The Indians short season single-A squad, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, are at it again for another season! After a pretty good 2016, the Scrappers are ready to get their new year started Monday night at Monongalia County Ballpark facing the well-matched Black Bears (short season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates).
The Scrappers have something for every kind of fan showing up to Eastwood Field. For those looking for the best promos, Mahoning Valley has some awesome giveaways and looks like they’ve added a little extra flare this year. Also, for those excited more than anything to see who’s on the field, the roster is out and it’s looking good.
Fans will get to see some interesting prospects dot the playing field this season, many new to the professional world. You can expect the Indians first round (14th overall) draft pick from 2016, RF Will Benson, and their second round pick MIF Nolan Jones to start for the Scrappers in 2017.
Benson has a lot on his shoulders being the first round pick for the Tribe, however I believe he’s up to the task. He swings and misses a decent amount, but his bat speed combined with his quickness and agility should be able to keep his head pretty high above water.
Jones on the other hand brings a small amount power to the plate (at least shown in the rookie league), but the impressive ability to get on base, holding the seventh best OBP (.388) in the league. A few other talents showing up to Eastwood Field this season, CIF Ulysses Cantu, who was also drafted in 2016 (6th round), southpaw Francisco Perez and SS Elvis Perez.
Whether someone starts in Mahoning Valley, or ends up back there from the high levels, this team is based mostly on pulling out the potential of every guy on the field and on the bench. Of course, everyone wants to get the wins, which should be a top priority, however, it’s at this level where these young guys learn the basics of professional baseball in order to get them ready to go forward towards their goal.
Now for those fantastic promos! For the opener, the first 2,500 fans coming through the gates will receive a 2017 magnet schedule, along with it being Military Appreciation night with post-game fireworks (which are amazing, if I do say so myself). Following that, some other promos include a Francisco Lindor bobblehead giveaway on Friday June 23rd, a Jose Ramirez bobble head on July 29th and a Jason Kipnis bobble on August 26th to the first 1000 fans.
They also have All You Can Eat Tuesdays, 15$ per person for a pass, and a Kids Create a Jersey Night on August 5th. Kids ages 12 or younger got to create a jersey for the team to wear on the field, where they will be auctioned off with benefits going to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. A few other cool theme nights are Star Wars night with fireworks, Family Fun Day where the kids run the show August 6th, and Cleveland Sports night the 1st of September.
This season is bound to be a good one for many reasons, and I can’t wait to get everything started. Tucked away behind a Target, just on the edge of the woods, Eastwood field is the perfect place to get away for a while, sit back and enjoy the beauty that is baseball…with bite!
|C||Gian Paul Gonzalez|