Woodchucks in MLB Spring Training
MLB spring training is about to begin as pitchers and catchers report today! That means baseball is right around the corner. Take a look at the 14 former Woodchucks that are active and non-roster invitees to spring training camp this season:
Daniel Descalso is spending this spring with the Chicago Cubs once again. Descalso played for the Wisconsin Woodchucks in 2006. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007. In 2011, he was named a finalist for the Rawlings Golden Glove Award at third base and won the World Series. Descalso continued his success with the Cardinals from 2012-2014, joining the team in four straight postseason appearances. Descalso played for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017 and 2018 and then signed with the Chicago Cubs in 2019.
Three former Woodchucks will be joining the San Francisco Giants spring training camp this year. Sam Wolff, who played for the Chucks in 2010, will join as a non-roster invitee. He was drafted in 2013 and has been playing the minor league system since. Tyler Heineman, 2011 Woodchuck, will also join the Giants’ camp as a non-roster invitee. He was drafted in 2012 and made his major league debut in 2019 with the Miami Marlins. Darin Ruf, who played for the Woodchucks in 2007, is also a non-roster invitee. He was drafted in 2009 and made his MLB debut in 2012 with the Phillies. In 2017, he led the Korea Baseball Organization in RBIS.
Pat Venditte is headed to the Miami Marlins’ spring training camp this season. Venditte was with the Woodchucks in the 2007 season. Best known for being the only active professional switch pitcher, Venditte was drafted by the Yankees in 2008. He spent time in the Yankees minor league system before signing with the Oakland A’s as a free agent in 2015. He made his MLB debut with the A’s in 2015 and has since moved around to a variety of teams in the minors.
Mike Gerber will be competing for a roster spot with the Colorado Rockies. Gerber was with the Woodchucks in 2011 and 2012. He was drafted in 2014 by the Tigers and made his major league debut in 2018.
J.D. Davis will spend his spring with the New York Mets. Davis made his MLB debut in in August of 2017 with the Houston Astros. Davis played with the New York Mets last season, hitting 22 home runs and posting a .307 batting average. Davis played for the Woodchucks in 2012.
Jerad Eickhoff, 2010 Woodchuck, will spend his spring with the San Diego Padres. Eickhoff spent four seasons as a pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies before joining the Padres organization. He ended with a 4.15 ERA.
Kyle Dohy, who played for the Chucks in 2015, will be joining the Phillies’ camp as a non-roster invitee. Dohy was drafted in 2017 and has spent the last few seasons in the minors.
Jared Oliva is joining the Pittsburgh Pirates at their spring training. He played for the Woodchucks in 2015 and 2016. He was drafted in 2017 and recently played in the Arizona Fall League in 2019.
Ka’ai Tom will be joining the Cleveland Indians at camp this spring. Tom was drafted by the Indians in 2015 and has worked his way up to the AAA level. He played for the Woodchucks in 2014.
Two other members of the 2014 Woodchucks roster are heading to spring training this season. CJ Chatham, who was drafted in 2016, will be attending the Red Sox camp. Parker Dunshee, who was drafted in 2017, will be attending the Oakland A’s camp. Dunshee rapidly rose through the minor league system. In 2017, he had a streak of 38.1 scoreless innings.
Paul DeJong, 2017 NL Rookie of the Year finalist, will join the St. Louis Cardinals for another spring training. DeJong played for the Woodchucks in 2014 when he set the franchise record for home runs with 20. He made his MLB debut in 2017 and since then he has 360 hits, 30 home runs, and a .251 batting average. He is second all-time for the Cardinals with 25 home runs as a rookie.