MoonDogs Announce Four More Returners
MANKATO, MN – The Mankato MoonDogs, a member of the Northwoods League, are proud to announce the return of four players from the 2016 MoonDogs’ roster. Ricky Digrugilliers, Jordan Kozicky, Alvaro Rubalcaba, and Cooper Powell will all join the MoonDogs in their quest for a 2017 Northwoods League championship.
University of Minnesota
Jordan Kozicky, University of Minnesota, was a standout player for the MoonDogs in 2016. Kozicky was named to the mid-season All-Star team as a first basemen, but also represented Mankato in the 2016 Major League Dreams Showcase. The red shirt freshman will look to improve upon a season where he hit .273, with three home runs and 18 RBI. “I chose to come back to Mankato because of the coaches, my teammates, and the fans.” Kozicky said in a statement. “I’m pretty anxious to get Mankato back to the playoffs, and hopefully push even further into the post season than we did last year.” Field Manager, Ryan Kragh had to say, "Kozicky arrived in Mankato trying to mature as a player on the run, and I thought he did a great job. He is very versatile for us last year and we expect great things from him this summer."
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kozicky will be joined by another 2016 MoonDogs All-Star, Ricky Digrugilliers. The Minnesota State University – Mankato right-hander was named to the mid-season and postseason All-Star Team in 2016, and will look to continue his dominance this summer at The Frank. Digrugilliers compiled a 6-3 record while boasting a 2.31 ERA. Ricky’s 17 walks were the fewest by any MoonDogs’ starter with nine or more starts. “The fan base last summer was incredible. It was my first time playing in the Northwoods League and I was nervous, but our fans were very welcoming and supportive.” Digrugilliers said. “We are getting some guys back from last year’s team, which is awesome.” Coach Ryan Kragh said, "Ricky was one of our top rotation guys last year and I think he has a chance to be even better this year."
California State University, Northridge
A strong suit for the MoonDogs last summer was the play of their middle infielders. None were brighter than Cal State Northridge’s Alvaro Rubalcaba, who will make his return to Franklin Rogers Park in 2017. The Matador shortstop hit a robust .294 while driving in 29 runs on the season. His 39 walks were good for second on the team behind MVP Jake Shepski while finishing third in steals. “Bringing a guy like Alvaro back for the summer is huge.” Said Mankato Field Manager, Ryan Kragh. “He’s, in my opinion, the best defensive shortstop in the league and he’s a great team guy that grinds all summer. We are excited to have him back to anchor our middle infield.”
University of Nevado, Reno
Last, but most certainly not least, is Cooper Powell. Powell was exceptional out of the bullpen in 2016, holding opponents to a .225 average with a 3.18 ERA. With a 3-2 record, the Nevada lefty struck out 34 hitters while allowing just 15 walks for the season. Powell will bring his high-energy personality back to The Frank. “I’m Pumped to be playing for the best organization in the Northwoods again this summer.” Powell wrote in a message. “I know this team is going to pick up right where we left off last summer. (I) can’t wait to see all those MoonDogs fans pack the seats at The Frank!” Coach Ryan Kragh is eager to have him back and says, "Cooper will be a solid left-handed pitcher option as a reliever or as a spot starter. He had really good numbers last summer and we think he will only get better."
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 150 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visitwww.mankatomoondogs.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 160 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.