Rochester, MN – Seventeen former Northwoods League players will be competing over the next two months in Arizona against the top players in Minor League baseball. Six former Northwoods League players that played in the league last season made their Major League debuts in 2013.
These seventeen alumni members include Tim Wheeler ('07) and Adam Weisenburger ('08-'10), who both played in St. Cloud. Wheeler was a 1st round selection by the Colorado Rockies in 2009. He was an outfielder for the Rockies AAA club, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox this season. Weisenburger was a 34th round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011. He was a catcher for the Brewers AA club, the Huntsville Stars this season.
The teams are broken into two divisions, East and West. Each Major League Baseball team sends six top prospects to the Arizona Fall League. The games are played in the Spring Training stadiums used by the Giants, Mariners, Padres, Cubs, A's, Royals, Rangers, D-backs and Rockies.
Each August, Major League teams hold a position draft to determine the players who will go to Arizona. 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 former Northwoods League players and their AFL team are as follows:
Glendale Desert Dogs
Michael Thomas (Green Bay ’10)
Marcus Semien (Alexandria ‘09-’10)
Brian Cavazos-Galvez (Battle Creek ’08)
Ryan LaMarre (Alexandria ’08)
Jonas Dufek (Wisconsin ’09)
Andrew Robinson (Alexandria ‘07-’08)
Kyle Simon (La Crosse ’09)
Matt Benedict (Duluth ’08)
Cory Vaughn (La Crosse ’08)
Salt River Rafters
Andy Burns (Duluth ‘08-’09)
Tim Wheeler (St. Cloud ’07)
Adam Weisenburger (St. Cloud ‘08-‘10)
Mitch Haniger (Green Bay ’11)
Tyler Naquin (Mankato ’10)
Mesa Solar Sox
Seth Frankoff (Thunder Bay ’08)
Blaine Hardy (Thunder Bay ’08)
Zach Borenstein (Mankato ’11)
The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games, and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate League in North America. The 2013 season marked the 20th season of Northwoods League baseball. 116 former players have gone on to play Major League baseball. Notable alumni of the league include Curtis Granderson (Yankees), Chris Sale (White Sox), Max Scherzer (Tigers), Josh Willingham (Twins) and Jordan Zimmermann (Nationals).