European Players to Participate Once Again in the Northwoods League in 2017
Before the 2015 season the Northwoods League and Collegiate Baseball League Europe (CBLE) entered into an agreement that would allow the top players from the CBLE to participate the following season in the Northwoods League. Following a second successful year of the agreement, five players have been selected to play in the Northwoods League for the 2017 season.
After the annual NWL Winter Meetings a draft was held to determine where each of these players would play this summer.
"The Northwoods League and its teams strive to provide the best player development experience available, and our alliance with the CBLE simultaneously extends that reach to European players while giving our great fans a chance to see them play in our Northwoods League communities," said Northwoods League President, Gary Hoover.
The five teams and their selections are listed below along with each player’s country, position, CBLE team and a link to their 2016 CBLE stats.
1. Kalamazoo Growlers – Simon Andersson (Sweden) LHP, Vienna Emperors
2. Bismarck Larks – Damien Melis (Netherlands) C/1B, London Cavaliers
3. Rockford Rivets – Matic Lešnjak (Slovenia) C/3B, Vienna Emperors
4. Battle Creek Bombers – Christoffer Granström (Sweden) 2B, Vienna Emperors
5. Green Bay Bullfrogs – Arthur Lugtmeijer (Netherlands) C, Praha Dragons
“CBLE is very pleased with the extension of its partnership with the Northwoods League,” said CBLE Founder and General Manager Jan Maarten Kops. “It offers a great opportunity for our European players to play with the best College players in the World and learn about baseball and the way of living in the US.”
The CBLE is a wood bat summer league based in Oosterhout, Netherlands. The league currently consists of four teams: La Rochelle Admirals, Amsterdam Bombers, Antwerp Cavaliers, and the Sant Boi Falcons of Barcelona. Each year the coaching staffs draft their team rosters from the list of registered players in March.
Players typically play their regular season with college teams in the United States or play for club teams in elite leagues across Europe.
Like other Summer Collegiate Baseball leagues, Collegiate Baseball League Europe is dedicated and designed to provide high level competition for 18-23 year old players that wish to continue on into professional baseball. The CBLE operates in a similar manner to a Minor League team: playing daily in stadiums before fans, using wood bats and minor league specification equipment, and experiencing road trips between games. Like all other summer collegiate players, they are unpaid and live with host families or other accommodations in the same manner as Single A and Independent League players. While serving as a crucial player development tool, Collegiate Baseball League Europe provides new opportunities for young players from around the world to play Summer Collegiate Baseball in the “Old World”. More information on the CBLE can be found at www.cble.org.