MANKATO, Minn. (June 5, 2012) -- The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club, a member of the Northwoods League, is pleased to announce that former MoonDog, Tyler Naquin, was selected by the Cleveland Indians as the 15th pick in the first round of the 2012 MLB draft on Monday. Officially making Naquin the highest draft pick in MoonDogs history.
Naquin played in a MoonDogs uniform during the 2010 season where he appeared in 20 games, with 65 at bats, and recorded 12 hits before his play was limited due to an injury. Despite his restricted phase in Mankato, his presence and character was undeniably noticed.
“He was a kid that cared about getting better,” said MoonDogs Field Manager Mike Orchard. “It was noticeable that he had the big picture in mind.”
Named 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year, the six-foot-two inch, 175-pound outfielder had nothing short of a superior three year career at Texas A&M University. Naquin was named the teams Most Valuable Player two years in a row by his fellow teammates, and in the 2012 collegiate season, he hit for a .380 batting average in 61 games played. He recorded 92 hits, 18 doubles, six triples, and three homeruns while showing off his cannon for an arm in right field.
On Friday, the Spring, Texas native proved he was big league material when the Aggies faced Dayton University in the NCAA tournament where he made his 123rd consecutive start, posted his 28th multi-hit game, unexpectedly tossed a runner out at first with a big league throw for his second assist of the season, and tied for 11th in the A&M all time records for career hits, 236.
The All-American has been gaining attention from big league scouts for quite some time. The two time all-state representative in high school has previously been drafted in the 33rd round of the 2009 First Year Player Draft by the Baltimore Orioles before he decided to take his skills to A&M. His decision to play collegiate baseball has officially paid off, confirmed by his outstanding accolades.
“Naquin will succeed because he has the passion and work ethic to be a big league player,” said Orchard.
The MoonDogs return home to Franklin Rogers Park, Wednesday, against the Thunder Bay Border Cats after finishing up a four-game road trip. Wednesday night is Magnet Schedule Night at the Frank, presented by AM 1230 The Fan Mankato. The first 1,000 fans receive a free 2012 MoonDogs magnet schedule. Season and single game tickets can be purchased at the MoonDogs office located at 1221 Caledonia Street. For more information visit our website at www.mankatomoondogs.com or call the MoonDogs office at 507-625-7047.