April 23, 2014

MLB News: Francisco Lindor now MLB.com’s 10th-best prospect

Francisco LindorTop Cleveland Indians prospect Francisco Lindor was named as the tenth-best prospect in Minor League Baseball entering the 2014 season, per MLB.com.

The website released its top 100 rankings on Thursday night in an online show with their top prospect analysts. The full details and scouting reports are available at MLBPipeline.com. Other Indians listed were recent first-round pick Clint Frazier at No. 48 and right-handed starter Trevor Bauer at No. 73.

In the previous update back in late July, the three players were ranked No. 5, No. 56 and No. 42, respectively. Lindor continues to be billed for his incredibly high developmental floor. He’s expected to be an average MLB starter, at worst. But many players with higher best-case upside passed him in this ranking, led by top overall prospect Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins.

Just over two weeks ago, Baseball America released its top 10 Indians prospect list. Lindor, Frazier and Bauer remained the top three in that order. Following those two were 2012 first-round pick Tyler Naquin and up-and-coming starting prospect Cody Anderson.

Lindor, 20, is generally expected to begin the season again with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks. He concluded last year with 21 games for the recently rebranded team before being shut down for the season in mid-August. He’s one of several prospects — along with Naquin, infielder Joseph Wendle and others — to receive non-roster invitations to big-league spring training.

Frazier, 19, was the team’s No. 5 overall pick last June. He recently was quoted as saying “I want to be like Mike Trout.” Those are some lofty aspirations. Bauer, 23, remains one of the candidates for the team’s final rotation spot this season. After a disappointing 2013 season, the pressure is starting to mount for him in Cleveland, although he’s still quite young.

[Related: Thursday Tribe Notes]

Photo: AP Photo/Mark Duncan

The Diff: Cleveland Indians prospect movement in 2013

The Diff is your weekly Wednesday WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, I shared five statistical thoughts about the Tribe’s outlook. Now, I’m catching up on prospects.

The Diff

This edition is my third installment of my monthly Indians prospect update within The Diff. Back in June, the theme was looking at preseason prospect rankings and the common themes. Then in July, I shared a trade deadline update, looking at potentially useful prospect pieces. Today, I wrote about a grand total of 48 prospects to share the context of their 2013 prospect movement – up, stagnant or down. Stats below are as of games completed on Sunday, Aug. 11, or Monday, Aug. 12. [Read more...]

MLB News: Danny Salazar throws five no-hit innings for Columbus

Cleveland Indians starting pitching prospect Danny Salazar delivered five near-perfect innings for Triple-A Columbus on Friday night against the Buffalo Bisons.

After just 52 pitches (40 strikes) — as the organization continues to monitor his recovery post-Tommy John surgery — the 23-year-old right-hander struck out eight and retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced. It would have been a perfect outing, but one batter reached base on a fourth inning error by first baseman Chun Chen. There were three groundball outs, two pop outs and two flyouts.

Update: The Clippers pitching staff eventually lost the combined no-hit bid in the ninth inning on a ninth-inning two-out bloop single by Anthony Gose.

With the outing, Salazar now has a 2.71 ERA in 21 minor league outings this season. He has a sensational 129 strikeouts (12.5 K/9) against only 24 walks (2.3 BB/9) in 93.0 innings pitched. Only three times has he been allowed to pitch into the sixth inning.

Per a most recent update, his strikeout per nine inning ratio leads all 509 minor league pitchers with at least 80 innings this season. His 5.38 K/BB ratio also ranks 14th among all of these pitchers.

Salazar dazzled in his MLB debut back on July 11. He struck out seven in 6.1 innings pitched, allowing just one run on two hits. His 94 pitches tied a season high. He brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning against reigning Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays. That was Salazar’s only game in Cleveland so far this season.

Entering the year, he was a top-10 organizational prospect, but many still wondered why the Indians decided to protect him on the 40-man roster following the 2011 season. After earning the early May promotion to Columbus, he suddenly was catching the eyes of evaluators around baseball.

It’s likely that Indians manager Terry Francona will utilize Salazar as a surprise bullpen option down the stretch, assuming he has yet to reach his innings limit for the season. Entering 2014, it’s possible he’ll compete for a starting rotation job.

