Kane County Cougars
Team logo Cap insignia
Information
LeagueAmerican Association of Professional Baseball (2021–present)
Midwest League (1991–2020) (East Division)
LocationGeneva, Illinois
BallparkNorthwestern Medicine Field (1991–present)
Founded1991
Nickname(s)Kane County Cougars (1991–present)
League championships2
  • 2001
  • 2014
Division championships5
  • 2001
  • 2004
  • 2006
  • 2014
  • 2019
ColorsNavy blue, tan, bright green
     
OwnershipRobert "Bob" Froehlich
ManagerGeorge Tsamis
General ManagerCurtis Haug
Kane County Cougars, playing the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Fox Cities Stadium on June 9, 2006
Kane County Cougars (white), playing the Kansas City Monarchs (red) at Northwestern Medicine Field on August 6, 2022

The Kane County Cougars are a professional baseball team located in Geneva, Illinois, and are members of the American Association of Professional Baseball, an official Partner League of Major League Baseball (MLB).[1] They play their home games at Northwestern Medicine Field. From 1991 to 2020, they were members of Minor League Baseball's Midwest League.

History

The Midwest League came to Kane County in 1991 when the Wausau Timbers relocated to Geneva, IL. The Wausau (1975–1990) Midwest League franchise was previously based in Decatur, Illinois (1952–1974).[2] The team has been known as the Cougars since moving to Kane County. They were affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles in 1991 and 1992, with the Florida Marlins from 1993 to 2002, the Oakland Athletics from 2003 until 2010, the Kansas City Royals for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, and the Chicago Cubs for the 2013 and 2014 seasons before affiliating with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015.[3]

As a Marlins farm team, some key contributors to the 2003 World Series championship team played in Kane County on their way to the big leagues. Miguel Cabrera has had a notable career and 2003 Series MVP Josh Beckett played for the Cougars in 2000, while Dontrelle Willis had the league's best winning percentage and earned run average in 2002.

The Cougars play their home games at Northwestern Medicine Field,[4] built in 1991. The franchise attendance record of 523,222 was set in 2001. The Cougars are perennially among the league leaders in attendance. On July 20, 2013, the Cougars became the first Class A team to attract 10 million fans.[5] Nancy Faust, after 40 years with the Chicago White Sox, was the stadium organist for selected Cougar home games until her retirement after the 2015 season.

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cougars' season was cancelled along with the rest of Minor League Baseball.[6] Later that year, the team was cut from the Midwest League and affiliated baseball as part of Major League Baseball's reorganization of the minor leagues.[7] The team considered becoming a member of the MLB Draft League before joining the American Association, an independent MLB Partner League.[8][9][10]

The team has led the American Association in attendance since joining in 2021,[11][12][13] and led all MLB Partner Leagues in 2022.[14]

Playoffs

Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League
Season Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
1991 - L, 2–0, Madison -
1992 - - -
1993 - - -
1994 - - -
1995 L, 2–1, West Michigan - -
1996 - - -
1997 W, 2–0, Wisconsin W, 2–0, Cedar Rapids L, 3–2, Lansing
1998 - - -
1999 W, 2–1, Quad Cities L, 2–0, Burlington -
2000 L, 2–1, Wisconsin - -
2001 W, 2–0, Beloit W, 2–0, Wisconsin W, 1–0, South Bend
2002 - - -
2003 L, 2–1, Clinton - -
2004 W, 2–1, Peoria W, 2–0, Clinton L, 3–2, West Michigan
2005 - - -
2006 W, 2–1, Quad Cities W, 2–0, Beloit L, 3–1, West Michigan
2007 - - -
2008 L, 2–0, Burlington - -
2009 L, 2–0, Burlington - -
2010 W, 2–1, Quad Cities L, 2–1, Clinton -
2011 W, 2–1, Burlington L, 2–0, Quad Cities -
2012 L, 2–0, Fort Wayne - -
2013 - - -
2014 W, 2–0, Wisconsin W, 2–0, Cedar Rapids W, 3–0, Lake County
2015 L, 2–0, Peoria - -
2016 - - -
2017 L, 2–0, Cedar Rapids - -
2018 - - -
2019 L, 2–0, Clinton - -
Kane County Cougars of the American Association of Professional Baseball
2021 - - -
2022 L, 2–1 Cleburne - -
2023 L, 2–1 Milwaukee - -

