By Zane Miller
In the 27-season long history of the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the team has gone 1 for 3 in championship finals appearances, to go along with making 16 postseason appearances in total. As of this writing, Fort Wayne’s best regular season record came in 2009 at 94-46, while their worst came in 2001 at 54-83. These are the top five single seasons by starting pitchers that I felt have stood out the most during the team history of the TinCaps.
In total, the team has won one championship, coming in 2009. The TinCaps were previously known as the Fort Wayne Wizards from 1993 to 2008.
5. Tom Mott (1995)
The 99th overall pick of the 1994 draft out of Santa Clara by the Minnesota Twins pitched to a 13-4 record with the Wizards in the 1995 season, giving up just six home runs, 58 earned runs and 123 hits in 129 and two-thirds innings to take a 4.03 ERA. Fort Wayne went 75-65 on the season to qualify for the 1995 playoffs, losing to the Michigan Battle Cats two games to none in the first round.
4. Jake Peavy (2000)
The 472nd overall pick of the 1999 draft out of St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Alabama by the San Diego Padres earned a 13-8 record with the Wizards in 2000, pitching 133 and two-thirds innings while allowing six home runs, 43 earned runs and 107 hits for a 2.90 ERA. Fort Wayne took a 72-65 record to reach the 2000 playoffs, losing to the Michigan Battle Cats two games to one in the first round. Peavy would make his major league debut in 2002 with the Padres, winning the National League Cy Young Award in 2007.
3. Erik Davis (2009)
The 405th overall pick of the 2008 draft out of Stanford by the Padres took a 16-6 record with the TinCaps in the 2009 season, going 123 and two-thirds innings with just five home runs, 50 earned runs and 111 hits allowed to grab a 3.64 ERA. Fort Wayne went 94-46 to make the 2009 playoffs, where they defeated the South Bend Silver Hawks two games to one in the first round as well as the Great Lakes Loons two games to one in the second round, before sweeping the Burlington Bees three games to none to clinch their first and only championship as of this writing. Davis would make his major league debut in 2013 with the Washington Nationals.
2. LaTroy Hawkins (1993)
The 180th overall pick of the 1991 draft out of West Side High School in Indiana by the Twins claimed a 15-5 record with the Wizards in their debut season in 1993, pitching 157 and a third innings while allowing five home runs, 36 earned runs and 110 hits to take a 2.06 ERA. However, Fort Wayne finished with a 68-67 record, unable to qualify for the 1993 playoffs. Hawkins would make his major league debut in 1995 with the Twins.
1. Mike Ekstrom (2005)
The 342nd overall pick of the 2004 draft out of Point Loma Nazarene by the Padres took a 13-6 record during the 2005 season, giving up 11 home runs, 69 earned runs and 167 hits in 167 and two-thirds innings, claiming a 3.70 ERA in the process. While Fort Wayne went 65-75, they were still able to reach the 2005 playoffs, losing to the West Michigan Whitecaps two games to none in the first round. Ekstrom would make his major league debut in 2008 with the Padres.
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