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MoonDogs Alumni Update: Part III

With the conclusion of the 2007 season, it’s time to take a third and final look at the MoonDogs alums in Minor League Baseball that have had great years in pursuit of joining former Mankato players Curtis Granderson (Detroit Tigers) and Jack Hannahan (Oakland Athletics) in Major League Baseball.

Tim Smith (outfielder), who garnered a number of accolades while with the MoonDogs in 2006, had a very busy and successful year in 2007. Smith became a starting outfielder with PAC-10 Champions Arizona State University that was an eventual loser to the University of California – Irvine in the College World Series. Shortly after, Smith began his professional baseball career with the Spokane Indians, a Class A-Short Season affiliate of the Texas Rangers. After posting a .284 batting average and 18 runs scored in just 23 games, the Rangers promoted him to the Clinton LumberKings (Class A) where he saw limited action as a pinch-hitter in the Midwest League playoffs.

Clark Hardman (outfielder), another member of the 2006 MoonDogs, also played in the 2007 College World Series as the starting center fielder for Cal St. Fullerton. After being eliminated by the same UC Irvine squad, he began his professional career with a brief stint with the Peoria Chiefs, a Class A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Hardman would finish the 2007 season by dominating the Arizona League Cubs (Rookie League). He finished with an astounding .351 batting average in just 15 games for the AZL Cubs. In addition, Baseball America named Hardman the best defensive player out of the Chicago Cubs 2007 draft class in its Draft Report Cards.

Michael Parker (infielder), a member of the 2006 MoonDogs squad, had a great year with the Kingsport Mets, a Rookie League affiliate of the New York Mets. With a .298 batting average in 43 games, he helped lead Kingsport to a second place finish in the Appalachian League. Parker’s highlight came in early August when he was named Appalachian League Offensive Player of the Week for the week of July 30 to August 5.

Dane Secott (pitcher), a Northwoods League Mid-Season All-Star in 2006 for the MoonDogs, was outstanding in his relief role with the Idaho Falls Chukars, a Rookie League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. Secott established himself early on as a reliable arm out of the bullpen and finished 2007 with a miniscule 0.79 ERA, allowing just 3 earned runs over 34.1 innings pitched. He worked in 15 games with one start going 5-1, and holding opposing hitters to a .179 batting average. His numbers also helped propel the Chukars into a First-Half Pioneer League South Division Championship. Unfortunately, Idaho Falls would lose in the first-round to eventual Pioneer League Champion, the Orem Owlz.

With ten players starting in the minors after the 2007 MLB Draft, the MoonDogs now have 30 alumni playing professional baseball. This edition also concludes the 2007 season of MoonDogs Alumni Update. Please check back soon to track all of the former MoonDogs on our Alumni page as they make their journey to the big leagues.

Be sure to stop by the MoonDogs office during the holidays for great gift ideas such as apparel, gift certificates and season ticket packages to name a few. Please check back to www.mankatomoondogs.com or call the MoonDogs Office at 507-625-7047 for more information.