Alaskans in the MLB Draft

Top MLB Draft picks from Alaska
Draft Year Player Position Hometown Overall / Round Team
2000 Brian Montalbo P Anchorage 130 / 4 Atlanta Braves
2017 Jonny Homza C Anchorage 138 / 5 San Diego Padres
1994 Trajan Langdon 3B Anchorage 150 / 6 San Diego Padres
2009 Matt Way P Sitka 167 / 5 Philadelphia Phillies
2012 Dylan Baker P Juneau 173 / 5 Cleveland Indians
2001 Chad Bentz (MLB Player) P Juneau 202 / 7 Montreal Expos
1998 Dustin Krug P Kodiak 316 / 11 Chicago Cubs
1990 Marshall Boze (MLB Player) P Soldotna 331 / 12 Milwaukee Brewers
2001 Chris Mabeus (MLB Player) P Soldotna 401 / 13 Oakland As
2008 Chris Aure P North Pole 444 / 15 Pittsburgh Pirates
2014 Scooter Bynum OF Fairbanks 545 / 18 Cincinnati Reds
1997 Nick Waak P Eagle River 621 / 20 Cleveland Indians

Marshall Boze (MLB Player)

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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 pitched in 25 games in the 1996 season, finishing eight of them. He struck out 19 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 struck out 20 batters – and lost 7-5 to 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 Frank Thomas he didn’t even think twice about backing down when Thomas charged,” Coz said with a laugh. “That’s typical Marshall.”

In 10 minor-league seasons, Boze posted a 62-65 record in 246 career games. He completed 18 of his 159 starts and struck out 712 batters in 1,057 innings.

Chad Bentz (MLB Player)

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No Alaska baseball player did more with less than Chad Bentz of Juneau

He made history in Major League Baseball by becoming the second pitcher, after Jim Abbott, to play in the big leagues 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.

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.

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 235 appearances, almost all of them in relief.

Chris Mabeus (MLB Player)

