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Former River Bat Mark Canha Debuts with the Athletics

 

Canha is the 124th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former St. Cloud River Bats outfielder Mark Canha made his Major League debut for the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Canha is the 124th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Canha, who played collegiately at UC Berkeley, played for the St. Cloud River Bats in 2008. Canha was drafted by the Florida, now Miami Marlins in the 7th round of the 2010 MLB draft.

In 2009 with the River Bats, Canha hit .216 over 49 games. He also added eight doubles, two triples and stole eight bases.

Canha began his Minor League career in 2010 in the Rookie Gulf Coast League and then was promoted after six games to Jamestown in the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. Over 20 games he hit a combined .243 with four home runs and 10 RBI.

The 2011 season had Canha spending the entire year in Lo A with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic League. Over 107 games, Canha hit .276 with 22 doubles, 85 RBI and an impressive 25 home runs.

Canha started and finished the 2012 season with the Jupiter Hammerheads in the Hi A Florida State League. Over 114 games he saw his batting average rise to .293 for the season. Canha also added 24 doubles and three triples to go along with six home runs.

In 2013 Canha again progressed up the Marlins Minor League ladder as he played the entire season in the AA Southern League with the Jacksonville Suns. Canha saw his power numbers increase from the previous season by hitting 13 home runs in 128 games. He also drove in 58 runs and hit a career high 32 doubles.

The 2014 season was impressive for Canha with the New Orleans Zephyrs in the AAA Pacific Coast League. In 127 games he hit 20 home runs, drove in 82 runs and had 28 doubles to go along with a .303 batting average.

The Oakland Athletics traded with the Colorado Rockies for Canha at the end of last winter’s MLB Winter Meetings.

The A's sent minor league pitcher Austin House and cash to the Rockies, who had just minutes earlier taken Canha off the roster of the Miami Marlins as the second pick in the Rule 5 draft.

Under baseball rules, Canha was drafted at a cost of $50,000 and must remain on the A's 25-man roster all year or be offered back to the Marlins for $25,000.

The A's made a pre-Rule 5 draft deal with the Rockies, who coveted House and were willing to draft Canha in exchange for the Class A closer. Oakland, slotted to pick in the bottom third of the draft, was concerned another club would snap up Canha.

In his Major League debut, versus the Texas Rangers, Canha went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI. Two of his three hits were doubles and he also scored a run.

 

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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 (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.