Alaskans in the MLB Draft
Pitcher Marshall Boze of Soldotna was the first Alaskan to play Major League Baseball, making his debut with the Milwaukee Brewers on April 28, 1996, against the Seattle Mariners. He retired all four batters he faced.
A month later he was closing games.
Boze earned his first save in just his seventh MLB game. He served as the team's setup man in his next two appearances and worked consecutive scoreless eight innings in back-to-back nights to earn a pair of holds. He had a 1.50 ERA through his first 10 MLB games.
In all, he pitched in 25 games in the 1996 season, finishing eight of them. He struck out 19 batters in 32.1 innings. He finished 0-2 with a 7.79 ERA.
He is the only Alaskan to save a MLB game.
The 6-foot-1, 214-pound righty was a man among boys in Alaska when he played American Legion baseball with Kenai Post 20. He scared hitters with his fastball, in part because he was wild.
“He was overwhelming,” said his Legion coach Lance Coz. “He was like the guy in ‘Bull Durham’ – boom, boom, boom, he’d strike out three batters and boom, boom, boom, he’d hit three batters.”
At the 1988 state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium he threw a 3-hitter and recroded a state record 21 strikeouts in a 6-1 loss to eventual state champion East Post 34.
Boze didn’t lack confidence on the mound. And it didn’t matter who was at the plate.
“He was built like a bull and when he hit Albert Belle he didn’t even think twice about backing down,” Coz said with a laugh. “That’s typical Marshall.”
In 10 minor-league seasons, Boze posted a 62-65 record in 221 career games. He completed 18 of his 159 starts and struck out 693 batters in 1,025 innings. His wins, strikeouts and innings are way ahead of any other pro pitcher from Alaska.
No Alaska baseball player did more with less than Chad Bentz of Juneau.
He made his Major League Baseball debut on April 7, 2004, becoming the second Alaskan to play in the Big Leagues.
He was also the second pitcher, after Jim Abbott, to play in the MLB after being born without one of his hands.
“I played baseball when I was younger, and got made fun of,” Bentz said in 2004. “I didn’t like going because all they did was make fun of me. So I didn’t play anymore. Then I saw Jim Abbott. He gave me the will to at least try playing again.”
Bentz is our role model.
In 2018, he was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound southpaw pitched in 40 career games, more than any other player from Alaska. He played for the Montreal Expos in 2004 and the Florida Marlins in 2005.
Bentz finished 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA. He struck out 18 batters in 29.2 innings.
He is the only Alaskan to play in multiple MLB seasons.
Arguably his most impressive achievement is the fact that he is the only Alaskan with a base hit in the big leagues.
“Not bad for a boy who overcame many obstacles he faced in his life, both geographical and physical,” Bentz said.
Bentz played nine years in the minor leagues and racked up an 11-20 record with 23 saves in 195 appearances, almost all of them in relief.
Chris Mabeus of Soldotna had a short career in Major League Baseball.
He pitched in just one game for the Milwaukee Brewers on May 29, 2006, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Mabeus struck out the first hitter he faced.
He came into the game in the bottom of the seventh inning with his team trailing 10-3. The first hit he gave up was a double to Jose Bautista. After that he retired the next two batters, including Jason Bay, who had homered in six straight games.
Mabeus struck out the first batter he faced in the eighth inning before things fell apart.
He threw three wild pitches and gave up four runs on three hits, including a home run to Jose Castillo.
“After I gave up the home run I started thinking way too much,” Mabeus said after the game. “I started thinking about the home run more than anything.”
In Alaska, the 6-foot-3, 233-pounder right-hander was a late bloomer.
“He’s a guy that got better with time,” said his Legion coach Lance Coz. “He was pretty quiet. He didn’t realize what his potential was until he started getting recognized more and more. It’s amazing when they make the comment that if you’re good enough they will find you – it’s true.”
Mabeus played six seasons in the minors, totally 243 games - the most among pro pitchers from Alaska. The relief pitcher collected a state record 34 saves to go with a solid 30-16 records. He struck out 370 batters in 394 innings.
