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Former Bordercat A.J. Schugel Debuts with Arizona

 

Schugel is the 125th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former Thunder Bay Bordercats pitcher A.J. Schugel made his Major League debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, April 12, 2015. Schugel is the 125th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Schugel, who played collegiately at Central Arizona College, played for the Thunder Bay Bordercats in 2009 and 2010. Schugel was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 25th round of the 2010 MLB draft.

In 2009 with the Bordercats, Schugel hit .261 with 4 home runs and 33 RBI over 63 games. On the mound he was 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA in 6 appearances. He also struck out 13 batters. The next season Schugel played in 13 games with the Bordercats and hit .250 with 1 home run and 4 RBI.  

Schugel began his Minor League career in 2010 in the Rookie Pioneer League with the Orem Owls and then after 6 appearances he moved on to the Angels other Rookie level team in the Arizona League. Schugel was a combined 2-2 with a 3.91 ERA over 17 games in 2010. He also struck out 21 batters in 23 innings.

In 2011 Schugel again split time between two teams. He began the year in the Lo A Midwest League with the Cedar Rapids Kernels and then was promoted after 25 games to the Inland Empire 66ers of the Hi A California League. Between the two teams Schugel was 5-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 29 games. His strikeout numbers continued to impress as he struck out 95 batters in 110 innings pitched.

Another promotion to start the 2012 season saw Schugel begin and end the year in the AA Texas league with the Arkansas Travelers. Schugel went 6-8 with a 2.89 ERA in 27 games started for the Travelers. He also struck out 109 batters in 140.1 innings pitched.

In 2013 Schugel again progressed up the Angels Minor League ladder as he played the entire season in the AAA Pacific Coast League with the Salt Lake Bees. Schugel’s numbers struggled a bit in AAA as he went 4-6 with a 7.05 ERA in 19 games. He also struck out 76 batters in 89.1 innings.

Following the 2013 season Schugel was acquired by the Diamondbacks in a three-team trade for Mark Trumbo, when Arizona sent Adam Eaton to the Chicago White Sox and Tyler Skaggs to the Los Angeles Angels.

Schugel spent his first season with the Diamondbacks organization in AA with the Mobile BayBears of the Southern League. He went 6-4 with a 3.48 ERA to go along with 117 strikeouts in 26 games with the BayBears.

In his Major League debut, versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, Schugel entered the game in the 6th inning. He pitched three innings and allowed two runs on five hits.

 

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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.