Pair of Infielders and Catchers are Frank Bound in May
By Connor Wachtel
Mankato, Minn. — Four more guys are headed to The Frank this summer. Among them are two infielders from the University of Hawaii and a catcher duo that includes a returnee, Garrett Gilbert, from last season.
Kole Kaler – University of Hawaii
Kaler, an infielder from the University of Hawaii, was a 2019 second-team ACCAC selection at South Mountain CC. The Queen Creek, Ariz. native recorded 31 multi-hit games and 14 multi-RBI games last season. With eight three-hit games, the sophomore hit .318, drove in 40 runs, scored 48 runs, and hit eight doubles, four triples and five home runs. This spring, Kaler made his NCAA D-I debut at shortstop for the Rainbow Warriors.
Alex Baeza – University of Hawaii
Baeza, from West Jordan, Utah, is a first baseman. He garnered All-Big West Honorable Mention in 2019. While playing in 49 games and starting in 48 last year as a sophomore at first base, he hit .278 and compiled 27 RBI, 30 runs, seven doubles and 23 free passes. Baeza finished second on the Rainbow Warriors with four home runs and totaled up 14 multi-hit games and six multi-RBI games.
Garrett Gilbert – Creighton University
A MoonDogs catcher last season, Gilbert will return to Mankato for the 19th season of MoonDogs baseball. In 2019, the Kenosha, Wis. native recorded a .193 batting average and 10 RBI in 27 games. Behind the dish, Gilbert battled through 211 innings of work where he registered 181 putouts. Gilbert is headed back to The Frank to backstop the MoonDogs for their 2020 season.
Alex Hernandez – Nova Southeastern
Hernandez is another catcher from Pembroke Pines, Fla., and is Mankato bound for the 2020 MoonDogs baseball season. Catching for Nova Southeastern University, Hernandez appeared in 15 games in 2019. He totaled five hits, two doubles and hit his first career home run. Also scoring three times, driving in four and taking three free passes, Hernandez posted a .294/.400/.588 batting line in his sophomore season. Behind the dish, Hernandez retired 5 of 14 runners trying to take extra bases and posted a perfect fielding percentage for the Sharks.
The Mankato MoonDogs begin their season on May 26, at Franklin Rogers Park when they square off with the Willmar Stingers at 6:35 p.m.
The Mankato MoonDogs are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.mankatomoondogs.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the MoonDogs as your favorite team.