A look at how Lakeshore Chinook alumni performed throughout baseball in 2017!
Zack Granite – Lakeshore Chinooks 2012
Grafton, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks broke through to Major League Baseball in a big way in 2017 with four former players being called up to the big league level . Zack Granite became the first when the Minnesota Twins promoted Granite on July 8th from Triple A Rochester to their big league club. In his first appearance, the former Seton Hall Pirate stepped in the batter’s box as a pinch hitter against the Baltimore Orioles and true to his nature, battled through an eleven-pitch at-bat. Despite flying out to left, the hometown Twins’ crowd gave Granite a standing ovation and indication of the young outfielder’s steady progress through the Twins’ farm system. With hustle and determination, Minnesota’s 14th round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft had fought his way on to the roster.
After persevering through the lower level’s of the farm system, Granite bust onto the Twins’ major league radar in 2016 when he was named an Organization All-Star and a Southern League All-Star for the AA Chattanooga Lookouts after batting .295 and stealing 56 bases in 127 games. That performance earned him an invitation to the Twins 2017 Spring Training Camp and an opportunity to work with the major league coaching staff under the direction of Manager Paul Molitor. While he was assigned to Triple A Rochester to begin the season, Granite left an impression on the big league club that was only strengthened after batting .392 and stealing 15 bases. When injuries occurred in the Twins’ outfield, Granite was promoted and spent most of July with the team as they made a push for the 2017 playoffs. Though sent back to Rochester for three weeks in August, Granite returned on August 24th and remained with the club through the rest of the season.
In 40 games for the Twins, Granite hit .237 and was on base at .321 clip. He hit two doubles and one home run and knocked in 13. In a season in which he also overcame an oblique injury, Granite was once again named as a Twins’ Organization All-Star for 2017. Now with a taste of the majors, Granite will look to make the MLB roster breaking camp in the Spring. With an aggressive, hustling spirit, the Lakeshore Chinooks’ first pro representative will look to build off his experience this past year.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 185 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). 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.