Mascots

The team's mascots are Ozzie T. Cougar and his sister Annie T. Cougar.[15][16]

Roster

Active roster Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 16 Nick Belzer
  • 18 AJ Jones
  • 32 Westin Muir
  • 30 Logan Nissen
  • 13 Ryan Richardson



 

Catchers

  • TBD

Infielders

  •  7 Josh Allen

Outfielders

  • TBD
 

Manager

Coaches

  •    Scott Ellis (trainer)
  • 25 Matt Passerelle (hitting)

Disabled list
‡ Inactive list
§ Suspended list

Roster updated January 19, 2024
Transactions

Notable alumni

Notable franchise alumni include:[17]

Name Years Played for Cougars Year of MLB Debut Notable Accomplishments
Héctor Sánchez 2023 2011 2012 World Series Champion
James Reeves 2023
T.J. Bennett 2023
Pete Kozma 2023 2011 2011 World Series Champion
Cornelius Randolph 2022–2023
Mitch Nay 2022
Nick Franklin 2022 2013
Mike Morin 2022 2014
Steve Lombardozzi Jr. 2022 2011
Sherman Johnson 2022 2018
Jack Anderson 2022
Bryce Brentz 2022 2014
Vance Worley 2021–2022 2010
Josh Tols 2021
Kacy Clemens 2021
Jake Cosart 2021
Anfernee Seymour 2021
Levi Kelly 2019
Luis Frías 2019 2021
Kristian Robinson 2019
Dominic Fletcher 2019 2023
Buddy Kennedy 2019 2022
José Cuas 2019 2022
Alek Thomas 2019 2022 2019 Midwest League MVP
Geraldo Perdomo 2019 2021
José Caballero 2018 2023
Jhoan Durán 2018 2022
Matt Peacock 2018 2021
José Herrera 2017–2019 2022
Jazz Chisholm Jr. 2017–2018 2020
Carlos Bustamante 2017–2018
Tommy Eveld 2017
J. J. Hoover 2017 2012
Connor Grey 2017 pitched perfect game against Clinton LumberKings Sep. 1
Ben DeLuzio 2017 2022
Anfernee Grier 2017
Riley Smith 2017 2020
Colin Poche 2017 2019
Kevin Ginkel 2017 2019
Jon Duplantier 2017 2019
Luis Alejandro Basabe 2016-2018
Marcus Wilson 2016-2017 2022
Sam McWilliams 2016-2017
Junior García 2016-2017
Gabe Speier 2016 2019
Yuhei Nakaushiro 2016
Taylor Clarke 2016 2019
Joel Payamps 2016 2019
Alex Young 2016 2019
Gabriel Moya 2016 2017
Touki Toussaint 2015 2018
Wei-Chieh Huang 2015 & 2017 2019
Sergio Alcántara 2015–2016 2020
Ryan Burr 2015–2016 2018
Steve Hathaway 2015 2016
Oscar Hernández 2015 2015 Called-up to the Diamondbacks less than one month after being promoted to the Cougars
Dawel Lugo 2015 2018
Josh Taylor 2015 2019
Ildemaro Vargas 2015 2017
Michael Pérez 2015 2018
Zac Curtis 2015 2016 Holds team record for most saves in a season (2015) at 33[18]
Víctor Reyes 2015 2018
Brad Keller 2015 2018
Steven Hathaway 2015 2016
Kyuji Fujikawa 2014 2013
Ryan Sweeney 2014 2006
Jasvir Rakkar 2014
Duane Underwood Jr. 2014 2018
Jen-Ho Tseng 2014 2017
Jacob Hannemann 2014 2017
Paul Blackburn 2014 2017
Víctor Caratini 2014 2017
Mark Zagunis 2014 2017
Zack Godley 2014 2015
Kyle Schwarber 2014 2015 MLB All-Star, 2016 World Series Champion
Gerardo Concepción 2014 2016
David Bote 2013–2014 2018
Pierce Johnson 2013–2014 2017
Jeimer Candelario 2013–2014 2016
Luis Valbuena 2013 2008
Trevor Gretzky 2013
Shawn Camp 2013 2004
Rafael Dolis 2013 2011
Lendy Castillo 2013 2012
Armando Rivero 2013
Tayler Scott 2013 2019
Dillon Maples 2013 2017
Daniel Vogelbach 2013 2016 MLB All-Star
Rob Zastryzny 2013 2016
Félix Peña 2013 2016
Willson Contreras 2013 2016 2x MLB All-Star, 2016 World Series Champion
