(Rochester, Minn.) The 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft took place June 6-8 in Secaucus, New Jersey. The Northwoods League experienced yet another record setting MLB Draft with 179 current and former NWL players being selected. The Northwoods League had 40 players selected in the first ten rounds of the 50-round draft.
Five of the top eight NWL picks were right-handed pitchers. The first righty selected was Erik Johnson (California) of the Alexandria Beetles. Johnson was 4-2 for the Beetles in 2009 and boasted a 2.61 earned run average. The second right-handed pitcher selected was hard throwing Eden Prairie, MN native, Madison Boer. Boer was drafted in the 2nd round by the Minnesota Twins after successful stints with the Oregon Ducks and La Crosse Loggers.
Lenny Linsky (Hawaii), Drew Gagnon (Cal State Long Beach), and Kyle Simon (Arizona) were the next three right-handed pitchers selected. The former Waterloo Buck, Linsky, was selected by the Tampa Rays in the 2nd round. Gagnon, who pitched for the Honkers, was picked in the 3rd round by the Milwaukee Brewers while former La Crosse Logger; Kyle Simon was selected in the 4th by the Baltimore Orioles.
Twelve 2010 NWL All-Stars were selected in the first 13 rounds with Cody Asche (Nebraska) of the Duluth Huskies leading the way in the 4th round. The left-handed hitting third basemen was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies as the 151st overall pick. All-Stars Kyle Gaedele (Valparaiso) and Marcus Semien (California) were both chosen in the 6th round by the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox, respectively.
2010 All-Star and NWL Pitcher of the Year Jason Wheeler (Loyola Marymount) was selected in the 8th round. The 6’8’’ left-handed pitcher was picked by the Minnesota Twins with the 268th overall pick. Wheeler was 8-1 in 2010 with the St. Cloud River Bats with a 1.35 earned run average in 66.2 innings of work.
Madison Mallard and University of Illinois teammates Adam Davis and Josh Parr were selected in 11th and 12throunds, respectively. The two helped the Mallards to a 41-29 record in 2010 and a NCAA Regional bid for the 30-27 Fighting Illini.
Jordan Smith (St. Cloud State) and Tony Mueller (Winona State), both of NCAA D-II schools, were selected early in the MLB Draft. The Willmar native and former Stinger, Jordan Smith, was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 9th round. Smith was 2nd in the NWL in batting average in 2010 with a .374 clip. Former La Crosse Logger Tony Mueller was selected in the 13th round by the Atlanta Braves following a fantastic showing for the College World Series Runner-Up Winona State Warriors.
A pair of NCAA Division-III talents and 2010 All-Star’s were selected in the 10th round with Ben Hughes (St.Olaf) and Cody Koback (Wisconsin Stevens-Point) being picked. Hughes, who played for the Duluth Huskies in 2010, was 7-1 this past season with St. Olaf. Cody Koback starred for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters in 2010 and led the Wisconsin Stevens-Point Pointers to a 34-10 record. The Plover, WI native hit .424 and had a 6-1 record on the mound for the Pointers.
Other 2010 All-Stars selected were:
Name, College, NWL Team, Round, MLB Team
Harold Riggins, North Carolina State, Madison, 7, Colorado
Mike Strong, Oklahoma State, Rochester, 10, Milwaukee
Chadd Krist, California, Brainerd, 13, Chicago White Sox
Matt Flemer, California, La Crosse, 19, Kansas City
Mike Marjama, Long Beach State, La Crosse, 23, Chicago White Sox
Jordan Steranka, Penn State, Mankato, 30, Houston
Sander Beck, Maryland, Alexandria, 33, Baltimore
John Schultz, Pittsburg, St. Cloud, 34, Florida
Isaac Ballou, Marshall, Willmar, 36, Pittsburgh
Arik Sikula, Marshall, Rochester, 36, Toronto
Brad Zapenas, Boston College, Green Bay, 42, Chicago Cubs
Eric Brown, British Columbia, Thunder Bay, 50, Toronto
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. The NWL’s 18th season is currently underway.