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Former Brainerd INF Xavier Scruggs Debuts with the Cardinals

Scruggs is the 122nd former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former Brainerd Blue Thunder infielder Xavier Scruggs made his Major League debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, September 4, 2014. Scruggs is the 122nd former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Scruggs, who played collegiately at UNLV, played for the Brainerd Blue Thunder in 2007. Scruggs was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 19th round of the 2008 MLB draft.

While with the Blue Thunder, Scruggs hit .250 in 64 games. He also had seven home runs, 12 doubles, one triple and drove in 36 runs. Scruggs led the league in hit–by-pitches with 13 and intentional walks with seven.

Scruggs began his minor league career in 2008 in the short-season A New York-Penn League with the Batavia Muckdogs. While with the Muckdogs Scruggs hit .219 over 61 games. In 241 plate appearances he hit six home runs and drove in 33 runs.

In 2009 Scruggs played with two teams over the course of the season. He began again in Batavia before being promoted, after 41 games, to the Lo A Midwest League with the Quad Cities River Bandits. He finished out the season with Quad Cities playing in 34 games. For the 2009 season Scruggs hit .263 with 14 home runs and 59 RBI. He also walked 44 times and had 14 doubles.

Scruggs once again climbed the minor league ladder in 2010 as he started the season in the Hi A Florida State League with the Palm Beach Cardinals. He was then promoted once again mid-season to AA in the Texas League with the Springfield Cardinals. Scruggs played in 33 games with Springfield to finish out the year. For the season Scruggs hit a combined .263 over 120 games. His home run and RBI numbers also increased as he hit 21 home runs and drove in 74 runs.

The 2011 season saw Scruggs spend the entire year in Hi A with Palm Beach. He played in 117 games and hit .260 while again hitting 21 home runs. He also drove in 63 runs and had 27 doubles.

In 2012 and 2013 Scruggs was in AA for both seasons with the Springfield Cardinals. He hit .235 in 2012 and then .248 in 2013. His home run numbers continued to increase as he hit 22 long balls in 2012 and 29 more in 2013. He also drove in 172 runs over the two seasons.

Before being called up to the St. Louis Cardinals on September 4, 2014, Scruggs had spent the entire season in AAA with the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League. With the Redbirds he put together his best offensive season as he hit .286 with 21 home runs, 29 doubles and 3 triples in 135 games.

In his Major League debut, versus the Milwaukee Brewers, Scruggs was the starting first baseman for the Cardinals and went 0-3 but reached base in the 3rd inning after being hit by a Wily Peralta pitch.

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The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21-year old summer collegiate 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.