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Mallards Well Represented in 2015 MLB Draft

Draft graphic CROPPED NO LOGO

Madison, Wis. (June 12) – The Madison Mallards are proud to announce that 17 current and former players were selected in Major League Baseball’s 2015 first-year amateur draft earlier this week. The three-day event began on Monday, June 8 with the first round and supplemental first round and concluded with rounds 10-40 late Wednesday afternoon. Overall, Madison witnessed nine pitchers and eight of its position players selected in the event’s historic fiftieth anniversary.

Tate Matheny (Missouri State) became the first among those players when the Boston Red Sox called his name in the draft’s fourth round (No. 111 overall) on Tuesday. The son of St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, Tate donned green and yellow during the 2013 Northwoods League season, a season during which he batted .279 with eight home runs, 41 runs batted in and 13 stolen bases in 54 games. The 6-foot-0 centerfielder hit .294 collegiately this past spring.

Joe McCarthy (Virginia), Kevin Duchene (Illinois) and Reilly Hovis (North Carolina) followed in Matheny’s footsteps soon after, taken in the fifth, fifth and ninth rounds of the draft, respectively. McCarthy, drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays, batted .303 with 41 RBI with the Mallards in 2013. Duchene, chosen by the Oakland Athletics, briefly contributed to Madison’s pitching staff that same year. Hovis, hand-picked by the Miami Marlins, went 3-0 with a 3.85 ERA and 34 strikeouts across 35.0 innings in 2013, becoming a key cog in manager Donnie Scott’s championship 2013 staff.

The final day of the event saw 13 current and former Mallards drafted, beginning with an impressive crop of left-handed pitchers. Bobby Poyner (Florida), who posted a team-best 1.19 ERA three summers ago, heard his name called by the Red Sox in round 14. Matt Portland (Northwestern) and Robert McDonnell (Illinois-Champaign), who combined to author a 2.99 ERA in 2014, were respectively selected by the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Dodgers. Matt Bower (Washington State), who leads Mallards pitchers in whiffs (19) this season, was taken by the Houston Astros in round 23.

Right-handed pitchers were also well represented. Nick Hibbing (Iowa), who went 3-2 with a 1.54 ERA in 11 bullpen stints with Madison in 2013, was drafted in the sixteenth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hibbing’s fellow 2013 championship teammate Taylore Cherry (North Carolina) received his call from the Chicago White Sox in the 32nd round of the draft. Right-hander George Thanopoulos (Columbia), who will contribute to Madison’s 2015 club later this month, rounded out Madison’s myriad pitchers selected in the draft, taken by the New York Mets in the 35th round.

Major League franchises invested in several Mallards position players. After batting .301 in 2013, catcher Jason Goldstein (Illinois) was selected by the Dodgers in the 17th round. Second baseman John La Prise (Virginia), who captured the NWL batting title (.407) that same year, heard his name called by the Toronto Blue Jays in round 19. The Cleveland Indians plucked Connor Marabell (Illinois-Champaign) in the 25th round, while Samuel Koenig (UW-Milwaukee) was taken by the Los Angeles Angels in round 27. Collin Theroux (San Joaquin Delta College), who will join Madison’s roster as a catcher this season, rounded out Madison’s positional draftee list, selected in round 35 by the Minnesota Twins.

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The Madison Mallards are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website.  For more information, visit www.MallardsBaseball.com