[Related: WFNY Stats & Info: Danny Salazar’s magical debut]

Carlos Moncrief: Cleveland’s most surprising 2013 prospect

moncrief photoAkron Aeros outfielder Carlos Moncrief is not your typical prospect.

At 24 years old, he’s a bit more, well, mature than the average Double-A Eastern League player. He’s listed as 6-foot and 219-lbs, which both seem to be moderately generous. And as a former pitcher, he doesn’t have quite that much professional experience as a batter.

But the Cleveland Indians can no longer ignore the incredible production that Moncrief is displaying in 2013. Without a doubt, he’s been the organization’s most improved prospect and he’s making his case to be the league’s MVP.

From June 1 through Friday, the Mississippi native was one of the best all-around players in the minor leagues. His line: .360/.429/.645 in 49 games with 29 extra-base hits, 39 runs, 41 RBI and six steals. He also had an efficient 23 walks against just 33 strikeouts. [Read more...]

Francisco Lindor’s Double-A debut is tonight: Are we ready?

Francisco Lindor MLB Futures Game

Francisco Lindor was born on Nov. 14, 1993. In relative terms, that was 16 weeks before Justin Bieber was born and 20 weeks before Jacobs Field hosted its first official game.

That should provide some helpful context on the combination of elite skills and exciting youth for the 19-year-old Cleveland Indians prospect. After playing in Sunday’s MLB Futures Game in New York City, he’s scheduled to make his Double-A debut tonight for the Akron Aeros.

Lindor will join rarefied air among under-20 players to earn significant playing time at the Double-A level. The last five position players to do so: Xander Bogearts, Jurickson Profar, Manny Machado, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. That’s three All-Stars and two fellow top-10 prospects entering 2013. [Read more...]

MLB News: Indians to promote C.C. Lee, demote Danny Salazar

The Cleveland Indians are set to option Danny Salazar today back to Columbus and recall right-handed reliever Chen-Chang Lee. The team just announced the move on Twitter this afternoon. Tony Lastoria at Indians Baseball Insider broke the news last night.

It’s certainly sad to see Salazar go after his sensational debut yesterday afternoon, but it makes sense. The Indians won’t have a need for a No. 5 starter for another 11 days because of the upcoming All-Star break. By that time, Zach McAllister may be ready to be activated from the disabled list.

Salazar, 23, had one of the best debuts for a Cleveland Indians starter ever. He struck out seven Toronto Blue Jays in six dominant innings, carrying a no-hitter into his final frame. He’ll return to the Clippers where he’s only made 10 Triple-A starts (and 13 in Double-A) in his minor league career.

In return, the Indians are promoting the 26-year-old nicknamed C.C. Lee. A high-profile Taiwanese minor league free agent in September 2008, he’s one of the most touted reliever prospects in the system. He’s been on the mend thus far in 2013 from Tommy John surgery last year, thus he only has limited outings back in Triple-A. He’s old for his level now and will be getting his first opportunity in the big leagues.

Overall, in his 107 career games between the Double-A Akron Aeros and Clippers, Lee has a 2.83 ERA with 210 strikeouts and 53 walks in 165.1 innings pitched. A pint-sized 5-foot-10, he generates tremendous velocity and deception with his delivery. The Indians announced on Twitter that Lee will provide additional bullpen help for the next week or so.

Lee will be the 23rd pitcher to appear in a game for the Indians already in 2013. The team has had try-outs for a variety of other prospects such as Trevor Bauer, Matt Langwell, Preston Guilmet and, most recently, Salazar. They’ve also given opportunities to non-prospects like Joe Martinez and David Huff, while former prospects Nick Hagadone and Scott Barnes messed up their chances to stick with the team too.

[Related: Indians 4 Blue Jays 2: Salazar dazzles in Tribe debut]

WFNY Stats & Info: Six Indians prospects of note

Back on June 5, I wrote ad nauseam about the top prospects in the Cleveland Indians system. It was a helpful usage of The Diff and I plan to do that a few more times this baseball season.

In the meanwhile, in between those opportunities, I’ll occasionally share some notes in my usual WFNY Stats & Info headlines. For today, here’s six prospects of note from the past few weeks.