College Players from Alaska Legion Programs
Many of these men have returned home to volunteer as coaches for High School and American Legion programs.
|Name||Legion Team / Year||College|
|Cody Curfman||Chugiak Post 33 / 2016||Mt. Hood (OR)|
|Matthew Kley||South Post 4 / 2016||Wenatchee Valley (WA)|
|Julito Fazzini||South Post 4 / 2016||Mt. Hood (OR)|
|Tommy Koloski||South Post 4 / 2016||South Mountain (AZ)|
|Dimitri Torres||Bartlett Post 29 / 2015||Mesabi Range (MN)|
|Lauren Frost||Eagle River / 2015||Stanford Softball (CA)|
|Willy Homza||South Post 4 / 2015||Brown University (RI)|
|Joe Fitka||Dimond Post 21 / 2015||Chicago State (IL)|
|Mike Rosenberg||Eagle River / 2015||Coast Guard Academy (CT)|
|Conner Melton||Service Post 28 / 2014||Rio Grande (OH)|
|Dalton Chapman||West Post 1 / 2014||Grand Canyon (AZ)|
|Austin Anderson||East Post 34 / 2014||Hawaii Hilo (HI)|
|Conner Cucullu||South Post 4 / 2014||Shoreline Community (WA)|
|Max Karnos||South Post 4 / 2013||Western Nevada (NV)|
|Ryan Bailey||Service Post 28 / 2013||Minnesota State Tech (MN)|
|Jonathan Boyer||Wasilla Post 35 / 2013||El Paso CC (TX)|
|Chase Wilson||Chugiak Post 33 / 2013||Feather River (CA)|
|Ryan Caron||Service Post 28 / 2013||Mayville State (ND)|
|Johnny Meszaros||Service Post 28 / 2013||Western Nevada (NV)|
|Mahlon Cleveland||Dimond Post 21 / 2012||Shasta (CA)|
|Scott Hodgson||South Post 4 / 2012||St. Olaf College (MN)|
|Sagan Osborne||Dimond Post 21 / 2012||Treasure Valley (OR)|
|Kyle Bovy||Palmer Post 15 / 2012||Marin (CA)|
|Josh Crapps||South Post 4 / 2012||Dallas (TX)|
|Zach Ferntheil||Service Post 28 / 2012||Cochise College (AL)|
|Lance Ibesate||Juneau Post 25 / 2012||University of Jamestown (ND)|
|Logan Allred||South Post 4 / 2012||Dallas (TX)|
|Kyle Kornegay||Dimond Post 21/ 2012||Pierce College (WA)|
|Aaron Miller||Service Post 28 / 2011||Mayville State (ND)|
|Garrett Brown||Service Post 28 / 2011||Pacific Lutheran University (WA)|
|Adam Manzer||West Post 1 / 2011||Sonoma State (CA)|
|Cory Clevenger||Dimond Post 21 / 2011||East Central University (OK)|
|Dylan Lauwers||Dimond Post 21 / 2011||College of the Desert (CA)|
|Andrew Grotelueschen||Eagle River / 2011||Trinity International (IL)|
|Tyler Thompson||Dimond Post 21 / 2011||Pacific Lutheran University (WA)|
|Dusty Wisdom||Wasilla Post 35 / 2011||Brown-Mackie College (KS)|
|Cullan Coleman||Wasilla Post 35 / 2011||Aurora University (IL)|
|Torgen Soderlund||Fairbanks Post 11 2011||Western Nevada (NV)|
|Dylan Baker||Juneau Post 25 2010||Western Nevada (NV)|
|Trevor Allred||South Post 4 / 2010||Dallas (TX)|
|Stephen Ferntheil||Service Post 28 / 2010||East Georgia State (GA)|
|Dylan Wisthoff||West Post 1 / 2010||Rollins College (FL)|
|Austin Samulowitz||Fairbanks Post 11 / 2010||Southern Nazarene (OK)|
|Tyler Belk||Chugiak Post 33 / 2009||Cerro Coso (CA)|
