Dayton Dragons: 5 things to know

The Dayton Dragons minor-league baseball team is a Cincinnati Reds affiliate that made its debut in the 2000 season. Here are five things you need to know about the Dragons:

The league

The Dragons are members of the Class A Midwest League Eastern Division. Other Eastern teams are the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays), Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres), Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers), Lake County Captains (Indians), Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays), South Bend Cubs (Cubs) and West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers). There also is an eight-team Western Division. Teams play 140 games. First- and second-half winners and runner-ups advance to the playoffs.

The prospects

The 2017 best bets are outfielder Taylor Trammell, catcher Tyler Stephenson and right-handed pitcher Tony Santillan. A high school football phenom in Kennesaw, Georgia, Trammell was a first-round supplemental pick last year who played rookie ball at Billings, Montana. Stephenson also is from Kennesaw and was chosen in the first round by the Reds last year. He fractured a wrist with the Dragons last season and underwent surgery. Santillan was a second-round pick out of Arlington, Texas, in 2015, and has a fastball that tops out at 100 mph.

The managers

Luis Bolivar succeeds Dick Schofield as manager in 2017. What sets Bolivar apart from the other eight Dragons managers is he’s the first former Dragons player (2003-04) to be a Dragons assistant (2014-16 batting instructor), then manager. Other Dragons managers were Freddie Benavides (2000), Donnie Scott (2001-03 and 2007-08), Alonzo Powell (2004-05), Bill Gardner Jr. (2006), Todd Benzinger (2009-10), Delino DeShields (2011-12), Jose Nieves (2013-15) and Schofield (2016).

Dragons alums

Obviously, many have been promoted and excelled with the Reds and elsewhere. Former Dragons who currently are with the Reds include Homer Bailey (Dragons 2005), Billy Hamilton (’11), Devin Mesoraco (’08), Robert Stephenson (20012-13) and Joey Votto (2003-04, ’09).

The streak

No mention of the Dragons is complete without knowing this. Every home game the Dragons have played at Dayton’s Fifth Third Field has been a sellout. On July 9, 2011, the streak hit 815, which surpassed the Portland Trail Blazers consecutive sellout streak from 1977-95. And it hasn’t stopped. The Dragons enter the 2017 season with a streak of 1,188 consecutive sellouts, an all-time North American sports record.