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Chasers Celebrate Decade of Success

Gordon, Perez highlight Omaha 20-Teens Team
January 29, 2020

Minus a few years in the 1960s, Omaha has been a Triple-A baseball city since 1955. And over that long period of time, the teams that have called it home have seen their fair share of success on the diamond.

Minus a few years in the 1960s, Omaha has been a Triple-A baseball city since 1955. And over that long period of time, the teams that have called it home have seen their fair share of success on the diamond.

Nothing, however, compares to the run that the current franchise had during the past decade. Omaha claimed four division crowns, three Pacific Coast League titles and two Triple-A National Championships.
Many of the players involved in those achievements went on to success in the majors. In fact, seven of the 15 players on the Omaha 20-Teens Team have reached All-Star status in the big leagues. Announced today, this elite group - which played here under managers Mike Jirschele and Brian Poldberg during the decade - represented the best of an unforgettable era (2010-19) in the Kansas City Royals organization.
This team is so loaded that a Minor League Player of the Year (Wil Myers), a 100-RBI performer (Clint Robinson) and a two-time Omaha player of the year (Frank Schwindel) couldn't crack the lineup. Some of the players that did make the list, however, went on to help Kansas City win its first world title in 30 years while combining for 18 MLB All-Star Game selections and 17 Gold Glove Awards in the 2010s.
Headlining the group is Kansas City stalwart Alex Gordon, who completed a move from third base to left field in Omaha in 2010. He then went on to be the best in the game at that position during the decade. The Nebraska native, a PCL All-Star for Omaha, owns seven Gold Glove Awards, one shy of the Royals franchise record. Six-time MLB All-Star Salvador Perez has five at catcher and joins Gordon on this team.
The corner infielders on the squad are Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. Both, like Gordon, were Top-5 draft picks for the Royals, and they helped the Chasers break in their new home at Werner Park. Moustakas broke the Omaha franchise record with an 11-RBI day at Rosenblatt Stadium in 2010 before driving in Hosmer for the first run by the Chasers at Werner. They later became world champions with Kansas City.
All-time franchise hits leader Irving Falu and fan-favorite Johnny Giavotella join Moustakas and Hosmer in the infield of the Omaha 20-Teens Team. Each was an integral part of the Chasers championship era.
Paulo Orlando was as well, which earned him a spot in the outfield alongside Gordon and Lorenzo Cain, who has gone on to be an All-Star in both the American and National Leagues. José Martínez, who broke the modern-day PCL batting record in 2015 with a .384 average, is the Omaha 20-Teens Team designated hitter. Two-time AL hits leader Whit Merrifield is the utility player due to his versatility.
Luis Mendoza was the first Omaha player to be selected his league's pitcher of the year in 38 seasons when he led the Storm Chasers to their first PCL title in 2011. Aaron Brooks was the playoff MVP on the 2014 title team, retiring the last 20 batters he faced in the winner-take-all PCL championship finale.
Louis Coleman excelled out of the bullpen for all of the Storm Chasers playoff teams in the past decade, joining Mendoza and Brooks on the Omaha 20-Teens Team. Danny Duffy and Kelvin Herrera round out the squad, following up their successful stints at Werner Park with a 2015 world title in Kansas City.
The players on the list, and their teammates, made the 20-Teens a ton of fun in Omaha - both at Rosenblatt Stadium and Werner Park. The standard here is high as the first season of the 2020s nears.
The Omaha 20-Teens Team
Catcher: Salvador Perez
First Base: Eric Hosmer
Second Base:
Johnny Giavotella
Shortstop: Irving Falu
Third Base: Mike Moustakas
Outfield: Lorenzo Cain
Outfield: Alex Gordon
Paulo Orlando

Designated Hitter: Jose Martinez
Utility Player: Whit Merrifield
Aaron Brooks
Pitcher: Louis Coleman
Pitcher: Danny Duffy
Pitcher: Kelvin Herrera
Pitcher: Luis Mendoza