Two of Iowa’s minor league teams will take the field where no minor leaguer has played before. Each organization has some of its best talents to suit the occasion.
The first minor league game at the iconic Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa was set for the first pitch at 6:30pm CT on Tuesday before a crowd of thousands and an MLB Network audience. The rosters of the Minnesota Twins’ High-A affiliate the Cedar Rapids Colonels and the Quad Cities River Bandits (Kansas City Royals) are currently tied for eight top 30 prospects.
The Cedar Rapids have already clinched the Midwest League West Division title in the first half and are headed to the postseason, while the Quad Cities used some home team magic to lead the Chicago White Sox to a thrilling victory over New York. The Yankees played last year’s first game at an MLB ballpark next to the hallowed movie site.
The Colonels and River Bandits will sport throwback signs for the historic event, with Cedar Rapids taking the field as the Rabbits, honoring the city’s team from 1904-32, and the Davenport Blue Sox honoring teams that played in the Quad Cities area. At various periods from 1913-37. The following are top 30 skills playing retro threads.
Cedar Rapids Rabbits (Kernels)
1B Aaron Sabato, Twins no. 12 (MLB ETA: 2023)
The 27th overall pick in the 2020 draft, Sabato was a powerhouse in North Carolina, where he hit a career-high 18 home runs. Through his first 100 professional games, he has doubled that tally with 36 long balls, including 17 so far this season for the Colonels.
2B/OF Alaric Solari, Twins no. 18 (MLB ETA: 2024)
Souleri can play anywhere in the outfield, playing 10 games this year in center and right and 2 in left, as well as playing 40 times at second base. Taken one round after Sabado in 2020, the Tennessee product is playing in his first full season after being limited to just 34 games last year due to injury.
RHP David Festa, Twins no. 25 (MLB ETA: 2024)
After starting the year with a 1.50 ERA in five starts for Single-A Fort Myers, Festa was assigned to Cedar Rapids, where he was a star. The 6-foot-6 right-hander can touch 99 mph with his fastball, has a hard slider and decent changeup, and has posted a 6-2 record and 2.75 ERA in 11 games (eight starts) for the Colonels.
RHP Sean Mooney, Twins no. 26 (MLB ETA: 2023)
The Twins took Mooney out of St. John’s in 2019 to help rehabilitate him from Tommy John surgery that year. The righty made his pro debut in 2021 and has been solid for Cedar Rapids this season, posting a 2.50 ERA in 13 games (11 starts), striking out 73 against just 26 walks in 54 innings.
3B/1B Jake Rucker, Twins no. 30 (MLB ETA: 2024)
Another SEC product from Tennessee, Rucker joined the Twins in the seventh round of the 2021 draft and has put together a first full-season campaign with Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids. In addition to 35 games played at third base and 30 games at first, Rucker was tested seven at second base and nine in the outfield. Between them, he batted consistently to a .265/.365/.449 slash line in 98 games for the Colonels.
Davenport Blue Sox (Quad City River Bandits)
RHP Beck Way, Royals no. 12 (MLB ETA: 2023)
Way, the Yankees’ fourth-round pick in 2020, came to the Royals last week via the Andrew Benintendi trade. In 15 starts on the year with High-A Hudson Valley in the Yanks’ organization, the righty went 5-5 with a 3.73 ERA. In his first two starts with the River Bandits, he struck out 13 in 10 2/3 innings.
2B Peyton Wilson, Royals no. 14 (MLB ETA: 2024)
Drafted 66th overall in 2021, Wilson comes from an athletic family of three sons in Alabama. Along with Peyton, John Parker played quarterback for the Crimson Tide and middle brother Ross still shares the new home run record with 15 others. The younger Wilson put together a steady first full season, batting .252/.332/.400. 60 games.
C Luca Tresch, Royals no. 26 (MLB ETA: 2025)
The North Carolina State product Tresh helped lead the Wolfpack to a third-place finish in the 2021 College World Series before going to the Royals in the 17th round that year. This season, in his Midwest League debut, he batted .273/.360/.470 with 14 homers and 54 RBIs in 80 games.