As pitchers and catchers report for spring training duty in Florida, Calgarian Mike Soroka finds himself on the cusp. On the cusp of what exactly remains unclear, but suffice to say, it’s a big season for the 21-year-old Atlanta Braves right-hander.
Last year at this time, Soroka was chasing the dream of his first start in Major League Baseball (MLB). He achieved that on May 1, 2018 during an impressive victory over Noah Syndergaard and the Mets at New York’s Citi Field.
The 2015 first-round pick of the Braves followed that up with four more starts – posting a 3.51 earned run average (ERA), a 2-1 record and 21 strikeouts over 25.2 innings pitched in the majors – before injuries sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
What will a healthy Soroka do for an encore? If 2018 proved anything to the PBF Redbirds alumni it’s that getting there is only half the battle – staying up with the big club is the other half.
Read More 2019 Projections for Mike Soroka
He’s a Calgary kid who grew up playing all the time at Tourmaline Field in Okotoks, but outfielder Jaxson Hooge has always been a rival of the Dawgs.
It makes sense then, that the former Pro Baseball Force (PBF) Redbird ended up playing for the Medicine Hat Mavericks.
The 6-foot-1 right-handed batter is back for a second season with the Mavs this year, after putting in a second-team, All-American campaign with the Tabor College Bluejays in Kansas.
We caught up with Hooge and gave him our batting lineup full of questions. Here’s what he had to say for our “1 Thru 9” feature.
Read More 1 Thru 9: Jaxson Hooge
It was a fairytale ending.
After a plucky cast of characters was assembled, they set out on an epic journey. At several points during this obstacle-laden trek, it seemed like all hope was lost and the battle was done.
But every fairytale needs a happy ending. A starry-eyed hero must emerge at just the right time to strike an unexpected and lethal blow to the enemy. A valiant and trusted companion must struggle through adversity to ensure his lovable mates win the fight.
And in the end, a prince and princess must bring new hope to the land.
Read More Once Upon A Time
It’s not quite as iconic as the Brooklyn Dodgers hat that we associate with Jackie Robinson.
But for one night anyway, Robinson was kind enough to trade in his baseball cap for a white cowboy hat.
Just two months after winning his first and only World Series – which was also the first and only title the Brooklyn Dodgers captured – Robinson found himself in Calgary and, well, he was introduced to a folksy Alberta tradition.
Read More Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson
Rising star Mike Soroka doesn’t ask much. He just expects to take the mound and dominate every single pitch.
If that sounds cocky, it shouldn’t. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Calgarian pretty much did that last season.
Read More Brave’s New World