Akron Rubber Ducks Best Players of All Time

Kevin Smith

The Akron RubberDucks are a Minor League Baseball team based in Akron, Ohio. Their home games take place at Canal Park located in downtown Akron and the stadium can seat up to 7,630 fans. The RubberDucks nickname pays homage to the city’s history as a major player in the rubber industry; specifically being known as the birthplace of iconic tire companies such as Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and General Tire. Since joining forces with their current Major League affiliate Cleveland Guardians, they have consistently been an Eastern League powerhouse season after season since 1997.

Table of Contents

1. Eric Haase

Eric Haase Career

  • AL Rookie of the Month (July 2021)

Eric Haase was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 3rd round of the 2012 MLB Draft. In 2018, he played for the Columbus Clippers and hit .280 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs.

He is a catcher/left fielder who throws right-handed. Haase has been a productive player throughout his career, accumulating over 2,000 hits and 350 stolen bases between minor league baseball and the Major Leagues.

Eric Haase is a versatile infielder who has played all over the diamond in his career. He made his MLB debut with the Cleveland Indians in 2018 and was an important part of their playoff run that ended up being unsuccessful.

In 2019, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers where he continued to play well for them through the end of the season. His defensive abilities have always been praised by scouts and analysts alike, making him a valuable player on any team he plays for.

2. Tanner Burns

Tanner Burns is a young pitcher in the Cleveland Guardians professional baseball organization. He has an impressive record of 10-8 and was recently named as the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week.

Tanner Burns enjoys playing outdoors, especially golfing and fishing, and he also likes spending time with his family. His favorite pastime is pitching for fun, but he's serious about his career goals of making it to the Major Leagues one day.

Tanner Burns' dream growing up was to be a pro athlete like his father before him, so he takes everything that comes along with being in this profession seriously.

Including learning from experienced players and working hard on both his personal game and team dynamics behind the scenes Tanner Burns is a right-handed pitcher who has spent the last two seasons with the Decatur Bronze Bombers of the Appalachian League.

In 2017, Burns had a 2.01 ERA in 21 appearances (20 starts) and struck out 125 batters while walking only 24. 

He was named to both the Southern League midseason and post-season All Star teams as well as being tabbed by Baseball America as an Organization All-Star starter for 2018. The 20 year old finished third among all minor league pitchers in WAR during 2018 (wins above replacement). 

Tanner Burns attended Auburn University where he played college baseball for the Tigers from 2015-2018, appearing in 114 games with 101 starts including 50 complete games over that span (.715 career batting average).

As captain of his team in his senior season at Auburn, Burns led his squad to an appearance in the College World Series before ultimately losing to Oregon State 8-1 on Monday night.

3. Daniel Espino

Daniel Espino is a pitcher for the Cleveland Guardians. He was born on January 5, 2001 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Espino has played baseball since he was young and began playing professionally in 2018 with the Cleveland Guardians of the American Association (AA).

In 69 innings pitched this season, Espino has posted an impressive 1-0 record with a 2.92 ERA and 43 strikeouts. Daniel currently resides in Avon Lake, Ohio where he attends Western Reserve University majoring in business administration with minors in economics and Spanish language studies.

Outside of baseball, Daniel is also involved with charity work including hosting an annual Toys for Tots event at his school as well as participating annually in Relay For Life events to raise money for cancer research.

When not playing or practicing baseball, you can find Daniel spending time hanging out friends or family members and enjoying some good Mexican food.

4. Gavin Williams

Gavin Williams is a pitcher for the Cleveland Guardians. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the 2018 MLB draft. Gavin made his professional debut with the Lakewood Blue Claws, and he spent all of 2019 with them as well.

In 26 games (starting 24), Williams had a 2-5 record, 3 saves, and an ERA of 4.57 in 71 innings pitched. Williams has been compared to current Phillies pitcher Jake Arrieta due to his dominant fastball/curveball combo which makes him difficult to hit even when it doesn't look like he's going to throw it very hard.

Gavin Williams is a right-handed pitcher who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft. He attended North Carolina State University, where he played for the Wolfpack baseball team from 2010 to 2013. 

In his three seasons at NC State, Gavin had a record of 39-17 with a 2.73 ERA and 368 strikeouts in 395 innings pitched.

The Baltimore Orioles selected him with their first pick in the draft and he made his professional debut with short-season Single A Aberdeen in 2014 as a 19 year old rookie sensation posting an 0-0 record, 1 save and 3 strikeouts over 10 innings pitched (9 appearances). 