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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, collecting 34 saves and posting a 30-16 record in 244 games. 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 / 2015 Brown University (RI)
Joe Fitka Dimond Post 21 / 2015 Iowa Lakes (IA)
Mike Rosenberg Eagle River / 2015 Coast Guard Academy (CT)
Conner Melton Service Post 28 / 2014 University of Rio Grande (OH)
Dalton Chapman West P:ost 1 / 2014 Everett Community (WA)
Austin Anderson East Post 34 / 2014 Hawaii Hilo (HI)
Conner Cucullu South Post / 2014 Shoreline Community (WA)
Max Karnos South Post 4 / 2013 Western Nevada College (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 College (CA)
Ryan Caron Service Post 28 / 2013 Mayville State (ND)
Johnny Meszaros Service Post 28 / 2013 Western Nevada College (NV)
Mahlon Cleveland Dimond Post 21 / 2012 Shasta College (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 College of Marin (CA)
Josh Crapps South Post 4 / 2012 University of 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 University of 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 College (NV)
Dylan Baker Juneau Post 25 2010 Western Nevada College (NV)
Trevor Allred South Post 4 / 2010 University of 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 CC (CA)
Derek Henry Chugiak Post 33 / 2009 Everett CC (WA)
Tim McCollum Chugiak Post 33 / 2009 Everett CC (WA)
Joe Kohan Juneau Post 25 / 2008 University of Nevada (NV)
Varea Costello South Post 4 / 2008 University of Dallas (TX)
Chris Schierhorn South Post 4 / 2008 University of Dallas (TX)
Ty Griffith Chugiak Post 33 / 2008 Black Hawks College (IL)
Doug Hesnie Chugiak Post 33 / 2008 Lane, CC (OR)
Zach Morse Chugiak Post 33 / 2008 NW Nazarene (ID)
Larsen Kohler Kenai Post 20 / 2008 Concordia University (OR)
Bernardo Otero Bartlett Post 29 / 2007 SW Oregon CC (OR)
Jarin Alvarez West Post 1 / 2007 Olympic College (WA)
Josh Desmarais Dimond Post 21 2007 Pierce, CC (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 Univ. (WA)
Morgan Wynne Dimond Post 21 / 2006 Cal State Univ, San Marcos (CA)
Luke Cronin Service Post 28 / 2006 Benedictine College (KS)
Mike Akers East Post 34 / 2006 Lane, CC (OR)
Brayam Campos East Post 34 / 2006 Cal Baptist (CA)
Austin Cassaday East Post 34 / 2006 Cerro Coso, CC (CA)
Tyler Moore East Post 34 / 2006 Cerro Coso, CC (CA)
Chad Nading East Post 34 / 2006 Skagit Valley, CC (WA)
Colin Zimmerman West Post 1 / 2006 U of Hawaii, Hilo (HI)
Keegan Kucko Chugiak Post 33 / 2006 New Mexico State U (NM)
Ben Rosen Chugiak Post 33 / 2006 College of Idaho (ID)
Conor Spink Chugiak Post 33 / 2006 University of Seattle (WA)
Matt Sullivan Chugiak Post 33 / 2006 Colorado Christian (CO)
Jake Plancich East Post 34 / 2006 Allan Hancock College (CA)
Zach Plancich East Post 34 / 2006 Mesa JC (AZ)
Matt Way Sitka / 2005 Washington State University (WA)
Nathan Enslow Service Post 28 / 2005 Montana State - Billings (MT)
Erol Kelter Chugiak Post 33 / 2005 USAF Academy (CO)
Trevor Harrison East Post 34 / 2005 Lane CC (OR)
Wade Zelazny East Post 34 / 2005 Eastern Oregon (WA)
Makailen Braumberger East Post 34 / 2005 Porterville CC (CA)
Zach Beltz East Post 34 / 2005 Alan Hancock JC (CA)
Joey Scott East Post 34 / 2005 St. Petersburg College (FL)
Nick Nading East Post 34/  2005 Lane CC (OR)
Derek Stokes Service Post 28 / 2005 Corban College (OR)
Andrew Ward Service Post 28 / 2005 Cumberland College (TN)
Eric Zimmerman West Post 1 / 2005 U.N.L.V. (NV)
Zachary Patrick-Riley West Post 1 / 2005 Lawrenece Univ. (WI)
KC Haas Service Post 28 / 2004 Chandler Gilbert CC (AZ)
Tristan Varela Service Post 28 / 2004 Mid-America Christian Univ. (OK)
Josh Jones Bartlett Post 29 / 2003 Gray’s Harbor CC (WA)
Chad Sherwood East Post 34 / 2003 Cerro Cosa College (CA)
Anton Maxwell East Post 34 / 2003 Oregon State University (OR)
Jason Lambert Service Post 28 / 2003 Yakima Valley CC (WA)
Kyler Dunford Service Post 28 / 2003 Gray’s Harbor CC (WA)
Chuck Rider Service Post 28 / 2003 Mesa State (AZ)
Zack Durst West Post 1 / 2002 Shasta CC (CA)
Kyle Hudspeth West Post 1 / 2002 CSU - Fort Collins (CO)
Ty Clapper Dimond Post 21 / 2002 Victor Valley CC (CA)
Brandon Joseph Dimond Post 21/  2002 Cabrillo CC (CA)
Taylor Reed Dimond Post 21 / 2002 Southwestern CC (CA)
Grant Bledoe East Post 34 / 2002 Ithaca College (NY)
Jordan Farkas East Post 34 / 2002 Whitmouth College (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 CC (WA)
Chris Jones East Post 34 / 2001 Shoreline CC (WA)
Jonathon Stralka Dimond Post 21/  2001 U.S. Army Academy (NY)
Bryan Crockett Dimond Post 21/  2001 Pacific Lutheran Univ. (WA)
Eli George Dimond Post 21 / 2001 Cabrillo CC (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 CC (OR)
Joe Ayers Juneau Post 25 / 2000 Boston College (MA)
Brian Montalbo Dimond Post 21 / 2000 University of California (CA)
Boyd Erickson Dimond Post 21 / 2000 Eastern New Mexico (NM)
Garrett Schoenberger Juneau Post 25 / 2000 Arizona State University (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 College (TN)
Josh Wilson Chugiak Post 33 / 2000 Olympia College (WA)
Kyle Madden East Post 34 / 2000 Mendocino College (CA)
Jeremy Wylie East Post 34 /  2000 Mendocino College (CA)
Chad Bentz Juneau Post 25 / 1999 Long Beach State (CA)
B.J. Walsh Bartlett Post 29 / 1999 Orange Coast College (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 University (WA)
Ari Stiassny Service Post 28 / 1999 Whitman College (WA)
Aaron Stiassny Service Post 28 / 1999 Whitman College (WA)
Matt Guthrie Service Post 28 / 1999 Northwest Nazarene College (ID)
James Miller Service Post 28 / 1999 Missouri Western CC (MO)
Richie Clausen Service Post 28 / 1999 George Fox College (OR)
Larry Arnold Service Post 28 / 1999 Lassen College (CA)
Alex Bumpus Service Post 28 / 1999 Cal Baptist University (CA)
Aaron Witt Service Post 28 / 1999 Southern Oregon Univ. (OR)
Taylor Harper Chugiak Post 33 / 1999 Cerro Cosa CC (CA)
Aaron Buch Dimond Post 21  /1999 Southwestern CC (CA)
Adam Earl Dimond Post 21 / 1999 Lane CC (OR)
Orlando Caro East Post 34 / 1999 Orange Coast College (CA)
Jarred Lewis East Post 34  /1999 Cal State Dominguez Hills (CA)
Jeff Dyson East Post 34 / 1999 Mendocino College (CA)
Jon Dyson East Post 34 1999 N. Colorado University (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 CC (OR)
Matt Juba Dimond Post 21 / 1998 Blue Mountain JC (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 College (CA)
Tyler Hasbrouck Service Post 28 / 1998 Coastal Carolina (SC)
Levi Robinson Service Post 28 / 1998 Texas Christian University (TX)
Chris Mabeus Kenai Post 20 / 1998 Lewis & Clark State (OR)
Joel Cladouhos Juneau-Douglas / 1997 Grinnell College (IA)
Lon Johannes Service Post 28 / 1997 Edmonds CC (WA)
Brady Lonergan Service Post 28 / 1997 Colorado State (CO)
Gareth Perry Service Post 28 / 1997 Mendocino CC (CA)
Steve Ingram Service Post 28 / 1997 U of Missouri, Rolla (MO)
Joey Bell Bartlett Post 29 / 1997 U of Hawaii, Hilo (HI)
Tom Twombly Bartlett Post 29 / 1997 Shoreline CC (WA)
Nick Waak Chugiak Post 33/  1997 Lassen Jr. College (CA)
Josh Ellis Dimond Post 21/  1997 Edmonds CC (WA)
Rob Conway Juneau Post 25 / 1996 Iowa State University (IA)
Darrell Bradley Dimond Post 21 / 1996 Okla. Panhandle State (OK)
John Sims Chugiak Post 33 /1996 Hillsdale College (MI)
Billy Lierman Chugiak Post 33 / 1996 Lincoln Land CC (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 U.S. Army-West Point (NY)
Marshall Boze Kenai Post 20/  1993 Southwestern Communicy College (CA)
Cliff Anderson Kodiak Post 17 / 1989 Chapman University (CA)

Content by Van Williams