Hartsock: Dayton Dragons hoping for fast start

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Can a fresh start make a difference for a franchise that loses more than it wins.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The sellout streak will continue down at Fifth Third Field this season, but the bigger question is will the winning begin?

The Dayton Dragons are coming off one of their worst seasons in franchise history. Reds Minor League Director Jeff Graupe called it “embarrassing” when he was in town in February.

The Dragons have had only three winning seasons in their 17 years playing in downtown Dayton. What makes it more frustrating is a lot of the players that come to Dayton were successful the season before at the Rookie League level in Billings, Montana.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Dayton Dragons home opener forecast

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Maybe the problem is the box office success. Most of these guys have never played in front of the type of crowd they see at Fifth Third Field night in and night out.

Catcher Tyler Stephenson is back for his second season in Dayton and the former first-round draft pick thinks things will be different in 2017

“I firmly believe that this is a totally different team than in was last year,” Stephenson said before a workout on Wednesday. “I really do think we can go far in the playoffs and even win it all.”