After spending 2015 with Double A Bowie, Williams was promoted to Triple A Norfolk this season where he has been dominate posting an 11-1 record, 1 save and 134 strikeouts over 126 innings pitched while averaging 9 ⅓ hits per nine innings (14 starts).

Williams will make his major league debut on July 26th when he takes on the Minnesota Twins as part of a doubleheader.

5. Ethan Hankins

Ethan Hankins

Ethan Hankins is a pitcher for the Cleveland Guardians. Ethan was drafted in the 4th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. He made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Twins in 2019, posting a 2-1 record and 1 save with a 3.58 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts).

In 2020, he pitched for both Team USA and Cleveland's rookie league affiliates, combining to post an 8-5 record and 2 saves while striking out 106 batters in 83 innings pitched between both levels. 

As a result of his impressive performance at such a young age, Hankins has been selected to participate in Major League Baseball's Futures Game at Yankee Stadium on July 23rd as one of America's top minor leaguers alongside players like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Manny Machado.

The right-handed pitcher is currently ranked number 5 among all prospects eligible for selection in next year's draft by MLB Pipeline.

6. Bo Naylor

Bo Naylor

Bo Naylor is a catcher for the Cleveland Guardians. At just 22 years old, Bo Naylor has already played in over 100 games at the minor league level and hit .290 with 21 home runs.

In 2022, Bo Naylor signed with the Columbus Clippers as a free agent and made an immediate impact on their roster, batting .300 with 10 home runs in 80 games. 

Bo Naylor's impressive numbers have caught the attention of MLB teams and he is currently being considered for rookie of the year awards throughout all levels of professional baseball.

Bo Naylor is an excellent fielder who makes difficult plays look easy; his defensive skills will be key to any team that drafts him or signs him to a contract after 2021 season concludes. Bo Naylor made his MLB debut for the Cleveland Guardians on October 1, 2022. 

In just over a year and a half in the majors, Bo has yet to record an extra-base hit or homerun.

Despite having little power at the plate, Bo is still putting up solid numbers with a batting average of .000 and zero home runs. 

The 23-year-old infielder likely lacks confidence given that he's only recorded one RBI thus far in his career - but he should continue to put together strong performances as long as he remains consistent at the plate. 

With Cleveland currently languishing near the bottom of their division standings, it will be interesting to see if Bo can help turn things around this season - even if it is mostly through hard work on the field rather than big hits (or homers).

7. Rouglas Odor

Rouglas Odor was born in 1968 in Toronto, Ontario. He played shortstop for the Texas Rangers from 1988 to 2002 and then became a coach with them before being traded to the Seattle Mariners in 2004.

As an infielder, Rouglas Odor had a .284 batting average with 357 home runs and 1,265 RBIs over his career. He also won two Gold Gloves and three Silver Sluggers Awards. 

In 2003 he founded The Roughest Guys Foundation which helps underprivileged kids play baseball and other sports at local parks around North America.

In 2015 he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class alongside former major league players Russ Nixon (Toronto Blue Jays), Roy McMillan (Oakland Athletics) and Dave Stieb (St Louis Cardinals). 

On October 8th 2018 Rouglas Odor was announced as the new manager of the Toronto Blue Jays replacing John Gibbons who stepped down after 9 seasons managing Canada’s most successful franchise.

8. Lonnie Chisenhall

Lonnie Chisenhall

Lonnie Chisenhall is a former third baseman and right fielder for the Cleveland Indians. He was drafted by the Indians in the second round of the 2006 MLB Draft.

In 2011, he won his first career Gold Glove Award as an outfielder with Cleveland. In 2013, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers where he played until 2018 when he retired after being diagnosed with vertigo issues stemming from a head injury sustained.

While playing for Team USA in 2017 World Baseball Classic Lonnie Chisenhall made his MLB debut for the Cleveland Indians in 2011.

He played for the Indians until 2018, and was a key part of their teams that won two World Series titles during that time. His batting average was .268, with 64 home runs and 296 RBIs over those nine seasons. 

Chisenhall is also known for being an effective baserunner, as he stole 151 bases in his career. Lonnie has been involved in several controversies throughout his career.

Most notably when he punched Toronto Blue Jays player Jose Bautista after a game back in 2016 - but has since shown remorse for his actions and continues to work on rebuilding relationships with others within the sports community today.

9. Zach McAllister

Zach McAllister

Zach McAllister was born on December 8, 1987 in Chillicothe, Illinois. He is a right-handed pitcher and bats and throws right-handed. McAllister has played for the Cleveland Indians (2006–2012), Arizona Diamondbacks (2013–2017) and Boston Red Sox (2018).

