Former Rafter Ernie Clement Debuts with the Indians

Clement is the 263rd former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former Wisconsin Rapids Rafter Ernie Clement, made his Major League debut for the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, June 13, 2021. Clement is the 263rd former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Clement, who played collegiately at the University of Virginia, played for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters in 2015. He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 4th round of the 2017 MLB draft.

In 2015 with the Rafters, Clement played in 33 games and hit .311 with five doubles and 17 stolen bases. He drove in 30 runs and scored 62 times.

Clement began his professional career in 2017 with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. In 45 games with the Scrappers, he hit .280 with nine doubles, a triple and 13 RBI. He scored 32 times and stole six bases.

Clement moved up for the 2018 season to the Lake County Captains of the Lo-A Midwest League. After 54 games he was promoted to the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Hi-A Carolina League. He then received another promotion to the Akron RubberDucks of the AA Eastern League to end the season. For the year he hit a combined .289 in 102 games with two home runs, 26 doubles and two triples. He stole 18 bases, drove in 33 runs and scored 72 times.

Clement started the 2019 season in Akron and then was promoted, after 98 games, to the Columbus Clippers of the AAA International League. Between the two clubs he played in 101 games and hit .269. He had 16 doubles, three triples and one home run while driving in 28. He added 17 stolen bases and scored 49 times.

Clement was called up by the Indians on June 13 from the AAA-East Columbus Clippers. In 20 games with Columbus, he was hitting .289 with nine doubles and two stolen bases. In his Major League debut against the Seattle Mariners, Clement entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 9th inning and struck out in his only at bat of the game.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 28th 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 260 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 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 Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.