Team: Vermont Lake Monsters
League: New York-Penn League
Class Level: Short-Season A
Major League Affiliate: Oakland Athletics
City: Burlington, Vermont
Population: 42, 417
Ballpark: Centennial Field
The Vermont Expos celebrated their inaugural season in 1994 after the franchise relocated from Jamestown, New York. The Jamestown Expos spent 15 seasons (1978-1993) playing in Jamestown prior to their move to Burlington, Vermont. In 2005, Vermont changed it nickname from Expos to Lake Monsters but not before being the last professional ball club to carry the Expos name, as the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington, D.C. becoming the Washington Nationals the previous season. The Vermont/Jamestown franchise was affiliated with the Expos/Nationals for a total of 32 seasons (1978-2010) before beginning its affiliation with the Oakland Athletics prior to the 2011 season.
Vermont won the New York-Penn League Championship in 1996 and has won three division titles (1995, 1996, and 2011).
The Lake Monsters are the only Professional Sports Team in the State of Vermont.
Some current or former major league players that have played for Vermont (Note: players that played in Vermont only and excluding those that played in Jamestown) on their journey through the minors include:
Geoff Blum (3B): In 1994, Blum hit .344 with 3 HR and 38 RBIs in 63 games with Vermont during his first professional season. Blum was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 7th round of the 1994 MLB amateur draft out of California (Berkeley, California). Blum has spent parts of 13 seasons in the majors with six different teams (Montreal, Houston, Tampa Bay, San Diego, Chicago White Sox, and Arizona). He was a member of the 2005 World Series Champion White Sox.
Michael Barrett (C): In 1995, Barrett hit .100 with 1 RBIs in 3 games with Vermont during his first professional season. Barrett was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 1st round (28th overall) in the 1995 MLB amateur draft out of Pace Academy High School (Atlanta, Georgia). Barrett has played in 1054 games in the majors as a member of Montreal, Chicago Cubs, San Diego, and Toronto. He won the 2005 National League Silver Slugger Award at catcher.
Orlando Cabrera (SS): In 1995, Cabrera hit .282 with 3 HR and 33 RBIs in 65 games with Vermont during his second professional season. Cabrera was signed by the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent out of Columbia in 1993. He has played for nine different organizations during his 15 year career, the majority he spent with the Expos where he spent 8 seasons. The two-time gold glove winner at shortstop (2001 NL, 2007 AL) was a member of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox.
Jamey Carroll (2B): In 1996, Carroll hit .276 with 17 RBIs in 54 games with Vermont during his inaugural professional season. Carroll was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 14th round of the 1996 MLB amateur draft out of University of Evansville (Evansville, Indiana). Carroll has played in 1065 games for four different MLB teams (Montreal/Washington, Colorado, Cleveland, and Los Angeles Dodgers) over his ten year major league career.
Milton Bradley (OF): In 1997, Bradley hit .300 with 3 HR and 30 RBIs in 50 games with Vermont during his second professional season. Bradley was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 2nd round of the 1996 MLB amateur draft out of Poly High School (Long Beach, California). Bradley has spent twelve seasons in the majors and suited up for eight different teams (Montreal, Cleveland, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland, San Diego, Texas, Chicago Cubs, and Seattle. He was a member of the 2008 American League All-Star team.
Jorge Julio (RHP): In 1998, Julio posted a record of 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 7 starts with Vermont in his second professional season. Julio was signed by the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 1996. Julio has appeared in 453 MLB games over his 9 year career which has seen his suit up for eight different teams, most notably for the Baltimore Orioles where he spent 5 seasons (281 games).
Wilson Valdez (SS): In 1999 & 2000, Valdez hit .259 with 2 HR and 40 RBI in 101 games with Vermont over his first two professional seasons. Valdez was signed by the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1997. He has played in 362 games in the majors as a member of the Chicago White Sox, Seattle, San Diego, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, and Philadelphia.
Jason Bay (OF): In 2000, Bay hit .304 with 2 HR and 12 RBI in 35 games with Vermont in his first professional season. Bay was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 22nd round of the 2000 MLB amateur draft out of Gonzaga (Spokane, Washington). The 2004 National League Rookie of the Year and three-time All-Star (2005, 2006, and 2009) has played in 1140 games at the major league level as a member of San Diego, Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York Mets.
Brandon Watson (OF): In 2000, Watson hit .291 with 30 RBIs and 26 stolen bases in 69 games with Vermont in his second professional season. Watson was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 9th round of the 1999 amateur draft out of Westchester High School (Los Angeles, California). Watson has played in 40 MLB games as a member of Washington and Cincinnati. He hit in 43 consecutive games in 2007, which broke the International League (Triple-A) record while playing for the Columbus Clippers.
Jason Bergmann (RHP): In 2002, Bergmann posted a record of 7-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts with Vermont in his first professional season. Bergmann was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 11th round of the 2002 MLB amateur draft out of Rutgers (New Brunswick, New Jersey). Bergmann has appeared in 155 games with the Washington Nationals over his six year major league career.
Darrell Rasner (RHP): In 2002, Rasner posted a record of 2-5 with a 4.33 ERA in 10 starts with Vermont in his first professional season. Rasner was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 2nd round of the 2002 MLB amateur draft out of Nevada (Reno, Nevada). Rasner has appeared in 41 games with the Washington National and New York Yankees. He has spent the last three seasons pitching for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League.
John Lannan (LHP): In 2005, Lannan posted a record of 3-5 with a 5.26 ERA in 14 games with Vermont in his first professional season. Lannon was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 11th round of the 2005 MLB amateur draft out of Siena College (Loudonville, New York). He has spent five seasons pitching in the majors with Washington.
Jordan Zimmermann (RHP): In 2007, Zimmermann posted a record of 5-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 13 games with Vermont in his first professional season. Zimmermann was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 2nd round of the 2007 MLB amateur draft out of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (Stevens Point, Wisconsin). He has made 49 starts with Washington over his three seasons in the majors.
Danny Espinosa (2B): In 2008, Espinosa hit .328 with 4 RBIs in 19 games with Vermont in his first professional season. Espinosa was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 3rd round of the 2008 MLB amateur draft out of Long Beach State (Long Beach, California). He has played in 186 games with Washington over two MLB seasons.
Brad Peacock (RHP): In 2008, Peacock posted a record of 4-7 with a 3.12 ERA in 14 starts with Vermont in his second professional season. Peacock was drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 41st round of the 2006 MLB amateur draft out of Palm Beach Central High School (Wellington, Florida). Peacock made his MLB debut in 2011 with the Washington and appeared in 3 games. He was traded by the Nationals to the Oakland Athletics in early December as part of the package that brought Gio Gonzalez (LHP) to Washington. Peacock is ranked by S2S as the #38th prospect heading into the 2012 season.