FORT WAYNE, Ind. — As the 2021 Major League Baseball season began Thursday, 36 former Fort Wayne prospects made Opening Day rosters. The list features six players with the TinCaps’ parent club, the San Diego Padres, including star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. In all, Fort Wayne’s alumni can currently be
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — As the 2021 Major League Baseball season began Thursday, 36 former Fort Wayne prospects made Opening Day rosters. The list features six players with the TinCaps’ parent club, the San Diego Padres, including star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. In all, Fort Wayne’s alumni can currently be found with 19 of MLB’s 30 teams. (See list below.)
The 22-year-old Tatis helped lead the Padres to a playoff series win over the St. Louis Cardinals last year. During the offseason, he signed a 14-year contract extension with the Padres, making it the longest deal for a player in MLB history. At $340 million, it was also the third largest. Now Tatis is on the cover of this year’s MLB The Show video game, becoming the youngest player ever to earn that honor. He has recently appeared in commercials for Adidas, BMW, and Gatorade. The Padres are considered a World Series contender in 2021.
Tatis’ stardom has come after he electrified Fort Wayne as an 18-year-old in 2017. That year the Midwest League All-Star set the franchise’s single-season home run record with 21 long balls in 117 games and had multiple defensive highlights appear on SportsCenter’s Top 10.
In February, MLB Network ranked Tatis as the sixth best player in baseball. Not far behind, 2014 TinCap shortstop Trea Turner, now with the Washington Nationals, checked in at No. 26. A pair of former ’Caps pitchers also made the “Top 100” as left-hander Max Fried (2013-14) of the Atlanta Braves ranked 70th and Padres righty Dinelson Lamet (2015) was No. 74.
Padres lefty Ryan Weathers and infielder Tucupita Marcano—both of whom are just 21 and called Parkview Field home in 2019—are the freshest Fort Wayne alumni in the bigs. At the other end of the spectrum, Oliver Pérez (2001), Brandon Kintzler (2005), Matt Bush (2005-07), Wade LeBlanc (2006), Joakim Soria (2006), Eric Sogard (2007), and Corey Kluber (2008) all played for the Fort Wayne Wizards before the team rebranded to the TinCaps in 2009. Marcano made his MLB debut Thursday, becoming the 193rd player since the franchise’s inception in 1993 to reach “The Show.”
Meanwhile, along with 2014-15 TinCap infielder Josh VanMeter, who grew up about 20 minutes south of Parkview Field in Ossian and now plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks, a pair of Fort Wayne natives are also in the big leagues. Bishop Luers High School grad Kevin Kiermaier continues to star in center field for the Tampa Bay Rays, while Zach McKinstry out of North Side High School is a rookie for the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Coming up through the Midwest League, Kiermaier and McKinstry both played against the TinCaps.
In 2020, 47 Fort Wayne alumni played in the majors. Click here to see that list. The number of recent TinCaps in the majors will surely rise as this season progresses.
The 2021 TinCaps are set to begin their season on Tuesday, May 4 (7:05 p.m.) against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers affiliate). Before that, throughout April, Parkview Field is hosting 29 high school and college baseball games involving 46 different area schools.
Former Fort Wayne Players on 2021 MLB Opening Day Rosters
- C Luis Campusano (2018) – San Diego Padres
- RHP Dinelson Lamet (2015) – San Diego Padres*
- INF Tucupita Marcano (2019) – San Diego Padres
- LHP Adrian Morejon (2016) – San Diego Padres
- RHP Chris Paddack (2016) – San Diego Padres
- INF Fernando Tatis Jr. (2017) – San Diego Padres
- INF Josh VanMeter (2014-15) – Arizona Diamondbacks
- RHP Joakim Soria (2006) – Arizona Diamondbacks
- RHP Matt Wisler (2012) – San Francisco Giants
- INF Eric Sogard (2007) – Chicago Cubs
- INF Luis Urías (2015) – Milwaukee Brewers
- RHP Eric Yardley (2014) – Milwaukee Brewers
- RHP David Bednar (2016-17) – Pittsburgh Pirates
- RHP Miles Mikolas (2010) – St. Louis Cardinals
- LHP Max Fried (2013-14) – Atlanta Braves
- RHP Anthony Bass (2009) – Miami Marlins
- LHP Joey Lucchesi (2016) – New York Mets
- RHP Zach Eflin (2013) – Philadelphia Phillies
- RHP Brandon Kintzler (2005) – Philadelphia Phillies
- RHP Joe Ross (2012-13) – Washington Nationals
- INF Trea Turner (2014) – Washington Nationals
- RHP Matt Bush (2005-07) -- Texas Rangers
- INF Ty France (2016) – Seattle Mariners
- LHP Nick Margevicius (2018) – Seattle Mariners
- RHP José Ruiz (2015) – Chicago White Sox
- LHP Logan Allen (2016-17) – Cleveland Indians
- OF Jake Bauers (2014) – Cleveland Indians
- C Austin Hedges (2012) – Cleveland Indians
- RHP Phil Maton (2016) – Cleveland Indians
- LHP Oliver Pérez (2001) – Cleveland Indians
- RHP Cal Quantrill (2016) – Cleveland Indians
- OF Franmil Reyes (2014-15) – Cleveland Indians
- LHP Wade LeBlanc (2006) – Baltimore Orioles
- OF Franchy Cordero (2014-15) – Boston Red Sox
- OF Hunter Renfroe (2013) – Boston Red Sox
- RHP Corey Kluber (2008) – New York Yankees
*On Injured List