Max Meyer was selected third overall by the Miami Marlins, and Sam Thoreson ended up signing with the Cubs. In a regular MLB draft we’d probably be reporting that several more Gophers were drafted in 2020, like 3B Jack Wassel or SP Patrick Fredrickson, but alas it is not to be in our COVID-19 reality.
But, like any summer, many players are headed to amateur summer leagues to hone their skills and get some reps in. In fact, some 27 players are taking part in a level of summer play in such leagues as the Northwoods League, Sunbelt Collegiate League and Expedition League. Here are some notables:
Noah DeLuga | Rockford Rivets | Northwoods League
DeLuga, an incoming freshman from Illinois, already has 8 appearances for the Rivets, notching a couple saves and already registering a strikeout per inning.
Jack Liffrig | Fond du Lac Dock Spiders | Northwoods League
How about Jack Liffrig? The sophomore transfer from Utah didn’t see game action in 2020, but after 4 appearances with the Dock Spiders he sports a 1.00 ERA with a miniscule 0.89 WHIP. And that’s with 8 Ks in 9 IP.
Ryan Duffy | Fond du Lac Dock Spiders | Northwoods League
Duffy, Liffrig’s Fond du Lac teammate, was off to a strong start, registering a 1.88 ERA through 8 appearances and 14 1⁄3 IP. A rough outing on Wednesday bumped it up to 3.66 but he’s second on the team in appearances, with 9.
Jack Kelly | St. Cloud Rox | Northwoods League
Kelly, a catcher with Major League aspirations, is currently getting his work in in the Northwoods League. With 81 ABs through 22 games he’s slashing .272 while racking up 15 RBI.
Chase Stanke | Willmar Stingers | Northwoods League
Stanke, another Gopher catcher, is back for his second season with the Stingers. And his experience is starting to show through. Through 20 games the sophomore is hitting a pristine .338 with 20 RBI and 3 HR to go along with a nifty .936 OPS. In fact, in his last three games he’s batting .615 with 6 RBI and 2 HR.
Additional Gophers participating in amateur/town ball leagues include Noah Berghammer, Zack Elliott, Drew Hmielewski, Sam Ireland, Cody Kelly, Drew Stahl, Ronald Sweeny, Will Anderson, Bubba Horton, Gus Radel, Trent Schoeberl and Bennett Theisen.
For a full look at the Northwoods League stats, head here.
For a full look at the Expedition League stats, head here.