DRS Baseball League 2020 season preview

Shakopee Coyotes Manager: Tanner Graff Last year’s record and accomplishments: Our last year’s record was 5-18. Our accomplishments of last year was knowing we need to work on the fundamentals also try not to overthink situations and just play the sport we love. Players who have left the team since last year: Lance Buchtel - not returning, Sam Fischer - not returning, Jordan Cardey - moved, Nicholas Warren - not returning, and Jesse Nystrom - taking a year off. New players on the team this year: Alec Aument - outfield/infield, pitcher. Shakopee, Jac Campbell - 1st base, outfield. Shakopee, Mike Johnson - outfield/infield. Huron, SD, Tj Harnung - 1st base, pitcher, outfield. Shakopee. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers: Chris Isensee - lefty, can swing the bat well also. Cody Pamperin - righty, good at keeping his pitch count low. Ben Fredenburg - righty, smart with pitch placements. Position players: Logan Becker - swings a strong bat also very reliable in the field. Andy Lazzari - consistent bat, also very reliable in the field. Zak Hoffman - very knowledgeable with baseball, one of the better hitters in the league. Jeff Hohenstein - good bat, one of the many leaders on the team. General expectations about the team: I am expecting our team to continue to work on the fundamentals of the game and to just play good old baseball. I also would like to have a better record than last year. Another run at state would be nice to see and participate in. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? St. Patrick, Faribault, Shakopee, and New Prague Lonsdale Aces Manager: Dave Readmond Last year’s record and accomplishments: 11-18. Fell 1 game short of qualifying for State Tournament after winning 4 games in 2017 and 2018. Players who have left the team since last year: Justin Johnson-Became a father for the first time and works in Rochester. New players on the team this year: Jacob Love, catcher, New Prague and Dominic Miland, pitcher, Lonsdale. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers Isaac Pint - #1 Pitcher. Workhorse who doesn’t get rattled and responds in all situations. Phil Tisdel - Crafty veteran who is fun to watch. True pitcher. Dan Turner - Best stuff on the team. Just has to learn how to develop it and become more consistent. Tyler Milford - Solid lefty who is learning and throws a lot of strikes. Ross Beumer and Ryan Roby - Lefty/Righty closer combo. Position players Marty Kalina - Super utility guy who has the ability of a top player. Devin Vosejpka - Youngster who is getting more consistent at 3B and with the bat. Ross Beumer - 5 tool guy in center. Zach Breedan - Easy power. Jack Skluzacek - #4 hitter on a roster of college players. General expectations about the team: Improve on last year. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? Faribault, St Benedict, Prior Lake, and St. Patrick

Faribault Lakers Manager: Charlie Lechtenberg Last year’s record and accomplishments: 13-10 Players who have left the team since last year: None New players on the team this year: Danny Pierce, Joe Palmer. Both from Faribault High School. Danny is back from an injury and rejoining the team. Joe was a senior last year at the high school. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers Matt Lane, Jack Helgeson, Egan Bonde, Porter Sartor, Tyler Francis. We have a great pitching rotation lead by Matt who’s one of the toughest pitchers in the state and has anchored our rotation. Position players Joey Grote, Dylan Valentyn, Blake Langerud, Matt Lane General expectations about the team: We are excited to be playing again this year. It will be different this year starting so late but we are hoping to make a return to the state tournament after missing out last year. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? St. Patrick, New Prague, St. Benedict, and Montgomery.

