Chinooks in the Minors: Pitching Update (Part II)
A look at how Lakeshore Chinook alumni performed throughout baseball in 2016 . . .
Grafton, WI – Eleven former Chinook pitchers are working their way through the lower levels of minor league baseball where the adjustment to the grind of the professional can take its toll on young arms. The 2017 season will be vital in the development of these young men, most of who were drafted and made their debuts in 2016. Some are just getting their feet wet, while others are battling to hang on to a future in pro baseball:
Lake Bachar (A): The Padres’ 5th round pick out of UW-Whitewater made appearances at three levels, including Advanced A Lake Elsinore, and pitched a total of 36.2 innings with 41 strikeouts against 7 walks.
Bryce Beeler (A): A 19th round pick of the New York Mets in 2014, the former Memphis Tiger bounced back from an injury-plagued 2015 to post a 1.54 ERA in 23.1 innings for Brooklyn and Columbia.
Andrew Elliott (A): The former Chinook closer and Wright State pitcher had a solid second season with the Aberdeen IronBirds in the Baltimore Orioles’ system, earning three saves in 20 appearances and striking out 29. 2017 will be a pivotal year in Elliott’s development.
Will Headean (A): The burly lefty from Illinois State gained valuable experience in 91 innings for Tri-City and Fort Wayne in his second season in the Padre’s system. A 13th round pick in 2015, Headean posted a 5-5 record with a 4.45 ERA and 89 strikeouts and looks to be heading in the right direction.
Brian Keller (A): Picked late in the 2016 draft in the 39th round by the Yankees, the Germantown product and former UW-Milwaukee Panther was a pleasant surprise, working his way through three different levels of the New York system and pitching 41 innings in 13 appearances. With 51 strikeouts and a stellar 0.88 ERA, the right-hander will look to move up this spring.
Mike Letkewicz (A): After two stints with the Chinooks, including the NWL Championship run of 2014, Letkewicz adjusted his mechanics at a pitching ranch in Texas in 2015. The improvements earned him a 23rd round draft selection by the Indians in 2016. Letkewicz went on to have one of the best summers of any of the Chinook alums, going 6-0 with a 1.74 for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
Jesse Scholtens (A): Drafted out of Wright State in 2016, the Fairfield, CA native joined Lake Bachar in experiencing three different levels of the Padre’s system and pitching a combined 35 innings with 39 strikeouts and a 1.54 ERA.
James Teague (A): A surprise late round selection after an underwhelming junior season at Arkansas, the talented right-hander made the most of his selection by the Baltimore Orioles in 2016. Teague earned a 4-1 record in 20 appearances at Aberdeen with a 2.84 ERA and 31 strikeouts.
Cam Vieaux (A): The Pittsburg made the former Michigan State Spartan their 6th round pick in 2016 and promptly put the lefty to work. Vieaux made 14 starts and pitched 67.2 innings for the West Virginia Black Bears, amassing a 2-2 record with 52 strikeouts, while recording a solid 3.33 ERA.
Shaun Anderson (Rookie): After being selected by Boston in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft, the former Florida Gator right-hander had his rookie season stalled. The wear and tear of a long college season and a sore arm led to instructional work with the organization, but should position him for a strong 2017 debut.
Connor Jones (Rookie): The lefty signed late after being selected in the 11th round by the Yankees, but made four appearances for New York’s Gulf Coast League rookie team in which he struck out 13 batters in 11.2 innings and posted a 2.31 ERA
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.
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