Published On: May 6th, 2023

Mervis is the 325th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former Kalamazoo growler Matt Mervis made his Major League debut for the Chicago Cubs on Friday, May 5, 2023. Mervis is the 325th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Mervis, who played collegiately at Duke, played for the Growlers in 2018. He was signed by the Chicago Cubs as an undrafted free agent after the shortened five round MLB Draft in 2020.

In 2018 with the Growlers, Mervis played in 44 games and hit .316 with four home runs, 11 doubles and 27 runs scored. He stole two bases, walked 22 times and drove in 28.

Mervis started his professional career in 2021 with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Low-A East League. After 69 games in Myrtle Beach, he was sent to the Iowa Cubs of the Triple-A East League. Between the two clubs he played in 73 games and hit .209 with nine home runs, one triple and 12 doubles. He drove in 44, stole six bases and scored 40 times.

In 2022 Mervis started the season with the South Bend Cubs of the Hi-A Midwest League. He would play in 27 games with South Bend before moving up to the Tennessee Smokies of the AA Southern League. After 53 games with the Smokies he was sent back up to Iowa to finish the season. In a combined 137 games he hit .309 with 36 home runs, 40 doubles and two triples. He stole two bases, scored 92 times and drove in 119.

Prior to his call-up to the Cubs, Mervis had played in 24 games with Iowa and was hitting. 286 with six home runs, 27 RBI and 27 runs scored. In his Major League debut against the Florida Marlins, Mervis started the game at first base and went 1 for 4 at the plate with an RBI.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now entering its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 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, 325 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 (NYM), 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 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website at and on ESPN+. For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

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