Published On: April 11th, 2022

Jackson is the 274th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB

Rochester, Minn. – Former Wisconsin Rapids Rafter Zach Jackson, made his Major League debut for the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Jackson is the 274th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.

Jackson, who played collegiately at the University of Arkansas, played for the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters in 2014. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Blue Jays.

In 2014 with the Rafters, Jackson appeared in nine games and was 2-2 with a 4.06 ERA. He struck out 59 batters in 37.2 innings pitched.

Jackson began his professional career in 2016 with the Blue Jays Rookie level team in the Gulf Coast League. After one game he was sent to the Vancouver Canadians of the Short-Season A Northwest League. In 14 games he was 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA. He struck out 23 batters in 18.2 innings while walking 12.

Jackson began the 2017 season with the Lansing Lugnuts of the Lo-A Midwest League. After 15 games in Lansing, he was promoted to the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Hi-A Florida State League to finish the season. Overall, he was a combined 2-2 with a 2.47 ERA over 42 games. He struck out 68 batters in 51 innings and had five saves.

Jackson spent the entire 2018 season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the AA Eastern League. With New Hampshire he appeared in 43 games and was 2-3 with a 2.47 ERA. He saved two games and struck out 75 batters in 62 innings.

Jackson moved up again for the 2019 season to the Buffalo Bisons of the AAA International League. Over 46 appearances he was 9-0 with a 3.97 ERA. He continued his high strikeout rate with 68 in 68 innings pitched and also saved one game.

Prior to the 2021 season Jackson was selected by the Oakland A’s in the Minor League phase of the Rule 5 draft. He would go on to start the season with the Midland RockHounds of the AA Central League. After 14 games he moved up to the Las Vegas Aviators of the AAA West League. For the season he was a combined 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA in 25 games. He had six saves and an incredible 47 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched.

In his Major League debut against the Philadelphia Phillies, Jackson entered the game in relief in the 8th inning and allowed no runs on no hits with a strikeout.


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 28th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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, over 275 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live for FREE via the Northwoods League website at For more information, visit or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

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