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September 20, 2018: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: Tucker repeats as Astros' Player of the Year


In what proved to be another year filled with gaudy offensive numbers, Kyle Tucker earned himself one more personal accolade.'s No. 8 overall prospect scorched his way through the Pacific Coast League this season to garner the Astros' Minor League Player of the Year for the second straight season. sixth-ranked Astros prospect Josh James took the billing as the organization's top pitcher in the Minors.

In his first trip to Triple-A this year, Tucker did not disappoint with the stick as he recorded a.332/.400/.590 slash line in 100 games with Fresno. He went deep 24 times and swiped 20 bases -- his second consecutive 20-20 season. His.989 OPS was good for the best mark in Triple-A and 14th overall in the Minors this season. The 21-year-old was recognized for his efforts at the plate, earning Player of the Week nods twice.

[udpated title] Tucker blasts game-tying homer

00:00:45 ' September 15th, 2018

Tucker made his first jump to the big leagues in his fourth professional season, debuting with the Astros in July. He earned another cup of coffee in August, but was sent back to the PCL to get more regular at-bats. The move paid off for the club's second-ranked prospect, who hit.471 with 10 homers, 27 RBIs and 1.485 OPS in 17 games to earn the circuit's Player of the Month. Fresno fell in the PCL Finals to Memphis, but Tucker earned his third promotion to The Show on Sept. 16 as part of the club's latest slew of callups.

After an Aug. 23 game in which Tucker blasted two homers -- including a grand slam -- to lead a Grizzlies comeback, then-Fresno manager Rodney Linares spoke highly of the outfielder and his future potential at the Major League level.

"His bat-to-ball skills are second to none. He's really impressive to watch," Linares said. "You can see him hit in a game and it looks like he had never hit in his life -- he can get fooled by three breaking balls in a row. But if comes back up again, that breaking ball better be in the dirt. Because if not, he's going to hit it out of the park."

Meanwhile, James blossomed on the mound in a breakout campaign between Double-A Corpus Christi and Fresno. The right-hander sported a 6-4 record with a 3.23 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and 171 strikeouts in 114 1/3 innings across the two levels. On Sept. 1, James was added to the Major League roster for the first time and has flourished in Houston with a 1-0 record, a 2.81 ERA and 24 strikeouts in four outings (two starts).

Wielding a 70-grade grade fastball that regularly touches the upper-90s, James has acclimated well to pitching in the Majors during the stretch drive.

"If he's gotten into trouble, he has not conceded the inning. There's no panic in him," Astros manager A.J. Hinch told on Wednesday. "That pays dividends moving forward when we're starting to make decisions. Of course he's factoring in."






Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.

Key Stats

Estimated Revenue (TTM): $2.72M



Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C. owns and operates a baseball team. The company is based in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C. operates as a subsidiary of Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC.


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September 20: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: On the Road: Making history in Daytona

"There's no ballpark like this. This is where history was made."

That's how historian Bill Schumann describes Jackie Robinson Ballpark, home of the Florida State League's Daytona Tortugas (Class A Advanced affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds).

The facility, which has gone through extensive renovations over decades, opened in 1914 as City Island Ballpark. It has consistently hosted Minor League Baseball since 1920, but the most impactful chapter of the stadium's long existence occurred in 1946. It was then that the city of Daytona Beach ignored existing Jim Crow-era segregation laws so that Jackie Robinson, recently signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers, could play there.

In 1946, Robinson was a member of the Triple-A Montreal Royals, the Dodgers' top farm club. He went on to spend the entirety of the season with Montreal, contributing mightily to a club that went on to win the International League championship. This set the stage for Robinson's epochal 1947 campaign with Brooklyn, where he kicked off his Hall of Fame career by breaking the Major League Baseball color line. But it all started in Daytona Beach, which renamed its ballpark in 1990 in honor of Robinson. This rechristening was spurred by Schumann's research efforts; he was also was the founder of the Jackie Robinson Statue Committee.

September 20: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: Baseball legend Bernie Williams raises awareness of rare lung disease in honor of his father

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a rare lung disease that affects nearly 132,000 Americans and claims almost 40,000 lives each year. Bernie Williams, New York Yankee legend and four-time World Series(Registered) champion, lost his father to the disease in 2001. Williams describes his father as his hero, the man who taught him everything he knows about life, baseball and music. When his father was first diagnosed with IPF, Williams struggled with the fact that one of the most important people in his life was suffering from a fatal disease that he had never heard of before. Since his family's devastating loss, Williams decided to do everything in his power to increase awareness of the little-known disease.

