Former Bullfrog Rocky Gale Debuts with the Padres
Gale is the 138th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former Green Bay Bullfrogs catcher, Rocky Gale, made his Major League debut for the San Diego Padres on Sunday, September 6, 2015. Gale is the 138th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Gale, who played collegiately at the University of Portland, played for the Green Bay Bullfrogs in 2008. Gale was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 24th round of the 2010 MLB draft.
In 2008 with the Bullfrogs, Gale hit .284 with 15 doubles and 23 RBI in 55 games.
Gale started his Minor League career in 2010 with the Eugene Emeralds in the Short-Season A Northwest League. He hit .292 in 43 games and drove in 16 runs. Gale also had a .994 fielding percentage and caught 26 out of 36 base runners.
Gale had an interesting 2011 season as he spent time at four levels of the Padres minor league system. He began the year with the Lo-A Fort Wayne TinCaps in the Midwest League. After 26 games he was promoted to Hi-A with the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League. He appeared in 27 games with Lake Elsinore before moving on to AA with the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League. He played in seven games with San Antonio before finishing the year in AAA with the Tucson Padres of the Pacific Coast League. For the season Gale hit a combined .194 with one home run, five doubles and 26 RBI. He also had a .990 fielding percentage behind the plate and threw out 26% of the runners that attempted steals.
After being with four teams in 2011 Gale was with three different teams for the 2012 season. He spent time with Lake Elsinore, San Antonio and Tucson. He hit a combined .174 for the season and had one home run, seven doubles and 17 RBI. His fielding percentage went down a tad to .987 and his caught stealing percentage went up a tick to 27%.
During the 2013 season Gale split time between two teams. He began the year with San Antonio. After 62 games with the Missions he was promoted to Tucson. Between AA and AAA he hit .242 with one home run, six doubles and 24 runs driven in. His fielding percentage went up to .994 and he caught 34% of the runners that attempted steals for the season.
The 2014 season saw Gale spend the entire year in AAA with the Padres new affiliate the El Paso Chihuahuas. Gale had his best offensive year as he hit .303 with 12 doubles and 35 runs driven in. His fielding percentage remained high at .990 and he threw out a career high 38% of the runners attempting steals.
Before his September call-up Gale had played in 102 games in El Paso in 2015 and was hitting a career best .307 with 16 doubles, four triples and 39 runs driven in. He had a .991 fielding percentage and carried a 35% caught stealing percentage.
In his Major League debut against the Dodgers, Gale entered as a pinch-hitter in the 7th inning. He grounded out to third in his only plate appearance of the game.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22 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 135 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), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (KC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.