The Northwoods League experienced another successful Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft with the highest pick in league history (4th) and a record total of three players selected in the first round. In all 136 players were taken, close to last years record number of 141, including 25 players selected in the top 10 rounds.
Former Battle Creek Bombers’ catcher Tony Sanchez (Boston College) became the highest draft pick in Northwoods League history when he was selected 4th overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Former St. Cloud River Bats pitcher Thomas Diamond previously held the mark as the 10th overall pick by the Texas Rangers out of the University of New Orleans in 2004. Outfielders Brett Jackson and Tim Wheeler joined Sanchez as first round picks marking the first draft where multiple NWL alumni were selected in the first round. The Chicago Cubs drafted former La Crosse Logger Brett Jackson (California-Berkeley) with the 31st pick of the first round. The Colorado Rockies followed by taking former St. Cloud River Bat Tim Wheeler (Sacramento State) with the 32nd pick to close out the first round. All three players were in the Northwoods League during the 2007 season. This marks the sixth consecutive draft that a Northwoods League alumnus has been selected in either the first round or the compensation round that followed.
The Mankato MoonDogs had an astonishing 23 players drafted to lead all Northwoods League teams. 2008 NWL MVP Carlos Ramirez (Arizona St.) was the first MoonDog selected, going in the 8th round to the LA Angels.
Click here for the complete draft list.
The Northwoods League plays more games than, draws more fans than, and plays in venues superior to any Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. A total of 55 League alumni have advanced to the Major Leagues. The NWL’s 16th season is currently underway.