Williams joined Boehringer Ingelheim's Breathless(TradeMark) campaign to educate people about IPF. Williams visited eight Minor League Baseball (MiLB) ballparks this summer to talk to fans about the disease and how it has impacted him and his family, and to spread his message of hope through his two passions: baseball and music.

"I'm advocating for IPF and people who suffer from IPF because it's something that touched my life in a very profound and personal way," says Williams.

September 20: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: The Show Before the Show: Episode 178

Check out the latest episode of The Show Before the Show,'s official podcast. A segment rundown is listed below, in case you want to skip to a particular section. Like the podcast? Subscribe, rate and review The Show Before the Show on iTunes. The podcast is also available via the Stitcher app and Google Play. Send your questions and feedback to You can follow hosts Tyler Maun (@TylerMaun) and Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) on Twitter.

Recommended reading

Mejia propels Redbirds to Triple-A crown Herget, Wong highlight national title rematch Toolshed: Players of the MiLB postseason Complete playoff coverage 2018 Minor League affiliation changes Painting the corners in Grand Junction On the Road: Making history in Daytona

Three Strikes (2:42)'s Kelsie Heneghan joins the show for the opening segment, fresh off her trip to Columbus. She talks to Tyler and Sam about the atmosphere around this year's Triple-A National Championship Game rematch between Memphis and Durham -- the Redbirds won, 14-4, exacting revenge for last year's loss -- and how the managers of both clubs were able to find success despite a lot of roster turnover. For Strike Two, Tyler and Sam turn their attentions to the rest of the now-concluded Minor League playoffs and discuss which players stood out most while helping their Minor League clubs achieve glory.

September 19: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: Kopech undergoes Tommy John surgery

The White Sox announced Wednesday that Michael Kopech, the organization's second-ranked prospect, underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, and the 22-year-old right-hander is expected to miss the entire 2019 season but be ready for Spring Training in 2020.

"Obviously, it went well and I think he understands intellectually what it's going to require of him," White Sox skipper Rick Renteria told on Wednesday. "And I'm sure that as driven as he is, he'll understand the heart it's going to take to continue to work through this.

"It's a patient process to make sure he comes through this as well as possible [and] to give himself a chance to be that guy we all believe he's gonna be once he's recovered."

[udpated title] Kopech's ninth strikeout

00:02:10 ' August 12th, 2018

Kopech was promoted to the Major Leagues on Aug. 21 and made four starts for Chicago, posting a 5.02 ERA and 15 strikeouts and a pair of walks over 14 1/3 innings. Prior to his debut in The Show, the 2014 first-round pick spent the entire season with Triple-A Charlotte, where he was 7-7 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 170 strikeouts over 126 1/3 innings in 24 starts.

"It's been a whirlwind of emotions for me in the past couple of weeks, obviously," Kopech told after learning he had a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.

August 26: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: Tucker powers Grizzlies to division title

Fresno was down by four runs in the ninth inning and, with Reno having already won, it seemed the Grizzlies would have to wait at least another day before wrapping up the Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern Division crown.

But with each passing hit, walk and error, the lineup crept closer to red-hot Kyle Tucker.

Fresno scored twice and, after a pitching change, the Astros' second-ranked prospect faced left-hander Conor Lillis-White with two on and one out. What happened next came as no surprise to anyone who's been watching Tucker lately.'s No. 8 overall prospect smashed a walk-off three-run homer that gave the Grizzlies a stunning 7-6 win over Salt Lake and a spot in the PCL playoffs.

"You're down, but you're never out," Fresno manager Rodney Linares said. "It was a total team effort. But they brought in the lefty, and this guy has a.120 average against and I was just thinking, 'Get a hit and bring J.D. Davis up, but he didn't do it. [Tucker] just hit it out."

Source: Company Website

August 26: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: Crownover tosses P-Nats' first no-hitter

This was all just very surreal tonight," he said. "It's been a very up-and-down year for me, when it comes to my performance and everything. I feel like I've been pitching pretty well, but I haven't had a lot of breaks go my way."

Since mid-May, Crownover's ERA hovered around 5.00, and he missed nearly three weeks in July after tweaking his neck on a bus ride. He compiled a 1.94 ERA in 10 starts with Potomac a year ago while also making his Double-A debut with Harrisburg, but 2018 hadn't been the building block year he'd hoped for. But Crownover knew he had more in him than the numbers showed.

