to spring training this month where he hopes to no longer be flying under the radar. “My goal is to get to the big leagues, so I’m going to give them all I got,” said Herum. All any player can ask for is a shot and Herum has been given a shot. Keep him on the radar screen!