ROCHESTER, MINN. — Two Rochester Honkers were named to the 2020 Postseason All-Star Team on Tuesday morning. Infielder Robert Moore (Arkansas) and left-handed pitcher Larson Kindreich (Biola) were dubbed with the honors, marking the fourth and fifth Postseason All-Stars to call Mayo Field home over the last four summers.
Rochester Honkers shortstop Robert Moore (1) prepares for a pitch while at the plate in a game against the Willmar Stingers at Mayo Field on August 2, 2020. (Dave Tester/Rochester Honkers)
Moore, an 18-year-old rising sophomore from Leawood, Kan., was a model of consistency in the Honkers’ offense all summer. After departing Shawnee Mission East High School one semester early to play at Arkansas — and subsequently starting all 16 games the Razorbacks played in their abbreviated 2020 season — Moore tore up the Northwoods League as a consistent top-10 offensive performer. It started when the dynamic, switch-hitting shortstop belted the first Rochester home run of the season, a solo shot to lead off the fourth inning in the Honkers’ first home game of the year.
Arkansas’ prized product performed as advertised in the early going, collecting 20 hits over his first 16 games and reaching base in the first nine games he played in. Through the course of the season, Moore amassed several lengthy on-base streaks, including a seven-game streak, a five-game streak, and a six-game streak to end his time in Rochester. His 13 multi-hit games placed best on the Honkers. Moore also notched nine extra-base hits, good for third on the Rochester roster, and drove in 14 runs, second-best on the team. To boot, his final game in a Honkers uniform included a 2-for-3 performance in a 4-0 shutout victory over the eventual pod-champion Waterloo Bucks.
Moore would go on to finish top-10 in the Northwoods League’s Minnesota-Iowa Pod in most major offensive categories. Moore paced the group in stolen bases with 20 — eight more than the next-closest pod player — and was caught just four times. He also placed fifth in walks (22) and on-base percentage (.417), eighth in hits (36) and at-bats (119), and tenth in on-base plus slugging (.854). Moore just missed the top-10 by placing 11th in batting average (.303), runs (21, tied) and slugging percentage (.437).
Kindreich, a rising junior hailing from Central Point, Ore., was as good as it gets in Rochester’s starting rotation in 2020. The Honkers’ eventual ace came to the Med City after a strong start to his collegiate season at Biola University in southern California. In his sophomore season, Kindreich hurled 30 innings, allowing only 15 hits and an eye-popping two runs, zero of which were earned. He tossed a complete game, struck out 15 batters in one outing and started the season by throwing 25.2 scoreless innings, a new program record during Biola’s tenure in the NCAA.
Rochester Honkers pitcher Larson Kindreich (25) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a game against the Willmar Stingers on August 3, 2020 at Mayo Field. (Dave Tester/Rochester Honkers)
In Rochester, Kindreich lived up to his college hype. Each of Kindreich’s starts somehow topped the last in one way or another, but the lefty’s marquee performance came in his first home start of the season. Against a surging Willmar Stingers team, Kindreich was nearly perfect through his six innings of work. The Eagle allowed just one hit, a two-out single in the second inning, and struck out a season-high 10 batters while walking only one Willmar hitter en route to a no decision.
The lanky left-hander completed at least five innings in six of his seven appearances, and struck out at least five batters in each of his outings. Kindreich punched out 10 batters twice throughout the 2020 summer: in the aforementioned appearance against Willmar and in his final start of the season, in which he mowed the Waterloo Bucks down in six superb innings. Kindreich allowed no more than five hits in any of his starts, and kept his opponents to three or fewer hits four times.
Kindreich starred among the likes of his Northwoods League counterparts as well. His 48 strikeouts tied him for fifth in the league and led the Minnesota-Iowa pod, as Kindreich fanned 35% of the batters he faced all season. Among pitchers who started at least three games, Kindreich’s WHIP tied him for fifth in the Northwoods League, and second among pitchers who started at least five times both in the entire league and in the pod. Kindreich compiled 36.1 innings throughout the summer, tying him for third in the pod in that category, and kept opposing batters to a .171 batting average, second-best to only St. Cloud’s Zane Mills among qualified starters in the Minnesota-Iowa group. The lefty led the Honkers in each of those categories as well, among all pitchers who appeared in at least three games.
2020 is the 18th season in which the Honkers had at least two players selected to the Postseason All-Star team. The inaugural Rochester team holds the record for the most players to be named with seven. Moore and Kindreich join the likes of 2019 Honkers Evan Berkey (Cal State Bakersfield) and Keon Taylor (Georgetown College) and 2017 Northwoods League Most Valuable Player Zach Zubia (Texas) as the lone Honkers Postseason All-Stars of the last four seasons. Rochester did not have a player selected to the team in either 2018 or 2016.
by Jordan Lank // Jordan Lank is in his first season as Director of Media Relations for the Rochester Honkers.