Brault is the 153rd former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former Willmar Stinger, Steven Brault, made his Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Brault is the 153rd former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Brault, who played collegiately at Regis University, played for the Willmar Stingers in 2012 and 2013. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
In 2012 with the Stingers, Brault hit .327 with one home run and 19 RBI over 27 games. He also had eight stolen bases and six doubles. On the mound he went 1-0 with a 1.27 ERA over seven games and also struck out 27 batters in 22 innings. During the 2013 season in Willmar, Brault hit .323 with four doubles, a home run and five RBI in seven games. In two games on the mound he was 2-0 with a 0.71 ERA to go along with 21 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.
Brault started his Minor League career in 2013 with the Aberdeen IronBirds in the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. He went 1-2 with a 2.09 ERA over 12 games and struck out 38 batters in 43 innings pitched.
The 2014 season saw Brault begin with the Delmarva Shorebirds in the Lo-A South Atlantic League. After 22 games he was promoted to the Frederick Keys of the Hi-A Carolina League. Brault went a combined 11-8 between the two teams with a 2.77 ERA over 25 games. He also struck out 124 batters in 146.1 innings pitched.
Prior to the 2015 season, Brault was acquired by the Pirates as part of a trade that sent Travis Snider from the Pirates to Baltimore. He would go on to start the season with the Bradenton Marauders in the Hi-A Florida State League. After 13 games in Bradenton, Brault was promoted to the Altoona Curve in the AA Eastern League. Between the two clubs he went a combined 13-4 with a 2.43 ERA. Brault also continued his high strikeout rate with 125 in 155.2 innings pitched.
Before being called up to the Pirates, Brault had appeared in one game with the West Virginia Black Bears of the New York-Penn League before a promotion to the Indianapolis Indians of the AAA International League. Between the two teams he appeared in nine games and was 2-3 with a 2.31 ERA. He also struck out 49 batters in 39 innings pitched.
In his Major League debut against the St. Louis Cardinals, Brault started and went four innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and struck out five. He also recorded his first Major League hit in the top of the 3rd inning with a ground ball to center field off of Cardinals starter Mike Leake.
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 150 former 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 (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store.