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Bon voyage to the Voyagers

As the Pioneer League becomes an unaffiliated, independent league, the White Sox lose a rookie club

Anderson Comas takes a rip during the final Great Falls season as a White Sox affiliate. From here, Comas will take a step down to Arizona, or up to (presumably, still) Kannapolis.
Great Falls Voyagers

After grumbling and rumbling over trimming down the minors and rendering whole leagues obsolete, Major League Baseball today made some elements of their anti-baseball plan official.

Of most importance to the White Sox, the Pioneer League is now an unaffiliated, independent league. After 17 years of affiliation with the White Sox, the Great Falls Voyagers are no longer a High-Rookie option for franchise farmhands.

With a strong MiLB presence pledged in the Southeast/Carolinas, no other White Sox affiliations are expected to change.

A grand total of 34 White Sox players took a route to the majors through Great Falls, including:
Brian Anderson (2003)
Chris Beck (2012)
Aaron Bummer (2014, 2016)
Jack Egbert (2004)
Adam Engel (2013)
Eduardo Escobar (2008)
Bernardo Flores Jr. (2016)
Matt Foster (2016)
Jace Fry (2014)
Chris Getz (2005)
Brad Goldberg (2013)
Luis González (2017)
Codi Heuer (2018)
Daniel Hudson (2008)
Erik Johnson (2011)
Micah Johnson (2012)
Boone Logan (2003-05)
Donny Lucy (2004)
Jacob May (2013)
Brandon McCarthy (2003)
Brent Morel (2008)
Aaron Poreda (2007)
Addison Reed (2010)
Clayton Richard (2005)
Adam Russell (2004)
Kevan Smith (2011)
Scott Snodgress (2011)
Jonathan Stiever (2018)
Ryan Sweeney (2003)
Taylor Thompson (2010)
Trayce Thompson (2009)
Carlos Torres (2005)
Sean Tracey (2003)
Andy Wilkins (2010)

  • While affiliated with the White Sox, the Voyagers were 672-611 (.524), having the league’s best record three times (2007, 2013, 2016) and winning three titles (2008, 2011, 2018). (Great Falls also made the finals in 2017, with a losing record, but lost the title series.)
  • The 2018 title was downright bizarre, a product of the split season, if I recall; the Voyagers finished seventh out of eight teams, but made the playoffs and swept two series to go 4-0 and win the Pioneer League crown (one of the heroes of that game? Stiever!)
  • Great Falls made the playoffs in 10 of 12 seasons where playoff results are displayed at Baseball-Reference.
  • For two games in 2008, the sons of Ken Williams (Kenneth) and Ozzie Guillén (Oney) were teammates in Great Falls.
  • The 2013 Voyagers were managed by Pete Rose (son of the “Hit King”) and featured future rising star manager Justin Jirschele at second, third and in left field.
  • Prior to moving to the White Sox in 2003, Great Falls was affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • We’ve had a story ghostwritten by a former Voyager (Micah Johnson) and a current staff writer who’s an active player in the farm system and an alum (Andrew Perez).

MLB also announced the formation of a “draft league,” based in the Ohio Valley and featuring draft-eligible preps. It’s a pretty cool concept.

If you want to see all our tagged Voyagers articles over the years, click here or on the tag above the headline.