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Indians Alumni Climbing The Ladder

May 17, 2004 - Northwest League (NWL) - Spokane Indians News Release

SPOKANE, WA – With the 2004 season in full-swing for long-season Minor League teams, members of the 2003 Northwest League Champion Spokane Indians are making major strides for Texas Rangers affiliates around the country. Players from last year’s championship team are currently playing for the Low-A Clinton LumberKings of the Midwest League and for the Stockton Ports of the High-A California League.

The LumberKings are currently one game out of first place in the Midwest League, thanks in large part to a number of former Spokane Indians players. Shortstop Ian Kinsler, who led Spokane in triples and steals last year, is currently tearing through the Midwest League. Kinsler’s .409 batting average and 21 doubles lead all of professional baseball. Through the first 36 games of the season, Kinsler leads the Midwest League in average, hits, doubles, on-base %, extra base hits, and is near the top of the leader board in numerous other categories.

Behind Kinsler’s stellar offensive numbers, former Indians Pitchers are more then towing their end of the line. Pitcher Brian Mattoon is currently 4-1 with a 1.42 ERA. Mattoon is holding opposing batters to a low .174 batting average. Mattoon is just one of the trio of former Indians that are dominating the Midwest League.

Young southpaw John Danks, who was ranked by Baseball America as having the 4th best breaking ball in the 2003 draft, is currently 1-1 with a 1.82 ERA for the LumberKings. Danks had 13 strikeouts in five games with Spokane last year and already has 40 strikeouts in just 29 innings for Clinton. Danks’ strikeout numbers are made more impressive by his outstanding control, having walked only seven batters so far this year.

Matt Lorenzo is currently 2-2 with a 2.60 ERA and is holding batters to a .179 batting average. Lorenzo, who is rated by Baseball America as having the best fastball of all the 2003 Texas Ranger draft picks, is second in the Midwest League with 51 strikeouts in just 34.2 innings of work.

Elsewhere in the Rangers Farm System, Jeremy Cleveland is making his mark for the High A Stockton Ports. Cleveland who led the Northwest league in runs (64), and finished second in batting (.322), doubles (20) and on-base percentage (.432), is continuing to impress with Stockton. The 2003 Northwest League and Baseball America All-Star is currently batting .307 with 43 hits in 37 games. Cleveland is also showing off his ability to drive in runs, leading the Ports with 21 RBI.

Don’t miss your chance to see the superstars of tomorrow when the defending Northwest League Champion Spokane Indians host the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes on Opening Night, June 21st at 6:30 PM at Avista Stadium. Individual game tickets for the 2004 season go on sale Tuesday, June 1st and can be purchased by calling the Indians at (509) 535-2922. You can track all of the former Spokane Indians all season long at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Alumni Report on www.SpokaneIndiansBaseball.com.


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Northwest League Stories from May 17, 2004


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