Former River Bat Jason Wheeler Debuts with Twins
Wheeler is the 173rd former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former St. Cloud River Bat, Jason Wheeler, made his Major League debut for the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. Wheeler is the 173rd former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Wheeler, who played collegiately at Loyola Marymount, played for the St. Cloud River Bats in 2010. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 8th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.
In 2010 with the River Bats, Wheeler was 8-1 with a 1.35 ERA in 15 games. He also struck out 74 batters in 66.2 innings pitched.
Wheeler started his Minor League career in 2012 with the Beloit Snappers in the Lo-A Midwest League. Over 27 games he went 14-6 with a 3.45 ERA and struck out 115 batters in 156.2 innings pitched
The 2013 season saw Wheeler spend the entire season with the Fort Myers Miracle of the Hi-A Florida State League. He had a 9-4 record and a 3.70 ERA over 26 starts. He also compiled 91 strikeouts in 143.1 innings.
Wheeler was with three teams in 2014. He began the year in Fort Myers before a promotion to the New Britain Rock Cats of the AA Eastern League. After the promotion to New Britain he appeared in one game for the AAA Rochester Red Wings of the International League. He went back to New Britain to finish out the season. Between the three teams he went a combined 11-9 with a 2.68 ERA and 115 strikeouts.
The 2015 season for Wheeler was split between the Twins new AA affiliate the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League and the Red Wings. Over 25 games he struck out 90 batters and was 5-10 with a 5.43 ERA.
Wheeler went back to Chattanooga to start the 2016 season and then after four games was promoted back to Rochester. Between the two teams he was 12-7 with a 3.30 ERA and struck out a career high 135 batters.
Before his promotion to the Twins, Wheeler had appeared in eight games in Rochester and was 4-1 with a 4.50 ERA. He had also struck out 37 batters in 44 innings.
In his Major League debut against the Houston Astros, Wheeler entered the game in the 8th inning in relief of Buddy Boshers. Wheeler would finish out the game pitching two innings and allowing one earned run on three hits while walking two.
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 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.