Opening Night is 36 days away!

It is time to look at some news & notes from our baseball department!

2016 Exhibition Schedule…

The Windy City ThunderBolts will play six exhibition games in preparation for the 2016 season.  Monday, May 2nd at 2 PM vs. Schaumburg, Tuesday, May 3rd at 3 PM vs. Black Sox Premier, Wednesday, May 4 at 11 AM vs. Black Sox Premier, Thursday, May 5th at 2 PM at Schaumburg, Sunday, May 8th at 2 PM vs. Joliet, and Monday, May 9th at 2 PM at Joliet.

Will Flynt is ThunderBolts new Pitching Coach…

A familiar face returns to Crestwood in 2016 as Will Flynt has been named the Windy City ThunderBolts pitching coach. He replaces Brian Smith, who after three years with the ThunderBolts, departed to accept a managerial position in the Northwoods League.

Flynt is back with the ThunderBolts after serving the same role with the team in 2006. The Bolts finished that year with a 4.35 team ERA and saw their closer, Brian Beuning get named to the Postseason All-Star team when he set a league record with 24 saves. Flynt also spent 2005 in the Frontier League as the pitching coach for the Florence Freedom.

Since his time with the ThunderBolts, Flynt has worked as a high school and college coach and has most notably worked as an instructor for the Cincinnati Baseball and Sports Academy. He has recently been helping to develop young pitchers by serving as the roving pitching instructor for the Cincinnati Stars

As a player, he appeared in 143 games over a 13-year minor league career that carried him as far away as Mexico, Holland, Taiwan and Japan and ended in 2003.

Looking at 2016’s New Additions…

Quintin Alexander is a rookie infielder and a local product out of Chicago St. University and Brooks High School. After starting off at St. Joseph’s College, he played in 38 games over two years at Chicago St. and drove in ten runs. He started 60 games in two years at St. Joseph’s.

Kevin Barker is a rookie outfielder out of UC Davis. He played 183 games there over four years and hit .295, including .335 as a junior when he was named Second Team All-Big West. He stole 19 bases as a senior in 2015. Barker played in the California Winter League and batted .353 with a homer in 14 games.

Corey Bass is a veteran catcher from the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He was a 20th round draft pick in 2013 out of the University of North Florida where he hit .281 in 154 games over four years. After making it as far as high-A with the Phillies, he played in 74 games for the Amarillo Thunderheads of the American Association last year.

Blair Beck is a second-year infielder out of Kansas University. He hit .262 over two seasons with the Jayhawks and slugged eight home runs as a senior. He began his pro career in 2015 with the Tampa Bay Rays, splitting time between their Gulf Coast League and Appalachian League affiliates.

Brandon Boyle is a rookie pitcher out of Lewis-Clark State College. He pitched in the California Winter League and posted a 0.82 ERA in eight games with 17 strikeouts in 17 innings. Prior to Lewis-Clark State, he pitched collegiately at Lower Columbia Community College and the University of South Alabama.

Clay Chapman joins the ThunderBolts after spending his rookie year with the Amarillo Thunderheads. The right-handed pitcher started eleven games for the American Association squad. He got a taste of Frontier League action out of Florida Southern College when he spent spring training with the Normal CornBelters last season.

Chris Chigas is a local pitcher from Bridgeview and Oak Lawn High School. The left-hander pitched collegiately at Phoenix College and was named Postseason MVP of the Midwest Collegiate League in the summer of 2013. He has some Frontier League experience after spending spring training with the Florence Freedom in 2015.

Dan Child is a veteran pitcher originally from the Philadelphia Phillies system. He spent two years there after being drafted in the 18th round out of Oregon St. and made it as far as high-A Clearwater. Last year, he went 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA in 13 relief appearances for the Amarillo Thunderheads in the American Association.

Evan Crower will be a rookie on the baseball field in 2016. He spent four years playing football at Stanford backing up both Andrew Luck and Kevin Hogan at quarterback and threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns in his career. The left-hander pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies in spring training this year.

Reggie Lawson begins his second Frontier League season after spending 2015 with the league champion Traverse City Beach Bums. Lawson, who spent three seasons in the Seattle Mariners system, was named a Frontier League all-star last year while splitting time between first base and the outfield and won the home run derby.

Andrew Lowe comes to the ThunderBolts after wrapping up his college career at Wisconsin-Whitewater. He pitched in 18 games over two years for the Warhawks and helped them win the 2014 Division III National Championship. Lowe had a 1.52 ERA over five starts this year in the California Winter League.

Brett Maus had a cup of coffee in the Frontier League last season when he pitched in three games for the Schaumburg Boomers. The Tinley Park native and Andrew High School graduate had a 2.99 ERA in 22 starts over two years at St. Joseph’s College. He also spent time at Lake Land College and Triton College.

Alex Miden is a rookie pitcher from Molloy College. He won ten games there over two years after transferring from Nassau Community College. Last year, he pitched in seven games for the Las Vegas Train Robbers of the Pecos League. He appeared in six games this offseason in the California Winter League and had a 2.33 ERA with nine strikeouts over nine innings.

Tyler Murphy joins the ThunderBolts after briefly serving on the Joliet Slammers pitching staff in 2015. He appeared in eight games for Joliet. Prior to his professional career, the rookie pitcher attended Southeastern University for four years and was named Second Team All-Sun Conference in 2014.

Taylor Smart comes to the ThunderBolts after spending 2015 in the American Association with Amarillo and Wichita. The infielder began his pro career in 2014 as a 26th round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners. Smart played for two years at Western Nevada College and two years at the University of Tennessee, where he hit .280 over 102 games.

Ryan Strombom is a rookie pitcher out of Lewis & Clark College in Oregon. He started 41 games there over three years. Strombom dominated the California Winter League this offseason, compiling a 1.12 ERA in five appearances. He struck out 36 and walked four over 25 innings.

Chris Williams is a corner infielder who played 53 games in the Pecos League in 2014, hitting .365 for the Raton Osos and Bisbee Blue. He slugged .613 and drove in 47 runs. Williams attended Oral Roberts University and played there for three years after transferring from Seminole State College.

Tim Zier comes to the ThunderBolts from the Phillies system where he hit .305 over two years after getting drafted in the 21st round. The infielder attended San Diego State University and batted .322 over four years with 127 RBIs. He is the Aztecs all-time hits leader with 301.