Former Woodchuck and Mallard Mike Gerber Debuts with the Tigers
Gerber is the 191st former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former Wisconsin Woodchuck and Madison Mallard, Mike Gerber, made his Major League debut for the Detroit Tigers on Friday, April 20, 2018. Gerber is the 191st former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Gerber, who played collegiately at Creighton, played for the Wisconsin Woodchucks in 2011 and the Madison Mallards in 2012. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 15th round of the 2014 MLB Draft.
In 2011 with the Woodchucks, Gerber played in 41 games and hit .263 with six home runs and 19 RBI. He also stole four bases and had nine doubles. In 2012 with the Mallards Gerber only played in one game due to an injury but he went 4 for 4.
Gerber started his Minor League career in 2014 with the Connecticut Tigers of the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League. After 57 games he was promoted to the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Lo-A Midwest League. Between the two teams he would play in 65 games and hit .298 with seven home runs, 19 doubles and four triples. He also drove in 42 runs and stole nine bases.
Gerber spent the 2015 season back in Lo-A with the Whitecaps. Over 135 games he impressed again at the plate with a .292 average, 13 home runs, 31 doubles and 10 triples. He stole 16 bases, walked 49 times and had 76 RBI.
The 2016 season saw Gerber split time between the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the Hi-A Florida State League and the Erie SeaWolves of the AA Eastern League. He would play in 91 games with Lakeland and then finished the season with 41 games in Erie. For the year he hit .276 with 18 home runs, 30 doubles, six triples and 69 runs scored. He drove in 80 and stole eight bases to go along with 52 walks.
Gerber was with three teams for the 2017 season. He started the year in Lakeland and then was promoted after five games to Erie. After 92 games in Erie he finished out the season with four games with the Toledo Mud Hens of the AAA International League. For the year he hit a career high .304 with 14 home runs, 26 doubles and ten stolen bases. He also had three triples, scored 69 runs again and walked 42 times.
Prior to being called up by the Tigers, Gerber had played in eleven games in Toledo and was hitting .229 with two home runs and five RBI.
In his Major League debut against the Kansas City Royals, Gerber entered the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning as a pinch-runner for Miguel Cabrera. Another former Mallard, John Hicks would then ground out to end the inning. Hicks grounded out to the third baseman Mike Moustakas who threw to former Alexandria Beetle Lucas Duda at first base to end the inning.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 190 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). 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.