2019 Roster Preview

Friday, May 10, 2019
by Boomers Staff

Schaumburg Boomers manager Jamie Bennett has set the 24-man roster for 2019 that will debut on tonight in St. Louis against the Gateway Grizzlies.

The roster for 2019 will feature nine players who were members of the 2018 team along with five others who were members of a Frontier League roster last year. The area with the most newcomers is in the infield, where all four currently listed players are newcomers.

Highlighting the returning players are three All-Stars from 2018 in Jack Parenty, Payton Lobdell and Nick Oddo. Parenty was a midseason and postseason all-star last year, etching his name in the franchise record books after hitting .324 while playing in a team high 94 games. The New York native will make the move to the outfield after primarily playing second base in his first two years with the organization. Oddo begins his third season with the club as the primary catcher after seeing his playing time increase last year. The California native batted .292 last year with four homers and 24 RBIs and is moving from a rookie classification to veteran status. Oddo is the oldest player on the team having just turned 27.  Lobdell was an anchor on the pitching staff last year and was one of the top pitchers in the league during the first half of the year. The 25-year old started 18 games for the Boomers last year and finished 5-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 101.2 innings.

The pitching staff boasts the most returners with five total. Besides Lobdell, Gunnar Kines returns to the starting rotation and will receive the ball on opening night. Kines is one of the longest tenured players in franchise history and enters his fourth year with the team in 2019. The lefty made 16 starts last year in a return from a leg injury suffered while a member of the Mets’ organization. Kines was signed away from the Boomers in 2017 by the Mets. The South Carolina native finished 6-4 last year with a 4.34 ERA to go with 81 strikeouts in 93.1 innings. Kines has made 41 starts in his Schaumburg career. 

Relievers Darrell Thompson and Dylan Stutsman were with the Boomers for almost all of 2018. Stutsman made 25 appearances after joining the team following his college career at the University of Indianapolis and was used in a wide array of roles, working 52 innings. Thompson pitched in 29 games, striking out 45 over 35.2 innings of work.  Jack Finnegan joined the Boomers last August and appeared in seven games, striking out nine over 9.2 innings.

Dylan Jones and Clint Hardy return to the outfield. Jones played in 68 games, hitting .263 as a true rookie with two homers, 18 RBIs, and six steals. Hardy batted .241 in 55 games with two homers and 20 RBIs.

The rest of the rotation following Kines and Lobdell features players who were on Frontier League rosters last year. Aaron Rozek is currently slotted third. Rozek, the second of three lefties in the rotation, started 10 games and logged 50 innings as a member of the Southern Illinois Miners in 2018, finishing 3-3 with a 5.10 ERA.

Jack Landwehr currently holds down the position of starting the home opener. Landwehr was an All-Star with the Normal CornBelters in 2018. A local product from Mt. Prospect, Landwehr finished 8-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 14 starts last season, his first as a professional out of Illinois State University.

Rounding out the rotation to open the year will be another lefty, Connor Reed. Reed appeared in 35 games over two years with the Lake Erie Crushers, starting 20.

The remainder of the pitching staff, which will feature 13 arms to open the season, features Erik Martinez, a rookie from UC-Berkley, Joe Doughtery, the team’s first-round selection at the Frontier League draft, Taylor Goshen, who pitched for the Joliet Slammers in 2018, Connor Eller, who spent three years in the Toronto system, reaching Triple-A, and Christian Aragon, who was a member of the Angels’ minor league system last year.

Among the newcomers for the position players is Matt Rose. Rose was chosen in the 11th round by the Cubs in 2015 and was part of the trade between Chicago teams involving Jose Quintana and Eloy Jimenez. The infielder played 115 games at Double-A Birmingham for the White Sox last year.

Other infielders include Quincy Nieporte, who played collegiately at Florida State and reached High-A with the Phillies. A native of Puerto Rico, Julio Gonzalez logged nearly 100 games at three levels for the Royals after being drafted out of Florida Gulf Coast University. Alex Polston is a veteran of three years in the American Association, playing 212 games at six different positions.

Outfielder Connor Oliver opened his pro career in 2013 after being drafted by the Braves and has played nearly 500 games over six years. Oliver owns three years in the Frontier League with three different teams, most recently the Traverse City Beach Bums, batting .299 last year in 41 contests. Rayden Sierra, a native of the Dominican Republic, will make his professional debut with the Boomers after earning All-America honors in 2018 at Cumberland University, where he was the Mid-South Player of the Year after batting .350 with 22 homers. The final newcomer is catcher Wilkyns Jimenez. Jimenez was drafted by the Boomers in the 2018 Frontier League draft but was released in spring training before hitting .327 in the Pacific Association with the Martinez Clippers.

The home schedule opens on May 14 with a 6:30 p.m. contest against the Washington Wild Things. The first home game of the season will feature a Boomers Plate Disc giveaway for the first 500 fans along with a magnet schedule giveaway, $1 hot dogs and postgame fireworks presented by Wintrust Community Banks.