The Frontier League regular season has officially ended, and the post season begins with Wild Card games on Tuesday.
In this post, I wanted to give updates on how the draft class and the Aussies in America fared this season along with an update on the Evansville Otters.
Draft Class (Update Part Five)
I last updated on the 2015 Frontier League Draft Class at the beginning of August – HERE. Since then, two more players are no longer playing in the league. One player, Nick Grim, was released by the Rockford Aviators on August 10th, and another, John Fidanza, was placed on the DL by the Washington WildThings on August 17th and went home.
Of the hundreds that tried out, 34 players were given invites to spring training. 15 of those players were signed and started the season on opening day rosters. Three more players who were originally drafted and released before the season were re-signed during the season. At the end of the regular season, 11 players from the 2015 Frontier League draft remained on a roster.
Here are the final regular season updates for the draft class:
- Kevin Jefferis, RHP, Normal, R1 – Activated from suspended list on August 5th. Has appeared in 8 games with a 2-0 record. In 18 IP, he has 18 K, 1 save and a 2.50 ERA.
- Scott Harkin, RHP, Gateway & Southern Illinois, R2 – Has pitched in 34 games with a 3-5 record. He has a 3.88 ERA with 44 K and 1 save in 46.1 IP.
- Ty Nelson, OF, Lake Erie & Schaumburg, E – In 277 total AB, he has an overall average of .209 with 6 HR, 28 RBI and 4 SB.
- Joe Iorio, RHP, Washington & Southern Illinois, R1- Has appeared in 26 games with 32 K in 32 IP. His overall ERA is 6.75 with a 0-1 record.
- Kyle Bogese, RHP, Frontier Greys, R2 – Has pitched in 30 games (6 starts) with a 2-7 record. In 56.1 IP, he has 49 K and a 5.75 ERA.
- David Russo, LHP, Rockford, R2 – Has appeared in 34 games with a 2-1 record. In 33.1 IP, he has 27 K and a 5.94 ERA.
- Jack Clearly, C, Joliet, E – Has a .247 average with 32 RBI in 219 AB. He was also selected to the mid season Frontier League All-Star game.
- Jordan Kraus, RHP, Frontier Greys, R1 – Has started in 17 games with a 2.98 ERA and 5-5 record. He has 80 K in 102.2 IP.
- Ernie Zaragoza, RHP, Washington, R1 – Has made 16 starts with a 6-7 record and 1 complete game. In 81.2 IP, he has a 4.18 ERA with 50 K.
- Brodie Liebrandt, LHP, Evansville – Has appeared in 6 games. In 11 IP, he has 11 K, and a 0.00 ERA.
- Collin Shaw, RHP, Gateway, R1 – Has appeared in 6 games (2 starts). In 13.1 IP, he has 16 K with a 8.77 ERA and a 0-1 record.
Four players will be playing in the Frontier League post season – Kevin Jefferis (Normal), Scott Harkin and Joe Iorio (Southern Illinois) and David Russo (Rockford).
Aussies in America (Part Five)
This season, I covered two Australians in the Frontier League, Luke Wilkins and Ben Lodge, who were both playing professional baseball in America for the first time.
Luke finished the season leading the Washington WildThings pitching staff in wins and strikeouts. In 20 starts, he finished with a 8-5 record and a 3.31 ERA. In 125 innings pitched, he had 77 strikeouts. In his last start of the season, Luke pitched a complete game in Washington’s 7-1 win over the Windy City Thunderbolts.
Ben played in 53 games for the Frontier Greys. In 195 at-bats, he had a .215 batting average with 13 RBI.
Earlier this season, I reported that the Evansville Otters were caught with an ineligible pitcher, Will Oliver. The Frontier League then ruled that the Otters would be forced to forfeit ten games – all the games that the Otters won with Oliver pitching. Although the Otters did appeal, it was too late in the season, and they did give up ten wins.
Despite losing ten games in the standings, the Otters were in a three way tie for the final two wild card spots leading up to the last series; However, the Otters were swept by the River City Rascals in the final series and ultimately lost their spot in the playoffs by one game.
Otters fans (and players) are furious with how the Frontier League went about their decision and the amount of time that it took. They blame the league for the issues and still believe that they should be the ones in the playoffs.