August 26, 2014

Lonnie Chisenhall On Fire in Double-A

The 2008 and 2009 drafts for the Cleveland Indians keep looking better by the day. Sure, everyone is excited about ’09 top selection Stephen Strasburg and the yet-to-be-signed first pick in the 2010 draft in Bryce Harper, but the Indians have themselves quite a load as well.

From last year’s draft, starter Alex White is dominating through five games in Double-A while Jason Kipnis (second round) and Jordan Henry (seventh round) were recently promoted to Akron as well.

Meanwhile, Lonnie Chisenhall, Cleveland’s first-round pick in the ’08 draft out of Pitt Community College, has revitalized himself recently as one of the top hitting prospects in the minor leagues.

Since returning from a nagging right shoulder injury on May 28th, the 21-year-old Chisenhall has been the offensive leader for the now red-hot Aeros. Both Chisenhall and the team struggled to start the season, but Chisenhall is currently tearing up the Eastern League and showcasing why the Indians selected him 29th overall two years ago.

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Aerodynamics: Akron Ties Franchise Record with 11th Straight Win Friday

As a reminder, I’ll be serving this summer as the media relations director for the Akron Aeros. I presented my first update earlier in the week and will be writing many more articles in the future from the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

The best team in Northeast Ohio continues to fight through adversity here in 2010. Fresh off a 2009 Eastern League Championship, the Akron Aeros are now red-hot and in the driver’s seat for another playoff run this year.

After starting just 8-16 on the season, the Aeros won again Friday night to improve to 31-30 with an 11th consecutive victory. The win over the visiting Portland Sea Dogs of the Boston Red Sox organization tied a franchise record for longest winning streak. The previous mark was set in 2002 when the team finished with the best record in professional baseball at 93-48.

Following the jump, take a look at who led Akron’s comeback victory last night at Canal Park as well as read about some of the notable performers recently for the team.

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Aerodynamics: Catching up with the Double-A Akron Aeros 6/9/10

I chronicled the 2009 Eastern League Championship run by the Akron Aeros while serving as a media relations intern last season. This year, I returned to Canal Park three weeks ago as the new media relations director and am serving up my first 2010 report from Akron today. Enjoy folks.

If there is one NE Ohio team that has been consistently dominant in over the past decade, it is certainly the Akron Aeros. Winners of the three of the last six Eastern League Championships as well as five straight pennants, the Aeros are a minor league powerhouse. The 2010 baseball season however, did not begin in fairy tale fashion.

It was initially refreshing to see the squad jump out to a 5-1 start, but the youngsters crashed down immediately afterwards. Before you could even blink, the team lost 15 of 18 games and fell deep into the Eastern League cellar. After a mediocre few weeks of baseball, Akron is now surging again after a dramatic eighth straight win Tuesday night at Canal Park.

This Month: 7-0
Current Record: 28-30, T-4th place (of six) in Eastern League’s Western Division
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Poppin’ Champagne: Akron Aeros 2009 Championship Season-in-Review (Part 1)

aeros-championshipWhat a scene it was. The Akron Aeros capped off their miraculous season with a sensational championship-sealing victory Saturday night against the Connecticut Defenders (San Francisco Giants). In holding on to win 10-6, the Aeros won for the 14th time in 15 games to end the year and capped off the third Eastern League Championship in just seven years for the Indians Double-A affiiliate. In fact, in the past eight years that is now three championships, seven pennants, seven playoff berths and now a record-setting five straight 80-win seasons.

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Aeros Advance to Eastern League Championship Series; Face Connecticut Defenders Tonight

lonnie-chisenhall-john-drennenAs routine as always, the Akron Aeros swept through the mismatched Reading Phillies to make it to the Championship round of the Eastern League for the fifth consecutive season. Highlighted by dominant starting pitching, the Aeros out-scored the Phillies 24-9 in the series and will take on the Connecticut Defenders (Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) starting tonight at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT. It was no surprise to see the Defenders take care of the second-place New Britain Rock Cats in their divisional championship as these two teams had been the tops in the league for the past several months.

The Indians season is cruising along agonizingly slowly, but the Aeros are in the thick of playoff baseball yet again. This pennant run in 2009 marks the 9th time in 13 years since the move from Thurman Munson Stadium in Canton that the Indians Double-A affiliate has made the playoffs as well as the 7th time in eight years. Led by many of the featured prospects in the organization (Carlos Santana, Jeanmar Gomez) as well as some recently acquired pitchers (Scott Barnes, Connor Graham), the Aeros cruised through the regular season Eastern League schedule and have now won 11 consecutive games dating back to the regular season.

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Aeros Take on Reading in EL Divisional Round

canal-parkAfter finishing the season Monday afternoon with an 89-53 record, the Aeros look to improve upon their second-most successful regular season with another playoff run here in 2009. WFNY was all over the Akron playoff run last September thanks to the help of Travis Hafner and others, and this year features one of the most stacked Double-A teams in franchise history. Playing against the Reading Phillies in a five-game series starting tonight at Canal Park, the Aeros will have their work cut out for them yet again. The team has won the Eastern League Southern Division post-season crown in each of the past four seasons and will look to complete their run of an EL record fifth straight 80-win season with a fifth straight trip to the championship.

The biggest story in this series will be what the Aeros still have on their roster compared to what Reading no longer has. This weekend I mentioned how Akron took home three of the four season-ending awards from the league with the lone exception of the Rookie of the Year award to Michael Taylor. The former Stanford Cardinal got the promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley back in July however, and will not be playing for the team as well as two of their top pitching prospects in lefty Joe Savery and prodigee Kyle Drabek. Savery, the first player in the league to reach 10 wins and a post-season All-Star in the league despite being promoted in July, will not play in the series as well while their top prospect in Drabek has been shut down for the season due to his innings count.

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Double Dose of Double-A: Akron Aeros Bi-Weekly Review – 6/7/09

aerosSorry for the delay in updating my beat on the Aeros, but a recent week-long home stand had me pretty exhausted over this past weekend. After a hot 28-8 start that propelled them towards the best record in professional baseball for weeks, Akron is now amidst a 7-12 slide that has cut their lead in the Southern Division of the Eastern League to only 2.5-games ahead of the red-hot Reading Phillies. It will be a wild race to the finish with exactly three months left in the regular season, and hopefully the Aeros can hold on for another repeat Southern Division pennant.

Last Two Weeks: 4-9 (.308); Lose 5-0 5/26 vs. Reading, Win 6-5 5/27 vs. Reading, Lose four straight between 5/28 and 5/31, Win 13-10 6/1 at Reading, Lose three straight between 6/2 and 6/4. Win 12-5 6/5 at Altoona, Win 1-0 6/6 (1) at Altoona, Lose 3-0 6/6 (2) at Altoona

Current Record: 35-20 (.636); a meager 2.5-games ahead of Reading, 3.5-games ahead of Erie and 7.5-games ahead of Bowie in the Southern Division. As well, the Aeros currently trail the Birmingham Barons (37-18, White Sox affiliate) of the Southern League by 2.0-games for the best record in Double-A. Birmingham is tied with the Brevard County Manatees (34-15, Class A, Brewers affiliate) for the best record in professional baseball.

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