SS Francisco Lindor, A+ Carolina, 11/14/93
Season stats: .300/.375/.400 in 65 games with 1 HR, 23 RBI, 29 BB, 29 K, 18 SB, 15 E
Recent stretch: .248/.333/.298 in 37 games with 0 HR, 11 RBI, 18 BB, 16 K, 11 SB, 11 E

The top prospect in the Tribe system has posted some fairly mediocre numbers for more than half of his season. It’s very rare to see an OBP 35 points higher than a SLG, but that’s what happens with elite patience (45th-best BB/K ratio among 901 minor league batters with 180+ plate appearances) and very little power (just 7 extra-base hits, all doubles, in 141 at-bats since May 5th). The increasing errors also are concerning. In the end, he’s still just a 19-year-old. So time is definitely on his side.

RHP Trevor Bauer, AAA Columbus, 1/17/1991
Season stats: 4-4 record, 3.60 ERA, 13 starts, 75.0 IP, 59 H, 47 BB, 72 K
Recent stretch: 1-0 record, 1.02 ERA, 3 starts, 17.2 IP, 18 H, 8 BB, 20 K

Bauer’s combined season numbers between Columbus and Cleveland look quite decent. The one question, as always, is his control. His combined 5.6 BB/9 this year would rank by far last out of 100 qualified MLB pitchers in 2013. That’s an issue. Yes, Bauer has electric stuff, is only 22 and when/if he hones down the walks, should project to be a very suitable No. 2 starter in the big leagues. But every start is an adventure right now.

RHP Preston Guilmet, AAA Columbus, 7/27/1987
Season stats: 2-4 record, 16 saves, 2.60 ERA, 29 games, 34.2 IP, 25 H, 11 BB, 41 K
Recent stretch: 0-2 record, 3 saves, 0.68 ERA, 10 games, 13.1 IP, 10 H, 7 BB, 18 K

Should the Indians be willing to make a 40-man roster move to add a in-house potential-laden bullpen arm, Guilmet should be the next man on deck. He has 16 saves in 20 opportunities along with an impressive 10.6 K/9 for the season. In his fourth year as a reliever and the team’s 9th-rounder in 2009, he’s quietly moved up the system with very consistent production. I’d expect for him to get a shot by September with an outside chance for a bullpen role in 2014.

RHP Cody Anderson, A+ Carolina, 9/14/1990
Season stats: 6-3 record, 2.63 ERA, 14 starts, 75.1 IP, 64 H, 19 BB, 69 K
Recent stretch: 3-2 record, 2.18 ERA, 8 starts, 41.1 IP, 33 H, 10 BB, 46 K

I’m going to keep on writing about Anderson until someone starts paying attention. He’s been by far the best starter in the Indians system in 2013. Among the 515 minor league pitchers with at least 50.0 IP, his K/BB ratio of 3.63 ranks T-80th. That’s darn impressive — although not quite at Corey Kluber levels. The team’s 14th-rounder in 2011, he also posted good numbers in Lake County last year, so he should be on the verge of being a top-10 prospect for 2014.

RF Carlos Moncrief, AA Akron, 11/3/1988
Season stats: .290/.360/.456 in 64 games with 9 HR, 32 RBI, 28 BB, 56 K, 6 SB, 2 E
Recent stretch: .375/.444/.636 in 22 games with 5 HR, 17 RBI, 11 BB, 21 K, 3 SB, 1 E

A converted pitcher, Moncrief has had his best season at the plate thus far in 2013 for the Aeros. He was the Indians minor league player of the week last week and his 15-game hitting streak finally was snapped Tuesday night. He has a plus arm, solid power and is turning himself into an intriguing prospect to watch. He’s a bit old for Double-A, but might have the most raw power of any high-level prospect in the system.

2B/SS Ronny Rodriguez, AA Akron, 4/17/1992
Season stats: .273/.295/.422 in 64 games with 4 HR, 33 RBI, 8 BB, 40 K, 8 SB, 13 E
Recent stretch: .358/.382/.579 in 23 games with 2 HR, 18 RBI, 5 BB, 13 K, 5 E

The No. 7 prospect in the system, Rodriguez has finally caught fire after a very sluggish start to the season. He’s the reigning minor league player of the week, although he’s 0-for-8 in his last two ballgames. His hot streak has coincided with finally being moved to the No. 2 hole in the lineup after usually batting in the bottom half. His lack of patience and free-swinging style is not ideal, but he has a lot of hitting upside for a 21-year-old middle infielder.

