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Published On: September 18th, 2019

Erich Uelmen (2019): Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Smokies

Erich Uelmen (2019): Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Smokies

The Arizona Fall League is set to begin tonight, bringing the best MLB prospects together one final time this season. Last year 34 former Northwoods League players participated in the Fall League, including Express players Austin Listi (2015), Griffin Jax (2015), and Daulton Varsho (2015-2016). Each Major League Baseball team sends six top prospects to the Arizona Fall League, 180 players in all. This year former Eau Claire Express Pitcher Erich Uelmen will be among the top minor league players in Arizona. 

Uelmen played for the Express in 2015 and was a part of a pitching staff that included CJ Eldred, Dalton Roach, Brody Rodning, and Ryan Schlosser. Uelmen led the Express in wins that season, posting a 4-1 record, and was third on the roster in strikeouts with 34, having only tossed 34.1 innings.

Uelmen was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2017 and played for the Eugene Emeralds to finish out the year. The Cal Poly product started 2018 with the South Bend Cubs before making a move to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. This season with the Pelicans Uelmen established a 5-3 record with an ERA of 3.05 and 50 K’s before joining up with the Tennessee Smokies in Double-A. Uelmen will suit up for the Mesa Solar Sox this fall.

The six teams comprising the Arizona Fall League include the Mesa Solar Sox, Scottsdale Scorpions, Salt River Rafters, Glendale Desert Dogs, Peoria Javelinas and Surprise Saguaros. Team names were chosen by Major League Baseball to reflect Southwestern desert traditions in Arizona. Teams are broken into two divisions, East and West, with games being played in the Spring Training stadiums used by the Mariners, Padres, Cubs, A’s, D-backs and Rockies.

Nearly 60 percent of all Fall League players make a Major League roster.  The AFL has showcased many stars throughout the years, including 321 MLB All-Stars, 19 MVPs, six Cy Young Award Winners, seven World Series MVPs, 99 Silver Sluggers, 88 Gold Gloves, and 30 Rookies of the Year.

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

 Glendale Desert Dogs

Vince Arobio           Madison 2015

Marshall Kasowski   Lakeshore 2015-2016

 Peoria Javelinas

Nick Mears            Willmar 2017-2018

Penn Murfee         Thunder Bay 2015

C.J. Chatham        Wisconsin 2014

Owen Miller          Lakeshore 2016-2017

Jared Oliva           Wisconsin 2015-2016

Salt River Rafters

Simon Rosenblum-Larson   Madison 2016-2017

Alex Vesia                        Mankato 2016

Luke Raley                       Lakeshore 2015

Mesa Solar Sox

Jonathan Teaney     La Crosse 2016

Erich Uelmen           Eau Claire 2015

Ernie Clement         Wisconsin Rapids 2015

Greg Deichmann      Lakeshore 2015

 Scottsdale Scorpions

Mike Ellenbest        Green Bay 2014-2016

Graham Spraker      La Crosse 2015-2016

Cullen Large            La Crosse 2016

Garrison Schwartz    Mankato 2017

Surprise Saguaros

Nick Raquet             La Crosse 2016

Sterling Sharp         Madison 2014-2015

Mason McCoy          La Crosse 2015-2016

Nick Banks              Wisconsin 2014

Josh Stowers           Madison 2016

More information on the Arizona Fall League can be found here: Arizona Fall League


The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 25-year old summer collegiate 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 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Express as your favorite team.