Albert Almora 2013 2016 2016 World Series Champion
Marco Hernández 2013 2016
Andrew McKirahan 2013 2015
Scott Baker 2013 2005
Jack López 2012 2021
Kyle Zimmer 2012 2019
Brooks Pounders 2012 2016 2014 No-Hitter
Jorge Bonifacio 2012 2017
Andrew Triggs 2012 2016
Tim Melville 2012 2016
Scott Alexander 2012 2015
Aaron Brooks 2012 2014
Lane Adams 2011–2012 2014
Orlando Calixte 2011-2012 2015
Fernando Cruz 2011 2022
Ryan Jenkins 2011
Jason Adam 2011 2018
Juan Graterol 2011 2016
Yordano Ventura 2011 2013 2015 World Series Champion
Brett Eibner 2011 2016
Cheslor Cuthbert 2011 2015
Sugar Ray Marimon 2011 2015
Justin Marks 2010 2014
Bo Schultz 2010 2014
Michael Choice 2010 2013
Max Stassi 2010 2013
Ian Krol 2010 2013
Daniel Straily 2010 2012
Murphy Smith 2009–2010 2018
Shawn Haviland 2009
Pedro Figueroa 2009 2012
Grant Desme 2009
Dusty Coleman 2009 2015
Tyler Ladendorf 2009 2015
Mickey Storey 2009 2012
Pedro Figuero 2009 2012
Scott Mitchinson 2008
Tyson Ross 2008 2010 MLB All-Star
Corey Brown 2008 2011
Jemile Weeks 2008 2011
Travis Banwart 2007
Trevor Cahill 2007 2009 MLB All-Star, 2016 World Series Champion
Sean Doolittle 2007 2012 2x MLB All-Star, 2019 World Series Champion
Andrew Bailey 2007 2009 2x MLB All-Star, 2009 AL Rookie of the Year
Andrew Carignan 2007 2011
Sam Demel 2007 2010
Henry Rodríguez 2007 2009
Joey Newby 2006-2007
Vin Mazzaro 2006 2009
Ben Jukich 2006
Jeff Gray 2006 2008
Anthony Recker 2006 2011
Justin Sellers 2006 2011
Brad Kilby 2006 2009
Jeff Baisley 2006 2008 2006 Midwest League MVP, holds team record of 110 RBI in a season (2006)[18]
Cliff Pennington 2005 2008
Ryan Webb 2005 2009
Tommy Everidge 2005 2009
Gregorio Petit 2005 2008
Kevin Melillo 2005 2007
Connor Robertson 2005 2007
Travis Buck 2005 2007
Chris Lubanski 2004
Dallas Braden 2004 2007 Perfect game in 2010
Huston Street 2004 2005 2x MLB All-Star, 2005 AL Rookie of the Year
Danny Putnam 2004 2007
Jason Windsor 2004 2006
Marcus McBeth 2003 & 2005 2007
Santiago Casilla 2003-2004 2004
Dustin Majewski 2003
John Baker 2003 2008
Joe Blanton 2003 2004 2008 World Series Champion
Nelson Cruz 2003 2005 7x MLB All-Star, 2019 All-MLB First Team, 2020 All-MLB Second Team, 2011 ALCS MVP, 2x Silver Slugger, 2x Edgar Martínez Award, 2014 MLB Home Run Leader, 2017 AL RBI Leader, 2020 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, 2013 All-World Baseball Classic Team
Andre Ethier 2003 2006 2x MLB All-Star, 2011 Gold Glove, 2009 Silver Slugger
Bill Murphy 2003 2007
Jared Burton 2003 2007
Shane Komine 2003 2006
Frailyn Florián 2002
Dontrelle Willis 2002 2003 2x MLB All-Star, 2003 World Series Champion, 2003 NL Rookie of the Year, 2005 NL Wins Leader
Jason Stokes 2002 2002 Midwest League MVP, tied for team record with 27 home runs in a season (2002), team record of .341 batting average in a season (2002)[18]
Ronald Belisario 2002 2009
Jeff Fulchino 2002 2006
Eric Reed 2002 2006
Jim Kavourias 2001
Miguel Cabrera 2001 2003 11x MLB All-Star, 2003 World Series Champion, 2× AL MVP, 2012 Triple Crown, 7x Silver Slugger, 2× AL Hank Aaron Award, 4× AL Batting Champion, 2× AL Home Run Leader, 2× AL RBI Leader