[Related: Indians 4, Royals 3: Deserve Ain’t Got Nothin’ To Do With It*]

Indians shoot for the stars with potential-laden Clint Frazier

clint frazierLet’s get this out of the way: Georgia high school outfielder Clint Frazier is not the next Mike Trout.

Of course, Trout was the No. 25 selection in 2009, a high-schooler out of New Jersey. The 6-foot-1, 220-lb.-monster of an athlete is an absolute star and posted one of the most dominant rookie seasons in MLB history last year. There’s a reason why he was in the MVP discussion with a Triple Crown winner. He has plus-plus speed, elite overall hitting and plays a dominant center, one of the game’s most prized positions.

But enough talk about Trout. Let’s get chatting about the new most famous red-head in Cleveland. Frazier, the Indians’ pick at No. 5 in the 2013 MLB Draft, was the best raw power prospect this year. He’s not that big at 6-foot-1, 190 lbs. But he’s described as being an all-out, compact and lean athlete who has plus-plus bat speed – among the best scouts have seen in a long, long time. [Read more...]

The Diff: Update on top Cleveland Indians prospects

The Diff is your weekly Wednesday WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. Amazingly, this is already the 20th one I’ve written here at the site. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, The Diff looked deep into the stats of Nerlens Noel as the likely No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. This week, it’s back to my roots: Cleveland Indians prospect talk.

The Diff

During most of the 2012 baseball season, I wrote a regular feature called the “WFNY Wednesday Wahoos“. Pre-The Diff, this was my weekly adventure into the stats and prospects world, where I could share updates and anecdotal ideas about the Cleveland Indians system. It’s been a long time since I did one of those, so as a special blast from the past, I’m dedicating this week’s The Diff to a similar construct as those old Wahoos. Hope you enjoy. All statistics below are current as of games played on Monday, June 3. [Read more...]

Akron Aeros to give away Jim Donovan bobblehead on June 8

For the last several months, in typical minor league baseball fashion, the Double-A Akron Aeros have been hosting a Media Madness nomination and voting contest online for fans to submit their favorites for a three-pack of media celebrity June bobblehead giveaways.

donovan bobbleheadOn Friday afternoon, the Aeros announced the first winner in the TV category: Jim Donovan. The long-time Browns broadcaster will be honored with the team’s bobblehead at their game on Saturday, June 8, at Canal Park in Akron.

Per the team’s Facebook page, the image to the left is what the bobblehead will look like. The first 1,000 fans at the stadium will receive the bobbleheads on Saturday. Donovan, who has been with WKYC-TV since 1985 and the Browns’ play-by-play voice since they returned in 1999, is scheduled to make a special appearance at the game.

A little-known fact that also was in the team’s press release: Donovan was reportedly the play-by-play announcer for one season for the Vermont Reds, a minor league franchise that existed from 1984-1987, that then eventually became the Canton-Akron Indians in 1989 and then the Akron Aeros in 1997.

The two other finalists in the TV category were WEWS-TV’s chief meteorologist Mark Johnson and WJW-TV’s news anchor Tracy McCool. Still to be unveiled are the Media Madness winners in the Radio and Print categories. Voting is still available online for those two bobbleheads, with the giveaway dates occurring on Saturday, June 22, and Saturday, June 29, respectively.

[Related: New look, ‘new ballgame’ for Akron Aeros and Canal Park]

2013 MLB Draft: Indians look to buck trend with No. 5 pick

Terry Francona, Chris AntonettiAre you excited for Thursday’s draft? Oh probably not, and that’s because MLB’s June draft is likely the least popular of any North American sport1.

But alas, Thursday is the first round of the MLB Draft, which has since moved to primetime to try and attract a more solid viewership. For the Cleveland Indians, they’ll be picking at their highest selection since 2010 thanks to their awful collapse last season — No. 5 overall.

Sitting at such a prime position, then lacking a second-round pick due to the free agent signing of Nick Swisher, the Indians are in a do-or-die position: Can they finally stop their slide of abysmal draft picks and actually get one right? What has the team’s track record looked like over the last decade-plus? Who are the possible targets at that position? Let’s dive into some baseball draft talk. [Read more...]

