The Ottawa Champions are set to begin Spring Training for their third season in the CanAm League on May 8th, and play their first game of the 2017 season at home in RCGT Park against the Trois-Rivieres Aigles on May 18th. Unlike the major leagues, the players here don’t have a lot of time to gel as a team, and just as importantly, get used to playing on Ottawa’s large playing field.
With Champs spring training a little more than a month away, I thought was as good a time as any to get to know the players who will be in the lineup and take to the field on Opening Day. A big part of my love of baseball is getting to know the unique stories of each player–where they come from, how their path brought them to Ottawa, how they’ve done in the past, etc.
This week, check out below for bios of all the pitchers on the Ottawa Champions roster as of March 15th, 2017. As extended bios and recent stats are hard to come by for a lot of independent league ball players, most of this information comes from Ottawa Champions press releases–I’m just putting all of their news all in one place for your enjoyment. Anything that comes from their website will be italicized, and my comments will be in regular font below. Where possible, I try to provide a couple of extra goodies about each player!
Eventually, I hope to build these profiles out with a bit more detail, but stay tuned for that! Check back next week for bios of the Ottawa Champions’ outfielders.
Without further ado, your Ottawa Champions’ infielders!
Daniel Bick (#8)
Bats/Throws: R/R | Height: 6″0 | Weight: 190 | Age: 25 (02/04/1992)
Daniel Bick, 24, batted .205 with 12 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 65 games for the Champions in 2016, his second season in Ottawa.
The Alpharetta, GA native really made his presence felt in the playoffs though, batting .286 and slugging two homeruns in the 10 games, which doubled his career total.
After playing his college baseball at Georgia College, Bick went undrafted and signed with the Champions in May 2015, immediately impressing his teammates and fans with his dazzling defence and timely hitting.
“I’m really happy to have him back and I think he’s ready to have a good year,” said Champions manager Hal Lanier. “He works hard and he’s out there everyday practicing his hitting and fielding. He just needs to stay injury-free for a whole season.”
In 131 career games, Bick has a .235 batting average with one homerun, 34 RBI, and 27 stolen bases. (source: http://www.ottawachampions.com/bick-returns-for-a-third-season-in-ottawa/)
Kenny Bryant (#44)
Bats/Throws: L/L | Height: 6″2 | Weight: 225 | Age: 26, but 27 before season starts (04/16/1990)
Kenny Bryant, 26, led the Champions with 11 homeruns and 69 RBI in 2016 while batting .261 in 96 games, which was good enough to earn him the team MVP award at the end of the season.
He was on fire in the post-season though, leading Ottawa to its first ever Can-Am League championship with a .421 average, two homeruns, and 10 RBI in nine playoff games.
The Goose Creek, SC native is going into his sixth season in independent baseball, having also played for the Sussex County Miners, Rockford Aviators, and Gary SouthShore RailCats. (source: http://www.ottawachampions.com/slugger-bryant-returns-to-champions-after-banner-year/)
Kenny hasn’t been that active on Instagram lately, but here’s a picture of him with the Caped Crusader, Batman himself, because why not?
Albert Cartwright (#4)
Bats/Throws: R/R | Height: 5″10 | Weight: 180 | Age: 29 (10/31/1987)
Albert Cartwright, 29, batted .292 with three homeruns and 34 RBI in 91 games for Ottawa in the 2016 regular season, and was named the Can-Am League’s All-Star second baseman.
He followed that up with a solid post-season, belting three homeruns and driving in nine runs as the Champions won their first Can-Am League championship.
The Nassau, Bahamas native was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the 36th round of the 2007 draft and was also a member of the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations. (source: http://www.ottawachampions.com/champions-re-sign-all-star-second-baseman-cartwright/)
Brandon Fischer (#94)
Bats/Throws: R/R | Height: 6″0 | Weight: 185 | Age: 22 (11/30/1994)
Brandon Fischer, 22, played the 2015/16 season with St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY, where he batted .283 with two homeruns and 20 RBI in 29 games.
The Long Island, NY native also played for the North Shores Navigators of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League in 2015, where he batted .338 with one homerun and 36 RBI in 54 games and was also named to the All-Star team. (source: http://www.ottawachampions.com/champions-bolster-roster-with-five-signings/)
For a bit more detail, Fischer finished the 2015-2016 season at STAC, a Division II school, with a slash line of .283/.349/.416. There isn’t much else I can find about Brandon, except this 2012 video package he put together for college scouts. The video is almost 6 years old, so I wouldn’t read too much into it, but it does say that Brandon plays shortstop and second base, and can pitch if called upon.
On the March 5th edition of Around the Diamond, Hal Lanier said he can play basically any position, and has a surprising amount of pop in his bat.
If you like what you’re reading, leave a comment below! And if you are interested in joining Ottawa Sports Network as a writer, send an e-mail to ottawasn [at] gmail dot com.