Adrián González 2001 2004 2001 Midwest League MVP, 5x MLB All-Star, 4x Gold Glove, 2x Silver Slugger, 2014 NL RBI Leader
Josh Willingham 2001 2004 2012 Silver Slugger
Randy Messenger 2001 2005
Denny Bautista 2001 2004
Hansel Izquierdo 2001 2002
Vladimir Núñez 2001 1998
Chip Ambres 2000-2001 2005
Kevin Hooper 2000-2001 2005
Josh Wilson 2000-2001 2005
Josh Beckett 2000 2001 3x MLB All-Star, 2x World Series Champion (2003 & 2007), 2003 World Series MVP, 2007 ALCS MVP, 2007 MLB Wins Leader
Luis Ugueto 2000 2002
Matt Treanor 1999 & 2001 2004
Nate Robertson 1999–2000 2002
Claudio Vargas 1999 2003
Jeff Bailey 1999 2007
Chris Aguila 1999 2004
Kevin Olsen 1999 2001
Blaine Neal 1999 2001
Brett Roneberg 1998-1999
A. J. Burnett 1998 1999 MLB All-Star, 2009 World Series Champion, 2008 AL Strikeout Leader, 2001 No-Hitter, holds team record for most strikeouts in a season (1998) at 186[18]
Brandon Harper 1998 2006
Matt Erickson 1998 2004
Jason Pearson 1998 2002
Ross Gload 1998 2000
Michael Tejera 1998 1999
Gary Knotts 1997-1998 2001
Héctor Almonte 1997-1998 1999
Geoff Duncan 1997
Scott Podsednik 1997 2001 MLB All-Star, 2005 World Series Champion, 2004 NL Stolen Base Leader
Julio Ramírez 1997 1999
Brent Billingsley 1997 1999
Earl Agnoly 1996-1997
Roosevelt Brown 1996-1997 1999
Ryan Dempster 1996 1998 2x MLB All-Star, 2013 World Series Champion
Álex González 1996 1998 MLB All-Star, 2003 World Series Champion
Mark Kotsay 1996 1997
Randy Winn 1996 1998 MLB All-Star
Nate Rolison 1996 2000
Mike Duvall 1996 1998
Josh Booty 1995-1996 1996
Amaury García 1995-1996 1999
Luis Castillo 1995 1996 3x MLB All-Star, 2003 World Series Champion, 3x Gold Glove, 2x NL Stolen Base Leader
Ryan Jackson 1995 1998
Brian Meadows 1995 1998
John Roskos 1995 1998
Gabe González 1995 1998
Todd Dunwoody 1994-1995 1997
Brendan Kingman 1994
Antonio Alfonseca 1994 1997 1997 World Series Champion, 2000 NL Rolaids Relief Man Award, 2000 NL Saves Leader
Félix Heredia 1994 1996 1997 World Series Champion
Kevin Millar 1994 1998 2004 World Series Champion
Bryan Ward 1994 1998
David Berg 1994 1998
Will Cunnane 1994 1997 Holds team record of lowest ERA in a season (1994) at 1.43[18]
Andy Larkin 1994 1996
Billy McMillon 1994 1996
Ralph Milliard 1994 1996
Marc Valdes 1994 1995
Mike Redmond 1993–1994 1998 2003 World Series Champion
John Lynch 1993
Héctor Carrasco 1993 1994
Charles Johnson 1993 1994 2x MLB All-Star, 1997 World Series Champion, 4x Gold Glove
Édgar Rentería 1993 1996 5x MLB All-Star, 2x World Series Champion, 2010 World Series MVP, 2x Gold Glove, 3x Silver Slugger
Chris Clapinski 1993 1999
Vic Darensbourg 1993 1998
Matt Whisenant 1993 1997
Anthony Saunders 1993 1997
Alex Ochoa 1992 1995 2002 World Series Champion
B. J. Waszgis 1992 2000
Jimmy Haynes 1992 1995
Rick Krivda 1992 1995
Curtis Goodwin 1992 1995
Scott Klingenbeck 1992 1994
José Mercedes 1992 1994
Scott McClain 1991-1992 1998
Bobby Chouinard 1991-1992 1996
Clayton Byrne 1991
Joe Borowski 1991 1995 2007 AL Saves Leader
Tom Martin 1991 1997
Brad Pennington 1991 1993 First Kane County Cougars player to be called-up to the MLB
Gregg Zaun 1991 1995 1997 World Series Champion
Jim Dedrick 1991 1995
Vaughn Eshelman 1991 1995

