Over the course of the past six seasons in Mankato, over 35 players who have showcased their skills, have continued their careers and followed their dreams in playing professional baseball. Nearly 20 of those players are still active in the minor leagues.
The 2004 MLB amateur draft saw 9 former Mashers or MoonDogs selected, including 3 from the 2003 MoonDogs team. And now in September, we may see the first player of Mankato ilk to make it to "The Show.”
Erie Sea Wolves (AA) centerfielder Curtis Granderson, a 2001 Masher, was ranked as the 8th best prospect in the Detroit Tigers organization by Baseball America coming into this season and he has show why, as he currently leads the Eastern League in runs scored (87) and on-base percentage (.417). The 23-year old is also ranked among the league leaders in a number of other categories, including, RBI (92-3rd), triples (8-tied 3rd), batting average (.315-5th), slugging percentage (.545-7th), home runs (21-tied 7th) and hits (133-tied 9th). Granderson, who was a New-York Penn League All-Star in 2002, was named the Eastern League Player of the Week for the week ending August 1st.
On Friday, Granderson was named to the 2004 Eastern League All-Star Team, as voted on by respective Eastern League team managers and coaching staffs, sportswriters, radio and television broadcast personnel and other members of the media. Watch for Curtis to be a September call up for the Tigers, and become the first player in Mankato franchise history to play in a Major League Game
The sweet swinging Andrew Wishy, also a 2002 MoonDog, is now a member of the Texas Rangers organization, playing for the Midwest League Clinton Lumberjacks. He is living up to hype and potential put on him when he was selected as the best hitting prospect in the Rangers farm system, as he is leading the Lumberjacks in games(115), at-bats(400), runs(53), hits(103), doubles(22), and homeruns(13). Earlier this spring, Rangers skipper Buck Showalter, asked Andrew to join he and the rest of the Rangers on the bench for a spring training game. Andrew was eventually used as pinch runner in a game against the Kansas City Royals.
Jonny Ash, who graduated from Stanford in the spring, finds himself playing for the Tri-City Valley Cats of the New York Penn League. The Valley Cats, the short-season farm team for the Huston Astros, are watching Ash as he is hitting .301 in 55 games this year. His 43 runs and 66 hits rank him second on the team in each of those categories, while he leads the team in triples.
Paul McAnulty, a member of the 2001 Mashers, is doing just that, mashing his way through the minor leagues. Playing for the Lake Elisnore Storm, the San Diego Padres Class A team of the California league, McAnulty is hitting .303, while leading the team in slugging(.540) games(123), runs(92), 2B(34), RBI(83) and homeruns (23). Watch for Paul to make a quick ascension through the ranks of the Padres farm system.
Check out the MoonDogs Alumni Roster for more information on all the former Mashers/MoonDogs still playing Minor League Baseball.