Rafters Alumni Earn Opportunity to Play Professional BaseballJune 8, 2012 - Northwoods League (Northwoods) Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
The Texas Rangers selected right-handed pitcher Paul Schwendel (Emory University) with their final pick in the 40th round of the draft. Schwendel was a member of the Rafters starting rotation in 2011, appearing in 6 games (6 starts), posting a 2-2 record and 4.05 ERA. In 31.1 innings on the mound, he allowed only 29 hits and struck out 31 batters. Schwendel will have until July 12th to sign with the Rangers in accordance with Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement.
Following the conclusion of the draft, it was also announced that Justin Jirschele (UW-Stevens Point) signed a free agent contract with the Chicago White Sox. Jirschele, who played two seasons (2010 and 2011) for the Rafters, just completed his senior year at UW-Stevens Point. He started all 42 games for the Pointers this spring, leading the team in at bats (176) and hits (61) while ranking second in total bases (84). He posted a .340 batting average with 31 runs, 15 doubles, two home runs, and 33 RBIs. Jirschele was named First Team All-WIAC for a third straight season this spring.
In 2010 for the Rafters, Jirschele appeared in 28 games and batted .203 before an injury cut his summer ball season short. Jirschele returned to Wisconsin Rapids in 2011, appearing in 54 games and posting a .245 batting average with 20 runs, five doubles, and 16 RBIs.
The two-time Gold Glove winner is a member of a family with strong baseball blood lines. His father, Mike, is the manager of the Kansas City Royals Triple-A affiliate and his older brother Jeremy was drafted by the Royals in 2005 and played in the team's minor league system until 2008. Justin will report to the White Sox spring training facility on Saturday for a two-week camp before being assigned to one of the team's two rookie ball teams.
In addition to Schwendel and Jirschele, two players that were projected to play in Wisconsin Rapids this summer were selected in the draft. Derek Hansen (Augustana) was selected in the 25th Round by Oakland Athletics and Nick Hamilton (Kent State) was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 35th Round. Hansen has decided to sign with the Athletics and will not report to Wisconsin Rapids. Kent State is still playing in the NCAA tournament and the club will wait for Hamilton's decision following tournament play on whether he will report to the team or sign with the Indians.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are members of the 16-team summer collegiate Northwoods League. The Rafters will play a 70 game schedule with 35 home games in 2012. Opening Day at historic Witter Field is scheduled for Wednesday, May 30th at 7:05 pm against the La Crosse Loggers. Reserve your 2012 ticket packages today by calling 715-424-5400, or in person by stopping by the Rafters office at historic Witter Field. Available quantities of all promotional giveaways will vary from event to event and will be available on a first come, first serve basis.Â The best way to guarantee giveaway items is to purchase a 9-Game Package. The offseason office hours are Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com.
Northwoods League Stories from June 8, 2012
- Suchy's Grand Slam Highlights Stingers' 10-4 Victory - Willmar Stingers
- Bombers Drop Rubber Match 7-2 - Battle Creek Bombers
- Honkers Lose Series to Duluth - Rochester Honkers
- MoonDogs Sweep the Border Cats - Mankato MoonDogs
- Chinooks Convincing Win Friday - Lakeshore Chinooks
- Chucks Walk Off; Three in One Week - Wisconsin Woodchucks
- Rafters Alumni Earn Opportunity to Play Professional Baseball - Wisconsin Rapids Rafters
- Mallards Go for the Sweep against Bullfrogs - Madison Mallards
- Mallards Have 14 Alumni, Three Actives Taken in MLB Draft - Madison Mallards
- Rox Take it to Beetles Again - Alexandria Beetles
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