MIDLAND, Mich. – Michael Busch made his Major League Baseball debut on April 25th, 2023 becoming the 100th former Great Lakes Loon to make the show. He was the designated hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Busch went 1-3 with an RBI single
MIDLAND, Mich. – Michael Busch made his Major League Baseball debut on April 25th, 2023 becoming the 100th former Great Lakes Loon to make the show. He was the designated hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Busch went 1-3 with an RBI single in Los Angeles’ 8-7 victory.
Busch played five games with Great Lakes to close out his 2019 minor-league season, the year he was drafted in the first round by L.A.
The Loons since their inception in 2007, have had at least one member of each year’s squad to appear with a MLB club. Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ all-time strikeout leader, was the first Loon to break through.
The most recent names include Jose Hernandez, a 2021 Loon, now a reliever with the Pirates who pitched a scoreless seventh in Busch’s debut. Hernandez is in his rookie campaign.
Six former Loons made their debut in 2022, Brendon Davis with the Detroit Tigers on October 1, 2022, the latest.
2023 Dodgers Opening Day starters James Outman and Miguel Vargas both debuted in 2022, within the same week. Outman on July 31st and Vargas on August 3rd. Outman and Vargas were stars of the Loons in 2019 and 2021.
The 2017 Great Lakes team had 11 members appear at the highest level. Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux and starter Dustin May as well as 24-year-old phenom O’Neil Cruz of the Pirates. May was a 2017 Midwest League All-Star.
The 2020 World Series Championship team had core members that were in Midland in 2016. Of the 12 total, three players, pitchers Walker Buehler, and Tony Gonsolin as well as catcher Will Smith were on the roster.
11 players in 2015, and six in 2014 made the league. 2013 had eight men out of 58 that played a game as a Loon.
Julio Urias, eight-year Dodger veteran and 2021 20-game winner along with 2020 World Series MVP, and current Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager. The 2012 group had eight as well. Current Loons hitting coach O’Koyea Dickson was one of three all-stars in the Midwest League that year and played seven games with the Dodgers in 2017.
The inaugural 2007 Great Lakes Loons were filled with major league stars. Two 14-year-veterans Kenley Jansen and Carlos Santana would debut in the 2010 MLB season. Jansen stands seventh on the all-time saves list and is a three-time all-star. Santana was acquired by the Cleveland Guardians after a trade, debuted with them, and is still going in his 14th season with a fifth different team.
Outfielders Scott Van Slyke and Elian Herrera, both amassed 100-plus hits. Van Slyke over six years all in L.A. Herrera after four seasons with two teams, joined the coaching ranks, and is the bench coach with the 2023 Loons.
The Dodgers of the Future play in Midland today. The Great Lakes Loons return home to start the month of May, taking on the Quad Cities River Bandits beginning May 2nd.
The Great Lakes Loons have been the Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team’s inception in 2007. Dow Diamond serves as the team’s home and also houses the Michigan Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, and ESPN 100.9-FM. For tickets or information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.