Estrada headlines group of returners for 2017 season
Willmar, Minn. – The Willmar Stingers are excited to announce that Eddie Estrada (University of Minnesota), Quincy McAfee (Pepperdine University), Luke Becker (University of Kentucky), Jake Rothwell (Daytona State College) and Corey Binger (University of Nebraska-Omaha) are set to return to the Stingers this upcoming season. These five players are the first official signings for the 2017 season, the organization’s eighth in the Northwoods League.
Estrada, a Litchfield, MN native, will be back with the team for his third overall season. Estrada joined the Stingers following his senior year at Litchfield High School in 2015, before heading to the Twin Cities and becoming part of the Golden Gophers baseball program. Last season with the Stingers, Estrada had a batting average of .302, with five home runs and 10 doubles.
During his first summer in the Northwoods League, Estrada led the team in hitting with a .354 batting average. He had 11 doubles, 31 RBI and 48 total hits during the 2015 season with the Stingers. As a freshman with the Golden Gophers, Estrada appeared in 30 games collecting 14 hits and had eight RBI.
McAfee joined the Stingers in 2016 following his senior year of high school in Houston, TX, like Estrada had done prior to the 2015 season. As was the case with Estrada, McAfee proved he could play in the Northwoods League right away. With a batting average of .281 over 57 games, McAfee was nearly an everyday presence in the Stingers lineup. McAfee had 12 doubles, scored 39 runs, stole 12 bases and had 26 RBI last summer.
McAfee is off to a hot start to his collegiate career with Pepperdine. The 2017 college baseball season began this past weekend and McAfee helped lead the Waves to a three game-sweep of St. Joseph’s University. In his college debut weekend, McAfee hit a home run, had three RBI along with a pair of doubles.
Becker, originally from Fairmont, MN, will be back for his third stint with the Stingers in 2017. Becker played with the Stingers briefly in 2015, but saw a lot more action during the 2016 season. Last year, Becker appeared in 48 games, had a batting average of .304 with eight doubles and 28 RBI.
Becker proved to be a quality player for the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2016 season as well. In 52 games played, Becker posted a .241 average, amassing 41 totals hits, and 10 doubles.
Binger, from Victoria, MN, rejoins the Stingers pitching staff for the 2017 season from Nebraska-Omaha. With the Stingers in 2016, Binger posted a 3-4 record and struck out 36 batters during his 57 innings on the mound.
Working primarily as a starting pitcher with the Mavericks, Binger demonstrated his ability to get guys out throughout his sophomore season in 2016. With an 8-3 overall record, Binger tossed two complete games in his 75 1/3 innings pitched.
Rothwell, a St. Petersburg, FL native, is in his sophomore season at Daytona State. Rothwell was a mainstay in the Stingers bullpen last summer, striking out 31 batters and throwing a total of 39 2/3 innings. Rothwell’s 18 appearances were second on the team last season and he led the pitching staff in saves (4).
Even though the season is still young, Rothwell is off to a solid start to the 2017 season with the Falcons. Rothwell has already made five starts this season, and picked up his first win on Monday. In 27 1/3 innings pitched thus far, he is averaging nearly a strike out per inning with 24 K’s.
“All five of these guys are big additions for the our team this season,” said Stingers General Manager Nick McCallum. “Our core of returning players will help provide leadership for the rest of the roster and set a great example for everyone to follow.”
If you would like more information on tickets for the 2017 season, or more information regarding this press release, please contact the Willmar Stingers front office at 320-222-2010 or visit www.willmarstingers.com.
The 2017 season of Stingers Baseball is presented by Marcus Construction. “From start to finish we’ll make your job easier and build a facility you will be proud of.”
The Willmar Stingers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. 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 former 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 portal. For more information, visit www.willmarstingers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Stingers as your favorite team.