Minor League Sports

Minor league baseball notebook: 3 Cedar Rapids Kernels all-stars all good stories

Williams, Snyder, Winder represent club in upcoming Midwest League All-Star Game

Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Josh Winder. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Josh Winder. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — They all three are good stories in their own right. It just depends which story you prefer.

Chris Williams is the son of a Japanese mother and military father who is catching a lot this season after not being able to much the last year and a half at college power Clemson because of an injury.

Gabe Snyder didn’t even begin the season here. He was in extended spring training before getting an April call to the club.

Josh Winder spent his college career at a military school, always a difficult challenge.

Those are your three Cedar Rapids Kernels named late this past week as members of the Western Division club that will play in a little over a week at the Midwest League All-Star Game in South Bend, Ind. Williams was selected a starting designated hitter by league managers, while Snyder and Winder were selected as reserves.

Williams has just a .223 batting average but 17 of his 29 hits are for extra bases. That’s six doubles, three triples and eight home runs.

“Chris has got a lot of power in his bat and got off to a pretty good start, hitting for power, like, seven or eight home runs,” Kernels Manager Brian Dinkelman said. “He has had some good at-bats and done a nice job behind the plate for us. Good to see him make the all-star team.”

Snyder, a first baseman, has provided consistent offense since he came to the MWL the second week of the season. He went into Saturday hitting .279 with three homers and 18 RBIs.

The 24-year-old Ohio resident is Wright State’s all-time leading home run hitter.


“How about that? He started out in extended, came up here a couple weeks into the season, got off to a hot start swinging the bat, and now he’s going to the All-Star Game,” Dinkelman said. “That’s pretty good for him.”

Winder has gone at least five innings in each of his nine starts for the Kernels. He’s 4-1 with a 2.98 earned run average and an outstanding WHIP of 1.09.

The right-hander was a seventh-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins last June out of the Virginia Military Academy.

“Winder has been really good consistency wise,” Dinkelman said. “We usually know what we’re going to get out of him every start. He does a good job with his fastball, then mixing his offspeed pitches in there. Definitely been one of our more consistent starters this season.”

Quad Cities led the Western Division with six players named to the All-Star Game. Bowling Green led the Eastern Division with eight.

The game is Tuesday, June 18.

Iowa Hawkeyes in summer ball

It’s college summer ball season, and Iowa has 15 of its players participating in various leagues around the country.

Seven Hawkeyes are in the nearby Northwoods League: pitchers Adam Ketelsen and Drew Irvine and outfielder Lorenzo Elion with the Waterloo Bucks, infielder Zeb Adreon and catcher Austin Martin with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders and infielder Izaya Fullard and pitcher Trenton Wallace with the Lakeshore Chinooks.

Infielders Brayden Frazier and Brendan Sher, outfielder Justin Jenkins and catcher Brett McCleary are with the Terre Haute Rex of the Prospect League. Outfielder Connor McCaffery is with the Albany Dutchmen of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.


Outfielder Ben Norman is in the Coastal Plains League with the Fayetteville Swampdogs. Infielder Matthew Sosa is with the Palm Springs Power of the Southern California Collegiate Baseball League.

Pitcher Cam Bauman has a 10-day contract with the Harwich Mariners of the prestigious Cape Cod League.

DeWitt's T.J. Sikkema signs

Former DeWitt Central pitcher T.J. Sikkema said Friday on Twitter that he has signed a contract with the New York Yankees. New York selected the junior left-hander with the 38th-overall pick Monday.

He went 7-4 with two saves and a 1.32 earned run average this season for the University of Missouri in 17 appearances.

Sikkema was the highest-drafted Iowan this year.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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