Rafters Add Unique Talent to Roster
Freshman All-American and Knuckleballer Set To Join Rafters
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.- The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are pleased to announce the additions of three players to the roster. First Baseman Ryan Cleveland (Georgia Southern), and right-handed pitchers Mike Elwood (Canisius) and John Jaeger (Pacific) have signed contracts to play for the Rafters during the 2015 season.
1B- Ryan Cleveland, 6’3”, 240 lbs (L/L) Sophomore, Georgia Southern
Ryan Cleveland was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Team and also selected for the Southern Conference All-Freshman Team following a solid freshman season for Georgia Southern. Cleveland hit .253, and led his team in doubles (16) and walks (32), while also tallying six home runs and 31 RBI in 53 games last spring. His strong freshman campaign came on the heels of a tremendous finish to his prep career at Stephens County High School. His senior season he hit .427, with 16 home runs and 62 runs driven in on the way to being named his team’s Player of the Year, Hitter of the Year, and Team MVP. Cleveland is a native of Toccoa, Georgia and is majoring in Biology.
RHP- Mike Elwood, 6’5”, 176 lbs, (R/R) Redshirt Junior, Canisius
Mike Elwood begins his first season with Canisius following two years at Niagara County Community College. He will bring a new element to the Rafters pitching staff as he predominantly features a knuckleball in his pitching arsenal. Elwood was a two-time All Conference selection and finished his last season with Niagara going 4-1, with a 3.28 earned run average and tallied 43 strikeouts in in 46 2/3 innings on the mound. Though he will be a member of the Rafters pitching staff, Elwood showed he was no slouch with a bat in his hand after hitting .339 and driving in 28 runs. He is a native of Amherst, New York and is majoring in Physical Education.
RHP- John Jaeger, 6’2”, 175 lbs, (R/R) Sophomore, Pacific
John Jaeger assumed the closer’s role in the Tigers’s bullpen mid way through his freshman season and never looked back, compiling a 2-1 record while recording five saves in 21 appearances. No stranger to summer collegiate baseball, Jaeger played the 2014 season with the East Texas Pump Jacks of the Texas Collegiate League. Working out of both the bullpen and the starting rotation, Jaeger finished with a 3-1 record and a 2.20 ERA while notching 49 strikeouts in a team high 61 1/3 innings of work. He is a native of Tracy, California and is majoring in Sports Pedagogy.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, 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 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 Website. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.