It’s that time again! Last Wednesday, Ottawa Sports Network featured ‘Get to Know Your Ottawa Champions’ Pitchers Edition, which gave readers a brief bio about each pitcher as well as any interesting tidbits or recent footage I could dig up. If you missed it, or want to read it again, here it is. After getting a lot of positive feedback about covering the team, it’s time for the next installment of our featured series on your 2016 CanAm League Champions, the Ottawa Champions!
Bats/Throws: R/R | Height: 6″2 | Weight: 225 | Age: 26 (08/07/1990)
Danny Grauer, 24, batted .196 with five homeruns and 33 RBI in 2016 while providing solid defence behind the plate for Ottawa.
In nine playoff game the Chesapeake, VA native compiled a .219 average and hit a key homerun in the top of the 12th inning of game three of the championship series to give Ottawa a 13-12 win over the Rockland Boulders.
“Danny does a good job calling games, the pitchers like throwing to him, and he’s durable,” says Champions manager Hal Lanier. “He also had some big homeruns for us.”
Grauer was originally signed by the Champions in August 2015 after a season in the Pecos League where he hit .388 with 18 homeruns and 61 RBI for the Roswell Invaders. (source: http://www.ottawachampions.com/playoff-hero-grauer-back-behind-the-plate-for-2017/)
Finished 4th on the team in homeruns, but with the lowest batting average in the CanAm League (.196, and the next lowest was .205), it’s not hard to imagine that the starting catcher’s role could be up for grabs when training camp begins.
His Instagram account is private, and he hasn’t used either that or Twitter for a while, for what it’s worth, but who knows–maybe when the season begins his social media game will come back!
Tyler Nordgren (#95)
Bats/Throws: R/R | Height: 5“9 | Weight: 190 | Age: 25 (08/16/1991)
Tyler Nordgren, 25, split the 2016 season between the Pittsburg Mettle of the Pacific Association and Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League where he combined to hit .325 with one homerun and 18 RBI in 46 games.
The San Diego, CA native played college baseball at Point Loma Nazarene University in his hometown in 2013 and 2014 before spending 2015 with the Vallejo Admirals in the Pacific Association. (source: http://www.ottawachampions.com/champions-bolster-roster-with-five-signings/)
This lucky man has been soaking up the World Baseball Classic in San Diego. Check out where he was sitting for the USA-Dominican Republic game last Saturday March 18th–the US beat the Dominican Republic 6-3 in the final group stage game of the tournament:
Nordgren had a ridiculously better batting average than Grauer did last season, against what I can only presume is relatively similar competition. Nordgren’s batting average was nearly twice as good as Grauer’s, but he only played in half the amount of games. You can’t discount that. Still, given what he achieved last year, I’m excited for him to bring some competition for the starting catcher’s role here in Ottawa.
That’s it for now! Keep an eye out for the next edition of ‘Get to Know Your Ottawa Champions.’ Next, we profile the infielders!
If you like what you’re reading, or want to talk about the catchers, leave a comment!
Love the Sens, Redblacks, Fury, Champions, 67s, or local junior/minor league sports? Do you have a passion for writing? Send an e-mail to ottawasn at gmail dot com if you’re interested in writing for us, and let’s talk.