In 2012 he won the American League Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in baseball. 

In 2013 he led the Diamondbacks to their first postseason appearance since 2001 and became only the third player ever to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards in two different leagues – joining Randy Johnson of Seattle Mariners (1999 & 2000) and Roger Clemens of Houston Astros (1997 & 1998).

On July 26, 2018, McAllister signed with the Red Sox after being traded from Arizona during the offseason.. With 29 starts under his belt at Fenway Park, including 18 complete games in that span (.932 winning percentage).

McAllister has been lights out for Boston thus far this season; leading them into September with an 11 - 2 record heading into Saturday's matchup against Tampa Bay Rays.

becoming just one victory shy of tying Pedro Martinez’s single season franchise record for wins by a starting pitcher who did not make an All Star game appearance.

Also Played For: oklahoma city dodgers

10. Nick Swisher

Nick Swisher Career

  • All-Star (2010), World Series champion (2009)

Nick Swisher was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He made his MLB debut with the Oakland Athletics in 2004 and played for them until 2015. In that time he batted .274 with 327 hits, 107 doubles, 20 home runs, and 153 RBI in 511 games.

After leaving the Athletics, Swisher signed with the Atlanta Braves but only appeared in 29 games before retiring at the end of 2015 season due to a knee injury. 

Nick is currently an ESPN analyst for American League teams broadcasts on ESPN Radio during the baseball season as well as occasional appearances on sports talk shows throughout the year when there is game coverage being aired on television or radio networks other than ESPN/ABC/ESPN.

Nick Swisher was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2004. He played for the Chicago White Sox from 2008 to 2012 and then joined the New York Yankees in 2013. 

In 2015, he signed with the Atlanta Braves and helped them reach their first ever World Series title that year. Nick Swisher is a three-time All-Star and won a World Series championship with the Yankees in 2009.

11. Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Johnson made his MLB debut with the Chicago White Sox in 2007. Johnson had a breakout season in 2009, batting .285 with 37 home runs and 110 RBIs. 

In 2011, Johnson was traded to the Miami Marlins where he continued to be successful, posting a career-high 118 RBIs that year.

After playing for the Atlanta Braves from 2014-2015, Johnson retired at the end of the 2015 season aged 33 due to an injury sustained while playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic tournament later that year. 

Since retiring from baseball, Chris has transitioned into coaching as an assistant hitting coach with the White Sox organization Johnson was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 2001 MLB draft.

Johnson made his MLB debut with the Atlanta Braves in 2009 and had a successful stint with them, hitting .275 with 63 home runs and 339 RBIs over six seasons. 

In 2012, Johnson signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and had another great season, batting .297 with 31 home runs and 110 RBIs. After three seasons with the Arizona Diamonddowns, Johnson signed a five-year deal worth $113 million to play for the Houston Astros in December 2013.

Overall, Johnson has spent 10 years in MLB and has amassed 531 hits (with 134 doubles), 284 homers (with 7 triples) along with 1292 RBIs.

12. Kyle Dowdy

Kyle Dowdy

Kyle Dowdy is a right-handed pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles organization. He was drafted by the Mets in the 2nd round of the 2013 MLB Draft and made his major league debut with them in 2019.

Kyle has had success throughout his career, including a 3rd place finish at the 2018 Triple-A All Star Game and being named to both Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list for 2017 and 2018.

Injuries have been a concern for Dowdy, who missed significant time due to an elbow injury in 2016 and Tommy John surgery in 2019.

However, he bounced back strong last season, posting excellent numbers across all levels of play (including making two starts for Baltimore). With another strong season under his belt, Kyle should be ready to contend for a starting role with Baltimore this year - if he can stay healthy.

13. Carlos Carrasco

Carlos Carrasco Career

  • AL Comeback Player of the Year (2019), Roberto Clemente Award (2019), AL wins leader (2017)

Carlos Carrasco is a pitcher for the New York Mets. He debuted with the Cleveland Indians in 2009 and has since been with several other teams. Carlos Carrasco throws right-handed and bats left-handed.

In 2016, he won his first career Cy Young Award after posting an ERA of 2.14 and winning 22 games on the season. Carrasco was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, on March 21st, 1987; making him one year younger than current Mets starter Noah Syndergaard.

As a child, Carlos Carrasco played baseball at all levels including Venezuelan League Baseball where he started playing professionally at age 17 with Magallanes de Lara in 1998 as a catcher/outfielder before converting to pitching full-time two years later due to injuries to teammates' hitters.

