Well, it’s bad news for the High Point Rockers but it’s good news for Rockers’ catchers Kole McKinnon and Frank Nigro.
McKinnon just signed a contract with the Rockers less than a month ago, and now he’s had his contract purchased by the Minnesota Twins organization. McKinnon will report to the Twins’ minor league spring training site in Fort Myers, Florida rather than continue practicing with the Rockers, who are now gearing up for the 2021 season.
McKinnon, who hit .265 as a senior at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2019, is the first player in the Rocker’s league – the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball – to have his contract purchased by a Major League organization in 2021.
In addition, catcher Frank Nigro, who played in 38 games with the Rockers during their first-ever season in 2019, has signed with the Twins organization as well.
When High Point’s leaders got together and created the Rockers team to help bring economic activity to downtown High Point, they praised the quality of play in the Atlantic League and pointed out that Rocker’s games would be a way for spectators to see up and coming players who might end up in the big leagues. (In some cases, spectators also get to see down and going players as well.)
McKinnon and Nigro are the eighth and ninth Rockers’ players to have their contracts purchased by Major League organizations. Minnesota is the sixth Major League franchise to purchase the contract of a High Point Rockers’ player.
The Rockers will still have plenty of players when they hit the field for their second season, which starts on Friday, May 28 with an away game.
The home opener – at Truist Point in downtown High Point against the Lexington Legends – will take place on Tuesday, June 1. The Legends are one of two new teams in the Atlantic League this year.
The Rockers’ schedule includes 120 games with exactly half of those taking place at Truist Point.
The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the Rockers’ 2020 season.