|Derek Henry||Chugiak Post 33 / 2009||Everett (WA)|
|Tim McCollum||Chugiak Post 33 / 2009||Everett (WA)|
|Joe Kohan||Juneau Post 25 / 2008||University of Nevada (NV)|
|Varea Costello||South Post 4 / 2008||Dallas (TX)|
|Chris Schierhorn||South Post 4 / 2008||Dallas (TX)|
|Ty Griffith||Chugiak Post 33 / 2008||Black Hawks (IL)|
|Doug Henie Jr.||Chugiak Post 33 / 2008||Lane (OR)|
|Zach Morse||Chugiak Post 33 / 2008||NW Nazarene (ID)|
|Larsen Kohler||Kenai Post 20 / 2008||Concordia (OR)|
|Bernardo Otero||Bartlett Post 29 / 2007||SW Oregon (OR)|
|Jarin Alvarez||West Post 1 / 2007||Olympic (WA)|
|Josh Desmarais||Dimond Post 21 2007||Pierce (CA)|
|Ryan Skillern||South Post 4 / 2007||Montana State-Billings (MT)|
|Garrett Prokosch||West Post 1 / 2006||Univ. of Puget Sound (WA)|
|Tim Spivey||West Post 1 / 2006||Pierce CC (WA)|
|Ben Rosen||Chugiak Post 33 2006||College of Idaho (ID)|
|Conor Spink||Chugiak Post 33 2006||Seattle (WA)|
|Morgan Wynne||Dimond Post 21 / 2006||San Marcos (CA)|
|Luke Cronin||Service Post 28 / 2006||Benedictine (KS)|
|Mike Akers||East Post 34 / 2006||Lane (OR)|
|Brayam Campos||East Post 34 / 2006||Cal Baptist (CA)|
|Austin Cassaday||East Post 34 / 2006||Cerro Coso (CA)|
|Tyler Moore||East Post 34 / 2006||Cerro Coso (CA)|
|Chad Nading||East Post 34 / 2006||UNLV (NV)|
|Colin Zimmerman||West Post 1 / 2006||Hawaii Hilo (HI)|
|Keegan Kucko||Chugiak Post 33 / 2006||New Mexico State (NM)|
|Ben Rosen||Chugiak Post 33 / 2006||College of Idaho (ID)|
|Conor Spink||Chugiak Post 33 / 2006||Seattle (WA)|
|Matt Sullivan||Chugiak Post 33 / 2006||Colorado Christian (CO)|
|Jake Plancich||East Post 34 / 2006||Allan Hancock (CA)|
|Zach Plancich||East Post 34 / 2006||Mesa JC (AZ)|
|Matt Way||Sitka / 2005||Washington State (WA)|
|Nathan Enslow||Service Post 28 / 2005||Montana State Billings (MT)|
|Erol Kelter||Chugiak Post 33 / 2005||Air Force Academy (CO)|
|Trevor Harrison||East Post 34 / 2005||Lane (OR)|
|Wade Zelazny||East Post 34 / 2005||Eastern Oregon (WA)|
|Makailen Braumberger||East Post 34 / 2005||Porterville (CA)|
|Zach Beltz||East Post 34 / 2005||Alan Hancock (CA)|
|Joey Scott||East Post 34 / 2005||St. Petersburg (FL)|
|Nick Nading||East Post 34/ 2005||Lane (OR)|
|Derek Stokes||Service Post 28 / 2005||Corban (OR)|
|Andrew Ward||Service Post 28 / 2005||Cumberland (TN)|
|Eric Zimmerman||West Post 1 / 2005||UNLV (NV)|
|Zachary Patrick-Riley||West Post 1 / 2005||Lawrenece (WI)|
|KC Haas||Service Post 28 / 2004||Chandler Gilbert (AZ)|
|Tristan Varela||Service Post 28 / 2004||Mid-America Christian (OK)|
|Josh Jones||Bartlett Post 29 / 2003||Gray’s Harbor (WA)|
|Chad Sherwood||East Post 34 / 2003||Cerro Cosa (CA)|
|Anton Maxwell||East Post 34 / 2003||Oregon State (OR)|
|Jason Lambert||Service Post 28 / 2003||Yakima Valley (WA)|
|Kyler Dunford||Service Post 28 / 2003||Gray’s Harbor (WA)|
