The Gary SouthShore RailCats acquired right-handed pitcher Chris Powell from the Sioux City Explorers in exchange for a player to be named later on April 10, 2018. Powell began last season with the Rancho Cuchamonga Quakes, the High-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 4-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 14 relief appearances. The right-hander struck out 30 hitters and yielded just five walks and 32 hits in 28 innings before getting promoted to the Tulsa Drillers, the Double-A affiliate of the Dodgers, on May 10. Powell finished without a record and a 1.50 ERA in three relief appearances with the Drillers before signing with Sioux City on July 22.
A native of Upland, Calif., Powell went 2-3 with a 6.08 ERA in 16 games (four starts) with the Explorers. Powell punched out 29 hitters and walked just 11 over 37 innings in his first season of Independent Professional Baseball.
Powell began his professional baseball career in 2015 after getting drafted by the Dodgers in the 39th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of California Polytechnic State University. Powell went 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA in 12 relief appearances with the Arizona League Dodgers (Rookie Ball). The right-hander limited hitters to a career-best .197 batting average and struck out 27 hitters while allowing just 14 hits and seven walks over 19.1 innings. Powell was then promoted to the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League (Rookie Ball) to conclude the 2015 season. Powell finished 2-0 with a 3.54 ERA in five starts. In 20.1 innings pitched, Powell allowed just 20 hits and seven walks while striking out 19.
In 2016, Powell got his first taste of full-season baseball with the Great Lakes Loons, the Class-A affiliate of the Dodgers. Powell posted a 3-3 record and a 3.71 ERA over 16 games (two starts). The right-hander had a career-best 1.059 WHIP after allowing just 27 hits and nine walks in 34 innings. Powell was promoted to Rancho Cucamonga later in the year, finishing without a record and a 3.60 ERA in three relief appearances.
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