Four Former Chinooks Taken In Final Day of 2014 MLB Draft

After 40 rounds and 1,215 selections in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, four of those selections have found their way from the National League of the Alaska Baseball League into the National League of Major League Baseball.

Athletes in Action Baseball squads in Alaska have pumped some quality talent into baseball’s highest level, such as Josh Donaldson and others.  Taylor Aikenhead, Caleb Dirks, Collin Radack, and Daniel Salters are the latest draft picks looking to flourish at the next level that have had association with AIA Baseball and the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks.

Caleb Dirks was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 15th round (463rd overall).  Dirks pitched collegiately at California Baptist University and was a member of the “original” Chinooks roster in 2012 and 2013.  Over two summers as a Chinook, Caleb started 15 games and threw 87 innings.  The Riverside, California native picked up 8 saves this spring for CBU and struck out 52 batters in just 41 innings.

The St. Louis Cardinals chose outfielder Collin Radack in the 20th round (615th overall).  Radack attended Hendrix College where we was a .389 career hitter over his four years there and led the Chinooks in hitting last summer by posting a .310 average.  He also was tied for the team lead in RBIs last summer in addition to being one of three players to record a home run.

Another one of those players to hit a dinger was catcher Daniel Salters.  Salters was picked by the Washington Nationals in round 22 (664th overall).  He drove in 8 runs while hitting .226 for the Chinooks in 2013.  Salters and Radack represented the ‘Nooks in the 2013 Alaska Baseball League All-Star Game.

Recalling back to 2011, Taylor Aikenhead was also an All-Star selection from the organization that received a call from a big league club on Saturday.  The southpaw will be heading to the San Diego Padres organization after becoming a 32nd round pick (957th overall).  Aikenhead played for AIA Baseball in 2011 when the team was still located in Fairbanks as the Alaska Fire.  This past spring, he was a workhorse at Cal State-Bakersfield logging 106.1 innings over 15 starts.  Yes, that is averaging over 7 innings per start.

With the 2014 ABL Opening Day right around the corner and producing four MLB prospects, the excitement around the diamond in Chugiak-Eagle River is as high as ever this weekend.