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Published On: October 24th, 2013

La Crosse, Wis. – The La Crosse Loggers baseball club kicked of their 2014 roster signings today with the announcement of a trio of returning position players in catcher Austin Rei (Washington), outfielder Mike Nadratowski (Grand Valley State) and infielder Nick Kanavas (Arizona).

Washington backstop Austin Rei established himself as one of the top catchers in the Northwoods League this past summer when he was selected to the inaugural NWL Big League Dreams Showcase where professional scouts selected the participants. Rei was certainly a known commodity to scouts heading into his rookie season in the NWL this past summer, having been drafted out of high school in the 37th Round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. The top-notch defender also had a very productive summer at the plate for the Lumbermen when hit .275 with two homers and 12 RBI’s over 109 at-bats while leading La Crosse with a .428 on-base percentage.

Re-joining Rei next summer will be left-handed hitting outfielder Mike Nadratowski from Division II powerhouse Grand Valley State (Mich.). Like Rei, Nadratowski was a very big part of the Loggers success this past summer when he ranked sixth on the Loggers in batting average (.280), fourth in games played (56), third in at-bats (239), runs scored (41) and hits (67) along with ranking second on the club with 13 stolen bases. The junior from Canton, Mich. has also earned several accolades during his collegiate career including the conference and Midwest region freshman of the year awards in 2012 and he was also named a Prospect Summer League all-star in 2012.

Freshman Nick Kanavas burst onto the scene in a big way with the Lumbermen in early August when the Loggers signed him as a high school senior out of Brookfield, Wisc. The 6-1, 190 pound infielder hit a home run in his second official NWL at-bat on August 1 and continued to show his great promise throughout the rest of the summer as he went on to hit .261 over 23 at-bats. Kanavas, who was named to the 2013 Rawlings Central Region all-American Team and 2012 Honorable Mention all-American team in high school, has the versatility and arm to play on the left side of the infield as well as second base.

The La Crosse Loggers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized summer collegiate baseball league in the world with 18 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, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit