Spring Training 2017

spring train art  The 3rd Season of Great Lakes Baseball is off and running.  All 12 teams head to Spring Training with their goals.  Mike T.’s Eagles will try and defend their USA pennant and league championship,  AND their mantle of the club with the most wins in league history.    The Architects are always a threat so could this be the year they overhaul Milwaukee and take the USA?  The Sea Gulls definitely had a strong run under new GM Andrew S. but faded at the end.  Oh, yeah, and the team that has been as ice cold as it’s planet temperature, the Neptunes are about to make their real debut this year as they are hands down the most improved team from last year.    Eddie’s T-Birds have had some star players but not the all around supporting cast to make them legit, and many of them have headed to greener pastures over the off-season.  New GM Kyle has inherited a team that needs some work in all areas but he did not blink when handed the opportunity to a remake on the TC Bears.  The Bears are team that requires TLC.  No free agent additions, debt, and the 10th ranked minor league system all add up to patience, patience, patience for the new leadership.

In the Canadian League, the Mounties, perhaps tired of being bridesmaid, will look to capture everything this year, but at the same time lost some star power over the winter.  Windsor, under Greg E.  has been quietly putting together a nucleus of a championship caliber squad deal by deal so all eyes on the Vigilantes this season.  Kingston under Kurt P. will attempt to take the next step forward.  They have been pitching strong but it takes some run scoring weapons to overtake the favorites.  The Caribou, lets not forget, do have a championship trophy and are only one year removed from that status.  The Owen Sound Waveriders  will try and reconfigure their club as they did not sign any new players in free agency and are banking on some players stepping up.   The other most improved team in the north of the border league, according to pundits, are the Toronto Maples.  SP Villegegas was their big addition so the landscape will be a bit different in Canada this year.

Let’s see how it plays out.

The #1 Pick…

…selected by the Toledo Neptunes is Todd ‘Rusty’ Bonnaud

Todd  Hailing from St. Catherines, Ontario  Bonnaud will be the ‘property’ of the Neptunes, at least into the foreseeable future. The 6′ 2″ 200 LB. twenty one year old has the potential to be a Starting Pitcher who commands three pitches including a cutter that tops out between 93-95 mph.  With the late movement on his pitches ground ball outs are to be expected.

This collegian from British Columbia University in Vancouver logged 113 innings in 2016 striking out 170 while walking just 24.  Translated to 9 IP that’s 13.5/1.9.  Gaudy numbers for a guy that won 11 and lost just 1.  Described by his college coach as  a’baseball rat’ who is the first one on the field and last one off,  it may not be long before the Great Lakes area gets to see this young phenom in action.

The 2016 Champs

eagles_0060B6_FF0000_FFFFFF_0060B6_0060B6_FFFFFF_0060B6_FF0000 shrunk  The Milwaukee Eagles, all time Wins leader in the GLBL, have won the 2016 Championship in a closely fought series with the Hamilton Mounties.  Game 7 Box Score:

mil ham

Henri Francois was the Series MVP as his 1.26 ERA in handcuffing Mountie bats in most situations.  As a matter of fact July 23, 2016,  is the date that he last took an L in a game he pitched notching 9 Wins in a row.

Congrats to Mike T. for his championship season.  Also, to Alex W., who got about as close as you can get to winning it all.