(Mankato, MN) – The Mankato MoonDogs Baseball Club, a member of the Northwoods League, is proud to announce a number of former and current MoonDogs were selected Thursday and Friday in the Major League Baseball Draft. Two former players were selected in the last two rounds of Day One and several former and current players’ names were called on Day Two.
Former MoonDog Brandon Crawford of UCLA was the first MoonDog selected in the MLB Draft, taken in the 4th Round with the 117th pick by the San Francisco Giants. Crawford was a member of the MoonDogs in 2005 when he posted a .274 batting average and led the team with 17 stolen bases. This past season for the Bruins, Crawford started and played in 60 games compiling a .302 batting average. He had 70 hits on the season including 13 doubles, five triples, and seven home runs. He also led the team in runs scored.
In the final round of Day One, former MoonDog Jason Christian (Michigan) was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 5th Round with the 154th pick. Christian played with the MoonDogs last season and posted a .290 batting average with 22 runs scored and 10 stolen bases. This season with the Wolverines, Christian put together a .330 batting average with 13 doubles, seven home runs, and 48 runs batted in. Christian also stole 16 bases in 18 attempts.
Day Two started slowly for the MoonDogs with the first pick coming in the 13th Round. Former MoonDog Adam Abraham (Michigan) was selected with the 411th pick by the Cleveland Indians. Last summer with the MoonDogs, Abraham batted .282 with 44 hits and 17 RBI. He was also 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA in nineteen relief appearances. Abraham struck out 18 batters in 20 1/3 innings pitched. During the college season, Abraham batted .352 with 14 doubles, seven home runs, and 54 RBI.
The first current MoonDog taken in the draft, Nate Hanson (Minnesota), was selected in the 28th Round with the 846th pick by the Minnesota Twins. Hanson was last season’s Northwoods League Batting Champion with a .363 average. He was also the 2007 NWL All-Star game MVP. He batted .359 for the Golden Gophers this season with 22 doubles, six home runs and 32 runs batted in. He led the Gopher offense with 118 total bases.
Four rounds later current MoonDog Pat Lenton (MSU-Mankato) was drafted in the 32nd round with the 970th pick by the Atlanta Braves. Lenton, a freshman for the Mavericks this past season, posted a 5-1 record while striking out 68 batters in fourteen games.
The MoonDogs had players selected in the 37th, 38th, and 39th rounds with two current players, Erik Hamren (UC-Irvine) and Thomas Phelps (Whittier), and former player James Keithley (Texas-San Antonio). Hamren was selected in the 37th with the 1121st pick by the Chicago Cubs. This season Hamren has worked five innings for the MoonDogs, has not allowed a run, and has only surrendered one hit. He has four strikeouts for Mankato and has recorded the team’s lone save.
Thomas Phelps continued the string of MoonDogs drafted being selected with pick number 1136 in the 38th round by the Baltimore Orioles. The Whittier College player posted a 4-5 record for the Poets this past season and led the squad in strikeouts with 66. Phelps had a rough first outing this season with the MoonDogs, but won Thursday night’s game in relief to even his record at 1-1.
Former MoonDog James Keithley was selected in the 39th Round with the 1171st pick by the Washington Nationals. Last season, Keithley batted .240 for Mankato with 55 hits (including 13 doubles) and 18 RBI. Keithley also showed his speed on the base paths by stealing 20 bases for the MoonDogs. Keithley hit .358 for the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners this past season, two points behind team leader and current MoonDog Michael Rockett, and led the team in stolen bases with 15.