Poche is the 219th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former Willmar Stinger Colin Poche, made his Major League debut for the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, June 8, 2019. Poche is the 219th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Poche, who played collegiately at Dallas Baptist, played for the Willmar Stingers in 2013. He was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB draft.
In 13 games with the Stingers in 2013 he was 6-2 with a 2.26 ERA and recorded 59 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched. He was a mid-season All-Star and recorded two strikeouts in .2 innings.
Poche began his minor league career in 2016 with the Hillsboro Hops of the Short-Season A Northwest League. He appeared in 21 games and was 1-2 with a 3.19 ERA. He struck out 36 batters in 31 innings while walking 17.
In 2017 Poche began the year with the Kane County Cougars of the Lo-A Midwest League. He appeared in 13 games before a promotion to the Visalia Rawhide of the Hi-A California League. For the season he was a combined 3-1 with 1.25 ERA in 31 games. He struck out 81 batters in 50.1 innings pitched while walking 19 and had a miniscule .974 WHIP.
Poche started the 2018 season with the Jackson Generals of the AA Southern League. After nine appearances he was traded to Tampa Bay. He would be assigned to the Montgomery Biscuits in the same Southern League. Then after three appearances in Montgomery he was promoted to the Durham Bulls of the AAA International League to finish the season. For the year he went 6-0 with .82 ERA in 40 games. He also saved two games and had a career low .788 WHIP. He struck out a career high 110 batters in only 66 innings pitched.
Prior to being called up by the Rays, Poche had appeared in 20 games in Durham and was 2-2 with a 6.26 ERA. He had 48 strikeouts in 27.1 innings with nine walks and a 1.50 WHIP.
In his Major League debut against the Boston Red Sox, Poche entered the game in relief of Tampa Bay starter Ryne Stanek. He pitched 1.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on two hits while striking out three.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Currently in its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 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 (MIA). 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.