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Footnotes:

  1. I could even understand the argument for the NHL, MLS and WNBA drafts being more exciting. Heck, I was even reading a few WNBA mock drafts this year. []

Lake Erie Crushers to wear superhero themed uniforms

The Lake Erie Crushers will be the next team to wear specialized Superhero themed uniforms on June 1st. The Crushers have worn special jerseys before, most notably their ‘Browns vs Steelers’ nights against teams from Pennsylvania, and ‘Buckeye night’ wearing the scarlet and gray uniforms against Traverse City.

On June 1st, the Crushers will host the Joliet Slammers. It is “Super Hero Night” and there will be a Boy Scout camp out following the game. The Crushers are encouraging young fans to dress as their favorite superhero. The players will as well.

There are three different jerseys that the players will be wearing during the game; a “Superman” inspired jersey, a “Batman” inspired jersey and a “Spiderman” inspired one. See the jersey designs after the break. [Read more...]

How good of a starting prospect is Danny Salazar?

danny salazarThe Cleveland Indians must have seen something in Danny Salazar before everyone else — and their early belief has paid off in a big way.

After the 2011 season, Cleveland’s organization surprised a lot of people by placing the 21-year-old right-hander on the official 40-man roster. Salazar actually had only made 15 starts in the previous two years because of Tommy John surgery and still hadn’t made it past the Single-A Midwest League with Lake County.

Yet, nearly 18 months after being protected from possible Rule 5 poaching, Salazar is rewarding the Tribe with the hottest start of any pitcher in professional baseball. In fact, following his fourth straight magnificent performance for Double-A Akron on Monday, he announced his own promotion to Triple-A Columbus on Twitter. And now, it’s time to wonder if he might be the best home-grown Cleveland pitching prospect in years. [Read more...]

The Diff: Baseball attendance in April, sellout streaks

Last week’s version of The Diff was tremendous fun as we journeyed through the land of quality starts in baseball. With the Indians’ back-and-forth 5-7 start to the season, that post likely remains incredibly relevant. Now, we stick with the same sport but head to something more external: April attendance.

The Diff

Attendance is always a topical theme in the world of baseball at the beginning of the season. Once the facade of a boisterous Opening Day sellout is lifted, columnists and fans peel back the harsh reality of battling the frigid cold for half-decent attendance figures at the ballpark. Heck, in a sense, that’s exactly why I dedicated The Diff back on Feb. 27 to the topic of Indians attendance (and market saturation). I saw this complaint coming early in 2013. But yet, there’s still a need for much more context in this debate. And that’s why I’m back for more attendance talk today. [Read more...]

New look, ‘new ballgame’ for Akron Aeros and Canal Park

Akron aeros opening day

Everyone knows the clichés about first impressions. They last a lifetime, the first few seconds define a relationship, etc. But has anyone heard about using bubbles to make a second first impression?

Bubbles were the item of choice for the new-look, “new ballgame” Akron Aeros on their Opening Day game on Thursday night. The glitz and glamour of the changes to Canal Park in downtown Akron combined with a reinvigorated emphasis on fan experience. [Read more...]

Majoring in the Minors

organizationofyearThe Indians started off their season with a win last night in Toronto. We know all about the new acquisitions and how the team was built. We also understand how the Clippers, Aeros and Lake County Captains fill out their rosters. But what about an independent league team like the Lake Erie Crushers?

The Crushers finished the 2012 season on September 2nd with a 6-2 loss to the Southern Illinois Miners. They were 2.5 games out of a playoff spot, with a 53-42 record. It was a winning season for the Crushers, but not a championship one. The Crushers won the Frontier League title their first year in the league, but haven’t repeated that success since 2009.

As players cleaned out their lockers, many changes were ahead for the organization.

In a league designed for younger players, roster turnover isn’t just expected–it’s mandated. Eleven of the players on the active roster (teams may carry between 22-24) must be what the league considers “rookies”. Those players are classified as R1 players, meaning they are making their pro debut in the current season, or R2 players which were R1’s the year before. Basically, half your team needs to be in their first or second year of pro ball.

But there is more. [Read more...]

An early look at Cleveland Indians prospect rankings

Trevor BauerWith Spring Training underway out in Arizona, there’s plenty of excitement back in Northeast Ohio about the Cleveland Indians. And although many of us will not see the Tribe play in person until Opening Day on April 8, there’s a whole lot of minor league news that’s worth unwrapping as well.

