In addition to the Dutchmen who made their professional debuts in 2015, a group of players from Albany seasons past continued professional careers in the Minor Leagues, ranging all the way up to the Triple-A level.
Brandon Trinkwon, who was an infielder on the Dutchmen’s first PGCBL team in 2011, was named to the PGCBL’s Alumni All-Star team for his play during the 2015 campaign. The third baseman, who plays in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, was the MVP of the Carolina-California All-Star game at the high-A level, and was promoted to double-A soon after. Playing with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Trinkwon hit .312 with five home runs and 29 runs batted in. After his promotion, he drove in 14 runs with seven extra-base hits for the Tulsa Drillers. Across the two levels, Trinkwon hit .278 with 12 stolen bases and seven home runs, which was among the top five for PGCBL alumni.
A pitcher on the 2010 and 2011 Dutchmen teams, Siena product Justin Brantley pitched the 2015 season as a reliever for the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League. Brantley appeared in 39 games out of the bullpen, totaling a 2.84 ERA over 69.2 innings. The right-hander walked just 20 batters in nearly 70 innings, and recorded 65 strikeouts. He earned two saves and five victories on the mound for the Cleveland Indians affiliate. Opposing hitters batted just north of .200 against Brantley, and did not allow an earned run in 25 of his appearances.
Former Dutchmen pitcher from the team’s inaugural season and Trinity University star Ben Klimesh became Albany’s first Triple-A alum during the 2015 season, as the right-hander split time between the AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Louisville Bats in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Klimesh made 28 appearances out of the bullpen in total, earning five saves and two victories- the saves all coming in Pensacola, and the wins coming in Louisville. In Pensacola, Klimesh struck out more than a hitter per inning. During his promotion to Louisville, Klimesh recorded a 3.65 ERA and a 2-0 record.
Another player from the inaugural season spent time in the New York Mets organization. Northeastern product Jon Leroux played for the Savannah Sand Gnats, the class-A affiliate of the National League Champion Mets. During 65 games with the Sand Gnats, Leroux belted four home runs and drove in 30 runs. He had ten total extra base hits, and crossed home for Savannah 30 times. On six different occasions in the 2015 season, Leroux had a hit streak of at least five games, including a long streak of seven games.
The professional representation of the Albany Dutchmen continues to grow as the franchise does, and the organization is proud of its former players who have made professional impacts after summers spent in Albany.
Next week: A special announcement concerning the 2016 season