Former Mankato MoonDog John Brebbia Debuts with the Cardinals

Brebbia is the 171st former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former Mankato MoonDog, John Brebbia, made his Major League debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, May 28, 2017. Brebbia is the 171st former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Brebbia, who played collegiately at Elon University, played for the Mankato MoonDogs in 2009. He was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.

In 2009 with the MoonDogs, Brebbia went 2-5 with a 2.38 ERA over 19 games. He also struck out 38 batters in 34 innings pitched.

Brebbia started his Minor League career in 2011 with the Staten Island Yankees in the Short Season A New York-Penn League. In five games, he pitched eight innings and was 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA. He also struck out eight batters.

In 2012 Brebbia moved up to the Charleston River Dogs of the Lo-A South Atlantic League. Over 29 games he went 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA and struck out 53 batters in 51.2 innings pitched while only walking 18.

The 2013 season saw Brebbia begin with the Tampa Yankees in the Hi-A Florida State League. After 16 games in Tampa he was sent back to Charleston. Between the two teams he appeared in 34 games and went 0-5 with a 4.06 ERA.

Brebbia spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons in the Independent American Association. He went 3-2 with a 3.31 ERA with the Sioux Falls Canaries in 2014 and was 7-2 with a 1.68 ERA with the Laredo Lemurs in 2015. He also saved 19 games for the Lemurs.

Following the 2015 season Brebbia was considered to be the #2 independent leagues free agent and he signed a Minor League deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks in September. Less than two months later, the Cardinals selected him in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 draft.

Brebbia started the 2016 season in the AA Texas League with the Springfield Cardinals. After 24 games, he was then promoted to the Memphis Redbirds of the AAA Pacific Coast League. Over 43 games he went a combined 5-5 with a 5.03 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched.

Before his call-up to the Cardinals Brebbia had appeared in 15 games with Memphis and was 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA. He had also struck out 29 batters in 26.2 innings pitched while only walking five batters.

In his Major League debut against the Colorado Rockies, Brebbia entered the game in the 8th inning in relief of Cardinals reliever Matt Bowman. Brebbia then got Trevor Story to lineout to left field for the third out of the inning. Brebbia was then replaced in the lineup by former Wisconsin Woodchuck Paul DeJong. DeJong would then proceed to hit a home run in his Major League debut.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 170 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.