Former Rox Pitcher Alex McRae Debuts with the Pirates
McRae is the 200th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former St. Cloud Rox pitcher Alex McRae, made his Major League debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. McRae is the 200th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
McRae, who played collegiately at Jacksonville University, played for the St. Cloud Rox in 2013. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round of the 2014 MLB Draft.
In 14 games with the Rox during the 2013 season, McRae was 2-2 with a 4.53 ERA. He struck out 29 batters in 39.2 innings while walking 15. He was also selected by MLB scouts to participate in the Big League Dreams Showcase which has since been renamed as the Major League Dreams Showcase.
McRae started his Minor League career in 2014 with the Jamestown Jammers of the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. He started 15 games and was 3-6 with a 6.21 ERA. He also struck out 44 batters in 66.2 innings while walking 16.
McRae was promoted for the 2015 season to the West Virginia Power of the Lo-A South Atlantic League. He appeared in 28 games for the Power and started 27 of them. He went 8-9 for the year with 90 strikeouts in 137.1 innings pitched. He had an ERA of 4.98 and a 1.398 WHIP.
For the 2016 season, McRae started the year with the Bradenton Marauders of the Hi-A Florida State League. After 12 games he moved up to the Altoona Curve of the AA Eastern League to end the season. Between the two clubs he once again appeared in 28 games with 27 of those being starts. He went 11-10 with a career low 3.88 ERA and struck out a career high 102 batters in 155.1 innings.
In 2017, McRae spent the entire season in Altoona. He started 25 games and appeared in 27. He won 10 games and lost a career low five games while compiling a 3.61 ERA. He struck out 89 batters in 149.2 innings pitched while walking 36.
Prior to being called up by the Pirates, McRae had appeared in 20 games with the Indianapolis Indians of the AAA International League. He had pitched in 98.1 innings and struck out 87 batters. His record was 3-8 and he had a 4.76 ERA.
In his Major League debut against the Chicago Cubs, McRae entered the game in the 5th inning in relief of former Willmar Stingers pitcher Steven Brault. The first batter he would face would be former Wisconsin Woodchuck Ben Zobrist. After McRae got Zobrist to ground out to first he would go on to pitch three innings, striking out three and allowing one run on three hits.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in 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, 200 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.