Published On: April 1st, 2024

Slaten is the 343rd former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former Eau Claire Express pitcher Justin Slaten made his Major League debut for the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, March 30, 2024. Slaten is the 343rd former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Slaten, who played collegiately at the University of New Mexico, played for the Express in 2018. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the 2019 MLB Draft.

In 2018 with the Express, Slaten appeared in 11 games and was 7-1 with a 2.51 ERA. He struck out 70 batters in 57 innings and had a 1.105 WHIP.

Slaten started his professional career in 2019 with the Rangers Rookie level team in the Arizona League. After one appearance he was sent to the Spokane Indians of the Short-Season A Northwest League. For the year, he appeared in 11 games and was 0-2 with a 6.06 ERA. He had 22 strikeouts in 16.1 innings.

In 2021 he spent the full year with the Hickory Crawdads of the Hi-A East League. In 20 games he was 4-8 with a 6.01 ERA. He had a 1.506 WHIP and struck out 110 batters in 82.1 innings.

Slaten started the year in 2022 with the Rangers Rookie level team in the Arizona Complex League. After one game he was sent to the Frisco RoughRiders of the AA Texas League. Across the two leagues he pitched in 25 games and struck out 66 batters in 51.2 innings.

In 2023 he began the season in Frisco and then, after 35 games, was promoted to the Round Rock Express of the AAA Pacific Coast League. Between the two clubs he pitched in a combined 40 games and was 5-3 with 2.87 ERA. He struck out 86 batters in 59.2 innings.

In December of 2023 Slaten was selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 Draft and then was traded to the Red Sox.

In his Major League debut against the Mariners, Slaten entered the game in relief and allowed a hit to end the game.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 26 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 340 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 two-time World Series Champion Max Scherzer (TEX), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (STL) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (ATL). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2023 World Series Champion, 2021 and 2023 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner and two-time All-MLB first team 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

Latest News