After a disappointing 2015 season, the A’s rebounded with an improved 24-15 final record last season which saw them win 13 of their final 14 regular season games before being knocked out of the Rock River playoffs. Managed by the trio of Jim Ziegler (Pitcher), Brad Young (Infield/Pitcher) and Adam Sarauer (Utility) the A’s will look to build off of the that success as they head into this season. Many of the same names from past seasons will be back, but most noticeably absent will be the franchise’s longest tenured player, Jason Strobel, who has decided to hang up the cleats after 19 seasons. Strobel ends his career leading the A’s in most every offensive category including hits (511) and home runs (57), but it will be his leadership and passion for the game that will be sorely missed.
Additionally, all-league performer Mike Aiello will not return as he has decided to play closer to his hometown this season. Despite those losses, the A’s will still return a wealth of talent which includes Jake Spaeth (Infield/Outfield), Randy Finger (Outfield), Jordan Dreikosen (Pitcher), Nate Grzybowski (Infield), [Cody Nuernburg] (Pitcher), Austin Sarauer (Outfield) and Austin Cairo (Pitcher) . Look for Adam Bigus (Outfield), Harry Steldt (Infield), Nick Erd (Infield) and [Drake Schreihart] (Infield) to have significant roles at times this year as well.
The key ingredient to this upcoming season though will be that of the numerous first year players that the A’s have brought aboard. Nick Rosenthal (Infield), Mike Prochnow (1B/Outfield) and [Devin Zillmer] (Utility) will be playing their first full season after playing on a limited basis while still in high school. Newcomers Mike Hensel (catcher), Grant Steinike (Pitcher/Infield), [Mack Miller] (Pitcher), [Sam Zarling] (Outfield) and Anthony Matic (Outfield) will also be making their debuts for the team this season. Despite what will most likely be one of the younger teams in the league, the A’s should find themselves in the mix for a Rock River championship come August.
The A’s have a jam-packed schedule this season playing 45+ games which will take them all over eastern/southern Wisconsin as well as their annual trip to Minnesota. The A’s will participate in the Northeast division of the Rock River League (16 games) with Cedarburg, Grafton, Plymouth, Saukville and the West Benders as well as the Southeastern Wisconsin Baseball League (10 games) with Clyman, Kenosha, Pewaukee, Sussex and West Bend 7 Up. Numerous tournaments will fill out the schedule including the Hustisford Preseason Tournament (April 9 – 23), Lakeshore Invitational in Manitowoc (June 4), SPAMtown Challenge in Austin, MN (June 23-25) and the Wisconsin Amateur Baseball Classic that the A’s co-host in West Bend (July 13-16). In addition, the A’s will look to qualify for the inaugural State Tournament in Sheboygan and West Bend the first week of August.