Osseo High graduate Tom Windle made his professional debut Tuesday, June 25, with the Great Lakes Loons with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
Windle, who pitched three season for the University of Minnesota Gophers, was selected in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft and 56th overall. In his pro debut, he came in relief in his professional debut. First round pick Chris Anderson started and went two innings, allowed one hit and struck out five. Windle was the second pitcher into the game. He also pitched two innings, did not allow a hit, walked one and struck out two.
“I saw two innings of work from each guy,” Loons manager Razor Shines said. “We really liked what we saw. They were electric and both kids have good arms. Anderson really let the ball fly. Tom (Windle) looks like he knows how to pitch and he had some good off-speed stuff. When the Dodgers send us their number one, two and three (Brandon Dixon) guys out of the June draft, it tells you what they think about Midland.”
Windle, a left-handed pitcher out of Maple Grove, was Minnesota’s Friday starter the entire 2013 season. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, Windle led the team in innings pitched (92.2) and strikeouts (86), with a 6-4 record and a 2.14 ERA. Windle threw his first career no-hitter earlier this season against Western Illinois (3/8) and has a total of four complete games on the season. His no hitter was the first time a complete-game no hitter was thrown by a Golden Gopher since 1931.
Windle led the Big Ten in strikeouts (all games) and opposing batting average, having held opponents to a .203 average. Despite missing a start against Michigan State and a shortened game against Ohio State due to weather, Windle still established 49 strikeouts against league opponents, which ranked second in the Big Ten. Named to the Golden Spikes Watch List, Windle was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week twice this past season.
“I didn’t feel much pressure,” Windle said. “Chris went out there and set the tone. It got me excited to go out there and do my thing. It was exciting to be in the stadium. To be on the field and in the stadium in front of this crowd, they were in the game. It just kind of gets you going a little more.”
Information courtesy of the University of Minnesota Athletic Department and the Great Lakes Loons.