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Published On: October 7th, 2014

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Fall league showcases the top prospects in Minor League Baseball

Rochester, Minn. – Twenty eight former Northwoods League players will be competing over the next two months in Arizona against the top players in Minor League Baseball.

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 and each Major League Baseball team sends six top prospects to the Arizona Fall League. 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 2014 All-Star Game in Minnesota featured a former AFL alum in the American League's winning pitcher, Max Scherzer who pitched in the Northwoods League in La Crosse with the Loggers in 2004.

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

Glendale Desert Dogs

Mike Thomas    Green Bay ‘10

Nick Ramirez    Rochester ‘09

Scott Schebler  Green Bay ‘10

Blake Smith      Alexandria ‘07

Michael Strong  Rochester ‘10

Peoria Javelinas

Zach Cooper     Waterloo ‘09-‘10

Louis Head       Eau Claire ‘09

Sam Selman      Mankato ‘10-‘11

Hunter Dozier   Willmar ‘12

Jordan Smith    Willmar ‘10       

Salt River Rafters

Tyler Heineman Wisconsin ‘11

Chris O’Dowd    La Crosse ‘10

Chad Wallach    Rochester ‘12

Andrew Aplin     St. Cloud ‘10    

Surprise Saguaros

Nick Howard          Madison ‘12

Ben Klimesh          Rochester ‘11

Aaron Kurcz           Alexandria ‘09

Samuel Wolff         Wisconsin ‘10         

Seth Mejias-Brean   La Crosse ‘10

John Hicks             Madison ‘09

Mesa Solar Sox

Austin House    Rochester ‘11

Derek Self        Madison ‘09

Nate Smith       Alexandria ‘11

Tony Renda      St. Cloud ‘09

Cal Towey        Eau Claire ‘10

Arik Sikula        Rochester ’09-‘10

Matt Grace        Alexandria ‘08

Scottsdale Scorpions

Ryan O’Sullivan            Eau Claire ‘08

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


The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit