Storm Chasers Announce First of Five All-Decade Teams
PAPILLION, NE - The Omaha Storm Chasers are excited to announce the first of five "All-Decade Teams", as chosen by members of the local media, as well as current and former Storm Chasers front office staff. With 2018 squad set to don the black 2011 Omaha Storm Chasers jerseys on Friday, April 20, here are the 16 members of the 2011-Present All-Decade Team, comprised of one player at each fielding position, five pitchers, one utility player, one designated hitter and one manager.
Catcher: Salvador Perez
First Base: Eric Hosmer
Second Base: Johnny Giavotella
Shortstop: Irving Falu
Third Base: Mike Moustakas
Outfield: Lorenzo Cain
Outfield: Wil Myers
Outfield: Paulo Orlando
Pitcher: Aaron Brooks
Pitcher: Louis Coleman
Pitcher: Danny Duffy
Pitcher: Kelvin Herrera
Pitcher: Luis Mendoza
Designated Hitter: Jose Martinez
Utility Player: Whit Merrifield
Manager: Brian Poldberg
2011-12 Omaha catcher Salvador Perez leads off the All-Decade team. Since playing with the Storm Chasers during parts of those two seasons, the backstop has garnered five American League All-Star nods, four Gold Glove Awards, and one Silver Slugger honor. Perez also was a member of the 2015 World Series Championship Kansas City Royals club.
2011 and 2014 Storm Chasers infielder Eric Hosmer represents the All-Decade team at first base. A top prospect with Omaha in 2011, Hosmer scored the very first run by a Storm Chasers player at Werner Park on April 16, 2011. In seven seasons with the Royals he earned four Gold Glove Awards and one Silver Slugger honor, in addition to being named the Major League Baseball All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player in 2016. Hosmer was also a member of the 2015 World Series-winning Kansas City Royals team.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas played with the Omaha franchise in 2010-11, in addition to a stint in 2014. Highlights of his time in Omaha include setting a team record and matching a Pacific Coast League record with 11 RBI in a game in 2010. Moustakas also holds the honor of driving in the very first Storm Chasers run at Werner Park, bringing home Hosmer with a double. In the Major Leagues he has excelled by being named to two American League All-Star teams, in addition to setting the Royals' single-season home run record in 2017. He also helped lead Kansas City to the franchise's second World Series title in 2015.
The all-time Omaha franchise hits leader Irving Falu is at the All-Decade squad's shortstop position. In addition to his hits record (669), Falu also ranks second in team history in games played, at-bats and triples, as well as third in runs scored and stolen bases. Falu also was a member of the Storm Chasers' Pacific Coast League Championship squad in 2011, going one step further in 2013 by winning not just the PCL title but a Triple-A National Championship.
2011-14 infielder Johnny Giavotella is the All-Decades Team's second baseman. He was named a 2011 Pacific Coast League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star, and went on to accumulate the third-most doubles in franchise history. He also ranks sixth in club history in hits and RBI, in addition to ninth in runs scored. He also played for three teams that went on to win Pacific Coast League championships in 2011, 2013 and 2014, in addition to Back-to-Back Triple-A National Championships in those latter two seasons.
Leading the trio of outfielders is 2011-12, 2014 and 2016 Storm Chasers player Lorenzo Cain. After winning the 2011 Pacific Coast League Championship with Omaha, Cain has gone on to an excellent Major League career, which includes an American League All-Star nod, as well as third place finish in American League Most Valuable Player voting in 2015. He also helped lead Kansas City to back-to-back American League pennants, in addition to the 2015 World Series Championship.
The second of three outfielders on the 2011-Present All-Decades team is Wil Myers, who was named 2012 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America after a stellar season in Omaha. After smashing 24 home runs with the Storm Chasers in 2012, Myers would go on to be named American League Rookie of the Year in 2013, followed by a National League All-Star Game selection in 2016.
Outfielder Paulo Orlando is one of the most decorated players in Omaha franchise history, having won Back-to-Back Triple-A National Championships with the Storm Chasers in 2013 and 2014. The fan-favorite also earned 2014 Pacific Coast League Post-Season All-Star honors before winning the 2015 World Series Championship with Kansas City the very next season.