And that’s where my rankings and numbers come handy. Throughout most of the 2012 season, I was breaking down all the news and notes with my WFNY Wednesday Wahoos reports. At the end of the year, I then shared my thoughts about how the Indians’ drafting still maybe hasn’t improved in the last few seasons.

But criticisms and arguments aside: What are the prospect rankings looking like thus far this offseason? Obviously, there was the high-profile acquisition of Trevor Bauer from the Diamondbacks, but how does he stand in comparisons with reigning No. 1 Tribe prospect Francisco Lindor? And is there anyone else emerging from the rest of the “mess” of the organization?

In as easy of a format as I can muster, I’ll share the answers to those questions and more. [Read more...]

Prospect ranking turnover shows that Indians might still be bad at drafting

Brad Grant, Indians Director of Amateur Scouting

For the last few years, since making the historic C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee trades, the Cleveland Indians have been banking on an improved minor league development system. This improved development had two key aspects: making the most out of the incoming prospects from those two mega-deals and drafting better than the early part of the 2000s.

Quite early on, Indians fans gave up hope on the returns from those two deals. In fact, only 4.5 years since the Sabathia trade and 3.5 since the Lee deal, only Michael Brantley and Carlos Carrasco figure to be cogs on the 2013 Indians, while the futures of back-ups Matt LaPorta, Jason Donald and Lou Marson are in jeopardy.

So moving forward, the key had to be efficient drafting. And while it’s a bit too early to tell, obviously, on draft picks from 2008-12, we can begin to make some conclusions based on what major analysts are saying. If prospects are performing to their expectation and draft position, we’d see them regularly in Indians prospect rankings, but if not or if they performed inconsistently, we’d likely see abnormal turnover in the rankings from year-to-year and analyst-to-analyst.

And as we approach 2013, that’s exactly what we’re seeing. And that’s not good news at all for the future of the Indians franchise. [Read more...]

Like Jimmy Haslam III in Cleveland, Ken Babby is a Sign of Hope for Akron Aeros Fans

Disclaimer: I worked for the Akron Aeros in various media capacities from 2008-2010. I maintained many close relationships with my former colleagues.

This November, two candidates are hoping for your votes in the polls as they strive to change the American political scene.

More likely, however, Ohioans and especially Northeast Ohio sports fans have been more inspired and excited about two new faces in town that are delivering sports hope by the bundles.

Jimmy Haslam III, the new official of the Cleveland Browns, has been all over the media in the last few weeks, starting his reign with a bang and doing all of the little things right. But he’s not the only new owner in town making people smile left and right.

Ken Babby, son of long-time NBA agent and executive Lon Babby, also took over ownership over the Double-A Akron Aeros baseball team this week. Terms of the agreement have not been announced, but the 32-year-old retired newspaper guru looks to be taking bold steps for the future over at Canal Park.

[Read more...]

Ken Babby Emerging as Likely New Owner for Akron Aeros

In a rumor that’s been over a year in the making, Stephanie Storm of the Akron Beacon Journal had the latest on Saturday about a likely pending ownership change for the Double-A Aeros:

Either Ken Babby happens to be the biggest Aeros fan known to minor-league baseball or he’s the new owner in waiting.

What is known for sure is that the sale of the Aeros, the Double-A affiliate of the Indians, is in the midst of being approved through a three-tiered process that begins with the Eastern League, moves to the minor-league level and then is finalized by Major League Baseball.

As the team begins the process of changing hands from the longtime father-son ownership of Mike and Greg Agganis, Babby’s name has surfaced prominently as the reported buyer.

Storm later notes that the Potomac, Md., resident’s father is Lon Babby, current President of Basketball Operations for the Phoenix Suns and former NBA agent.

Ken, 32, is listed on LinkedIn as the founder and CEO of a Northeast Ohio group called Fast Forward Sports Group LLC, and also spent 12 years with the Washington Post.

Initial rumors and reports circled around last year about a potential ownership change for the Aeros, possibly revolving around now-former team consultant Chuck Domino.

The team has been located in Akron since 1997 and in Northeast Ohio since 1989, as the franchise was previously named the Canton-Akron Indians.

[Related: Akron Aeros Storm Back to Win Eastern League Championship]