We have another PDC to report: the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Low Class A; Midwest League) and the Tampa Bay Rays extended their player development contract through the 2016 season.
It keeps the Rays as the only parent club the Hot Rods have held since the team’s inaugural season in 2009.
“As a baseball fan, the Rays are an exciting partner, and we’re thrilled to announce we’re renewing with such a world-class organization,” said Hot Rods General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Adam Nuse. “The Rays have built such a successful franchise through their minor league system, and that has led to great players and teams taking the field at Bowling Green Ballpark. The Rays are the only partner the Hot Rods have ever known, and we’re ecstatic to continue this partnership.”
The Hot Rods began play at Bowling Green Ballpark in 2009 under the Tampa Bay Rays affiliation, and the list of Bowling Green alumni playing in the big leagues is growing. Kevin Kiermaier has been one of the top rookies in the American League this season for Tampa Bay, and he was patrolling the outfield for the Hot Rods in 2011. In total, 10 former Hot Rods have reached the majors, seven of them with the Rays. That list will continue to grow as many former Hot Rods can be found on the rosters of Double-A Montgomery or Triple-A Durham.
“Our staff strives to create a first-class environment for our fans, but also the players and baseball staff,” said Hot Rods Managing Partner Stuart Katzoff. “One of our big missions is to provide an environment where players in the Tampa Bay Rays organization can look forward to playing and working in on their way to the big leagues.”
Bowling Green enjoyed a historic run through the Midwest League from 2011-13, including a franchise-record 82 victories in 2013. The club won 239 games during the three-season stretch. The wild success of 2014 in Hudson Valley (shrot season A; NY-Penn League) and Princeton (rookie; Appalachian League) bodes well for the 2015 playoff chances for the Hot Rods.
“The Tampa Bay Rays are excited to be a partner with the Bowling Green Hot Rods,” said Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics. “We appreciate all they do for our staff and players, and look forward to our continued relationship. The Bowling Green Hot Rods, their community and fans are first class.”
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