The Mankato MoonDogs, a member of the Northwoods League are proud to welcome Neil Wagner to their growing list of alumni in the major leagues. Wagner (‘04-‘05) made his major league debut Tuesday night for the Oakland Athletics pitching a scoreless 8th inning in a 6-2 loss at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Wagner struck out the first batter he faced and only gave up one hit in the inning, a looping single off the bat of former Mankato Masher Jack Hannahan before forcing the next two batters to ground out.
Wagner was a solid pitcher for the MoonDogs in 2004 but he became the Northwoods League’s top closer in 2005 picking up 13 saves in 30 appearances posting a very impressive 2.10 ERA while striking out 43 batters in just 30 innings pitched.
The hard throwing right hander was a 21st round pick by the Cleveland Indians in 2005. Over six minor league seasons Wagner made 266 appearances and posted a 3.47 ERA while striking out 425 batters in 362 2/3 innings on his way to 44 saves.
Wagner joins Brandon Crawford (‘05) and Erik Hamren (‘08) as the third former MoonDog to make their Major League debut in 2011. He also joins 43 other Northwoods League Alumni to play in the major leagues in 2011.