Four Former Mallards to Take Part in 2017 Arizona Fall League
Starting next week, four Mallards alumni will be participating in the Arizona Fall League against the top players in Minor League Baseball. The former Mallards chosen to participate include Bobby Poyner, Alec Mills, Taylor Gushue, and Matt Thaiss.
Thaiss, a member of the 2014 Mallards, was drafted 16th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels. He had a solid season with the Angels Double-A affiliate, the Mobile BayBears. Thaiss hit .274 with nine home runs. He was an on-base machine for the BayBears with a .375 OBP. He will play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the AFL.
Poyner, Mills, and Gushue all played for the Mallards in 2012. Poyner (Boston Red Sox) is coming off his most productive professional season to date where he compiled a 1.49 ERA, fifteen saves, and 84 Ks between A+ and AA. He will suit up for the Peoria Javelinas. Right-handed pitcher Mills (Chicago Cubs), who spent most of 2017 on the DL with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, will play for the Mesa Solar Sox. When Mills finally battled back from a foot injury, he was able to post a 2.57 ERA with 20 Ks over seven starts for the I-Cubs. Catcher Taylor Gushue will join Mills on the Mesa Solar Sox. Gushue (Washington Nationals) is a highly rated prospect in Washington’s system. He hit eighteen home runs and knocked in 67 runs between A+ and AA.
In total, twenty-eight former Northwoods League players were selected to participate. 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. Nearly 60 percent of AFL players will at some point make a Major League roster. To see the full roster of Northwoods League participants, click here.