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Published On: September 27th, 2005

(08/24/05) (Mankato, MN)—The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club, a member of the Northwoods League, is proud to announce closer Neil Wagner has signed a major league contract to play professional baseball with the Cleveland Indians. He becomes the second MoonDogs player signed by the Indians this year, Kevin Dixon signed in June.

Wagner, who was drafted in the 21st round (634th overall) of last June’s amateur draft, played the entire summer with the MoonDogs while showing the Indians exactly why they drafted him. The flame-throwing righty set the MoonDogs single-season saves record with 13, while he picked up one win and had a 2.10 ERA. He fanned 43 batters in 30 innings of work, with his fastball topping out in the mid-90’s, and held opposing hitters to a .156 average.

"The whole point of the Northwoods League is to develop these players for a future in professional baseball. Being able to watch Neil succeed as he did over the last two summers and then be able to move on, reinforces how well the NWL does in preparing these young men for the next step,” MoonDogs general manager Kyle Mrozek said.

Wagner will report to the Indians instructional league in Winter Haven, Florida on September 20th. The league will last approximately one month and will include both training and game play with other instructional teams

The 2005 season was Wagner’s second season with the MoonDogs, and second season as an All-Star. Wagner was named to the mid-season All-Star team in 2004 and then named to both the mid-season and post-season All-Star teams this year.

Wagner’s career numbers are just as impressive as his numbers from this year were, as he broke the MoonDogs career saves record with 17 and set a new record for games pitched in at 53. He tallied 81 punchouts in 54.2 innings over the last two seasons, with a 3.13 ERA.

"It feels real good to know where I am going to be playing ball next year. It was up in the air whether I was going to be playing at NDSU or with the Indians, but I’m excited to play,” Wagner said.

In other news:
Scott Fogelson, a member of the 2003 MoonDogs, signed with the San Diego Padres on Monday, August 8. Fogelson, a left-handed starter, is off to a 1-0 in three starts, with a complete game and 15 innings to his credit. Showing strong command, he has 14 strikeouts to just 3 walks.