Baseball: Wolfe is Minnesota Mr. Baseball finalist

If you ask his coach, Ryan Wolfe has rare talent for a high school baseball player. Now the Wabasha-Kellogg senior is in rare company to prove it.

If you ask his coach, Ryan Wolfe has rare talent for a high school baseball player. Now the Wabasha-Kellogg senior is in rare company to prove it.

Wolfe, a five-year varsity starter, is among seven finalists for the 2016 Minnesota Mr. Baseball award, presented annually to the state's best player.

Other finalists are: Michael Busch, Simley; Isaac Collins, Maple Grove; Nick Emanuel, Esko; Nick Hanson, Prior Lake; Drew Hmielewski, Marshall; and Matt Wallner, Forest Lake.

Pat Moham became head coach at W-K in 2012 when Wolfe was in eighth grade and Moham didn't hesitate to make Wolfe his starting shortstop.

"He makes spectacular plays that you haven't seen from a high school shortstop," Moham said. "Then he can go out there and pitch a gem as well."


This season Wolfe hit .444 with 24 runs and 10 stolen bases. On the mound he was 4-2 with five saves and a 2.16 ERA. He struck out 50 in 45 1/3 innings. The Falcons were 15-8 and their season ended this week with a 2-1 loss to Randolph in the Section 1A East second place game.

Besides bringing a high batting average to the lineup for five seasons, Wolfe has also been the ace of the pitching staff since his sophomore year.

Wolfe was a career .288 hitter (96 for 333), scoring 99 runs and driving in 53. As a pitcher, he was 14-9 with seven saves, a 2.27 ERA, and 189 strikeouts in 157 1/3 innings. Ryan's brother Zach was a four-year starting shortstop for W-K from 2007-2010.

Moham said the 6-foot and 180-pound right-hander has a fastball that has been clocked at 87 mph. His velocity has increased in recent seasons as he "hit the weight room" and got stronger.

"He's got a nice slider, but his strength is his power," the coach said. "He can blow it by people when he needs to."

Besides all the skills that Wolfe brought to the field, Moham said he also brought a winning attitude and leadership to the dugout.

Wolfe, who was also a standout football player and basketball player at W-K, was even well-liked and respected by players and coaches on other teams, Moham noted.

"A kid like this comes along very, very rarely," the coach said. "He's one of the premier athletes that I've coached, and he's a really, really great kid."


Wolfe will play college baseball next year at St. Mary's University in Winona.

Two weeks ago, former W-K star Austin Baab was named the MCAC Player of the Year, awarded to the top player in Minnesota junior college baseball, after his standout sophomore season at Rochester Community and Technical College.

The Play Ball! Minnesota Mr. Baseball and Ms. Softball award banquet will be June 26 at Target Field. It's open to the public for $45 per seat. The keynote speaker will be a yet-to-be-named Minnesota Twins player or official.

Tickets can be purchased on the web at

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