From Kluber to Tatis, former Missions continue to chase the dream

Minor league baseball fans in San Antonio are ready to see some games again.

Last year, the season was canceled because of the pandemic. This summer, the Missions will return for their 119th season in San Antonio. The Missions begin their new era affiliated with the San Diego Padres, playing as a member of the Double-A Central League. For the season opener, they’ll take on the Houston Astros-affiliated Corpus Christi Hooks on May 4 in Corpus Christi .

The Missions’ home opener at Wolff Stadium is set for Tuesday, May 18, against the Frisco RoughRiders. We won’t see a roster for another two or three weeks.

But, history suggests that we’ll have a good time this summer sorting out and identifying the major league prospects.

As a Padres affiliate from 2007 through 2018, the Missions won three Texas League championships and made seven playoff appearances. During the affiliation, fans in San Antonio were able to see the likes of Corey Kluber, Trea Turner and Fernando Tatis Jr. In one season as the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Missions in 2019 played host to fan favorites such as Keston Hiura and Mauricio Dubon.

Keston Hiura played for the San Antonio Missions for part of the 2019 season before being called up by the Milwaukee Brewers. - photo by Joe Alexander

The Milwaukee Brewers have moved power-hitting Keston Hiura to first base this season. Hiura played second in San Antonio in 2019. – photo by Joe Alexander

The Major League Baseball season kicked off on April 1. Kluber, a two-time Cy Young Award winner with the Indians, pitched his first game for the Yankees on April 3.

So, we’ll take a minute to identify teams you can follow to keep track of your former Missions’ favorites. One note of caution. This is a working list, not likely inclusive of all active major leaguers who have played in San Antonio. But, it’s as many as we could find, and we promise to add more names as they come to our attention.

(Years with the Missions are in parentheses).

Boston Red Sox — Franchy Cordero (2016), Hunter Renfroe (2014-15), Matt Andriese (2013).

Washington Nationals — Joe Ross (2014), Trea Turner (2015), Hernan Perez (2019).

San Diego Padres — Fernando Tatis, Jr. (2017-18), Trent Grisham (2019), Dinelson Lamet (2016), Chris Paddack (2018), Taylor Williams (2019), x-Trey Wingenter (2017).

Oakland A’s — Burch Smith (2013, 2019).

New York Yankees — Corey Kluber (2009-10).

Milwaukee Brewers — Corbin Burnes, Keston Hiura, Adrian Houser, Brent Suter, Devin Williams, Travis Shaw (all 2019), Luis Urias (2017).

Trent Grisham played for the San Antonio Missions for part of the 2019 season before being called up by the Milwaukee Brewers. - photo by Joe Alexander

Trent Grisham won a Gold Glove for his play in the outfield with the San Diego Padres last year. Grisham was a Brewers organization player at Triple-A San Antonio in 2019. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Miami Marlins — Anthony Bass (2011), Adam Cimber (2015-16-17).

San Francisco Giants — Mauricio Dubon (2019), Matt Wisler (2013-14).

Seattle Mariners — Ty France (2017-18), Nick Margevicius (2018).

Chicago Cubs — Eric Sogard (2009).

Atlanta Braves — Drew Smiley (2019).

Los Angeles Dodgers — Jimmy Nelson (2019).

Cleveland Indians — Franmil Reyes (2017), Josh Naylor (2017-18), Austin Hedges (2013-14), Logan Allen (2018), Cal Quantrill (2017-18), Ben Gamel (2019).

St. Louis Cardinals — Miles Mikolas (2011).

New York Mets — Jacob Barnes (2019).

x-injured list

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