Former Express Pitcher Louis Head Debuts with the Rays
Head is the 255th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former Eau Claire Express pitcher Louis Head, made his Major League debut for the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Head is the 255th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Head, who played collegiately at Texas State University, played for the Eau Claire Express in 2009. He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 12th round of the 2012 MLB draft.
In 2009 with the Express, Head appeared in 11 games and was 3-4 with a 5.13 ERA. He struck out 49 batters in 54.1 innings and walked 28.
Head has pitched parts of eight seasons in the minors, reaching Triple-A with the Indians (2013, 2017-18) and Dodgers (2019). He did not pitch last season, having signed with the Mariners just before spring training started, then getting released in May during the pause and not signing elsewhere when the season re-started. Instead, he was selling solar panels door-to-door in Arizona and thinking he might be done with baseball. Then he was called by the Rays and signed prior to Spring Training.
For his career Head has appeared in 294 games and is 19-19 with a 3.67 ERA. He has 427 strikeouts in 410 innings pitched with 37 saves. He has a 1.305 career WHIP and averages 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
Head spent Spring Training in 2021 with the Rays. He appeared in seven games and was 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA. He struck out nine batters in 6.0 innings and had a .667 WHIP. He was recalled from the Rays alternate training site and made his Major League debut against the Toronto Blue Jays. Head entered the game in relief of Josh Fleming and pitched 1.0 innings allowing no runs on no hits.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed 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 250 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.