2022 Quebec Capitales vs Ottawa Titans

Players To Watch: 2022 Frontier League Division Series

Players To Watch: 2022 Frontier League Division Series

With the Division Series round of the Frontier League's postseason set to get underway, now is as good of a time as any to jump into watching some games.

Sep 9, 2022 by Mike Ashmore
Players To Watch: 2022 Frontier League Division Series

With the Division Series round of the Frontier League's postseason set to get underway - as seen exclusively on FloBaseball, of course - now is as good of a time as any to jump into watching some games, especially as the baseball is more meaningful than it has been all year long.

In a rematch of last year's finals, the Schaumburg Boomers will face the Washington Wild Things to determine who advances to the Championship Series from the West Division, while the Ottawa Titans and Quebec Capitales will do the same in the East.

What players should you be keeping an eye on when both of those series get underway on Friday night?  We've got you covered.

Schaumburg Boomers

Pitcher - Darrell Thompson

A member of last year's championship team, the left-handed reliever has emerged as the team's closer this season, collecting 17 saves, while pitching to a miniscule 1.40 ERA in 46 overall appearances.  

With 92 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings pitched, and just a 0.896 WHIP in the regular season, if the Boomers are leading late in a tight game, it seems unlikely they'll relinquish it with the 28-year-old indy ball veteran on the mound.

Hitter - Chase Dawson

The new league record holder with a stunning 24 triples on the season, Dawson racked up two hits in the decisive Game 5 of the Championship Series last year. He delivered 51 extra-base hits in all during this regular season. 

A .309 hitter who struck out just 44 times in 438 plate appearances, the 25-year-old once again could be a catalyst for the Schaumburg offense.

Washington Wild Things

Pitcher - Rob Whalen

The former major-leaguer, who memorably took some time away from the game due to anxiety issues, was back and seemingly better than ever this season with Washington.  

The owner of eight big league appearances over three seasons with the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners, Whalen was 12-2 this year with a 3.50 ERA, and would figure to most likely be the starter in the series opener.

Hitter - Nick Ward

A one-time draft pick of the Oakland Athletics who briefly reached the Triple-A level in two years in their farm system, the 26-year-old infielder was the Frontier League's third-best hitter this season with a .349 batting average for the Wild Things.  

With a career-high 19 home runs, he's also a much bigger power threat than he was last season and will need to play a key role if Washington can finally get past Schaumburg.

Ottawa Titans

Pitcher - Zac Westcott

If the series goes the full three games, it seems likely that Westcott would take the ball on short rest, despite throwing 7 2/3 innings on 99 pitches in the team's 8-2 win over the New York Boulders on Wednesday.  

Signed in the offseason to be the team's ace, it has been somewhat of an up-and-down year for the 30-year-old righty, who posted a 12-3 record in the regular season, but also a 4.06 ERA and 1.313 WHIP that are slightly above his career averages.

Hitter - Jake Sanford

A third-round pick of the New York Yankees just three years ago, the corner outfielder was released earlier this year among varying reports of off-field misbehavior.  

His on-field play never was a question, and that has remained the case since signing with the Titans, who issued a statement upon signing Sanford that backed him immediately.  

The signing has paid dividends, with the Canada native leading the team in the three major offensive categories with a .308 batting average, 22 home runs and 73 RBIs.

Quebec Capitales

Pitcher - Miguel Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos was the league's Pitcher of the Year, winning the honors in his second season with the Capitales.  

An all-star, he posted a 10-2 record during the regular season with a 1.79 ERA in 21 starts, recording 106 strikeouts in 131 innings of work.  

The 25-year-old southpaw likely will take the ball in Game 1 of the series against Ottawa, giving them an early advantage with the Titans having to use Westcott in the wild card game to advance.

Hitter - Jeffry Parra

Second in the Frontier League with 32 home runs this season, the 24-year-old catcher has put up massive numbers over the last two years after being let go by the San Francisco Giants, who let him go after drafting him out of Ramapo (NJ) High School back in 2016.  

A monster year in which, along with those 32 homers, he hit .321 with 83 RBIs and a 1.137 OPS, would seem to put him firmly on the map for a return to affiliated ball.  

For now, however, he'll look to make an impact for the Capitales in the playoffs as a key part of a very dangerous lineup.