(Mankato, MN) — The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club, a member of the Northwoods League, is proud to announce the signings of sophomore Michael Jenkins and freshman B.J. Wheeler. Teammates at Tennessee Wesleyan (Athens, Tenn.), the duo will cross the Mason-Dixon Line to play for the MoonDogs this summer.
Jenkins, at 6’1” 215 lbs., is an imposing force at first base. For the Bulldogs this season, he has started in 22 of the 23 games, while hitting .350 with a .588 slugging percentage. He ranks first on the team in at-bats (80), is tied for the team lead in doubles (8), second in RBI (21) and third in home runs (3). He has also recorded 11 multi-hit games this spring.
A graduate of Halls High School (Knoxville, Tenn.), Jenkins was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2003 Major League Baseball amateur draft. Electing to attend college, Jenkins spent his first collegiate season at Hiwassee Community College (Madisonville, TN) before transferring to Tennessee Wesleyan.
After being sidelined in 2004 as a medical red-shirt sophomore, Jenkins was eager to return to the lineup this year and has helped the Bulldogs to a 17-6 record and first place in the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
"Bringing in a guy like Michael who can hit for both power and average always helps. He will be a definite threat in the middle of our lineup,” MoonDogs head coach, Robbie Huffstetler said.
Wheeler, (6’1”, 175 lbs.) is a speedy, defensive middle infielder. Recruited out of Cooper High School in Abilene, TX, Wheeler impressed both his coaches and teammates at TWC with his defensive abilities last fall. Spending the winter improving his offensive skills, the coaching staff at TWC believes Wheeler to be the shortstop of the future for their program.
"B.J. is a versatile infielder who can play all three positions. I’m excited about the athleticism that B.J. can bring to our team,” Huffstetler said.
The MoonDogs Home Opener is set for June 6, 2005, against the division rival St. Cloud River Bats. Season tickets and group tickets are on sale now, with single game tickets available May 7. Call the MoonDogs Ticket Office at 507-625-7047 or check out www.mankatomoondogs.com for more information.