Breaking Through: 2017 Draft Class (Part 1)
A look at how Lakeshore Chinook alumni performed throughout baseball in 2017!
Last summer, nine former Chinooks began personal journeys into professional baseball. Today we’ll begin a three part update on their rookie seasons after being drafted or signed in 2017.
Colby Fitch – Lakeshore Chinooks 2015
After a sensational season for Louisville in which the Cardinals reached the College World Series, Fitch was selected in the 13th round of the MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. The hot-hitting catcher connected for 11 home runs and 47 RBI while starting 62 games during junior season and went 4-for-12 with a double and four RBI in the CWS. After signing his contract and forgoing his senior season, Fitch got his first taste of professional action with stints in Class A Williamsport and with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. Colby hit .266 in 34 games between the two teams with four home runs, four doubles, and 12 RBI.
Evan Kruczynski – Lakeshore Chinooks 2014
St. Louis Cardinals
A homegrown pitcher from Franklin, WI and one of the top pitchers for the 2014 NWL Champion Chinooks, Kruczynski graduated as the ace of the East Carolina staff and was promptly drafted in the 9th Round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Kruczynski, who earned All-America honors as a junior and finished his career with a 20-8 record, left ECU as one of the top pitchers in ECU history and got off to a solid professional start with a 4-3 in 13 starts for the Class A Peoria Chiefs. The tall lefty stuck out 55 batters in 68.2 innings and posted a solid 3.41, a good start to what looks like a promising future!
Zac Lowther – Lakeshore Chinooks 2015
After a solid season for the Chinooks in 2015, Zac Lowther turned the heads of professional scouts when he led Xavier to the 2016 NCAA Tournament and an unexpected win over national power Vanderbilt. The lefty went on to rack up honors for XU and helped power them to the 2017 post-season before being selected by Baltimore with the 74th overall pick in MLB’s First Year Player Draft, making him the highest-ever draft pick in Musketeers baseball history. Lowther began his career earning with a New York-Penn League All-Star performance for the Aberdeen IronBirds in which he posted a 2-2 record with 75 strikeouts and a 1.66 ERA in 54.1 innings and 11 starts for the Orioles’ Class A affiliate.
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.