A total of 11 former Carolina Mudcats players could potentially play a major role and make baseball history when the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs meet in the 2016 World Series beginning on Tuesday night in Cleveland. A total of eight former Mudcats could crack the Fall Classic roster for the Indians while three more could make the Cubs championship squad.
The American League Champion Indians have featured former Mudcats Francisco Lindor, Tyler Naquin, Cody Allen, Cody Anderson, Ryan Merritt, Mike Clevinger and Andrew Miller during their historic post-season run. Another former Mudcat in pitcher Danny Salazar could also make their World Series roster and start during the Fall Classic. The National League Champion Cubs have featured former Mudcats Aroldis Chapman, Chris Coghlan and Travis Wood on their playoff roster during their history setting run as well.
The Mudcats are currently affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers, but were the High-A affiliate of the Indians from 2012 through 2014. During those three seasons the Mudcats faithful in Zebulon saw Lindor, Naquin, Allen, Anderson, Merritt, Clevinger and Salazar all play at Five County Stadium. Miller and Coghlan played for the 2008 Mudcats (Double-A affiliate of the Marlins), Wood played for the 2009 squad (Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) and Chapman played for the 2011 Mudcats (Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds).
CODY ALLEN, RHP - 2012 Carolina Mudcats
Cody Allen started the 2012 season with the Mudcats and appeared in just two Carolina League games before rapidly ascending through the Cleveland farm system and making his Major League Debut with the Indians that same season. Allen briefly pitched in two games (4.0 IP, 8 SO) with the Mudcats to start the year, then appeared in five games for the Double-A Akron Aeros later in April and pitched in 24 games with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers from late April through mid-July before debuting with the Indians on July 20, 2012 against the Baltimore Orioles. Allen went on to pitch to a 3.72 ERA with 27 strikeouts over 27 games and 29.0 innings for Cleveland in his 2012 rookie season.
CODY ANDERSON, RHP - 2013 Carolina Mudcats
Cody Anderson spent most of the 2013 season with the Mudcats and posted a league leading 2.34 ERA over 23 games and 23 starts. He was also second in WHIP (1.10), fourth in average against (.236) and third in SO/9ip ratio (8.17) for the Mudcats that season. Anderson was a mid-season and post-season All-Star in 2013 and was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Year at seasons end.
MIKE CLEVINGER, RHP - 2014 Carolina Mudcats
Mike Clevinger pitched in five games and started four times for the Mudcats in 2014 and finished the year at 0-1 with a 4.79 ERA. He originally began the season in the Angels farm system and split the 2014 season with Low-A Burlington (Midwest League) and High-A Inland Empire (California League) before coming to the Mudcats and the Indians farm system as part of an early August trade.
FRANCISCO LINDOR, SS - 2013 Carolina Mudcats
Francisco Lindor hit .306/.373/.410 with 100 hits including 19 doubles, six triples, one home run, 27 RBI and a team high 20 stolen bases over 83 games with the Mudcats in 2013. The then 19 year-old Lindor was both a mid-season and post-season Carolina League All-Star for the Mudcats and represented the Indians in the 2013 Futures game.
RYAN MERRITT, LHP - 2013/2014 Carolina Mudcats
Ryan Merritt started twice for the Mudcats in August of 2013 (0-2, 5.00 ERA) before returning to Carolina for the entire 2014 season. Merritt finished the 2014 season with a 2.58 ERA and a league leading 13 wins over 25 starts. He also led the league in innings pitched (160.1), finished third in ERA (2.58), was tied for fourth in strikeouts (127) and led the league in WHIP (0.95). Merritt also earned Pitcher of the Week honors in June of 2014 and was a mid-season and post-season Carolina League All-Star.
ANDREW MILLER, LHP - 2008 Carolina Mudcats
Andrew Miller appeared in just one game for the Mudcats in 2008 while rehabbing his way through the Florida Marlins system. His lone rehab appearance with the Mudcats came on 8/21/08 when he pitched through five and 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and two runs allowed against the Mississippi Braves at Five County Stadium.
TYLER NAQUIN, OF - 2013 Carolina Mudcats
Tyler Naquin hit .277/.345/.424 with 124 hits including 27 doubles, six triples and nine home runs over 108 games with the Mudcats in 2013. He also drove in 42 runs, scored 69 runs and stole 14 bases in 2013 with the Mudcats. Naquin totaled 83 hits with 18 doubles in the first half of the 2013 season and represented the Mudcats on the Carolina League All-Star team during the mid-season break.
DANNY SALAZAR, RHP - 2012 Carolina Mudcats
Danny Salazar was 1-2 and pitched to a 2.68 ERA over 16 starts with the Mudcats in 2012. He also struck out 53 and walked 19 over 53.2 innings pitched before earning a promotion to Double-A Akron in August.
AROLDIS CHAPMAN, LHP - 2011 Carolina Mudcats
Aroldis Chapman started twice and pitched in a total of five games as part of a rehab assignment with the Mudcats in 2011. He was 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA and 11 strikeouts over seven and 1/3 innings with the then Double-A affiliate of Reds in 2011.
CHRIS COGHLAN, OF - 2008 Carolina Mudcats
Chris Coghlan hit .298/.396/.429 with 32 doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 74 RBI over 132 games for the Mudcats in 2008 while the club was the Double-A affiliate of the Marlins. He finished the year second in the Southern League in stolen bases (34) and fifth in runs (83). Coghlan moved on to Triple-A New Orleans and eventually up to the majors and the Florida Marlins the following season. He was later named the National League Rookie of the Year while with the Marlins in 2009.
TRAVIS WOOD, LHP - 2009 Carolina Mudcats
Travis Wood went 9-3 with a Southern League leading 1.21 ERA over 19 starts and 119.0 innings for the Mudcats in 2009. Wood also led the SL in WHIP (0.97) and average against (.189) while being named the Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher. He was also a two time Pitcher of the Week award winner and both a mid-season and post-season All-Star in 2009 with Carolina.