|Chuck Rider||Service Post 28 / 2003||Mesa State (AZ)|
|Zack Durst||West Post 1 / 2002||Shasta (CA)|
|Kyle Hudspeth||West Post 1 / 2002||Colorado State (CO)|
|Ty Clapper||Dimond Post 21 / 2002||Victor Valley (CA)|
|Brandon Joseph||Dimond Post 21/ 2002||Cabrillo (CA)|
|Taylor Reed||Dimond Post 21 / 2002||Southwestern (CA)|
|Grant Bledoe||East Post 34 / 2002||Ithaca (NY)|
|Jordan Farkas||East Post 34 / 2002||Whitmouth (WA)|
|Corey Madden||East Post 34 / 2002||St. Mary’s College (CA)|
|Antoine McLeod||East Post 34 / 2002||Lewis & Clark State (ID)|
|Damon Stokes||Service Post 28 / 2002||Letourneau Univ. (TX)|
|Tom Lepley||Service Post 28/ 2002||Western Oregon (OR)|
|Travis Babcock||East Post 34 / 2001||Shoreline (WA)|
|Chris Jones||East Post 34 / 2001||Shoreline (WA)|
|Jonathon Stralka||Dimond Post 21/ 2001||West Point Academy (NY)|
|Bryan Crockett||Dimond Post 21/ 2001||Pacific Lutheran (WA)|
|Eli George||Dimond Post 21 / 2001||Cabrillo (CA)|
|Ian Wheeles||Dimond Post 21 / 2001||Illinois Institute (IL)|
|Jason McGinnis||Service Post 28 / 2001||Shoreline CC (WA)|
|Alex Jamieson||Service Post 28 / 2001||Jacksonville Univ. (FL)|
|Mike Hansen||West Post 1 / 2001||Chemekata (OR)|
|Joe Ayers||Juneau Post 25 / 2000||Boston College (MA)|
|Brian Montalbo||Dimond Post 21 / 2000||California (CA)|
|Boyd Erickson||Dimond Post 21 / 2000||Eastern New Mexico (NM)|
|Garrett Schoenberger||Juneau Post 25 / 2000||Arizona State (AZ)|
|Taylor Nerland||Service Post 28 / 2000||Victor Valley College (CA)|
|Wes Masters||Service Post 28 / 2000||College of the Canyons (CA)|
|Nick Satyal||West Post 1 / 2000||Lewis & Clark College (OR)|
|Nathan Senner||West Post 1 / 2000||Carleton College (MN)|
|Eric Walkes||Bartlett Post 29 / 2000||Mesa State College (CO)|
|Tim Buczak||Chugiak Post 33 / 2000||St. Joseph’s College (IN)|
|Davud Ober||Chugiak Post 33 / 2000||Wesleyan (TN)|
|Josh Wilson||Chugiak Post 33 / 2000||Olympia (WA)|
|Kyle Madden||East Post 34 / 2000||Mendocino (CA)|
|Jeremy Wylie||East Post 34 / 2000||Mendocino (CA)|
|Chad Bentz||Juneau Post 25 / 1999||Long Beach State (CA)|
|B.J. Walsh||Bartlett Post 29 / 1999||Orange Coast (CA)|
|Jamar Hill||Bartlett Post 29 / 1999||Santa Ana CC (CA)|
|Chuck Withers||Service Post 28 / 1999||University of Hawaii (HI)|
|Steve Beck||Service Post 28 / 1999||Central Washington (WA)|
|Ari Stiassny||Service Post 28 / 1999||Whitman (WA)|
|Aaron Stiassny||Service Post 28 / 1999||Whitman (WA)|
|Matt Guthrie||Service Post 28 / 1999||Northwest Nazarene (ID)|
|James Miller||Service Post 28 / 1999||Missouri Western (MO)|
|Richie Clausen||Service Post 28 / 1999||George Fox (OR)|
|Larry Arnold||Service Post 28 / 1999||Lassen (CA)|
|Alex Bumpus||Service Post 28 / 1999||Cal Baptist (CA)|
|Aaron Witt||Service Post 28 / 1999||Southern Oregon (OR)|
