“We are excited to be partnering with the Rays for another two years,” said Hot Rods Owner Stuart Katzoff. “They have been a first class organization to work with since we took over. We are all looking forward to watching more players who have worn the Hot Rods uniforms become future Tampa Bay Rays.”
Since the Bowling Green Hot Rods franchise moved to Kentucky in 2009, the Hot Rods have been affiliated with the Rays.
After spending their first year in the South Atlantic League and then joining the Midwest League in 2010, the Hot Rods have made the Midwest League playoffs three times and are in striking distance of clinching their first trip to the postseason since 2013 this season.
“The Tampa Bay Rays are pleased to continue our working agreement with the Bowling Green Hot Rods through 2018,” said Tampa Bay Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics. “We truly value our relationship. We thank the Hot Rods Ownership and Front Office group, and the City of Bowling Green, KY for giving our players a great environment to develop their skills as aspiring Major League players.”
Overall, 24 former Hot Rods players have gone on to play in a MLB game since 2011. The list includes eight players who have made their respective big leagues debuts during the 2016 season. Two former Hot Rods, pitchers Matt Moore and Alex Colome, have also gone on to play in a MLB All-Star game.
“It’s been very enjoyable seeing the progression of the Tampa Bay Rays organization in front of our very eyes over the last few years,” said Hot Rods General Manager Eric Leach. “The Rays have been a pleasure to work with. Hopefully, we can end this season by returning to the Midwest League playoffs and start off this extended partnership in style.”