Stingers sign former Minnesota Twins 2011 draft pick
WILLMAR, MN – The Willmar Stingers announced today that three new players have signed this week, two infielders and a pitcher. The roster now is now comprised of 12 players for the upcoming season, which will be the Stingers’ fifth season in the Northwoods League.
The newest signees that will arrive in Willmar this summer will be freshman pitcher Trent Higginbotham (University Montevallo), as well as sophomore infielders Troy Kuhn (Ohio State University) and Alex Greene (University of West Florida).
Perhaps one of the more intriguing story lines of a player to come to Willmar in 2014 is Higginbotham. Higginbotham, a right-handed pitcher at the University of Montevallo, was actually drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 26th round of the 2011 Major League Draft.
He played in the Gulf Coast League for the Twins minor league affiliate appearing in 14 games out of the bullpen. Even though he had played a year of professional baseball, Higginbotham was allowed to play by the NCAA because he hadn’t hired an agent during his time in the Twins organization. Had he done so, Higginbotham would have been deemed ineligible by the NCAA.
According to Montevallo head coach Chandler Rose; Higginbotham is a hard thrower and will throw important innings for the Falcons this upcoming season. Pro scouts had a similar assessment of Higginbotham’s ability during his brief time with the Twins organization. He possesses a fastball in the low to mid 90s, a big-league type curve ball, and the potential to be a big time closer for any ball club he is a part of. Coach Rose is going to be able to utilize Higginbotham in a variety of roles within the Falcons’ pitching staff.
If the name Kuhn rings a bell, Troy’s older brother Max has been a part of the Stingers each of the last two seasons and will be on the roster again in 2014.
Troy Kuhn, a 5-foot-10 inch, 180 lbs. infielder comes to Willmar after a productive season as a versatile player for the Buckeyes. Kuhn saw action in 32 games as a freshman, playing some third base, second base, and as a designated hitter. Kuhn hit .272 with a pair of doubles and had a .954 fielding percentage in 2013.
Alex Greene, a 6-foot-1 inch, 170 lbs. shortstop played in 35 games for the Argos, making 28 starts. As a redshirt freshman in 2013, Greene was fifth on the team in hitting with an average of .318. Greene has proven himself to be a solid defensive player, posting a .963 fielding percentage in his first year of college baseball.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with the University of Montevallo and begin new ones with both West Florida and Ohio State,” co-owner Ryan Voz said. Field Manager Matt Hollod added, “I’m looking forward to what each of these players can bring to the team this coming summer. Higginbotham has some great experience and both Green and Kuhn will give us flexibility in the infield.”
Hollod along with the Stingers organization will continue to build the roster for the fifth season of Stingers baseball in 2014. The 2014 schedule will be released this fall; however, season tickets for the upcoming year are now available. For more information regarding this story or season ticket pricing, please call 320-222-2010 or visit www.willmarstingers.com. The 2014 season is presented by Charter.
The Willmar Stingers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.willmarstingers.com.