|Taylor Harper||Chugiak Post 33 / 1999||Cerro Cosa (CA)|
|Aaron Buch||Dimond Post 21 /1999||Southwestern (CA)|
|Adam Earl||Dimond Post 21 / 1999||Lane (OR)|
|Orlando Caro||East Post 34 / 1999||Orange Coast (CA)|
|Jarred Lewis||East Post 34 /1999||Cal State Dominguez Hills (CA)|
|Jeff Dyson||East Post 34 / 1999||Mendocino (CA)|
|Jon Dyson||East Post 34 1999||Northern Colorado (CO)|
|Zack Kondrk||Dimond Post 21 / 1999||Eastern Oregon (OR)|
|Joe Clark||Chugiak Post 33 / 1998||Southern Idaho (ID)|
|Eric Rogers||Chugiak Post 33 / 1998||Florida College (FL)|
|Greg Buczak||Chugiak Post 33 /1998||Florida College (FL)|
|Ricky Bostick||Bartlett Post 29 /1998||Lewis & Clark State (ID)|
|Matt Witthoeft||Bartlett Post 29 / 1998||Treasure Valley (OR)|
|Matt Juba||Dimond Post 21 / 1998||Blue Mountain (OR)|
|Billy Piland||East Post 34 / 1998||Southern Oregon (OR)|
|Luke Monyer||East Post 34/ 1998||Southern Oregon (OR)|
|Mike Wilson||East Post 34 / 1998||Orange Coast (CA)|
|Tyler Hasbrouck||Service Post 28 / 1998||Coastal Carolina (SC)|
|Levi Robinson||Service Post 28 / 1998||Texas Christian (TX)|
|Chris Mabeus||Kenai Post 20 / 1998||Lewis & Clark State (OR)|
|Joel Cladouhos||Juneau-Douglas / 1997||Grinnell (IA)|
|Lon Johannes||Service Post 28 / 1997||Edmonds (WA)|
|Brady Lonergan||Service Post 28 / 1997||Colorado State (CO)|
|Gareth Perry||Service Post 28 / 1997||Mendocino (CA)|
|Steve Ingram||Service Post 28 / 1997||Missouri, Rolla (MO)|
|Joey Bell||Bartlett Post 29 / 1997||Hawaii Hilo (HI)|
|Tom Twombly||Bartlett Post 29 / 1997||Shoreline (WA)|
|Nick Waak||Chugiak Post 33/ 1997||Lassen (CA)|
|Josh Ellis||Dimond Post 21/ 1997||Edmonds (WA)|
|Rob Conway||Juneau Post 25 / 1996||Iowa State (IA)|
|Darrell Bradley||Dimond Post 21 / 1996||Panhandle State (OK)|
|John Sims||Chugiak Post 33 /1996||Hillsdale (MI)|
|Bill Lierman||Chugiak Post 33 / 1996||Lincoln Land (IL)|
|Donnie Kron||Dimond Post 21 / 1994||Panhandle State (OK)|
|Kimito Mishimo||Bartlett Post 29/ 1994||Lewis & Clark (ID)|
|Ra Shipps||East Post 34 / 1993||West Point Academy (NY)|
|Marshall Boze||Kenai Post 20/ 1993||Southwestern (CA)|
|Cliff Anderson||Kodiak Post 17 / 1989||Chapman (CA)|
Professional Baseball Players from Alaska
|Chad Bentz P Juneau||Tom Allison 2B Susitna Valley||Dustin Krug P Kodiak||Matt Way P Sitka|
|Marshall Boze P Soldotna||Cliff Anderson SS/2B Kodiak||Jamar Hill OF Anchorage||Jerome Johnson P Fairbanks|
|Chris Mabeus P Soldotna||Alex Jamieson C Anchorage||Chad Nading P Anchorage||Ryan Shaver P Fairbanks|
|Joey Newby P Soldotna||Dylan Baker P Juneau||Levi Robinson INF Anchorage|
|Corey Madden P Anchorage||Trajan Langdon 3B Anchorage|
|Timothy Stanley 2B Anchorage|
|Brian Montalbo P Anchorage|
|Anton Maxwell P Anchorage|
|Joe Ayers INF Juneau|
|Toby Staveland P Juneau|
|Jeff Zitek SS Kenai|
Content by Van Williams