Also see Category: Kane County Cougars players.

References

  1. ^ Reichard, Kevin (September 24, 2020). "American Association, Frontier League now MLB Partner Leagues". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  2. ^ "Register Team Encyclopedia".
  3. ^ "Cougars History". MiLB.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2019.
  4. ^ "Kane County Cougars".
  5. ^ "Cougars hits attendance milestone - Chicago Tribune". articles.chicagotribune.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013.
  6. ^ Kane County Cougars. "Cougars' 2020 Season Canceled". KCCougars.
  7. ^ "Kane County Cougars Not Invited to Remain MiLB Affiliate, Aim to Join MLB Partner League". NBC Chicago. December 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Gregor, Scot (December 9, 2020). "Some major changes are coming for the Kane County Cougars. Here's what they are". Daily Herald.
  9. ^ "AMERICAN ASSOCIATION WELCOMES KANE COUNTY COUGARS AS NEW LEAGUE MEMBER". American Association of Professional Baseball (Press release). February 4, 2021.
  10. ^ Johnson, Paul (December 9, 2020). "Kane County Cougars lose their MLB affiliation". Chicago Tribune. Aurora Beacon-News.
  11. ^ "American Association - 2023 Attendance". Pointstreak Sports Technologies. Retrieved August 18, 2023.
  12. ^ "American Association - 2022 Attendance". Pointstreak Sports Technologies. Retrieved August 18, 2023.
  13. ^ "American Association - 2021 Attendance". Pointstreak Sports Technologies. Retrieved August 18, 2023.
  14. ^ Reichard, Kevin (September 20, 2022). "2022 MLB Partner League attendance by league - Ballpark Digest". Retrieved August 18, 2023.
  15. ^ "New-Look Ozzie T. Cougar – 'Coolest Cougar' in Kane County?". Kane County Connects. February 18, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "Annie T. Cougar Is Baseball Team's Newest Mascot". Suburban Chronicle. June 2, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  17. ^ "Cougars in the MLB". Kane County Cougars. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Records & Awards". Kane County Cougars. Retrieved August 18, 2023.