Canadian Duo Set To Make Noise With El Paso Chihuahuas In 2019
With the 2019 season beginning tonight for El Paso, the Chihuahuas are no longer the new shiny toy in Triple A baseball. They'll be taking on a familiar foe in Las Vegas but it will be the first ever game (and series) between the Aviators and the Chihuahuas.
There are a number of familiar faces returning in Coaches Bronswell Patrick, Lance Burkhart and Morgan Burkhart. On the flipside, Manager Edwin Rodriguez is the new sheriff in town calling all of the shots for El Paso. Now let's get into one of the newer faces that will be representing the Chihuahuas.
One of the highly touted newcomers would be former first round draft pick Josh Naylor, a Canadian LF who is making his Triple A debut with El Paso. Naylor knocked out 17 home runs in his 2017 campaign with the San Antonio Missions along with a career high in walks at 64. When asked what his biggest personal goal for this season, Naylor replied: "It's the same every year for me. Just have fun and enjoy being on the field... That's just who I am, I won't change depending on where I am. I'm always the same guy, I just want to win." Naylor represented the World Team in the 2017 All-Star Futures game along with current teammate Cal Quantrill, who is also a native of Canada.
Ironically enough, these guys go beyond just being on the same team as professionals. The Canadian duo started all the way back in St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario. It was only fitting to see the smile on starting pitcher Cal Quantrill's face when he took his turn to talk to media after Naylor. "It was a blast. The Futures game was a pretty unique opportunity. It was kind of funny being an English speaker in the World locker room.", Quantrill's response when asked about his chance to represent Canada for the World Team. "I think the game, the sport of baseball is at a pretty incredible place right now. All the talent in that room, it's pretty hard to comprehend."
Quantrill got his first chance at Triple A action with El Paso last season after being assigned from San Antonio and posted a 3-1 record with 22 strikeouts in 31 innings pitched. Now that he's had a full off-season to prepare for Triple A ball, it will be interesting to see if he can have the same kind of mid-season call up to the next level up.
Opening Night begins at 7:05 in Southwest University Park tonight as the Chihuahuas take on the Las Vegas Aviators. Catch all El Paso Chihuahuas games on 600 ESPN El Paso with Tim Hagerty, the voice of the El Paso Chihuahuas.