ROCHESTER, MINN. — The Rochester Honkers, five-time champions of the Northwoods League, are bringing Texas up north this summer with the introduction of three new signees from highly-touted McLennan Community College. Catcher Hank Bard, infielder Miguel Santos and outfielder Garrett Martin will each suit up for the Honkers in their quest for a sixth Northwoods League championship.
Bard, a sophomore, can be utilized anywhere in the field but will spend the majority of his time in Rochester behind the plate or at first base. In 22 games with the Highlanders in 2021, Bard has picked up 14 hits, three going for extra bases, and has driven in eight runs. His 2020 season was one to remember before McLennan’s season was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as Bard thumped his way to a .385 average in 14 games before the stoppage. In that span, the Parker, Colo. native doubled four times and picked up one three-bagger, and boasted a 1.048 OPS while striking out just nine times in 49 plate appearances.
“Hank looks like he will be a solid run producer at the plate,” Honkers field manager Paul Weidner said. “He’ll be an important piece for us defensively as well.”
Santos, in the midst of his second freshman season due to the pandemic, has lit up the stat sheet in a 29-game sample size in 2021. The Burleson, Tex. native holds a searing .347 batting average and has reached base in over 40% of his trips to the plate. Fifteen of Santos’ team-leading 42 base knocks have gone for extra bases, including six doubles and eight home runs, good for second on McLennan’s roster. In October, Santos announced his commitment to Dallas Baptist upon the conclusion of his time at McLennan.
“Miguel is a very talented middle infielder headed to Dallas Baptist. He’s shown a really good mix of average and power so far this season for McLennan hitting towards the top of their lineup,” Weidner said of the future Patriot.
Martin, playing in his second sophomore season, has been as impressive as Santos for the Highlanders. The 6-foot-4-inch outfielder places second on the team in slugging percentage with a .650 clip, thanks to 17 extra-base hits under his belt (eight doubles, one triple, eight home runs). A native of Denver, Colo., Martin places third among all McLennan players in runs batted in with 27, and has picked up a hit in 19 of the 29 games he’s played this season. When his tenure at McLennan comes to a close, Martin will head to Oklahoma State to continue his career.
“Garrett is another guy that we will look to be a well-rounded player hitting for both average and power while playing the outfield for us,” Weidner said. “We’re really excited to see what he brings this summer in Rochester.”
The Rochester Honkers enter their 28th season of play on May 31st on the road against the Eau Claire Express at 7:05 PM. Connect with the team on social media by liking them on Facebook at Rochester Honkers Baseball Club and following them on Twitter (@RochHonkers) and Instagram (@HonkersBaseball). Join the conversation by using the hashtag #UnlockTheFlock, and follow along with all Honkers roster reveals with the hashtag #ReleaseTheGeese.