Representing the Storm Chasers Era at the Designated Hitter spot is Jose Martinez. The 2015-16 Storm Chasers infielder/outfielder set the modern-day Pacific Coast League record by posting a .384 batting average during the 2015 campaign. He totaled 173 hits in 135 contests with the Storm Chasers between those two seasons, adding 13 homers and 78 RBI.
2014-17 infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield represents Omaha's utility player during the 2011-Present Era. Merrifield in his first season with the Storm Chasers was a member of the 2014 Triple-A National Championship squad. Over four years in Omaha, Merrifield recorded a .290 average (340-1173) with 192 runs, 80 doubles, eight doubles, 19 homers and 105 RBI, along with 64 steals.
2014-15 right-hander Aaron Brooks leads the five-man pitching staff on the 2011-Present All-Decade Team. Brooks cemented his Omaha legacy with a masterful two-hit complete game shutout of the Reno Aces in Game 5 of the 2014 Pacific Coast League Championship Series, and would go on to win the Most Valuable Player Award of the PCL's postseason. In two seasons with Omaha, Brooks compiled a 18-8 record and 3.81 ERA (104 ER/245.2 IP) in 43 regular season outings (40 starts).
2010-15 Omaha reliever Louis Coleman is the second of five hurlers on the 2011-Present All-Decade Team. Coleman appeared in 128 games with the franchise, the fourth-most of any player in the team's history, while also recording 28 saves. He was also named a 2015 Pacific Coast League Mid-Season All-Star, appearing in the First National Bank 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game at Werner Park.
Southpaw Danny Duffy is also among the top pitchers in the 2011-Present All-Decade Team. On April 16, 2011, Duffy threw the first Storm Chasers pitch in Werner Park history. In 26 career outings (24 starts) with Omaha, he posted a 7-2 record and 3.64 ERA (47 ER/116.1 IP) with 129 strikeouts compared to just 38 walks between the 2011-13, 2015 and 2017 seasons. Duffy was also a member of the 2015 World Series Championship Kansas City Royals team.
Two-time American League All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera is also featured on the 2011-Present All-Decade Team. Herrera pitched for the Storm Chasers during the 2011 and 2013 campaigns, winning two Pacific Coast League Championships, in addition to recording the last out in the 2013 Triple-A National Championship. He went on to get another championship ring with the Kansas City Royals with the 2015 World Series title.
Rounding out the pitching staff is right-hander Luis Mendoza, who earned Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year and Pacific Coast League Playoff Most Valuable Player honors in 2011. Mendoza pitched with Omaha during the 2010-11 campaigns, winning the 2011 Pacific Coast League championship. His 2.18 ERA accumulated during the 2011 season remains the second-lowest single-season earned-run average in franchise history.
Current Storm Chasers manager Brian Poldberg is the 2011-Present All-Decade Team's skipper. In his first season, Poldberg led Omaha to the 2014 Triple-A National Championship, capping a run of Back-to-Back Triple-A National Championships. Coming into the 2018 campaign, his fifth as Omaha manager, Poldberg ranked third in franchise history with 283 managerial victories.
The Storm Chasers franchise will celebrate the 2011-Present Era of the organization's history by wearing the first of five uniforms that are part of the First National Bank Flashback Jersey Series on Friday, April 20. Omaha players and coaches will be wearing the black 2011 Storm Chasers jerseys in commemoration of the team's first season at Werner Park and their 2011 Triple-A National Championship.
Omaha will celebrate the 2011-Present era this weekend by wearing 2011 Black Omaha Storm Chasers jerseys on Friday evening as part of the Flashback Jersey Series presented by First National Bank. The first of five bobblehead giveaways will also take place on Saturday evening, when the first 2,000 fans to enter Werner Park at 6:00pm CT will receive a Jarrod Dyson Bobblehead thanks to Centris Federal Credit Union.
Tickets are still available for tonight's game and all remaining Storm Chasers home dates in 2018, and may be purchased at www.omahastormchasers.com/tickets as well as by calling the Werner Park Ticket Office at (402) 738-5100.
Images from this story
Paulo Orlando with the Omaha Storm Chasers
(Minda Haas Kuhlmann)
Mike Moustakas with the Omaha Storm Chasers
(Minda Haas Kuhlmann)
Eric Hosmer with the Omaha Storm Chasers
(Minda Haas Kuhlmann)
Irving Falu with the Omaha Storm Chasers
(Minda Haas Kuhlmann)
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