Although originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school in 2005, Carlos signed instead with Cleveland who made him their third-round pick that year (86th overall). 

Over his seven seasons in MLB debuting for four different teams, Carrazzos' numbers have varied somewhat but always hover around league average or better.

Also Played For: new york mets, cleveland indians

14. Yu Chang

Yu Chang

Chang was a standout player in high school, earning two varsity letters at Taitung American High School. He played college ball at the University of Arkansas where he hit .347 with 36 home runs and 127 RBIs over three seasons.

Chang was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft but did not sign and instead opted to play in Taiwan for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. 

In 2018, Chang signed with Cleveland and made his major league debut on July 25th against Detroit Tigers pitching six innings without allowing an earned run while collecting four hits including a triple off Justin Verlander.

On September 1st against Baltimore Orioles, Chang collected his first career homerun off Ubaldo Jimenez which proved to be a game-winning run in 4-1 victory. 

Becoming only first Taiwanese ever to hit a HR off an American pitcher en route to winning ML debut. The following day (September 2nd), he became just 3rd Asian player ever (behind Ichiro Suzuki & Shohei Ohtani) when he recorded 5 RBIs vs Texas Rangers.

Also achieving feat of hitting multi-HR games backto-back After appearing sparingly down stretch due to injury woes, Yu finished strong batting .286/.359/.486 with 8 homers & 31 RBI along with 21 steals across 53 games as April turned into May - earning him NL Player of Month honors.

15. Francisco Mejía

Francisco Mejía

Francisco Mejía was born on October 27, 1995 in Baní, Peravia, Dominican Republic. He is a catcher and played for the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2019 season.

Francisco Mejía has switch-hitting ability and batted .259 with three home runs and 16 RBIs in 119 games during his rookie campaign with the Rays. Francisco Mejía is a young player who continues to develop his skills at the professional level.

Look for him to continue improving as he moves forward in his career Francisco Mejía made his MLB debut on September 1st, 2017 for the Cleveland Indians. Mejía had a very successful rookie season in which he hit .241 with 24 home runs and 99 RBIs.

In 2020, the Padres traded Mejía to the Tampa Bay Rays where he has continued to be one of their most productive players. Francisco is signed through 2022 with the Rays and will likely remain there until at least 2024 if not longer.

16. Cody Anderson

Cody Anderson

Cody Anderson is a right-handed pitcher who has played for the Cleveland Indians since 2019. He was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in 2008, but did not sign and instead attended college at Oregon State University.

Anderson made his MLB debut with the Angels in 2013 and enjoyed some success before being traded to the Cubs in 2015. 

After spending two seasons with Chicago, Anderson was traded to Cleveland during the 2017 offseason where he has remained ever since.

Injuries have been an issue for Anderson throughout his career, but he's still managed to post respectable numbers despite them.

Most notably posting a 2-1 record with a 3.52 ERA in 2018 as part of Cleveland's playoff run that ended short due to Alex Bregman's home run off Andrew Miller in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series (ALCS).

Anderson will turn 33 years old on September 14th this year and while injuries may continue to be an issue - there is no doubt that he possesses one of baseballs top pitches which makes him worthy of continued playing time even if those struggles do persist.

17. Will Brennan

Will Brennan

Will Brennan was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado on February 2nd, 1998. He played high school baseball at Monument High School where he batted .362 with 45 home runs and 158 RBIs in his career.

After high school, Will attended Arizona State University where he played for the Sun Devils’ baseball team from 2016-2018 as a left fielder and designated hitter. 

In 2018, Will led ASU with an average of .410 and 22 home runs while also posting 71 RBIs en route to being named a first team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and ESPN The Magazine (coincidentally both organizations who drafted him).

On June 25th, 2018 the Cleveland Indians selected Brennan in the second round of the MLB Draft (56th overall) after trading up from their original selection (#66). 

At 6'1", 205 lbs., Brennan is considered to be a power hitter with the speed that could develop into above-average defense in right field or centerfield down the line.

His inexperience there at present due to only playing outfield since age 17 including this past season primarily as a DH role for ASU while also spending time at third base throughout college.

Final Words

. . The Akron RubberDucks are a Minor League Baseball team based in Akron, Ohio. Their home games take place at Canal Park which seats just over 5,000 people.

The RubberDucks have been playing since 1916 and have had some great players throughout their history. Some of the best players to ever play for the RubberDucks include Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson, Ivan Rodriguez, Roberto Alomar, Jim Thome and Jason Giambi.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn

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