Minneapolis Millers

Rebuilt: Former Bust Dom Sackett Wins Manager of the Year

Minneapolis, MN – Just weeks after the Minneapolis Millers season had ended in three straight losses to their rival Vancouver Canadians, the local press was having a field day. After winning a league record 128 games, the team failed to win a championship despite making the playoffs for 11 straight seasons. One famous late night host even got in on the fun, saying simply, “0 for 11? Who do they think they are? Dom Sackett?” You’ve likely heard the Sackett story by now, but just in case, let’s recap. Sackett was the league’s first high school phenom, starring at Rockford high school where he hit .421/.539/.729 with 11 home runs, 35 walks and just 13 strikeouts in 37 games as a 17-year-old. Akron would select Sackett #1 overall that June, but almost instan...

Inside the Numbers: Millers 128 Win Edition

As we head into the much anticipated CBL playoffs, it seemed worthwhile to take a look back at the best regular season team in CBL history, the Minneapolis Millers. By posting it here, nobody has to read it, but I still get to brag! The Millers beat the previous wins record, 113, by 15 games, finishing 128-34. The team started 12-9 before finishing 116-25. The Frontier League record for losses is 33, one below the Millers total of 34. However, that record was set back in 2015, when the league played just 82 games. The Millers lost 1 more game while playing 80 more. The team’s +446 run differential is the best in baseball history, 35 runs better than the 1939 New York Yankees. The pitching staff finished with 1,779 strikeouts, surpassing the previous CBL record of 1,717 set by the Mah...

Millers Raid Farm System in Search of Gold

Following the latest Millers post-season collapse this past October, it was clear something needed to change in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, the team’s best pitcher, Garrett Gooden, would be leaving in free agency in the next few weeks, as would a key veteran slugger, Russell Bell. Making matters worse, the organization was not very excited about the free agency crop in general. “We mostly spent November working on extensions with our own players,” Millers assistant GM Dan Kantrovitz says. “Once it was clear Gooden and Russ weren’t coming back, we felt comfortable being patient.” Kantrovitz wasn’t lying. The Millers would agree to 5-year extensions with Edgardo Cordero, Chris Stranathan and Dieter Kokke, a 4-year extension with Dan Tigue, 3-year ext...

CBL History: Don Sanders was acquired for $1

The date was November 1, 2022. 32-year-old outfielder Anthony Gose, coming off an injury-plagued .227/.311/.318 season while playing in just 20 games, informed the Richardson City Blood Raven he would not exercise his opt out clause, meaning his $10.5M salary was officially guaranteed for the 2023 season. It was widely expected, but it was an issue for Richardson City because they were near their budget already. After scouring the league for a trade partner, only one team was willing to acquire Gose, but even that had a catch. The Minneapolis Millers would want two prospects as their price for taking Gose’s final unproductive year of his contract off of Richardson City’s hands. “We zeroed in on Don Sanders almost immediately,” a Millers source tells me. “He wa...

An Underrated Career: Trace Loehr

Few CBL players are as polarizing on the field as Minneapolis Millers long-time shortstop Trace Loehr. A career .233 hitter with a .720 OPS is, some argue, worthy of being a first ballot Hall-of-Famer when he retires, and that drives some fans crazy. Offense is what seems to drive popularity, but Loehr’s body of work is impressive for it’s overall value and even more so for it’s uniqueness. Loehr has won four gold glove awards and likely had a few stolen away as well. After being given the starting shortstop job for good as a 26-year-old, Loehr played in more than 150 games for 8 straight seasons, constantly putting up league leading ZR as a SS. Combining outstanding defense with surprising power and a patient eye made Loehr one of the league’s most valuable players...

Nearly Down and Out, Millers Go Down Under

Minneapolis, MN – The Minneapolis Millers have clinched a playoff spot tonight, despite being three games under .500 at 78-81. A mostly rebuilding FL is to thank, to be sure, but a month ago the playoffs seemed like an impossibility for this team. *One Month Earlier* The date is August 31, and the Minneapolis Millers playoff hopes are fading fast. The team has just lost 9-2 to their divisional foe, the Vancouver Canadians. The Millers are just 2-6 over their last 8 games heading into September, and even worse all 8 games were against divisional opponents. With the team sitting at 59-72, the organization decided to fire manager Mike Matheny, in a hail mary attempt to salvage their season. The organization took a beating on social media, as fans and pundits alike were discouraged by th...

Luis “The Iceman” Gabriel

Higüey, Dominican Republic – Located on the far east coast of the Dominican Republic, Higüey is the capital city of the La Altagracia Province and survives almost entirely on tourism, with most residents employed at the hotel complexes in nearby Punta Cana. Paloma Gabriel is no different. The 47-year-old widow has worked in Punta Cana for nearly 20 years, forced to find a job after her husband died in a car accident when their young son, Luis, was just 14 months old. Paloma never re-married, instead focusing her energy on her career and her young son. She worked her way up from a hotel maid to today being the general manager of one of the islands most successful hotels, and it is clear her incredible work ethic was passed on to her only son. As a child, Luis Gabriel was always the fa...

Millers to Promote Augusto Hernandez

Minneapolis, MN – Augusto Hernandez is almost certainly the best relief prospect you’ve never heard of. The 24-year-old Dominican left-hander has dominated between AA and AAA over the last two seasons, and has finally earned a call-up to the big league club. Last season, Hernandez posted a 1.75 ERA and saved 33 of 37 games at the AA level, striking out 99 batters in just 77 innings of work, while walking 20. That impressive performance led to Hernandez beginning this season at the AAA level. He’s continued his dominance this year, posting a 1.48 ERA while saving a perfect 23 games out of 23 opportunities. While his dominating numbers seem to suggest his future is in the back of the bullpen, scouts seem to differ and see Hernandez as more of a middle reliever. “He...

Channel Cats Go Pitching Heavy in Draft

Caroline County, MD – For as long as baseball has been around, experts have always insisted the key to a championship is great pitching and defense. Teams love to score runs, but it’s often overlooked that preventing runs is equally as important as scoring them. Of course, finding great pitching is much easier said than done, although a great defense can help. With the CBL’s annual amateur draft coming to a close this evening, we can now confirm that the Caroline County Channel Cats selected pitchers with all 12 of their draft choices. “We didn’t plan on taking all pitchers, but obviously we were considerably higher on the pitching in this draft than the offense,” the team’s GM told me. “We had a few hitters we liked a lot, but we didn’...

Channel Cats Go Pitching Heavy in Draft

Caroline County, MD – For as long as baseball has been around, experts have always insisted the key to a championship is great pitching and defense. Teams love to score runs, but it’s often overlooked that preventing runs is equally as important as scoring them. Of course, finding great pitching is much easier said than done, although a great defense can help. With the CBL’s annual amateur draft coming to a close this evening, we can now confirm that the Caroline County Channel Cats selected pitchers with all 12 of their draft choices. “We didn’t plan on taking all pitchers, but obviously we were considerably higher on the pitching in this draft than the offense,” the team’s GM told me. “We had a few hitters we liked a lot, but we didn’...

A Look At Millers 1st Rd Pick 2020 Draft Juan Gutiérrez

Juan Gutiérrez ETA: 2022 Position: OF Age: 21 DOB: 07/09/1998 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6′ 1″ Weight: 190 lb. Drafted: 2020, 1st (12) – MIL Scouting grades: Hit: 41 | Power: 51 | Run: 81 | Arm: 64 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55 Joined the Pepperdine University Aardvarks in 06/08/2017. Is a 3 time participant in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-Star Games and 2 time NAIA CC Player of the Week Award. 3 years at Pepperdine University producing a batting average of .323,on-base percentage of .374, slugging at .531, punching in 90 RBI. Gutiérrez’s average-or-better tools across the board allow him to impact the game in a variety of ways. The 6-foot-1 right-handed hitter drives the ball across the whole field with a clean and controlled stroke, and he ...

Millers Month Of April Review

Edited: Just as I was writing about the first month of the season, news broke, Freeman to the Millers for Escobar,Bass, and Ramos. This is a huge boost to the Millers lineup and their quest for more runs.  Freeman is batting .243, .371 obp, with 10 RBI and 15 walks. What a first month of the season for the Millers. No one expected the struggle to come from the starting pitching staff through the first 9 games of the season. They were 1 and 8 with an ERA over 5 and seemingly everyone struggled.  Inside sources were quoted in saying that firing Gardenhire might of been a mistake. It was well deocumented that Gardenhire wanted more and more control over team and management which ultimately resulted in the Millers letting him go.  But after the slow start the Millers are now 9 and 14 with a te...

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