Chinooks in the Minors: Lake Bachar
A look at how Lakeshore Chinook alumni performed throughout baseball in 2016!
Grafton, WI – After a stellar summer season with the Lakeshore Chinooks in 2015, the draft stock of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Lake Bachar rose off the charts. As a starting right-handed pitcher, Bachar drew rave reviews for his mid-90’s fastball and a promising curveball. Bachar was honored as a Northwoods League All-Star and was tabbed by Baseball America as the top college prospect in the Northwoods League.
Looking to build off his impressive performance and cautiously optimistic about a potential future in professional baseball, Bachar returned to life as a two-sport athlete for UW-Whitewater where he kicked and punted for the nationally-ranked Warhawk football team in 2015, before taking the mound once again as a starter. With the 2016 draft far from a certainty, Bachar also planned to return for a second season at Lakeshore with an understanding that a potential phone call on draft day could force the college student to make a major life decision. After recording 103 strikeouts and a 2.53 ERA in his second season, Bachar solidified his standing with professional scouts through several pre-draft workouts in the final weeks leading up to the MLB draft. While Bachar expecting to go in the first ten rounds, the Wheaton (IL) native was hopeful when he took a phone call from the San Diego Padres during the fifth round of the draft to inquire about his interest. “When we got the call we told them we’d take the deal, but we didn’t know if they’d actually take me,” said Bachar. San Diego did and made Bachar the 144th overall pick in the fifth round.
After making a surprise appearance at the Chinooks’ game on June 11 to accept the team’s award as the Chinooks’ top pitcher in 2015 and to say a quick word of thanks to the Chinook faithful, Bachar headed west to make his debut with the Padres’ rookie team in the Arizona League. After pitching 90-plus innings for Whitewater, the Padre’s brought Bachar long slowly with ten appearances in July and August during which he posted a 3.45 ERA with 35 strikeouts. The end of the rookie season saw Bachar on the move to Advanced A Lake Elsinore for four appearances and then settling in with the Class A Fort Wayne TinCaps for the final weeks. In his first season of work, Bachar pitched 36.2 innings with a record of 2-2 and a 3.19 ERA and gained valuable insights into the life of a pro commenting, “The most difficult part of the minors are a lot of little things like getting used to travel, eating well on the road, and not having a gym to workout in, all while competing at a high level.”
With a significant signing bonus in hand and the remainder of his college course work covered by the Padres, Bachar will now spend the offseason preparing for his pivotal second season in the minors. “Playing at Elsinore at the High A level was a terrific experience. I’m working hard at BRX Performance to be in the best possible shape for Spring Training,” said Bachar. From what Chinook fans witnessed in 2015, no one would be surprised to see the affable Bachar make quick progress in the Padres’ organization.
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.