Former Mallard Justin Topa Debuts with the Brewers
Topa is the 246th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former Madison Mallard Justin Topa, made his Major League debut for the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Topa is the 246th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Topa, who played collegiately at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, played for the Madison Mallards in 2012. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th round of the 2013 MLB draft.
In 2012 with the Mallards, Topa appeared in seven games and was 2-1 with a 5.78 ERA. He struck out 14 batters in 14.0 innings.
Topa began his professional career in 2013 with the Jamestown Jammers of the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. He pitched in 19 games and was 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA. He struck out 33 batters in 37 innings and had a 1.162 WHIP.
In 2014 Topa moved up to the West Virginia Power of the Lo-A South Atlantic League. He appeared in 25 games and was 4-8 with a 6.09 ERA. He struck out 50 batters in 81.1 innings pitched and also had one save. Topa’s 2015 season was lost though due to Tommy John Surgery.
In 2016 Topa began the season with Pirates Rookie level team in the Gulf Coast League. After six games he moved to the Bradenton Marauders of the Hi-A Florida State League for four games. Between the two clubs he went 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA. He struck out eight batters in 12.2 innings and had a .947 WHIP.
After the 2016 season Topa was released from the Pirates in April of 2017. He would spend the 2017 season with the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League. He went 14-3 with a 3.50 ERA for the Boulders and struck out 80 batters in 110.2 innings.
Topa began the 2018 season with the Boulders before having his contract purchased by the Texas Rangers. He was assigned to the Down East Wood Ducks of the Hi-A Carolina League. After one game he moved to the Frisco RoughRiders of the AA Texas League. For the season he was 2-4 with a 6.85 ERA over 10 appearances between Down East and Frisco.
After the 2018 season Topa elected free agency and was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. He began the 2019 season with the Carolina Mudcats of the Hi-A Carolina League. After 15 games he was promoted to the Biloxi Shuckers of the AA Southern League. Over 33 games he went 0-6 with a 3.38 ERA. He struck out 41 batters in 40.0 innings and saved three games.
Topa was placed in the Brewers 60-man player pool for the 2020 season and had his contract purchased on August 31. In his Major League debut against the Detroit Tigers, Topa pitched 2.0 innings in relief allowing two runs on two hits while striking out two.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 27th 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 240 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). 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.