Spilborghs, a member of the Colorado Rockies, is headed to the World Series! With a 4-0 sweep over the Arizona Diamondbacks, he becomes the first former Mallard to achieve such a feat after already owning the distinct honor of being the team’s first player in Major League Baseball. Spilborghs began the year playing for the Triple-A Colorado Springs club and hit .323 before being brought up to the Rockies on May 20. Filling in for injured center fielder Willy Taveras, he was a key member of the Rockies late season surge, helping the team win 14 of its last 15 regular season games to become the National League Wild Card. Spilborghs hit .331 with 13 doubles and 20 RBI’s during the Mallards inaugural 2001 season. The Rockies will open World Series action on October 24 against the winner of the ALCS. To commemorate his achievement, the team has slashed the price on Ryan Spilborghs figurines to 6 dollars. Own a piece of team history by visiting the team’s Duckwear page or by calling 246.4277!
Other former Mallards currently playing professional baseball are listed below (according to year).
Brent Johnson, OF, 2001, UNLV. Johnson, a 14th round selection in the 2004 MLB Draft, led the Double-A West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx in hitting this past season with a .291 average that included 30 doubles and 50 RBI’s. The 25 year old finished the season strong hitting .311 with three home runs and 16 RBI’s in August. A teammate of Spilborghs in 2001, Johnson recorded six RBI’s in 11 games that season.
Kyle Anson, 3B-C, 2002, Texas Tech. Anson was used primarily as a catcher for the New York Yankees Single-A affiliate Charleston Riverdogs in 2007. In 98 games he hit .272 with 17 doubles and 44 RBI’s, playing a key role in the team’s 41-29 record. A 10th round draft choice in 2005, Anson hit .276 with 18 doubles for the Mallards.
Mike Rozema, IF, 2003, St. John’s. Rozema is a great example of how fast a player can move up the Minor League ranks with a taste of success. The New Jersey native began the year playing for the Atlanta Braves Single-A affiliate Myrtle Beach Pelicans, and hit .294 with 15 RBI’s in 68 at-bats. He was then moved to the Double-A Mississippi Braves less than two weeks later and hit .265 with 25 RBI’s and five home runs. In need of a versatile infielder, Rozema received the call from the Triple-A Richmond Braves on August 12 and saw action in eight games towards the end of the season. He hit .300 with 10 doubles and 23 RBI’s while stealing 32 bases in 2003.
Mike Rohde, IF, 2003-06, Illinois. Rohde, the Mallards first four-year player, signed a professional contract on June 6 with the Schaumburg Flyers and then proceeded to hit .318 with 15 doubles and 32 RBI’s. He recorded at least one hit in 48 of 63 games and amassed a .414 batting average with runners in scoring position. Rohde became the first former Mallard to have his number retired when the team honored the Brookfield, WI native on August 12. He holds career batting records in RBI’s (87), home runs (7), at-bats (676), and games played (219).
Ryan Zink, P, 2004, ’07, Illinois-Chicago. Zink started one game for the Mallards this season (June 8, 7 IP, 0 runs, 10 K’s) before being drafted in the 17th round by the New York Yankees and placed on the Single-A Staten Island team roster on June 21. He pitched well for the S.I. Yankees, posting a 6-1 record and 3.23 ERA in 47.1 innings. Zink was a key member of the Mallards 2004 Northwoods League Championship team with his 2.10 ERA in 81.1 innings.
Burke Baldwin, P, 2005, Kishwaukee C.C. Baldwin prospered in the Pioneer League (Rookie) this past season playing for Idaho Falls in the Kansas City Royals farm system. In eight starts and seven relief appearances he went 5-1 with a 2.87 ERA. Baldwin appeared in nine games for the 2005 Mallards, posting a 3-2 record and 2.70 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched.
Adam Mills, P, 2005, ’06, UNC-Charlotte. Mills was drafted in the 8th round of this year’s draft by the Boston Red Sox and spent the summer on the Single-A Lowell Spinners roster. He went 3-1 with a 2.04 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 35.1 innings pitched. Mills pitched in the Red Sox Futures Game at Fenway Park on August 12 and picked up the win after tossing three scoreless innings in relief. The 2007 Atlantic Pitcher of the Year had the best ERA (1.01) and was tied for wins (14) in the NCAA this past season for the Charlotte 49ers. Mills was 8-7 with a 1.88 ERA in 21 starts during his two-year stint in Madison.