Webster Sox Manager: Mike Prochaska Last year’s record and accomplishments: 5 wins & 19 losses Players who have left the team since last year: Noah Wicklander - pitcher - retired, Adam Nueger - pitcher /outfield - retired, Marcus Pleiss - 1st baseman moved, and Jared Tucker - outfield, shortstop. New players on the team this year: Jake Ekness - 3rd base, outfield - New Prague, Dave Picha - pitcher, outfield - Northfield, Isaiah Umbreit - 3rd base, catcher, outfield - Lakeville, and Reece English - short, 2nd, outfield. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers Jarod Upsahl - throw strikes and is real gamer does not get shook. Jack Meyer - hard throwing left hander that wants the ball. Joe Barton - throw strikes , sneaky fastball and will eat up innings. Dave Picha - veteran left-hander that played for Northfield last year. Will provide a veteran presence. Position players Adam Schmitz - shortstop, leading hitter, top base stealer and excellent shortstop. Brooks Prochaska - 2nd base. Good hitter and solid tough at 2nd base. Gage Bergman - 1st, 3rd or DH - had a solid 2nd half of hitting in 2019. Max Drexl - Catcher - excellent defensive catcher. General expectations about the team: With some of the new additions to the team hoping to be near the 500 mark. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? New Prague, St. Patrick, Prior Lake, and Faribault. But look out for up and coming Lonsdale.

Union Hill Bulldogs Manager: John Masberg Last year’s record and accomplishments: 6-17 in DRS League. Players who have left the team since last year: Dan Feneis -pitcher moved to Chicago, Andrew Weiers pitcher and Sean O’neill pitcher both retirement. New players on the team this year: Nate Lee (C, 1b, OF) Waterville, Jack Kreutzian (P, OF), and Jake Becker (IF) Burnsville. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers Derek and Conrad Masberg, Joe Becker, Nathan Berg they all could be our #1 starter and we look for each of them to help each other out. Position players Paul Frykman all around great player. Will Busch will be a solid catcher. Our veterans Dustin Steinhoff, Zack Dubanoski and Adam Giesen will be key to this team keeping the young team in check. Our young group of guys will all be key players. General expectations about the team: We have a very young good team and we look to compete with every team this year and we will see how things turn out come Aug. 2nd when playoff start. With a 10 game season its up for grabs on who will come out on top. We just hope everyone stays safe and has fun as well. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? St. Pats, New Prague, Prior Lake, and Faribault.

St. Patrick Irish Manager: Brent Goracke Last year’s record and accomplishments: 22-10 in 2019. We were the two seed, behind New Market, coming out of our section and qualified for our 15th trip to the state tourney in 2019. Players who have left the team since last year: Released Braden Walsh, Pitcher, Going to school and working. Retired Mathew Pexa, Catcher/Utility, Retired after 17 fantastic years for the Irish. Released Kyle Sticha, OF, working too much to play and on the road with work. New players on the team this year: Zak Endres, Pitcher/Utility, Lakeville South. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers Colin Denk, Nick Spitt, Zach Seurer, and Phil Garcia. Position players Seth Ambroz, Matt Ambroz, Jack Friedges, and Kyle Rhodus. General expectations about the team: A high batting average team that will rely on good pitching to keep them in games. General expectations are to be in the top 4 within the league at the end of the regular season. There is great competition within the league so the challenge is always set year after year. With a shortened season this year every game is critical and every team knows that, so I would expect to see a lot of close games with everyone putting everything into each and every pitch. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? New Prague, St. Benedict, Prior Lake, and St. Patrick.

St. Benedict Manager: Wade Olson St. Benedict will have the same team as 2019 except for the departure of Shane Ahlbrecht. St. Benedict qualified for the State Tournament and lost to Waterville 3-2 on a walkoff homerun. Finished with an 11-12 record in the DRS League. Pitching staff will consist of Alex Donkers, Jeremy Heitkamp, Tanner Oakes, Cody Pirkl, Matthias Duevel, Cole Minnick, Paul Hentges, and Trey Kocher primarily. Top batters include Zach Bakko, Andrew Huss, Mitchell Martin, Carter Johnson, Nick Heitkamp, Ryan Gale, Carter Hodapp, and Brendan Heitkamp. St. Benedict earned four trips to the State Tournament last decade and will try to continue that trend this year. Top teams in the league according to Manager Wade Olsen are St. Patrick and New Prague. He thinks those two teams have separated themselves from the pack. Remaining teams are all very close for the other two state slots.

