With Frontier League opening day looming and the hopes for an unimpeached season higher than they have been in months, the Ottawa Titans roster is really starting to take shape with 12 players now signed and set for opening day. With the guarantee of more signings and moves in the coming months here is my look at the Ottawa Titans roster so far.
Mateos Kekatos –
Mateos, 22, is a local product hailing from Scarborough, Ontario. He spent four seasons in Usports for both UBC and U Toronto. Though he had some semi-professional experience with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the Intercounty Baseball League this is his first foray into true professional ball, and it will be interesting to see what he can contribute as a versatile pitcher who can both start and come out of the bullpen.
Justin Watts –
Justin, 27, was drafted in the 37th round by the Blue Jays in 2017 after splitting three years between Northern Kentucky and Southern Indiana of the NCAA. He most recently pitched in 2019 for the A ball Lansing Lugnuts in the Blue Jay’s minor league system. He is a power pitcher who can rack up the strikeouts (104 in 83 innings pitched in his minor league career). He looks to be a solid bullpen arm for the Titans this season who may get the occasional spot start.
Cody Mincey –
Cody Mincey at 28 years old is likely the most well-travelled player on this team. He spent two years at South Carolina University, pitching out of the bullpen before joining the frontier League out of college. He has played for the Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball league as well as playing in both the Mexican Pacific winter league and the Caribbean series. He will double as the teams pitching coach and should provide great contribution both out of the bullpen and from the bench.
Evan Grills –
This is one of the signings I am most excited about. Evan, 28, was drafted in the 10th round by the Astros in 2010 and spent the next seven years climbing the minor league ranks eventually ending up in the Rockies’ system. He most recently played for the Winnipeg Goldeyes which is interesting as the Goldeyes ownership group was part of the team that brought the Titans to fruition. The perfect example of local talent, Evan is heavily involved in Ottawa minor baseball as an instructor with the Ottawa Nepean Canadians baseball program of the Premier Baseball League of Ontario. Incidentally, this is also an organization I am involved in. I can say having seen it first-hand that Evan loves the game and is an incredibly driven athlete, something he instills in all the young athletes he instructs. It will be nice for many, me included, to see a familiar face in a Titans jersey come opening day and he figures to be a very important piece of this teams pitching staff.
Cody Thompson –
Thompson, 24, may seem like just another bullpen depth piece but there’s more to the story. He spent 2019 with the Frontier League’s Southern Illinois Miners where he not only pitched but played 17 games in the outfield. He didn’t record any at-bats so it’s unlikely that Titans fans will get to see a Shohei Ohtani style two-way player but he should be an interesting player to watch nonetheless.
Micah Kaczor –
One of many former River City Rascals on this Titans team, Micah, 23, had a very promising start to his frontier league career in 2019. He split that season with East Tennessee State University and the Boise Hawks, a short-season A ball team after having his contract purchased by the Rockies late in the year. In 4 starts with the Rascals in 2019 he had a dominant era of 1.46. He looks to be a promising young addition to this Ottawa Titans pitching staff.
Jackson Sigman –
Sigman, 25, the most recent signing by the Ottawa Titans has been well traveled in the independent baseball circuit. He has spent time in both the American Association and the Frontier League, even spending parts of 2018 and 2019 with the River City Rascals. He will provide solid depth out of the bullpen.
Hector Sanchez –
This is an amazing signing for the Titans. I could hardly believe it when I initially read the report. If any of you don’t know, the 31-year-old Hector Sanchez was the backup catcher on the San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series championship team. Being a bit of a baseball junkie, I am ecstatic to be able to watch him play. A player of his caliber, even being a backup at that level will be huge for a brand-new team. It’s great to have somebody who knows what it takes to win big games. It takes a special player to make the major leagues even off the bench so it’s great to see the Titans bringing in some real top tier talent. He last suited up in 2018 for the Sacramento River Cats, the AAA affiliate of the Giants and is just over three years removed from his last Major League experience, that being with the San Diego Padres.
Trevor Achenbach –
Trevor, 26, spent 2018 and 2019 with the River City Rascals making the all-star team in 2019. He was acquired in a three-team trade with Sussex county and New Jersey.
Elliott Curtis –
Curtis, 22, is another young professional baseball rookie. He played 2 years at the University of Kentucky and was named to the Canadian Baseball Network’s First-team All-Canadian team in 2018. He can play multiple infield position but will most likely slot in at 2nd and 3rd base.
Nick Anderson –
Anderson, 23, split 2019 between Texas A&M Corpus Christi University and the River City Rascals of the frontier league. He plays all three outfield positions and will give the team some solid versatility as a very good defensive outfielder who is a former Southland Conference all-defensive team member. He was acquired from the Gateway Grizzlies in exchange for a player to be named later.
Kyle Gaedele –
Gaedele, 31, will serve the team not only as a speedy outfielder (he stole 24 bags in 2016 with River City of the Frontier League) but also as the first hitting coach in Titans franchise history. Gaedele was drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 draft by the San Diego Padres. This is a great acquisition for the Titans. A savvy veteran with plenty of professional experience along with previous frontier league experience, he will surely serve the team with a wealth of baseball knowledge.
All in all, the Titans have seemingly checked all the boxes in building a quality roster so far. They brought in quality Canadian talent in Grills, Kekatos and Curtis. They signed some big names with some legit pro experience, specifically Hector Sanchez, and they acquired plenty of players with previous Frontier League experience. Add to that a proven winning manager in Steve Brook and this team already looks like they’re taking the first steps to a future Frontier League Championship.