(St. Cloud, MN) With the 2010 Northwoods League season just weeks away, the St. Cloud River Bats announced additions to its roster and coaching staff. First baseman Devin Rodriguez (Cal-Berkeley) and right-hander Austen Wisroth (Wayne State) will join the club in June while Wayne Daman (Washington State) and Eric Hoffmann (North Dakota) have been added to Gabe Boruff’s coaching staff.
The six-foot, two-inch Rodriguez has made nine starts for the Golden Bears this spring; the freshman is hitting .324 with one home run and nine RBIs in 34 at-bats. In his first collegiate game on Feb.19, the left-handed swinging slugger hit a grand slam. A first baseman by trade, Rodriguez can also play in the outfield.
Wisroth is the Wildcats top pitcher, boasting a team-best 2.54 earned run average in nine appearances and eight starts. The Torrington, Wyo., native has 56 strikeouts and 11 walks in 46 innings of work. Last summer, the righty played for the Cheyenne Grizzlies of the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League and registered 1.85 ERA in five starts.
“It’s always a plus when you can bring in players that have summer league experience,” River Bats Owner and General Manager Joel Sutherland said. “He is prepared to meet the demands of the Northwoods League.”
As for the coaching staff, Hoffmann comes to St. Cloud with three years of Northwoods League experience. He played with the Rochester Honkers in 2005 and won a championship in 2006. Last season, he returned to Rochester as a coach and helped guide the Honkers to their fifth Northwoods League Championship. With the Honkers in ‘06, Hoffmann hit .246 with no home runs and 16 RBIs in
58 games. In 2008, Hoffmann played independently with the Rockford RiverHawks of the Frontier League. Hoffmann graduated from Northern Iowa in 2008 and is in his second season as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of North Dakota.
“Eric knows what it takes to win in this league,” Sutherland said of Hoffmann, who will work with the hitters. “His energy and knowledge will be extremely valuable for our club.”
Joining Hoffmann will be Wayne Daman, a 2007 graduate of Washington State. The former right-hander is now a graduate assistant with Cougars. Following his stint with the Cougars, Daman signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. Daman spent two minor league seasons in the Cardinals organization and finished with the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League (High-A). Daman will work with River Bats pitchers.
“It’s important to have continuity on a coaching staff,” Sutherland said. “Gabe and Wayne have forged a relationship at WSU and will do the same with our club this summer.”
St. Cloud begins its 2010 season on June 3 against the Willmar Stingers. It’s first home game will be June 5 against the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers. You can currently order tickets and purchase merchandise on the revamped www.riverbats.com.