New Prague Orioles Manager: Nick Schoenecker Last year’s record and accomplishments: 15-12 Players who have left the team since last year: Austin Bachman-CF retired and Justin Novak-SS retired. New players on the team this year: Zach Herd-OF-Green Isle, Lucas Herd-OF, P-Green Isle, and TJ Bergland-P-Farmington. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers Nathan Sprouls has been the ace of the staff since 2017 when he joined the team. Bryce Novak is coming off an injury where he missed a good chunk of the 2019 season. He can pitch, play infield and outfield and will hit towards the top of the order. Luke Tupy lefthander who helped lead the Trojans to the state championship game in 2019. Max Fierst, Zach Sirek, and Frank Ruzicha will also get a lot of innings this year primarily in the relief pitcher role. Position players James Fuerniss will play first base and bat cleanup. He’s been one of our top hitters over the last few years. Eric Wagner will also be one of our top hitters, he is fast and has power to the gaps. Collin Dorzinski, Ben Buthe and Cade Pavek will also play a lot in the outfield, they can cover a lot of ground and offensively hit for a high average. Jacob Deutsch, Spencer Kajer and Jacob Mader will play all over in the infield with Anthony Mader doing the bulk of the catching. General expectations about the team: Goals for this year are to come together as a team and play good solid baseball. We hope to compete for a league title and a berth into the state tournament down in New Ulm. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? St. Patrick, Union Hill, Faribault and St. Benedict.

Montgomery Mallards Manager: Tyler Bednar Last year’s record: 13-10 Players who have left the team since last year: None New players on the team this year: Jaron Christenson - P/1B from Lonsdale. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players, and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers Ted Christian - One of the league leaders in strikeouts. Has the stuff to overpower hitters. John Krocak - Has the ability to shut down any line ups. Looking to build on a stellar second half of last year. Jaron Christenson - Has a combination of speed and off speed pitches that keeps hitters guessing. Position Players John Krocak - Hits for power and average along with being able to play any position on the field. Continues to be one of the top players in the league. Cole Pint - Has the ability to play multiple positions in the infield. Very dangerous at the plate with power and speed combination. Pat Lloyd - The Mallard’s shortstop is looking to build on a fantastic 2019 season. Pat led the Mallards in doubles last year. General expectations about the team: State Tournament Berth. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings? Montgomery, Prior Lake, St. Patrick, and Faribault.

Veseli Warriors Manager: Chris Hertaus Last year’s DRS League record: 8-15 Players who have left the team since last year: Nate Novak (OF) injured, Ben Doerr (P) injured, Neil Engler (OF) injured, Logan Reger (IF) injured, Jack Krouse (OF.P), retired, Josh Dorshak (IF) retired, Jordan Chlan (OF) retired, Cal Bartyzal (OF) retired, and John Solheid (OF,P) retired. New players of the team this year: Nate Picka (P, 3rd), Kurt Chlan (OF), Beau Brantner (P, IF), Emmett Bartyzal (OF), Sam Kjos (P, 1st), Billy Geis (P, 1st), Andy Geis (OF) All seven are first contract players who played on the Veseli Town & Country team. Please name three or four top pitchers and three or four top position players and what strengths they bring to the team. Pitchers Matt Perkinson is our veteran workhorse who is very consistent on the mound. Will Forberg had a very good outing in our playoffs. He will use that performance to make him better this year. Jackson Jirik has given us good starts, getting us to the seventh inning. Position Players Drew Peika plays a very solid shortstop for us. Matt Perkinson can play any position and does very well at all. Cody Shimota plays well at second making our middle infield very good. Mike Nezerka plays a very good third base. Tyler Busch is very solid behind the plate. General expectations about the team: We have added a large number of young and very good ball players who were part of last year’s Town & Country Championship team. They know how to win. With the addition of our new players and the leadership of veterans Matt Perkinson, Corey Friedges, and Tyler Busch, I think we could have a very successful season. Our pitching staff will be the deepest I can remember. Who will be the top four teams in the league standings: Faribault, St. Patrick, St. Benedict, and Montgomery. With the season being shortened to COVID-19, I think there could be a surprise team who qualified for State.

Prior Lake Lakers Finished 13-10 in the DRS League last year. Preview information was not received.

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