Since the team’s founding in 2012, the Lakeshore Chinooks have produced 82 MLB Draft picks or free agent signings. The team had a franchise high 18 players drafted or signed in 2018, but three have been released since then. Here is a recap of how the survivors started their careers as they look to make progress during their critical second season in 2019:
Luke Mangieri/1B/Bradley/Lakeshore 2018/2018 PIT Pirates – 25th Round
An exciting moment for Chinook fans happened on June 6th. After playing five games with the club and hitting .278, Mangieri and his family received a phone call near the end of a home game with Green Bay from the Pirates. A dream came true for Luke that day and he headed off to sign a contract and report to Class West Virginia where he hit .247 in 44 games for the Black Bears before playing eleven more games with the Full Season A West Virginia Power.
Owen Miller/SS/Illinois St./Lakeshore 2016-17/2018 SD Padres – 3rd Round
Local product and two-year Chinook Owen Miller has been rising like a rocket in the Padres’ system. The power hitting shortstop collected a Northwest League All-Star spot while hitting .335 and slugging .440 in 49 games for the Class A-Short Season Tri-City Dust Devils before moving on the Class A Fort Wayne where he continued his consistency, batting .336 and slugging .495. In total, the Lakeshore “Cycle Hero” hit 19 doubles, three triples, and four home runs. In the offseason, Miller was assigned to the AA Amarillo Sod Poodles for 2019.
Heath Renz/P/UW-Whitewater/Lakeshore 2018/2018 TB Rays – 27th Round
Renz’ time with the Chinooks was also short-lived as after two solid performances, the Whitewater product was selected by Tampa Bay and moved on to the Princeton Rays of the Appalachian Rookie League. Renz was solid in 16 appearances as he went 2-3 with a save in his 25.2 innings of work. He posted a respectable ERA of 3.46 as he fanned 23 and walked 15.
Hayden Senger/C/Miami-OH/Lakeshore 2016/2016 NY Mets – 24th Round
After hitting .400 in his first ten games for the rookie level Kingsport Mets, the physical catching prospect moved on to the Class A Brooklyn Cyclones. Senger hit .250 in 22 games to finish his rookie season hitting .301 with one home run and 18 RBI.
Andrew Shaps/P/Arizona St./Lakeshore 2015/2018 LA Dodgers – 31st Round
A talent-loaded prospect who flashed plenty of tools struggled to put it all together in his time at ASU, but the Dodgers took a flyer on Shaps and gave him an opportunity to be a professional. Shaps spent the summer of 2018 unassigned to a team but is slated to begin 2019 with the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer Rookie League.
Zach Spears/P/Miami-OH/Lakeshore 2016-17/2018 PIT Pirates – 8th Round
Blessed with a power frame and strong arm, the lefty got plenty of work for the Class A Short Season West Virginia Black Bears in 2018. Spears went 1-6 in 12 starts, posting an ERA of 6.07 with 30 strikeouts and 19 walks in 44 innings.
Rylan Thomas/1B & P/C. Florida/Lakeshore 2017/2018 CIN Reds – 26th Round
Drafted as a pitcher, the former power-hitting Lakeshore Chinook MVP took some time to decide on pro ball over returning to UCF. Leaving a spot in the Cape Cod League, Thomas proved his offensive worth to the Reds by hitting ten home runs with 33 RBI and a slugging percentage of .492 in 55 games for the Greeneville Reds of the Appalachian Rookie League. Thomas earned league Player of the Month after a hot start in July.
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.