"I've never been a cocky person, but I've always assured myself that I was good enough to be here with my career," he said. "I haven't always had the best pitches, but I've thought I always had the moxie about me and the guts to pitch and compete at this level.

"This year has been a bit of a gut-check point in my career. Sometimes, when things don't go your way, you have to keep staying professional and just do your best and things will change and come around your way eventually."

Crownover (5-8) set down the first four batters before walking Jose Medina on five pitches with one out in the second inning, but the left-hander mowed down the next 10 Hillcats.

August 26: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.:

Source: Company Website

August 26: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: Dawson walks it off in Hooks' win

They say pressure makes diamonds. But self-induced pressure can be detrimental.

Just ask Ronnie Dawson.

The Astros prospect and 2016 second-round pick is finding success in the Texas League after a rough start to his Minor League. On Saturday, he drove in all five runs, delivering a walk-off double in the 10th inning that gave Double-A Corpus Christi a 5-4 win over San Antonio at Whataburger Field. The five RBIs matched hiscareer high.

[udpated title] Dawson walks it off

00:00:22 ' 11:45 AM

"For me, I'm not going to say my numbers haven't shown, but as I thought coming out of college, getting drafted in the second round, it was in my head: this is going to be easy. But in reality, it really checked me," Dawson said.

"I know at first I was putting so much pressure on myself to be the man. These guys invested all this money and time in me and I was wanting to do well right away and I kind of lost myself. The hype isn't quite as big as me as when I first went out, so I can kind of relax and just play my game and do the stuff that I'm good at and just keep learning and keep developing to have a long career in the big leagues. It doesn't really matter what I do in the Minor Leagues in my opinion, this is all development and at the end of the day, I want to be ready when I get the call."

The Ohio State product hasn't put up eye-popping numbers at any of his stops in the Minors, but the Astros still trusted him to make the jump to Double-A on July 30 and he's hitting.268 with an.879 OPS in 21 games with the Hooks.

Gameday box score

"To me, it's just baseball, man," Dawson said.

August 26: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: Rawhide's Bain hurls six no-hit innings

Bain labored against Stockton in his previous outing on Aug. 19, surrendering eight runs on nine hits and two walks with five strikeouts in five innings.

"I needed that. I really needed that," he said of Saturday's response. "Throughout the week, I worked on making better quality fastballs and better pitches. Going over a lot of stuff I did at Stockton last time, a lot of fastballs were too good. I was a little finer with the fastball but also a little more aggressive. Just the fastball was better."

Facing the Ports again, he struck out eight and issued three walks.

Bain (4-2) retired the first four batters before walking A's No. 13 prospect Greg Deichmann in the second inning. After he was caught stealing, Edwin Diaz walked, but the right-hander retired Brett Siddall on a fly ball to center field.

"My fastball command is something I was working on throughout the week," he said. "Trying to get to the arm side of the rubber and get my breaking ball back. Being able to go to all my pitches helps."

Bain set down the next five batters, striking out the side in the third and fourth, with just a fourth-inning walk to Viosergy Rosa in between. When Diaz fanned to open the fifth, the 2017 16th-round pick recorded seven consecutive outs via the punchout.

Getting those strikeouts was a sign for Bain that he had his pitches working again.

"It's the exact feeling that I needed to get back to something that I'd gotten away from," he said.

August 20: Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Club, L.L.C.: Garcia twirls career night for Yard Goats

The 24-year-old admitted he "just kind of blacked out" on the mound. He wasn't thinking, just throwing. And just like Will Ferrell in the debate scene from Old School, the results were brilliant.

Colorado's No. 21 prospect turned in the best outing of his professional career -- scattering two hits and a pair of walks while matching career bests with 10 strikeouts and eight frames -- to earn his third straight victory for Double-A Hartford in a 4-0 shutout of Trenton at ARM & HAMMER Park.

[udpated title] Garcia ties career-high for K's

00:02:01 ' 7:56 AM

"Honestly, I was just going through it," he said with a chuckle. "I think my mentality was just to trust. Trust my catcher [Colorado's No. 27 prospect Dom NuNez], trust my stuff, my coaches, my teammates. They made a lot of plays out there that could have changed the outcome of the game, so I knew I had great teammates behind me. I just mixed my pitches and kept [the hitters] off balance."

"It was just one of those kinds of nights for him. He had everything going and he was very efficient," added Yard Goats pitching coach Mark Brewer. "It was really fun to watch."

The right-hander hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in each of his last four starts.

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