Mallards sign trio of University of Virginia infielders for 2010 season

Madison, WI – February 10, 2010. The Madison Mallards of the summer collegiate baseball Northwoods League, have signed a trio of University of Virginia freshman infielders for the 2010 season. Stephen Bruno, Reed Gragnani, and Ryan Levine will be heading to Madison for the upcoming summer.

Reed Gragnani

Gragnani, a 5’11”, 180 pound native of Richmond, VA, was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 27th round of the 2009 MLB Draft after earning Rawlings/Louisville Silver Slugger All-America honors his senior season at Mills Godwin High School. During that season he hit .422 with six home runs and 25 RBI and was named District Player of the Year as well as an All-Metro selection. In 2008 he was named the best hitter prospect in the Cal Ripken Sr. League after hitting .324 that summer.

“Gragnani is a true switch-hitting infielder who has the ability to play second, third, and even first base for Virginia this spring,” said Mallards Field Manager C.J. Thieleke. “He hails from the same high school as former Mallards Kris Rochelle (Charlotte) and Justin Bristow (East Carolina), both of whom were very good in the Northwoods League during their stops.”

Stephen Bruno

Bruno, a 5’9”, 165 pound native of Audubon, N.J., was selected by the New York Yankees in the 26th round of the 2009 MLB Draft after earning Rawlings Second-Team All American and First-Team All-Region honors last season at Gloucester Catholic High School. As a senior he had four home runs, 12 doubles, seven triples, and 23 stolen bases.

“Bruno has a more advanced defensive game than Gragnani and is really one of the better defensive middle infielders you’ll find on the east coast,” said Thieleke. “Once his offensive game matches his defense, Stephen will definitely have the opportunity to play baseball for many years.”

Ryan Levine

Levine, a 6’0”, 215 pound native of Hackensack, N.J., will redshirt for the Cavaliers his freshman season after hitting .420 with four home runs, 35 RBI, and 12 stolen bases as a senior at St. Joseph Regional High School. He was named a First-Team All-League selection for his work.

“Levine is a very good catcher and can play first base as well. I see him being a wildcard this summer because he can hit so well, and anytime that happens, it makes my job easier as a coach in finding a person playing time,” said Thieleke.

The Madison Mallards are members of the 16-team summer collegiate Northwoods League. Opening Day is slated for Wednesday, June 2, at 7:05 p.m. against the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Season and group tickets are now on-sale and can be purchased by calling the box office at 608.246.4277.