Category Archives: Independent Ball

2017 Frontier League Draft Results

On Tuesday, April 25th, the Frontier League held their annual draft after two days of tryouts.

This year, 26 players were selected (13 pitchers and 13 position players) – down from the 30 players selected in 2016 and 34 players in 2015.

As in the past, Indy Ball Island will follow these players all season long.

RHP Austin Goss was selected as the first overall pick by the Schaumburg Boomers.

Here are the complete results of the 2017 Frontier League Draft:

Round 1:
Pick 1: Schaumburg Boomers, Austin Goss (RHP)
Pick 2: Windy City Thunderbolts, Cody Mincey (RHP)
Pick 3: Traverse City Beach Bums, James Simpson (C)
Pick 4: Gateway Grizzles, TBA
Pick 5: Normal CornBelters, Bob Wheatley (LHP)
Pick 6: Lake Erie Crushers, Nick Bozman (LHP)
Pick 7: Washington Wild Things, Aaron Burns (RHP)
Pick 8: Schaumburg Boomers, Cosimo Cannella (1B)
Pick 9: River City Rascals, Stephen Swagerty (RHP)
Pick 10: Joliet Slammers, Steven Pollakov (C)
Pick 11: Evansville Otters, Andrew Bynum (C)
Pick 12: Southern Illinois Miners, Ryan O’Malley (3B)

Round 2:
Pick 13: Schaumburg Boomers, Pass
Pick 14: Windy City Thunderbolts, Danny Britt (C)
Pick 15: Traverse City Beach Bums, Brook Clark (UTL)
Pick 16: Gateway Grizzlies, Chris Dula (RHP)
Pick 17: Normal CornBelters, Kyle Carter (LHP)
Pick 18: Florence Freedom, Mark Fowler (OF)
Pick 19: Washington Wild Things, Matt Sabel (LHP)
Pick 20: Lake Erie Crushers, Roman Gomez (RHP)
Pick 21: River City Rascals, Trevor Jaunich (RHP)
Pick 22: Joliet Slammers, Brian McKenna (C)
Pick 23: Evansville Otters, Ryan Cheek (RHP)
Pick 24: Southern Illinois Miners, Chris Amato (SS)

Round 3:
Picks 25-27: Schaumburg Boomers, Windy City Thunderbolts, Traverse City Beach Bums, Pass
Pick 28: Gateway Grizzlies, Colin Kelly (RHP)
Pick 29: Normal CornBelters, Pass
Pick 30: Florence Freedom, Lucas Owens (C)
Picks 31-32: Washington Wild Things, Lake Erie Crushers, Pass
Pick 33: River City Rascals, Dillon Clift, (C)
Picks 34-36: Joliet Slammers, Evansville Others, and Southern Illinois Miners, Pass

Round 4:
Pick 37: River City Rascals, Matthew Haskins (OF)


Make sure to subscribe to Indy Ball Island for future updates on the 2017 Frontier League Draft Class.


What’s New with the United Shore League

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
May 11th is Opening Day for the 2017 United Shore Professional Baseball League Season
Utica, Mich. – The United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL), metro-Detroit’s first independent professional baseball league, will open its second season on May 11, 2017, 7:05 pm at Jimmy John’s Field in downtown Utica, when the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers face the hometown favorite, and reigning champion, Utica Unicorns. Games will be played every Thursday through Sunday until September 10, 2017.
New Team
Fans can expect an array of new and exciting sights, sounds and scents in 2017. For starters, the league has added a fourth team to the roster. The Westside Woolly Mammoths will battle it out with the Utica Unicorns, Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers and Eastside Diamond Hoppers for this year’s pennant.
New Ballpark Features
The league is adding new outdoor bars to its 3 picnic patio areas (Right Field Patio, Left Field Patio, and Chevrolet Pavilion). The full service bars will feature fountain soda, draft beer, and TV’s to catch all the latest scores. The league also is adding a new stage beyond the right centerfield wall to showcase the many bands that play at the ballpark throughout the season.
New Food
The league has hired new executive head chef Joseph Johnson – most recently from the Inn at Stonecliffe on Mackinac Island and The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. Joining him is David Parker, the league’s new director of food and beverage, who brings considerable experience via the Montgomery Biscuits (AA affiliate team of the Tampa Bay Ray’s), Lansing Lugnuts and The Great Lakes Loons. Also new to the food and beverage staff is Nathan Liska, assistant director of food and beverage. Liska was formerly a chef at Andiamo Restaurant and The Tiger Den in Comerica Park.
The new staff has made significant changes to the type and quality of food that will be served at Jimmy John’s Field during the 2017 season. Fans can expect a lot more cooked to order foods made with fresh ingredients—the league is even planting its own herb garden to use in its recipes. The USPBL also hired a BBQ Pit Master and will be serving fresh, smoked on site BBQ favorites such as pulled pork, wings, ribs and chicken. Fans will also be able to enjoy such wide-varying fare as: Philly Cheese Steak Nachos, Foot-Long Hot Dogs and Sausages, Garlic Fries and more.  Additionally, fans will be able to enjoy Chick-fil-A on Thursday nights and Lou & Harry’s, an East Lansing institution, on Friday nights.
New Promotions
The USPBL is all about affordable family fun and has lined-up an exciting season of promotional game days and nights, including:
  • The Human Cannon Ball
  • World Famous Team Ghost Riders (the cowboy monkeys who performed at the inaugural opening day in 2016)
  • Helicopter Candy Drops for Kids
  • The Zooperstars
  • America’s Got Talent’s Quick Change
  • Jake the Diamond Dog
  • Jimmy Buffett Night
  • Star Wars Night
  • Peanut Free Night
  • Family Campout Night
  • WCSX Classic Rock Saturdays
  • WYCD Country Music Nights
  • Heritage Nights to honor the German, Greek, Irish, Italian, and Polish communities
  • Bobblehead, Hat & T-Shirt Giveaways
  • Fireworks Spectaculars every Friday night
  • Kids run the bases after every game
A complete list of promotions and dates can be found at
Tickets are affordably priced and start at just $12 in the grandstand and $6 dollars for lawn. Tickets can be purchased at the box office at Jimmy John’s Field or online at  Parking is free.
About United Shore Professional Baseball League     
Rochester, MI-based General Sports and Entertainment founded the United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL), an independent professional baseball league, in Metro Detroit in 2015.  The league plays in the new, state-of-the-art $16 million ballpark named Jimmy John’s Field located in downtown Utica, Mich.  The first of its kind for the region, the USPBL provides a fun and exciting family atmosphere while showcasing top baseball talent to fans of all ages. The inaugural season of the USPBL, which began on Memorial Day 2016, featured three teams—the Utica Unicorns, the Eastside Diamond Hoppers and the Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers, from which 12 players were signed to contracts by Major League organizations. The 2017 USPBL season will feature four teams with the addition of the Westside Woolly Mammoths, and the season will begin on May 11, 2017 and run through September 10, 2017.  Additional teams and ballparks will be added in future years.