Northwoods League Alumni Looking to shine in the Arizona Fall League

Fall league showcases the top prospects in Minor League Baseball

Rochester, MN – Seventeen former Northwoods League players will be competing over the next two months in Arizona against the top players in Minor League baseball. Six former Northwoods League players that played in the league last season made their Major League debuts in 2013.

There are six teams in the Arizona Fall League: the Scottsdale Scorpions, Mesa Solar Sox, Salt River Rafters, Glendale Desert Dogs, Peoria Javelinas and Surprise Saguaros. The names of the teams were picked by Major League Baseball to reflect the Southwestern desert traditions in the state. 

The teams are broken into two divisions, East and West. Each Major League Baseball team sends six top prospects to the Arizona Fall League. The games are played in the Spring Training stadiums used by the Giants, Mariners, Padres, Cubs, A’s, Royals, Rangers, D-backs and Rockies.

The 2013 All-Star Game in New York featured a former AFL alum in the American League’s starting pitcher, Max Scherzer who pitched in the Northwoods League in La Crosse with the Loggers in 2004.

Each August, Major League teams hold a position draft to determine the players who will go to Arizona. Most of the players are Double-A and Triple-A Minor League players. Each team can choose to send one player considered a Class A player.

The former Northwoods League players and their AFL team are as follows:

Glendale Desert Dogs
Michael Thomas (Green Bay ’10)
Marcus Semien (Alexandria ‘09-’10)
Brian Cavazos-Galvez (Battle Creek ’08)
Ryan LaMarre (Alexandria ’08)

Peoria Javelinas 
Jonas Dufek (Wisconsin ’09)
Andrew Robinson (Alexandria ‘07-’08)
Kyle Simon (La Crosse ’09)

Scottsdale Scorpions 
Matt Benedict (Duluth ’08)
Cory Vaughn (La Crosse ’08)

Salt River Rafters 

Andy Burns (Duluth ‘08-’09)
Tim Wheeler (St. Cloud ’07)

Surprise Saguaros
Adam Weisenburger (St. Cloud ‘08-‘10)
Mitch Haniger (Green Bay ’11)
Tyler Naquin (Mankato ’10)

Mesa Solar Sox
Seth Frankoff (Thunder Bay ’08)
Blaine Hardy (Thunder Bay ’08)
Zach Borenstein (Mankato ’11)
The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games, and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate League in North America. The 2013 season marked the 20th season of Northwoods League baseball. 116 former players have gone on to play Major League baseball. Notable alumni of the league include Curtis Granderson (Yankees), Chris Sale (White Sox), Max Scherzer (Tigers), Josh Willingham (Twins) and Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals).