Chinooks in the Minors: Hey Now, You’re an All-Star!
A look at how Lakeshore Chinook alumni performed throughout baseball in 2016!
Grafton, WI – This past season several former Chinooks collected all-star honors from their respective leagues. While players are frequently on the move in any given season, those who have the opportunity to spend extended time with the same team in the same league and remain productive, have the best chance for recognition from their leagues. Here’s a recap of our All-Star Chinooks:
Coming off a 2015 campaign in which he played in the Advanced A California League All-Star Game, Eric Aguilera represented the AA Arkansas Travelers in the Texas League All-Star and was a participant in the league’s Home Run Derby. The Los Angeles Angel’s prospect went 0 for 2 in the game, but finished his season with 14 home runs and 67 RBI as the Travelers’ first baseman.
Harrison Bader also played in the Texas League All-Star Game, going 4 for 5 for the North Division team. The Springfield Cardinal, who hit above .300 for most of the first half, parlayed his appearance into a call-up to AAA Memphis for most of the second half of the summer. Bader finished the season as one of the top ten prospects for the Cardinals and just participated in the Fall Stars Game in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.
Zach Granite was named All-League in the Southern League as he hit .295 with 52 RBI for the AA Chattanooga Lookouts. The speedy outfielder has made steady progress for the Minnesota Twins, moving up level by level in each of his first four seasons, and was recently names the club's Minor League Position Player of the year. For the first time, Granite has also been assigned to the Twins' 40-man roster.
Former UW-Milwaukee star Mitch Ghelfi turned in a stellar season for the Milwaukee Brewers organization as he represented the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Midwest League All-Star Game. Playing at first base, the versatile Ghelfi went 0 for 2, but three days later found himself heading to Florida. After hitting .321 for the T-Rats and getting the All-star nod, Ghelfi was promoted to the Advanced A Brevard County Manatees where he finished out the summer.
Vanderbilt’s John Norwood has quietly risen through the Marlin’s organization after signing as a free agent in 2014. Playing the entire 2016 season for the Jupiter Hammerheads, Norwood had his best summer hitting .271 and representing the South Division All-Stars in the Florida League All-Star Game. Despite going 0 for 3 in a 1-0 South Division loss, Norwood continues to take positive steps in his career.
Andrew Stevenson led the Carolina League All-Stars to a 6-4 win over the California League All-Stars by going 3 for 5 with 2 triples and 2 RBI. The former LSU Tiger was named the Top Star of the Game as he represented the Advanced A Potomac Nationals. Stevenson, who hit .304 and stole 27 bases, earned a promotion to AA Harrisburg as a fast-rising prospect for the Nationals.
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 MLB bio page.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. 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 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Chinooks as your favorite team.