Left-Hander Returns to Honkers, add an Italian Right-Hander


Drew Slade returns for second season, Bocchi signs on from Texas.

(Rochester, Minn.) – The Rochester Honkers have announced the signings of pitchers, Drew Slade and Matteo Bocchi for the 2018 season.

Slade is a 5-foot-9 160-pound senior lefty from Ripon University who is returning to Rochester for a second season. With the Honkers last summer, Slade posted a 5-3 record with a 6.44 ERA. He whiffed 39 over 67 innings of work. Currently Slade is 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA over six starts. He has thrown 32 innings with 27 strikeouts.

Bocchi is a 6-foot-4 205-pound junior right-hander from the University of Texas. Currently he is 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA.  Bocchi has appeared in 13 games, striking out 18 over 21.0 innings of work.  He picked up his first win against Sam Houston State throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. Bocchi started his collegiate career at Odessa Community College. Over his two years there he compiled a 9-5 record over 20 appearances.

Bocchi is a native of Parma, Italy and is the first Italian-born student-athlete to play baseball for the Texas Longhorns. In 2013, he threw a nine inning shutout for Team Italy in a win against Czech Republic at the 2013 Under-18 World Cup. Bocchi also played in the Little League World Series in 2013.

The Rochester Honkers 25th season begins on Tuesday, May 29th when the team hosts the Eau Claire Express in their home opener at Mayo Field at 7:05 pm. 5-Game Packs and Kids Club Memberships are available now!  Season Tickets, ½ Season Plans, Suites and Patios are also available. Call the Rochester Honkers office at 507-289-1170 for more information.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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, more than 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.