Northwoods League’s Best on Display in Madison
2017 Major League Dreams Showcase a success at Warner Park
By – Nate Jelinek, Madison Mallards
Madison, Wis. – Warner Park played host to the 2017 Major League Dreams Showcase on Tuesday which featured a plethora of baseball action in front of MLB scouts. A handpicked crop of the Northwoods League’s best players participated in workouts during the afternoon and played a pair of ballgames to cap the evening.
The afternoon festivities at Warner Park included a financial seminar for the athletes and workouts for both position players and pitchers. The NWL’s best took batting practice, threw bullpens, and showcased their fielding skills in front of nearly 80 MLB scouts.
Game one of the showcase featured many players from the North Division of the NWL. Rochester’s Zach Zubia (Texas), the league leader in home runs and RBI, showed off his power with a two-run shot in the bottom of the second that gave the home squad a 2-0 lead. The visitors responded quickly with a two-run shot of their own when Isaac Collins (Creighton) from Duluth went deep in the top of the third. Collins ended the evening 2-for-3 and also reached on a walk.
Another notable performance from the visiting squad came from Duluth centerfielder Augie Isaacson (Friends University) who went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Isaacson’s RBI came in the fourth and gave the visitors a 4-3 advantage. However, the home team responded with a pair in the fifth, one coming in on a RBI double by Rockford’s Hunter Feduccia (LSU), which staked them to a 5-4 lead. The home side would hang on to the advantage until the top of the ninth when the visitors scratched across a run to tie the game. Game one was eventually called in the middle of the eleventh inning and ended in a 5-5 tie.
Game two featured more offense as the home team smashed 12 hits and tallied 13 runs. The home side featured seven Madison Mallards and multiple made contributions to the big 13-7 win. Madison shortstop Cole Daily (Notre Dame) recorded a pair of hits, one being a double, and knocked in three runs. Outfielder Zac Taylor (Illinois) was also productive in the batter’s box as he ripped a pair of singles and knocked in a run.
On the mound, Madison hurlers also made an impact. Florida pitchers Nate Brown and Tyler Dyson were both effective in their appearances. Brown started the ballgame for the home team and pitched a pair of scoreless innings and allowed only one hit. Dyson tossed a perfect inning in the fourth and struck out two while touching above 95 MPH with his fastball as the gallery of scouts checked their radar guns with approval.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 23-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 180 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.