Survive & Advance: Draft Class of 2012-2013
Since the team’s founding in 2012, the Lakeshore Chinooks have produced 82 MLB Draft picks or free agent signings. Of the 13 players selected or signed in 2012 and 2013, five have survived six seasons of minor league baseball and head into the 2019 spring training season with high hopes of advancing in their careers. Here is a recap of where each of them stands:
Eric Aguilera/OF/Illinois State/Lakeshore 2012 /2013 LA Angels – 34th Round
Aguilera has lived the vagabond life of a professional player after being drafted by the Angels. He made steady progress in his three seasons with the club, earning all-star selections for the Burlington Bees of the Midwest League (A) in 2014 and with the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League (Adv. A) in 2015 when he was also named an Organizational All-Star for the Angels. Despite another all-star selection for the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League, he stalled with the Angels late in 2016. Aguilera was picked up by the Texas Rangers and played 2017 with the AA Frisco Roughriders before once again being released. A proven professional hitter, Aguilera has survived by heading south of the border to the Mexican League – The Mexican League is currently a class AAA minor league and while its teams are not affiliated with MLB clubs, some have signed working agreements with MLB teams and provide a pathway to the major leagues. Aguilera played most of 2018 with the Vaqueros Union Laguna, hitting .301 in 57 games, before being assigned to Leones de Yucatan in September. In his six-year career, Aguilera has hit .282 with 86 home runs and 404 RBI.
Zack Granite/ OF/Seton Hall/Lakeshore 2012/2013 MN Twins – 14th Round
Zack Granite became the first Chinook to reach the MLB Show when the Minnesota Twins promoted Granite on July 8th, 2017 from Triple A Rochester to their big league club after a highly decorated minor league career in which he was twice named an Organizational All-Star by the Twins in 2016 and 2017, including the club’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2016. This past season, Granite was slowed in his attempt to establish a permanent roster spot the Twins after a shoulder injury last spring relegated him to the AAA level with the Rochester Red Wings for most of the summer. Battling through the injury, Granite hit just .211 in 68 games, but was added back to the Twins roster in October. Honored as the first Chinook with a bobblehead, Granite recently reported “the shoulder is feeling great . . . and expect to compete and play every game possible!”
Marty Herum/IF/UW-Whitewater/Lakeshore 2013/2013 AZ Diamondbacks – Free Agent
The former Division III All-American for the Warhawks has been a true professional survivor. Despite a short stay on a temp contract with Lakeshore and not hearing his name called in the draft of 2013, Herum was spotted by a scout for the Diamondbacks in his hometown of River Falls, WI playing for the River Falls Fighting Fish. Herum has turned that signing into a consistent professional career as he finished his second year with the AA Jackson Generals, despite battling through injuries. After earning Organizational All-Star honors in 2016 and 2017, fought through several stints on the disabled list to hit .300 with five home runs and 42 RBI for the Generals.
David Masters/SS/Arkansas/Lakeshore 2012/2013 WAS Nationals – 14th Round
Masters flashed a steady glove during his short stint with the Chinooks in 2012 after being originally drafted by Arizona out of high school, but after leaving Mequon and transferring from Arkansas to Central Arizona College, most fans forgot about the eventual 14th selection. All Masters has done is continue to survive in the lower levels of the Nationals’ system with a career batting average of .215. His versatility has been the key as Masters has played all four infield positions throughout his six year career with the Auburn Doubledays (A), Hagerstown Suns (A), and the last three years with the Potomac Nationals (Adv. A). In 2018, Masters hit .239 with six home runs and 32 RBI, while splitting time at the four positions – proving how important that versatility has been to sustaining his career.
Josh Uhen/P/UW-Milwaukee/Lakeshore 2012/2013 MIL Brewers – 5th Round
As reported by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal last March, “After scuffling for a few years in the farm system, Uhen broke through in 2017 at Class AA Biloxi, compiling a 4-2 record and 3.68 earned run average in 44 relief appearances. The step forward coincided with a change in his delivery encouraged by pitching coach Chris Hook, with Uhen dropping down to a low side-arm angle.” Uhen has pitched 90 innings in his past three seasons with the Shuckers, but pitched only 23.2 innings in 2018 after impressing many, including Haurdricourt, in a short stint in a late spring exhibition with the big league club. Uhen has made progress and has flashed some talent, but will need to remain healthy in order to make progress in 2019.
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.
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 200 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.