Rochester, Minn. — The Northwoods League has announced the rosters for the 2016 Major League Dreams Showcase, which will be hosted by the Madison Mallards at Warner Park on Tuesday, August 9. Five players from Kalamazoo have been added to the roster including C Nick Hutchins (Southern Illinois), SS Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois), OF Daniel Robinson (Central MI), INF/RHP Matt Lloyd (Iowa Western), and LHP Grant Wolfram (Central MI).
The annual Showcase will consist of a double-header featuring the top players from the Northwoods League who were selected by a panel of Major League Baseball Scouts. The players will participate in a day of workouts in front of scouts which will be followed by the double-header.
The first game will start at 4:05 p.m. and will match two teams featuring a mix of North and South Division players. The players on the visiting team in this game will come from St. Cloud, Mankato, Thunder Bay, Wisconsin and Duluth. The home team will be made up of players from La Crosse, Waterloo, Wisconsin Rapids, Eau Claire and Rochester.
The visiting team in this first game will be led by 2016 Northwoods League All-Star Game co-MVP Steve Passatempo (UMass Lowell) from the Wisconsin Woodchucks. Passatempo is currently hitting .323 with seven homeruns and 42 RBI.
The home team in game one will feature 2016 All-Star Daulton Varsho (UW-Milwaukee) from Eau Claire, and the other co-MVP from the All-Star game, La Crosse Logger Mason McCoy (Iowa). Varsho is currently hitting .302 with 10 homeruns and 42 RBI while McCoy has three homeruns, 22 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
The second game will start at 7:35 p.m. and will be played by two additional teams of North and South players. The visiting team for this game will be made up of players from Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Willmar and Green Bay. The home team will have players from Madison, Lakeshore, Kenosha and Rockford.
In the night cap the visiting team will include 2016 Northwoods League All-Stars Connor Kopach (Southern Illinois) and Dan Robinson (Central Michigan) of the Kalamazoo Growlers. Six members of the Willmar Stingers will also suit up for this game. They will be led by 2016 All-Star Danny Pardo (Montevallo) and his .364 batting average, four homeruns and 19 stolen bases.
Seven members of the hometown Madison Mallards will compete for the home team in the second game. This impressive group of players will include 2016 Northwoods League All-Star Troy Bacon (Santa Fe College). Bacon, a 2016 draftee of the Colorado Rockies, is currently 6-2 on the year with a 1.68 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 26.2 innings pitched. The defending Northwoods League Champion Kenosha Kingfish will have four players on this team. The contingent from the Kingfish is led by infielder Marty Bechina (Michigan State). Bechina was the 2016 Homerun Derby at the Harbor Champion the night before the Northwoods League All-Star game and is hitting .321 with five homeruns and 31 RBI over 42 games.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Northwoods League Foundation. The Northwoods League Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that serves as a vehicle to transform a shared passion for baseball into positive change and support for communities. Of the many needs the foundation may address through grants, scholarships or donations, one ongoing focus will be to view its member communities and look upon the baseball programs they have in place with a harmonious goal of making them all finer places to live.
Tickets for the event can still be purchased and are available at mallardsbaseball.com.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 22-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 150 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and on Google Play.